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James Thomas' 1972 Mach1
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The sun was setting with all the speed of a 428 Mach nearing the big end of the track. I was struggling with camera exposures and time. I also had a powerful desire to get this Pewter Silver Metallic beauty trapped inside the camera before the sun bid adieu. As with any shoot, the struggle is worth it when a car such as this is on the other side of the lens. The car belongs to James Thomas of Shickshinny, Pennsylvania, and is the culmination of hours and hours of his own hard labor, so I wanted to get it right.
Though this Mustang does not pack the top engine option for 1972, this Mach has some powerful reasons to be attractive to the average passerby. The hue is one potent reason--especially with its mirror-like finish. It seems that James knows his way around a car, because he owns the body shop that performed all the work on the car. "The body was trashed," James said, "but I like it, so I bought a parts car and slowly began to rebuild this one from it." When you look the car over, it's impossible to tell where the bodywork was performed. This is as it should be on a car of this caliber.
There have been subtle changes to the exterior that just seem to accent the Pewter paint. For instance, James added the chrome bumper in lieu of the factory rubber bumper--something that we have heard of happening on the assembly line, though there is no information to substantiate this. He went with a set of repop Magnum 500s and 235/60R15s to give the Mach a more muscled appearance on the outside. He also went with the body-side tape stripe as well as the '71 pop-open gas cap. James felt that the flat-back styling needed something to break the long line from the windshield to the end of the decklid, so he included a rear deck spoiler. Up front he used a chin spoiler to offset the rear deck spoiler.
Ford called the brilliant red interior color vermillion, and whoever originally ordered the car knew what he was doing. It is a stunning combination with the Pewter exterior. "I used a set of original seats in the car, as well as original door panels," James said. "It took a while to find them, but it was worth the search." We couldn't agree more. Of course, what Sports interior is complete without the Rim-Blow steering wheel, the console, and the AM/FM radio--all of which are present on James' car.
The goodies don't stop with the interior, either. Under the hood resides a torquey 351 2V Cleveland with Ram Air that is backed by an FMX transmission and a 3.25 rear gear. Other options under the hood and under the fenderwells are power disc brakes and power steering. What is really kind of neat up front is the engine bay paint. Ford used a semigloss black finish which James chose to forgo in favor of a slippery gloss black. Though it isn't stock, it looks good next to the correctly detailed 351.
With all the aforementioned items going for it, this '72 makes a statement that is powerful yet beautiful. It also makes a statement on what hours of hard work and determination can do for a restoration. In this case, it makes a powerfully Pewter Mach 1.