It would be great if a person could live vicariously through a parked car.
I mean, think of the boosted levels of personal satisfaction and contentment that could come from lifestyle redistribution. A society’s collective frown would be turned upside down!
In the real world, however, I was forced to just stand there and drool as a spotless early-70s Mustang Mach 1 rested driverless on the roadside. Of course, it had to be a warm, sunny weekend, with nearby autumn-tinged roads – twisty ones, no less – beckoning nearby.
An unfortunate moment for yours truly, but a dream come true for the lucky owner. This fastback was a real gem, too – almost too flawless. As for power under the hood, that’s anyone’s guess, as the Mach 1 told few tales via its exterior.
’71 and ’72 Mach 1’s are visually identical, but the powertrain options differ greatly. The ’71 (a year sometimes viewed as ‘the last good year’ amongst horsepower enthusiasts) could be had in more flavours than Baskin Robbins, starting at a base 302 Windsor V-8 and moving up through FOUR 351 Clevelands before topping out with two 429s (Cobra Jet and Super Cobra Jet).
The U.S. government let some of the air out of the high-compression fun in ’72, when the 429s were dropped in favour of just the base 302 and three 351s (in either 2-barrel, 4-barrel or 4-barrel High Output designations).
So wild was the ’71 Mach 1 that even Seam Connery got behind the wheel of one in the campy Bond flick Diamonds Are Forever, outwitting both bad guys and cops on the streets and alleyways of Las Vegas.
While the Mach 1 soldiered on as a Mustang trim level until 1978, the latter four years of its run saw the famous moniker applied to the unappreciated and wimpy Mustang II.
For Mach 1 enthusiasts, the name will always bring to mind the glory days of 1969-71, an era that was (at least for car lovers) a gas, gas, gas.