Jim Smart
October 1, 2000
Photos By: Mark Houlahan, Tom Rounds

Meet Ted Overstreet of Seattle. When we first shook hands with Ted more than five years ago at the Mustangs Northwest Roundup in Seattle, we immediately liked him. He had a zest for life and an appreciation and love for the people who touched his life in a positive way. This Boeing aviation professional had a radiance we don't often see in our travels. It was refreshing to meet him. And truthfully, we have been friends ever since.

What sparks such a dynamic personality? No one knows for sure, but we're betting it's a careful blend of good genetics and life's experiences. We are, after all, products of our experiences, and Ted is no exception. Life hasn't always been kind to Ted. A bout with cancer several years back gave Ted perspective. He met the challenge head-on and survived. What's more, he's in love with a beautiful woman named Carol, whom he will have married by the time this issue of Mustang Monthly goes to press.

It isn't what we have in this world that makes or breaks us, it's who we are and how we handle the hand we're dealt. Deep in the throes of his cancer treatment, Ted felt quite alone at times, because cancer is something we certainly battle alone, regardless of the committed hearts surrounding us. Ted quickly learned who his friends were. Caring friends were in it for the long haul with Ted. It was a life-changing experience-for the better. It taught Ted something valuable he can take with him into eternity.

So what does any of this have to do with a Candyapple Red '69 Mach 1? Plenty. This is the Mach that friendship built. Ted's close friendship with Dennis and Sara Conroy led to this fine automobile and the restoration to follow. Like Ted, this Mach is a survivor that could have easily met its fate in a rural Washington crusher. Although it sat abandoned in a driveway for years, collecting rust and mice droppings, it was destined for greatness.

Ted spent years collecting new old stock Ford parts for a '69 Mach 1 restoration long before this car showed up. When the Conroys found this Mach 1 for him, the rest was easy because there was a virtual treasure trove of parts already available once the restoration began. Day and night throughout 1995, they feverishly worked toward the result shown across these pages. For the Conroys, it was keeping a special promise to Ted, and they achieved their goal in less than a year. Talk about determination.

Nice work-a 351W four-barrel V-8 that channels 250 hp through a cast-iron FMX transmission and 3.25 Traction-Lok cogs. Outside, the silky, smooth Candyapple Red was perfected by Ted and the Conroys-proof that you can do it yourself. Inside, the Knitted Vinyl Sports interior is White-rare for a red Mach. The rear seat folds down into a cargo floor for those weekend outings. A Tilt-Away with a Rim-Blow steering wheel makes the drive more pleasant. Styled Steel wheels make a powerful statement of their own.

Fire up the Windsor V-8 and slip the FMX into Drive. The ride is smooth with crisp upshifts and nice handling. Throttle tip-in yields what we already know about this engine: It works effortlessly as we cruise down the road. When it's time to blast onto Seattle's 405 freeway, the 351W responds with predictability. It's an engine we know we can count on 30 years after its manufacture. Those knitted vinyl seats feel good and are a complete departure from the rigid Mustang bucket seats of 1968. Holding the Rim-Blow steering wheel emanates a confident feel. It's 1969 all over again. And for Ted, it's life anew with cherished memories he can hold and keep.