1969 Mustang Mach 1
The Ford Mustang created the class of cars now termed the pony cars. These sporty, fun to drive, moderately performance-oriented vehicles have been popular ever since the first Mustang rolled off the assembly line in 1964. For those who love the classic Mustang but like even more power than a pony can give, there is the 1969 Mustang Mach 1.
The 1969 car was the first model for this performance version of the classic pony. Ford produced it until 1978 and then again in 2003 and 2004. Ford brought out this line of high-performance Mustangs because the company felt that they needed something to compete with General Motors’ Pontiac Firebird and Chevy Camaro. Not quite as powerful or fast as the Shelby Mustangs, the 1969 Mustang Mach 1 held its own and was a successful competitor.
The 1969 Mustang Mach 1 was only one of six performance models of the pony car for that year. Ford really focused on performance in 1969 and offered the GT, Boss 302, Boss 429, Shelby GT350, and Shelby GT500, in addition to the Mach 1. The Mach 1 was successful enough that Ford could discontinue the GT model the following year.
The 1969 Mustang Mach 1 came in just one body style: the fastback, or Sportsroof as Ford called it. To make the car look like it was ready for racing it had hood scoops, a chrome gas cap, Goodyear Polyglass tires, a matte hood with hood pins, chrome exhaust tips, a rear deck spoiler, and racing mirrors.
The standard engine for the 1969 Mustang Mach 1 was a 351-cubic inch Windsor V8 and that came with a standard three-speed manual transmission. A 390-cubic inch engine was optional, as was the enormous 428-cubic inch Cobra Jet engine with or without Ramair. Buyers could even get a modified version of the 428 called the Super Cobra Jet. The suspension on the Mach 1 was heavy duty and came tuned for the particular engine that the buyer chose.
Although the Mach 1 disappeared after 1978, it continues to be a car that collectors love, especially the 1969 Mustang Mach 1. The model was so popular, in fact, that it was brought back briefly in 2003 as part of the Ford heritage program.