Yard Find: 1973 Ford Mustang Mach 1

By 1973, the Ford Mustang wasn’t as popular as it once was. Instead of selling 1.2 million cars as they did in 1965-66 combined, they were down to 135,000 copies for ’73 alone. Sure, the field was saturated with pony cars by then, but the Mustang kept getting longer, wider, and heavier as well as more expensive as time rolled on. For 1974, Ford would reinvent the car like the Mustang II, shorter, narrower, and less expensive. The seller’s car is from 1973, the Mustang’s last year before its rebirth, and appears to have been inactive for quite some time. It’s sitting amongst the flora and fauna in Miami Beach, Florida, and available here on Facebook Marketplace for $10,000.

The Mach 1, which had joined the Mustang roster in 1969 to replace the GT, was a big part of the line-up, accounting for some 35,000 cars or a quarter of all Mustang sales in 1973. It came only as a fastback and had a choice between two 351 cubic inch V-8s, one good for 177 hp and the other 266. As we see all too often with Marketplace ads, the write-up is rather thin and the photos few and not well-taken. The seller’s car is in Florida now but was apparently last registered in Texas in 1995. That’s a 25-year gap that the seller does not explain.

This Mustang Mach 1 appears to have been finished in Ford’s Gold Glow choice of colors. We see a car that has faded paint and graphics and a few dings here and there. What we don’t see is much in the way of rust which – given its perch between the shrubbery in a humid part of the country – is kind of surprising.  What little we see of the interior suggests there may be hope for it, but again no real explanation of what we’re looking at (or not).

We’re told the car has 50,000 miles on it, so the condition it’s in begs to ask why and when it was parked. The seller says the car runs, but how well? Will it simply idle for 10 seconds or actually warm-up? The engine markings suggest the motor is the 4-barrel version of the 351 but looks to have gotten pretty comfortable along with the rest of the car.

The ’71-73 Mustangs don’t command the same prices as the ’65-66 models, but north of $20,000 is not unusual for a sharp Mach 1. This car is far from that and we probably know less about the car than more, so a sizeable investment will be needed to equalize things. Would you pay 50% of the going rate for a nice example for one that is resting within the landscape?

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Comments

  1. Steve Bush Member

    Looks to be complete and possibly a good candidate for restoration. But for his $10k asking, the seller/flipper is too lazy/stupid to provide any info, clean it up, or take good pics.

    Like 18
    • Russ Dixon Staff

      That’s the hardest part of writing these reviews up. You have to read between the lines half the time. Too many people don’t bother to research what they have in order to help get their price.

      Like 18
  2. mark

    Lazy seller deserves the lazy price. Looks like a parts car for 2 grand tops.

    Like 12
  3. Kgun Offense

    Looks to be complete and a good choice for restoration. However, with that being said, there are a lot of things to physically check out before buying. Way too little true information divulged in the ad and the pictures are not that great. Looks like it has possibilities but trust me from prior experience, I know looks can be deceiving. I would consider buying but would have to have a lot of questions answered intelligently by someone who knows. If this a flipper selling, he probably does not know the answers and is just guessing when you ask questions.

    Like 6
  4. Classic Steel

    Good to see all these car are soooo low miles…..

    I say 250 thousand mile car found in backyard when the mower was fixed 😂

    Okay maybe covered up with chrome shiny on engine …..

    Flipping should require a test to keep the field sharp. The test on writing skills, the Laruso wax on, was off and ability to read odometers and decide if car is in a field add 100k miles. 😂

    Like 6
  5. Jeff

    Ponder This For A Few Minutes…

    Most of us have driven automobiles for many years and observed what time, nature, normal wear/tear and abuse look like. Just jog your mind for a moment and in retrospect conclude what it actually took for these “Barn Finds” to end up in such poor condition. In 1957 the city of Tulsa decided to entomb a brand new 1957 Plymouth Belvedere with zero miles and revisit it fifty years later, the end result was a total piece of garbage with fifty years of history and still zero miles on the odometer. To me mileage is overrated and in the car game a “total” distraction with only perceived value. It infuriates me when anyone attempts to misrepresent a vehicle’s worth based on a “low mileage” statement. End Of Rant….

    Like 19
    • Joeinthousandoaks

      Jeff I totally agree. Although that Plymouth’s vault had leaked water into it for all those years making it akin to being in a lake. Here’s another example. The dealer in Nebraska that went out of business and all the “low mileage” field cars were auctioned off. Some had but 2 or 3 miles but were left out in the ravages of winter for decades. People still flocked to them for the low mileage. Crazy.

      Like 8
      • Jeff

        Joe,

        Below is a example a great car salesmen’s spin on the pro’s of the vault preservation.
        If it was Barracuda instead of a Belvidere the salt water would have done a better preservation job, in turn the rusted remains would be sold as caviar….

    • Miguel

      Anybody that has ever bought and sold cars knows the mileage is just a number on the dash and doesn’t represent condition in any way.

      Like 8
      • Dickie F.

        My friend traded his late model VW Polo in on a BMW, at a local dealer.
        He returned the next day to pick up his sunglasses that he forgot in the Polo, to be told it was sold onto a used car dealer down the road.
        When he got there, it was being cleaned and when it came out of the car wash, he popped his head in to remove the sunglasses, only to notice the mileage on the digital display. It had lost 100 000 km overnight, now showing only 60 000km.
        Yip, easily done.

        Like 3
  6. i8afish

    Laughed when I saw the racing gloves. You’ll need gardening gloves to start this car.

    Like 14
    • TouringFordor

      Probably to cover up something nasty on the wheel.

      Like 1
  7. Miguel

    What is so special about this car as to make the owner think it is a 5 digit car?

    It has a common engine with an automatic transmission.

    It has factory air, but a lot of them did, and has anybody really ever wanted a gold car?

    Like 5
  8. CATHOUSE

    If the dash tag VIN shown in the ad is the correct VIN for this car it is not a 4V car. The engine code in the VIN is H, which is a 351 2V engine.

    Like 1
  9. Jackie Hollingsworth

    I love the 1971-73 Mach 1’s and I think this one is a nice one to start with towards a full restoration.I feel they will grow in popularity as the early fastbacks continue to rise in price.

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