Jim Smart
November 1, 2006

Step By Step

View Photo Gallery
Mump_0611_01z 1970_ford_mustang_mach_1 Drivers_side_viewMump_0611_02z 1970_ford_mustang_mach_1 HoodMump_0611_03z 1970_ford_mustang_mach_1 Rear_viewMump_0611_04z 1970_ford_mustang_mach_1 Engine_viewMump_0611_05z 1970_ford_mustang_mach_1 Passengers_side_viewMump_0611_06z 1970_ford_mustang_mach_1 Gauge_clusterMump_0611_07z 1970_ford_mustang_mach_1 WheelsMump_0611_08z 1970_ford_mustang_mach_1 Front_interiorMump_0611_10z 1970_ford_mustang_mach_1 Battery

In 1970, Tyrrell and Jeffrey Pierce were young baby boomers in high school, headed for college and adulthood. In their life together, there would be bills, children, leaky faucets, flat tires, runny noses, PTA meetings, jobs, unemployment, gutters to fix, lawns to mow, and mortgages to sweat. No matter how determined they were to not be like their parents, they would wind up like their parents, with all the same issues parents face from generation to generation.

Today, the children are grown, careers are set, and it's time to throttle back and enjoy life. Tyrrell and Jeff are now in a position to reward themselves with nice things and new experiences. This Dark Ivy Green Metallic '70 Mach 1 is one of those nice things.

We could tell you a long and involved story about the pile of rust with a blown engine they found behind someone's house, but that isn't the way it happened in this case. Tyrrell and Jeff bought the Mach 1 just the way it is, concours-restored and ready for show. What attracted them wasn't the brawny 351 Cleveland four-barrel engine, or the Handling Package with Magnum 500 wheels, or the Sports Interior. No, Tyrrell and Jeff were intrigued by the white stripes across the hood and decklid.

Most of the 40,975 Mach 1s built for '70 came with black striping. According to Kevin Marti's Ford production data (Marti Auto Works, 623/935-2558; www.martiauto.com), Ford produced just 1,372 '70 Mach 1s with the white hood-stripes and decklid graphics. Kevin explains this is because black stripes were a default option. This means black graphics were installed automatically unless white stripes were specified on the order form. Any time you see white graphics on a '70 Mach 1, someone ordered it that way. And that's what makes the Pierces' Mach 1 unusual.

Tyrrell and Jeff are understandably proud of their Mach 1. Across these pages is a Mach 1 that has been meticulously restored to Mustang Club of America judging standards. Close inspection reveals extraordinary attention to detail; this is an older restoration that has survived well.

The well-dressed California Mach 1 was assembled at the Milpitas, California (San Jose) plant in December 1969 and delivered new a short distance away at a Ford dealer in the San Jose sales district. We don't have a Marti Report on this one, but you can bet someone sat down and penciled it out; 351C-4V, FMX Select-Shift automatic, 3.25:1 in a 9-inch rear, Magnum 500s with Goodyear Polyglas GT belted tires, an AM/FM stereo radio, a Rim-Blow steering wheel, power front disc brakes, air conditioning, and power steering. Behind the wheel, it's easy to see why it was ordered this way. All around is the simulated woodgrain of the Knitted Vinyl Sports Interior, a fancy name for what most of us call the "Mach 1 Interior." It was the most comfortable Mustang interior ever when introduced in '69 and a quantum leap in comfort and good looks. That coupled with the '69-'70 SportsRoof body made this the most macho Mustang in the marque's history.

The Pierces bought the Mach 1 for the same reasons many of us purchase classic Mustangs: They couldn't afford them when they were new. Quite a few of us snapped them up during the '70s and '80s because they were worn-out, cheap, and plentiful. At that time, the Pierces were busy raising a family with neither time nor money to enjoy a classic Mustang.

Their first Mustang purchase was a '68 fastback, which they have treasured and enjoyed. The Mach 1 was an impulse buy that grabbed their attention, and their emotions, thanks to those white stripes.