Jeff Ford
June 1, 2002

White is a clean, neat color. It always seems to pop out at you; not in a nose-bloodying, eye-searing way like the Grabber colors, but in a more crisp, clean way. Especially when you couple clean and neat with a moderate sprinkling of black. What caught our eye about Steve Thibodeau's '72 Mach 1 was the Wimbledon White paint and the black factory tape stripe. What sucked us in was the Vermillion Mach 1 Sports Interior. What awed us most was how clean the car was, both inside and out. Of course, like most Mustangs, there's a story behind the cleanliness.

"My wife Christine and I were supposed to take possession of the Mach 1 on Friday, September 26, 1997," said Steve, a detective for the Ocala, Florida, police department. "On that very morning, the owner was involved in a traffic accident while driving the car for his last time. I was called at my office and drove to the scene of the crash just in time to see the car I was buying being winched up onto a roll-back wrecker. The car sustained $5,596 worth of damage to its rear according to the owner's insurance company. They considered it a total loss. My wife and I later made arrangments with the car's owner and his insurance company to buy the car anyway, obtaining a clear title."

What they obtained was a 351 4V "Q-code"-powered Mach that pushed its brute force to a C6 automatic and 3.25:1 traction lok rear axle. Along with the aforementioned Vermillion Mach 1 Sports Interior, the car boasts power steering and power disc brakes (mandatory options with the 4V) as well as air conditioning. Other inside amenities are a sport deck rear seat; console; tilt wheel; AM stereosonic tape player and console; as well as the deluxe belts and tinted glass. Outside, the goodies just keep flowing with a rear deck spoiler, 15x7 magnum 500 wheels, and the body-side tape stripe. The original "cha-ching" on the Mach-$4,065.03.

Fortunately, the Mach 1 had spent most of its life in Arizona and New Mexico under the care of people who love Mustangs, so there was very little that needed to be done body-wise-outside of the $5,596 worth of damage from the accident. Still, Steve and his wife spent time and money with Shady Oaks Mustang Ranch in Webster, Florida; National Parts Depot in Ocala; and Perogie Enterprises of Hightown, New Jersey. Clearview Auto Body in Ocala took all the parts and refinished the Mach in fine fashion. After the car was painted, Steve and Christine went to work on the interior and exterior, adding new seat covers, the factory tape stripe, and detailing that really caught our eye.

After suffering what some might consider a fatal blow, this Mach has recovered in fine fashion. In fact, it may be in better shape to crush the competition than ever before. Let's face it, when folks like Steve and Christine lavish time and attention on a fine example like this, it isn't any wonder that the car's a White Knight.