I admire an owner who admits a desirable but unused classic needs a new home and chooses to list it for sale. That has been the fate of this 1969 Mustang Mach 1, although its lack of activity for the past two decades may lead some to believe the decision could have come sooner. Whatever your view, the fact is that an opportunity now exists to own a First Generation Mustang with a 428 Cobra Jet under the hood. The seller has listed this gem here on eBay in Winter Haven, Florida. Bidding sits below the reserve at $35,300, although there is a BIN option of $55,000 for those wishing to bypass the auction process.
Ford released the Mach 1 variant of the Mustang in 1969, unveiling a car that would sound the death knell for the Mustang GT. Ford shifted 17,458 GTs in 1968, but the introduction of the Mach 1 saw sales fall to 5,396 in 1969. The Mach 1 figure of 72,458 drove the final nail into the coffin, and no new Mustang would wear the GT badge until 1982. The Trim Tag confirms that the Candy Apple Red paint gracing this car’s flanks is correct, but whether it has undergone any repairs or restoration is unclear. It shines nicely, although the seller admits it isn’t perfect. A collection of minor marks and chips might motivate some potential buyers to perform a light cosmetic refresh. Those seeking a driver-grade classic will probably find the presentation acceptable. The panels are straight, and the seller’s use of the word “solid” in their description suggests there are no significant rust issues. The car has been in dry storage for twenty years, which should have protected it from the worst that Mother Nature can throw at it. The car retains its original trim and glass, which looks pretty respectable. However, the winning bidder may choose to source the correct wheels to obtain a more stock appearance.
The Mustang’s interior is another aspect of this classic that remains presentable and acceptable for a driver-grade car. There are shortcomings, but addressing them is unlikely to break the bank. The aftermarket wheel looks pretty tired, so replacement would seem the obvious choice. The radio is missing, and the driver’s seat has developing cracks. Replacement seatcovers are readily available and affordable. However, visible issues on the door trims and some other upholstered surfaces might motivate an interior retrim. The process is not horrendously expensive, and some enthusiasts may feel that a car of this caliber deserves that approach.
Ford introduced the 428 Cobra Jet to the Mustang’s engine options list in 1968. It remained available in 1969, giving lucky owners access to 335hp and 440 ft/lbs of torque. That is what hides under the hood of this Mach 1, although it is unclear whether the V8 is numbers-matching. The Mustang originally featured a four-speed manual transmission and a 3.25 Traction-Lok rear end, and the absence of power assistance for the steering and brakes suggests the original owner focused exclusively on straight-line performance. They would have been rewarded with a ¼-mile ET of 14.3 seconds, confirming they found what they were looking for. The seller states the four-speed is gone, and a three-speed C4 automatic transmission has been bolted in. The Mach 1 retains items like the clutch pedal, making a reversal straightforward. It hasn’t seen any serious street action during the past two decades, with drives generally restricted to yard work. The car will probably require a thorough inspection before gracing our streets, but the new owner will be working from a sound base.
Some readers will have a “better late than never” attitude toward the seller’s decision to part with this 1969 Mustang Mach 1, which is understandable. It is common to see some enthusiasts cling grimly to a classic until it has deteriorated beyond the point of no return. This Mach 1 hasn’t suffered that fate, and it could be days away from finding a new home and an owner willing to return it to its rightful place on our streets. I hope the winning bidder is one of our loyal Barn Finds readers because I would love to bring its story to a happy conclusion.