Wayne Cook
April 26, 2010
Photos By: Jim Smart

Dan Barbee's '69 Mustang Mach I
Dan Barbee of Riverside, California is the longtime owner of this 1969 Mustang Mach I. Forty years, to be exact. When he saw the brand-new for '69 Mach I model of the Mustang in his early twenties, it was love at first sight. His previous love affair had been with a classic '53 Ford pickup, but things changed when he studied the newest incarnation of the Mustang fastback. Now called the "SportsRoof" body style instead of a fastback, he knew right away that he was destined to become a SportsRoof specialist. Shortly thereafter he acquired the beautiful example of the breed you see here as a new car. This Mach I has been a constant companion through much of his adult life and we can understand when Dan says that the rig is an old friend by now. When the Mustang became tired and worn after so many years of service he decided to do what many of us do, and that is to go through the vehicle from the ground up, doing a comprehensive rebuild and making improvements along the way.

Dan had always been happy with the performance of the 351 Windsor engine original to his Mach I. However, for this project he wanted a power level that would surpass the original performance of the car by a considerable extent. Because of his extensive experience with other classic iron over the course of his lifetime, he felt confident about undertaking such a large project. In this case, much of the work was to be accomplished at home, beginning with the powerplant. The 351W engine original to the Mach I was looking at more than 100,000 miles of continuous service. Dan sent out the long-block to have all of the necessary machine work done. These procedures included a 0.030-inch over bore, along with decking and align-boring the block and reconditioning the cylinder heads. He accomplished the engine reassembly at home. To make that substantial power improvement, Dan decided to add a Paxton supercharger to the engine package. The blower would use a pressurized dog house surrounding a Demon Carburetion 650 cfm carburetor to force feed the engine.

In the paint and body department, the car was complete, but in worn shape with its share of shopping cart dings and faded paint. After the required repair and bodywork was accomplished he decided to do the repaint in his personal favorite color of Ruby Red Pearl Metallic. In conjunction with the original style gold Mach I graphics we'd have to say the combination looks just fine. Dan decided to keep exterior modifications to a period appropriate level and, other than the color change, the American Racing wheels are the only other visual deviation from the inherent glory of the original Mach I. The same policy is carried over to the inside of the car where, aside from a perfect Moto Lita steering wheel and subtle upholstery changes, the deluxe interior is left basically unmolested.

When it comes to performance, Dan reports that his car is fundamentally fast, and we believe him. His Mustang is a perfect instance of a situation where it's wise not to change too much when you start with such a nice example of the breed. His extra power underhood, combined with subtle changes in color and wheel selection make for a tastefully personalized car that's still clearly a Mustang Mach I from the glory days of 1969.

The Details
Dan Barbee's '69 Mustang Mach I

Engine
351 Windsor 4V
Built by owner
JB Pistons, 9:1 compression ratio
Ford steel I-beam rods
Stock cast crankshaft
Port matched and polished Ford cast-iron cylinder heads
2.02-inch intake, 1.65-inch exhaust valves Erson hydraulic roller camshaft, 0.520-inch lift, 240-degrees duration, 110-degree lobe separation Edelbrock Performer RPM 351W aluminum intake manifold
Demon Carburetion 650cfm four-barrel carburetor
Paxton Novi 1500 Centrifugal supercharger

Transmission
Top Loader four-speed
Ford Racing heavy duty clutch

Rearend
Currie 9-inch axle housing
Traction-Lok differential
3.50 gears
31-spline axles

Exhaust
Hooker long-tube headers 1 5/8-inch primaries
2 1/2-inch dual exhaust system
Flowmaster mufflers

Suspension
Front:
Rebuilt factory suspension, KYB Gas-A-Just shocks
Rear: Factory five-leaf springs, KYB Gas-A-Just shocks, Traction Master traction bars, subframe connectors

Brakes
Front:
11-inch factory disc
Rear: Factory 9-inch drum

Wheels
Front:
American Racing Torq Thrust II, 15x8.5
Rear: American Racing Torq Thrust II, 15x8.5

Tires
Front:
BFGoodrich Radial T/A, P255/60R15
Rear: BFGoodrich Radial T/A, P275/60R15

Interior
Factory deluxe interior, custom door panel and upholstery inserts, Moto Lita steering wheel, Hurst Competition Plus shifter

Exterior
Ruby Red Pearl metallic and Champagne Gold paint by Rad Customs of Riverside, California, factory 351/428 hoodscoop, factory Mach I graphics, Argent grille with emblem delete

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