Jerry Heasley
May 2, 2014

Jonathan Large was thoughtful enough to snap a photo in the barn where the remains of a '69 Mach 1—yes a real Super Cobra Jet—had come to rest years ago. With an orange fender stacked on the front end, apparently damaged long ago in a minor wreck, this Rare Find was difficult to identify as a Mustang. Saw briars further obstructed Jonathan's view. He and the owner stomped down the thorny bushes, a two-man job to avoid stem backlash, as they made their way toward the old Mach 1.

"Now, I can't prove this, but he [the owner] says that it was one of fourteen Super Cobra Jets that left with factory air. But, the Marti Report doesn't say that. So I'm trying to look at the heater box I got and see if anybody knows the part number."

Large had known about this Mach 1 since high school in the late 1980s. Being a GM/Chevrolet collector, he didn't go after this Ford until he attended Ray Evernham's car show in Charlotte, North Carolina. "I saw a Mach 1 that was the same color—Acapulco Blue—and that kind of triggered in my mind where this car was." Large admits the Mach 1 is a "beautiful" car. Also, he says the 428 Cobra Jet is "the GM guy's 427 car—Camaro or Nova."

With the fender in place, the car looked more like a ’69 Mach 1, seen here on the trailer. Apparently, Jonathan Large will restore this ’69 Mach 1, and it will emerge as The Saw Briar Super Cobra Jet.
The ’69 is definitely a project car, as parts are strewn about the interior, minus seats, reveals.

Large owns a half dozen or so Chevrolet muscle cars and knew the Mach 1's owner, who had done some engine work for him. "I called him up and asked him if he still had that old Mach 1. He said yeah. It's shoved up in the barn." When Large maneuvered his way past the saw briars to the old Mustang, he discovered a body a little dented in front, rusty floor boards, no engine or running gear, seats removed, suspension in boxes and buckets, but with the driver's side data plate, revealing a "V" code 3.91 rear axle ratio, mandatory with Drag Pack. The old ram air shaker was also missing, but this car, Large says, is restorable. The dash was missing, too, but the instrument cluster, with factory tachometer, was in a box in the car. The odometer reading stood at 44,443 miles.

The low miles hints at a drag racing history. In high school, Large recalls the Mach 1 was "one of those fast cars" in southern Virginia. Initially, Jonathan planned to flip the car for a profit. He got the car worth the money. However, he has located an engine taken apart 33 years ago and boxed up priced at $4,000. Two of his friends are body guys. "My wife and kid are interested in it," so Large just may restore the car for himself and add it to his collection of Chevrolets.