1971 Ford Mustang Mach 1

Hiding in this garage is a classic that has hibernated for over a decade. It is a 1971 Mustang Mach 1 that is complete and features the Ram Air 351 under the hood. The seller acknowledges they will never have the chance to return it to active service, feeling it deserves to go to a new home and an owner who can do it justice. The Mach 1 is listed here on eBay in Gays Mills, Wisconsin. It has attracted one bid of $9,000 at the time of writing in a No Reserve auction. It could be an affordable project candidate if that situation doesn’t intensify.

The Mach 1 joined the Mustang range in 1969, striking a chord with potential buyers. A sales volume of 72,458 vehicles during the first year sounded the death knell for the GT, which could only muster 5,396 buyers. The badge was updated in line with the rest of the Mustang range in 1971, with almost every dimension increasing. The original owner ordered this Mach 1 in Light Pewter Metallic, a shade that adds a classy air to a high-performance model.

The history of this Mustang is slightly unclear, although the listing suggests it may have received a touch-up at some point. It is due for a repeat performance, with the paint exhibiting a typical matte appearance. The biggest question facing potential buyers surrounds the subject of rust. The seller doesn’t mention any significant issues, and the limited underside shots don’t suggest deeper problems. This is a case where an in-person inspection may be warranted. The panels are surprisingly straight, with only minor bumps and imperfections. The Mach 1 retains its original wheels and rear spoiler, and the glass appears pretty good.

This Mustang surprises us when we focus on its interior. I can’t spot any aftermarket additions, and apart from the faded carpet behind the Sport Deck rear seat, its condition is comfortably acceptable for a driver-grade classic. The upholstered surfaces have no gaping holes, while the dash and pad are excellent. The carpet, as mentioned, appears to be the only item that has suffered UV damage. I am surprised there is no evidence of air conditioning, but the power windows, factory tachometer, and rim blow wheel are desirable options that add a luxurious touch.

One notable cosmetic upgrade on the 1971 Mach 1 was a hood with integrated scoops. It was a no-cost option on 302-equipped cars but was standard on the rest of the range. This car’s scoops are functional, with the engine bay housing the 351ci Ram Air V8. This motor sent 285hp and 370 ft/lbs of torque to the road via a three-speed automatic transmission. This Mach 1 also features power steering and power front disc brakes.

The journey down the ¼-mile would have taken 15.3 seconds, with the V8 running out of breath at 131mph. Those figures deserve perspective, and we only need to examine a 1970 Mach 1 to clearly understand the impact of evolution. The 1971 model year saw almost every Mustang dimension increase, but the vehicle’s curb weight was the most profound change.

This car will tip the scales at 3,448 lbs, while its predecessor weighed 3,256 lbs. That is a significant increase, helping to explain why the 1971 Mach 1 lost ground to the 1970 model when the subject turned to performance. Worse was to come in the following years, but the writing was on the wall for the Mustang’s Hi-Po variants. Potential buyers should consider this an “as-is” proposition.

It hasn’t run since 2014, and whether the engine turns freely is unclear. However, the visual indications are promising. The Mustang will need a new fuel tank and lines as a starting point for its revival, but delving deeper will undoubtedly uncover other work required before it graces our roads again.Ezoic

The 1971 facelift marked the most profound change during the First Generation Mustang’s production run. The company had embraced the “bigger is better” mentality that many purists lament. They feel the car lost its edge as a performance model, slowly morphing into something akin to a Grand Tourer. Others disagree, and both sides can mount compelling arguments to support their case. This 1971 Mach 1 appears to be a promising project, and the lack of intense bidding action in the No Reserve auction could be significant. If the situation doesn’t change, someone could score an excellent restoration prospect at a rock-bottom price with a single bid. That has to make the auction worth monitoring.

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