Eric English
September 17, 2006

Gordon Gaub hardly has to imagine what it would've been like if he'd taken a different approach to the restoration of his '70 Cobra Jet Mach 1. Both of the cars spread across these pages are owned by the North Bend, Washington resident, and both were restored with markedly different emphasis. For as great as it may be to possess the pink slips to two of Ford's premier muscle Mustangs, Gordon wasn't interested in twin restorations.

In this case, two stock efforts would surely have resulted in nearly identical cars; other than color, these '70 CJs came equipped remarkably similar. For starters, both obviously share the substantive Mach 1 package, and both were built at Ford's historic Dearborn Assembly Plant. Furthermore, each car consisted of an identical drivetrain, including the ram-air 428, close-ratio four-speed, and 3.00 geared Traction-Lok 9-inch rear. Of course, both share the Mach's deluxe interior along with the optional fold-down rear seat, though from there, there are a few small deviations. One car has a factory tach, the other has factory tilt steering; one was originally equipped with Styled Steel wheels, the other with full hubcaps.

Concours Quality
Quite by accident, Gordon acquired both R-code Mach 1s within nine months of each other in 1990. The Bright Gold Metallic car came first, and the process of a concours restoration had already begun when the green twin joined the stable. After stripping the original paint via plastic-media blast, the bare body was turned over to the skilled hands of Randy Sargent for necessary metalwork and a flawless new topcoat in PPG Delstar.

When Gordon purchased it, the original 428 drivetrain had long ago been replaced by a 351C/automatic combination; thus began an extensive search to run down the myriad of necessary parts. Local FE enthusiast Craig Johnson had the majority of engine components, while the close-ratio Top Loader came from yet another source.

As Gordon continued to accumulate bits and pieces from across the nation, he scratched an insatiable itch for speed by embarking on the green CJ project, an easier process due to its restomod nature and one which surely slowed progress on the concours effort. In the end, Gordon finished the gold car in 2002 and has already done the trailered-show thing to his heart's content. The results are an impressive seven Mustang Club of America Gold awards at both the regional and national level. Are you impressed by a first-rate trailer queen? It doesn't get much better than this, and yeah, we know the 15-inch Magnum 500/ Goodyear combination seen here isn't factory correct. Gordon has another set of wheels for MCA judging.