1970 Ford Mustang Mach 1

Guide Price: £45,000 - £50,000


Matching numbers car in special order Grabber Orange
﹒California car with no rust
﹒Power steering, disc brakes and rev counter options
﹒Fully restored in USA, imported 2018

The Background

Ever since it first appeared in 1964, the Ford Mustang stood for affordable style and accessible performance.

But those performance models got ever-more extreme, culminating in 1969 with the launch of six different high performance Mustangs. There were two ‘Boss’ models, the Shelby GT350, The Shelby GT500, the Mustang GT and this - the Mach 1. 

The Mach 1 package was only available in the "SportsRoof" fastback body style previously known as the 'fastback’. It was aimed as a younger buyer who liked the performance of the more extreme models but at a slightly more affordable price. 

The Mach 1 specification began with a V8-powered SportsRoof body and added numerous visual and performance enhancing items such as matt black bonnet stripes, chrome hood pins, an air scoop, competition suspension, a chrome pop-open filler cap, revised sports wheels, chrome exhaust tips, a deluxe interior, Mach 1 livery and dealer option chin spoiler, rear deck spoiler, and rear window louvre, all three of which this car has.

Power came from a 351 cu in (5.8-litre) Ford Windsor V8. With a choice of three-speed manual or three-speed automatic transmission, the latter of which is fitted to this car. 

You could buy a Mustang Mach 1 as late as 1973, but this example comes from the second year of production – 1970 - which improved on the ‘69 thanks to the addition of reinforced front suspension towers, thicker sway bars and heavier duty suspension. The 1970 models also got an improved deluxe interior with wood effect dash inserts.

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The History

The car comes with a report from well-known Mustang specialist Kevin Marti, who drew down details from the car’s original build data.

These show that the car was ordered in October 1970 and was constructed in the Mustang’s San Jose production facility before being dispatched to a dealership in Los Gatos, just outside San Francisco.

It remained in California for all of its life and was put back on the road in 2015 after an extensive and highly original restoration. 

It is a beautifully detailed and very well researched car that was rebuilt to the standard and specification that it left the factory in 50 years ago.

It was imported to the UK in 2018 by a US car specialist and has had one additional owner since.

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The Paperwork

While the service history of the car isn't comprehensive, there are some fascinating receipts from its early life including one for a comprehensive engine rebuild in the 1980s. 

It also comes with the Kevin Marti report detailing its fascinating build and order history and original dispatch dates, along with all of the relevant import documentation from its arrival in the UK and the current UK V5C.

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The Interior

Compared to the evident brightness of the car’s exterior, the interior is a lot more subdued with black vinyl seats, black carpets and dark wood-effect panelling in the dashboard. 

It's the details that make it, though. As well as the optional five-dial dash to incorporate the optional rev counter, it comes with a period Pioneer radio cassette, a chrome-finished gear shifter and a series of intricate and beautifully detailed controls for items such as the handbrake release, auxiliary driving lamps, headlights and cigar lighter. 

Everything is in fine condition as you'd expect from a car that was restored fairly recently. The photographs show that one of the plastic inserts inside the steering wheel is missing . However, a replacement has already been sourced and is currently en route from the USA so will be passed on to the car’s next owner. 

The driving position is surprisingly snug given the car’s bulk, as you sit low down behind a deep dish steering wheel. This, though, just adds to the feeling of unbeatable cool that this car transmits. It’s a very, very special place in which to spend time as you gaze out over that black-trimmed bonnet scoop and vast front end.

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The Exterior

It's fair to say that this isn't a car for shrinking violets but if you've got this far then chances are that's not something that bothers you in the slightest.

After all, we can't really think of anything much cooler than a 50-year old Grabber Orange Mustang with sports wheels, matt black accents and a rear screen louvre. 

No, this is a car that truly epitomises an iconic era of affordable American muscle and in the process manages to be as cool as the idea of a night out with Steve McQueen and Paul Newman, accompanied by a bottle of bourbon and the perfect period soundtrack.

It's a fabulous piece of classic Americana that couldn't be more faultless in its image if it tried. 

But it's not just its inimitable coolness that gives this Mustang such appeal. That might be what draws you in, but what really gets you is when you look at it in detail and appreciate not only the quality of the restoration and the fabulous paint finish but also the microscopic focus that has gone into getting the details correct. 

It's almost as if the restorer took that original 1970 build sheet and rebuilt the car in accordance with it, being careful not to miss any of the details that would have been there when new. One of the wheel centres is currently missing, but there's one on its way from the States along with that steering wheel insert, so again it's no big deal.

It's an incredible, eye-catching and breath-taking car that is bound to turn heads but it has also been done properly with no signs of corrosion or patched up repairs.

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The Mechanics. 

There's something about the sound a V8 engine waking from its slumber as each of the cylinders kicks in and it settles from a clamorous idle to a contented burble. It intoxicating, and this car does it seductively.

Admittedly, it's hardly an eco-car and you'll be lucky to see 15mpg if you drive it enthusiastically. But then you know that because you wouldn't be looking at a 5.8-litre Ford Mustang otherwise. 

According to the history that comes with the car, the engine was subject to a comprehensive rebuild in the 1980s but it was also taken apart and rebuilt as part of the cars later restoration. There's nothing under the bonnet that gives cause for concern. It sounds amazing, idles happily and starts well from both warm and cold.

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The Appeal

Do we really have to explain the appeal of a grabber orange Mustang Mach 1? Probably not, but here goes.

This car is an icon. One of the most famous American cars of its era in an extremely cool and desirable spec and in arguably the best colour scheme. it's also a superb example that has been on the receiving end of a high quality restoration.

It's certainly not a car for someone who likes to keep a low profile. But is a car that will become an instant talking point wherever you take it and which has a timeless appeal. If you’ve got more than a drop of petrol running through your veins, it's a car that's very, very hard not to fall in love with.

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As is normal for most auctions, this vehicle is sold as seen, and therefore the Sale of Goods Act 1979 does not apply. All bids are legally binding once placed. Any winning bidder who withdraws from a sale, is subject to our bidders fee charge. Please see our FAQs and T&C's for further information. Viewings of vehicles are encouraged, but entirely at the sellers discretion.

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1970
  • Make Ford
  • Model Mustang Mach 1
  • Colour Orange
  • Odometer 67,979 Miles
  • Engine size 5800
  • Location Essex
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
21 bids
  • enclave•••• £40,000 03/12/20
  • 307cc_s•••• £39,000 03/12/20
  • enclave•••• £38,000 02/12/20
  • 307cc_s•••• £35,000 02/12/20
  • enclave•••• £33,000 02/12/20
  • 307cc_s•••• £32,000 30/11/20
  • smith.r•••• £29,000 30/11/20
  • enclave•••• £28,000 29/11/20
  • mpthrif•••• £24,000 29/11/20
  • Greyste•••• £20,000 27/11/20

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