Jim Smart
March 1, 2000
Photos By: Tom Rounds

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Mump_0003_green_01_z 1969_ford_mustang_mach_1 Front_viewMump_0003_green_02_z 1969_ford_mustang_mach_1 Rear_viewMump_0003_green_03_z 1969_ford_mustang_mach_1 EngineMump_0003_green_04_z 1969_ford_mustang_mach_1 Interior

Classic Mustangs tend to follow paths similar to their owners. If the owner has suffered substantial hardship, chances are good the Mustang has seen equal amounts of hardship—and more. If the owner has led a pampered life, then so has the car. So what does this mean? It means the vehicle/owner relationship is something akin to a marriage. If it becomes a long-lived relationship, then it rides the same tide as a marriage: love—with smatterings of hatred and discontent here and there. In the end, neither party would give up the other if given a choice. Just ask any Mustang you know.

Seattle's Terry Green has traveled side by side with this Pastel Gray '69 Mach 1 since 1974, and it has been a long and memorable marriage. To understand this marriage, we need to turn back the clock to 1972. When Terry's parents divorced that year, his dad received the boat and his mom received the pickup with a camper. Although this might remind you of a sad and lonely country-western song, it was reality for Terry and his siblings three decades ago.

Terry's mom drove the pickup truck to Harris Ford in Lynwood, Washington, and traded it in on this 351W-powered Mach 1. Terry's mom packed up the Mach 1 and moved to Wheeling, Illinois. After a short stint with Terry's sister, who was concerned about rising fuel prices, the Mach 1 wound up in Terry's hands in August 1974. At the time, the car had been sitting in an apartment parking lot for months, collecting dust and rust—seemingly destined to fade away into the Illinois firmament.

When Terry hauled the Mustang back to Washington, he learned how much of a toll two Illinois winters had taken on the car. A 50-pound bag of rock salt left in the trunk dissolved into nothingness, and so did most of the factory sheetmetal. A savvy automotive technician chiseled holes in the shock towers to gain access to the upper control arm bushings. Both towers cracked as a result. The absence of a battery hold-down led to the battery falling into the cooling fan with catastrophic results. The Mustang did a lot of street time in this condition—a lot.

This prompted Terry to embark on a full-scale restoration in 1989. Where most people would have sidelined a rusty old Mustang for something else, Terry was committed to the lifelong friend. When he left the Mustang with Bill Pierre Ford's body shop in Lake City, Washington, he couldn't comprehend what it would take to turn trash into treasure, but it would take nearly a year. While the Mach 1 body was being skinned, welded, massaged, and painted, Terry and his brother, Mark, tackled the 351W engine. By 1991 the body and mechanicals were complete and ready for show. That first judging experience taught Terry something about correctness. "When I got my judging sheets back, I felt like my Mustang had been picked apart by vultures," he lamented. He went to work correcting items demerited by the show judges. The following year, he snagged a First Place honor at the Mustangs Northwest Spring Into Summer Show.

Since its debut as a show car nearly a decade ago, Terry has covered the Northwest from the Rockies to the coast. We're talking Hot August Nites in Reno, Nevada, and dozens of shows in Cody, Wyoming; Yellowstone, Montana; and untold others. To look at this Mach 1, it is impossible to relate to its early history—a history of serious abuse and deterioration. Terry has made peace with his Mach 1 and rewarded it with a pristine restoration almost anyone would feel proud of. Terry adds, "She's been with me for 24 years now. I've had friends, girlfriends, pets, jobs, and family all come and go in that time, yet my Mustang is still there for me." Kind of like a happy marriage.Classic Mustangs tend to follow paths similar to their owners. If the owner has suffered substantial hardship, chances are good the Mustang has seen equal amounts of hardship--and more. If the owner has led a pampered life, then so has the car. So what does this mean? It means the vehicle/owner relationship is something akin to a marriage. If it becomes a long-lived relationship, then it rides the same tide as a marriage: love--with smatterings of hatred and discontent here and there. In the end, neither party would give up the other if given a choice. Just ask any Mustang you know.

Seattle's Terry Green has traveled side by side with this Pastel Gray '69 Mach 1 since 1974, and it has been a long and memorable marriage. To understand this marriage, we need to turn back the clock to 1972. When Terry's parents divorced that year, his dad received the boat and his mom received the pickup with a camper. Although this might remind you of a sad and lonely country-western song, it was reality for Terry and his siblings three decades ago.

Terry's mom drove the pickup truck to Harris Ford in Lynwood, Washington, and traded it in on this 351W-powered Mach 1. Terry's mom packed up the Mach 1 and moved to Wheeling, Illinois. After a short stint with Terry's sister, who was concerned about rising fuel prices, the Mach 1 wound up in Terry's hands in August 1974. At the time, the car had been sitting in an apartment parking lot for months, collecting dust and rust--seemingly destined to fade away into the Illinois firmament.

When Terry hauled the Mustang back to Washington, he learned how much of a toll two Illinois winters had taken on the car. A 50-pound bag of rock salt left in the trunk dissolved into nothingness, and so did most of the factory sheetmetal. A savvy automotive technician chiseled holes in the shock towers to gain access to the upper control arm bushings. Both towers cracked as a result. The absence of a battery hold-down led to the battery falling into the cooling fan with catastrophic results. The Mustang did a lot of street time in this condition--a lot.

This prompted Terry to embark on a full-scale restoration in 1989. Where most people would have sidelined a rusty old Mustang for something else, Terry was committed to the lifelong friend. When he left the Mustang with Bill Pierre Ford's body shop in Lake City, Washington, he couldn't comprehend what it would take to turn trash into treasure, but it would take nearly a year. While the Mach 1 body was being skinned, welded, massaged, and painted, Terry and his brother, Mark, tackled the 351W engine. By 1991 the body and mechanicals were complete and ready for show. That first judging experience taught Terry something about correctness. "When I got my judging sheets back, I felt like my Mustang had been picked apart by vultures," he lamented. He went to work correcting items demerited by the show judges. The following year, he snagged a First Place honor at the Mustangs Northwest Spring Into Summer Show.

Since its debut as a show car nearly a decade ago, Terry has covered the Northwest from the Rockies to the coast. We're talking Hot August Nites in Reno, Nevada, and dozens of shows in Cody, Wyoming; Yellowstone, Montana; and untold others. To look at this Mach 1, it is impossible to relate to its early history--a history of serious abuse and deterioration. Terry has made peace with his Mach 1 and rewarded it with a pristine restoration almost anyone would feel proud of. Terry adds, "She's been with me for 24 years now. I've had friends, girlfriends, pets, jobs, and family all come and go in that time, yet my Mustang is still there for me." Kind of like a happy marriage.