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Last Updated 7 February 2024


This is what the colour, stripes, and spoilers will look like when it is all done. The tires and wheels, stance, hood pins, licence plate mount, and radio antenna will be slightly different. It will take a few years and a big bucket of money but Mark and I are excited about the project. It has been many years since we both worked together on a project like this.

So what is it? A 1971 Ford Mustang Mach1 powered by a high compression 351-4V (5.7 litre) Cleveland V8, 3 speed automatic transmission, power steering and brakes.

Mechanical extras include aluminium intake manifold, big camshaft, headers, 4.11 positraction 9” rear end, shift kit, and a B&M Holeshot torque converter.

This combination was probably good for 400 HP which at the time, which was quite a bit. That would have meant a 0-60mph time around 6 seconds and a quarter mile time of about 13-14 seconds.

I know that’s pretty slow compared to today’s much more powerful muscle cars but remember, it is 53 years old!

This is a one-owner car with full documentation proving what it is. It has been parked for many years.

Special thanks go to the previous owners and dear friends Greg & Siony Thompson, my brother Todd for providing the truck and trailer to get it here, my ex-daughter-in-law Melissa who has agreed to let me use her garage for the restoration, and of course my son Mark for providing his skill and expertise to restore the body and frame.

What is it going to take to complete this project?

Apart from thousands of dollars for replacement floorpans, trunk floor and deck, hood, firewall, cowl, front and rear sub-frames, gas tank, and lots more, the engine will come out to be refreshed, all fluids flushed and replaced, new rubber for the doors, windows, and glass, and the list goes on. And on.

What is OK now?

All the glass is perfect. The upholstery, headliner, door cards, and dash need only deep cleaning.

Mechanically, the differential and transmission should need only fluid changes, cleaning and maybe paint to look and work as new.

The car came with some new factory replacement parts and some lightly used sheet metal parts in excellent shape. This will save money and the replacement original Ford factory fenders should bolt in with minimal fussing.

It is an exciting project for us!

Update #2 - December, 2023


December, 2023

Rustang, indeed! The more I opened it up and the more pieces I removed, the more rust I found. Worse, significant portions of everything are simply gone. That’s not as bad as it sounds because all those parts that are gone were on the list of things to be replaced anyway. It will complicate the process though because I am not sure exactly what is holding it together right now.

Mark has a plan: start at the back where there is not too much rust damage (but most stuff has to be replaced anyway) and slowly work towards the front by replacing all the metal you can’t see from the outside of the car. Each new piece will be bonded and riveted and perhaps welded to the piece behind it, keeping things straight and true. Mark is a professional so I trust that if he says it will work, then it will.

It is a family project! Megan is removing the door card. Note the missing floor on the passenger side!

Fred Flintstone would feel right at home in this floor-less car!

It is December in Alberta now and so the car will sit, alone, until spring. The garage is unheated, in fact, the entire Province is unheated right now. Even though we don’t have any snow, it is just too cold to do anything more.

I do have a few bits and pieces removed and on those few days when the temperatures get above freezing, I will turn on the heat in my garage and do some grinding, priming, and painting. I’ll then add the shiny bits to the pile in my office until the day comes when we start to put it all back together.

   

October, 2023

A new project is born! Mark and I drove to Genelle, BC where the car was in storage. My brother and his lady met us there on Saturday and we loaded the car and assorted spare parts onto Todd’s truck and trailer.

Once everything was securely tied down and tarped over, we ate pizza, drank beer, and visited. Between the 10 hour drive, all the work involved in loading, and our rapidly increasing ages, we were done by 9pm and crashed.

We were up at 7 on Sunday morning, double checked the load, said our thank-yous and goodbyes and headed east along Hwy 3 about 8am, BC time.

An uneventful 11 hours later the work to unload got underway. By 10pm that was done and we headed home excited about our new project.

Over the next couple of days we organized the garage, beefed up the locks, added lighting, and started actually doing something on the car. Nothing exciting, just changing a flat tire, removing the hood, cleaning out the leaves, squirrel poop and the assorted detritus from the hood, interior, and trunk.

There are large sections of the firewall and flooring that are simply rusted away to nothing. I can see from under the hood straight through the floor in the back seat to the ground. I guess that’s why they are sometimes called “rustangs”.

Update #1 - October, 2023

My brother Todd simply ripped out the hood hinges!

Loading up the Mach1 for its trip home.

Yes, it has the optional flow through ventilation system in the trunk floor

Yes, it does have an engine!