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'69 Ford Mustang Mach One

Why sit and stare at an icon when it can cut lights?

Photography by Terry McGean

The Details
What: '69 Ford Mustang Mach 1
Owner: Rob Ball, hoarder of covetable FE treasures
Hometown: West Hills, CA

Engine: The original engine was long gone when Rob took ownership, but fortunately, he had a spare '69 428CJ in stock. JMS Racing Engines in Monrovia, California, bored it 0.030 inch and fitted the JE pistons to the Ford "Le Mans" rods and balanced them with the SCJ steel crank.

Heads: The '69 Ford Cobra Jet castings from the same engine were treated to a gasket-match and bowl work and then fitted with 2.19/1.73-inch Manley valves and Isky springs. A set of Erson 1.76:1 roller rockers tops the heads off.

Camshaft: To get the CJ breathing, a Crower hydraulic cam replaces the stock stick; this one has 0.547/0.549-inch lift and 224/232 degrees duration at 0.050.

Induction: One of the few non-stock pieces that are visible on the Cobra Jet is the Blue Thunder intake manifold, and even it's topped with a factory CJ-spec Holley 735-cfm carb carrying a Ford part number. A Carter CJ-spec X-type mechanical fuel pump feeds the Holley and the shaker scoop still fits just fine.

Exhaust: Rob dyno-tested the 428 before installing it in the '69 and found, among other things, that tubular headers were only worth about 15 hp at the power peak. So even though they did boost low-end torque a bit, stock iron manifolds feed the 212-inch custom exhaust with Walker turbo mufflers. The system terminates with stock chrome splitter tips.

Transmission: The original C6 was rebuilt by Pro Trans in Palmdale, California, using a Ford "R" servo and then fitted with a 10-inch, 3,200-stall converter from Continental.

Rearend: The factory 9-inch housing was still under the car when Rob got it and still running the original 3.91:1 gears on the Traction-Lok. Now it has a Detroit Locker diff running 4.30:1 cogs in the hopes of improved e.t. The axles are factory 31-spline.

Front suspension: Most of the suspension is stock, including the 560-pound springs, 1516-inch swaybar, and even the Autolite shocks, which Rob had in his stash of N.O.S. goodies. The Mach has power steering with a 16.0:1 ratio as well.

Rear suspension: Stock five-leaf rear springs and Autolite shocks help plant the rear axle without the aid of traction devices. So far Rob has managed a best 60-foot time of 1.88 on sticky tires.

Brakes: Stock front 11-inch single-piston disc/rear 10x212-inch drum.

Wheels/tires: Stock-type rally wheels were custom altered from 14x7 to 15x7 and wrapped with repro Goodyear Polyglas GT rubber in F70-15 and L60-15, front/rear.

Body: The stock sheetmetal remains, unaltered but straightened by Euro Tech in Van Nuys, California, the same guys that laid down the factory hue of Acapulco Blue with factory-style black accents. New Mach 1 graphic decals were then installed.

Interior: The Mach 1 package included the deluxe interior, the most prominent aspect being the high-back bucket seats with red striping. The deluxe woodgrain dash is the other main focus, featuring the passenger-side clock. Rob's is stock down to the N.O.S. "rim-blow" steering wheel (that's a type of horn switch, by the way).

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