Jim Smart
March 1, 2009
Photos By: George Hatcher

Bob Rozsnyai joined Ford Motor Company in 1955 and went to work in Experimental Engine Engineering in Dearborn. His job was to randomly pull engines from the assembly line and run them with experimental oil filters. As a result of his talents, he eventually became a licensed boilermaker, one of three at Ford's Rouge powerhouse that provided steam energy for the entire Rouge complex. There were times when Bob worked a 24-hour day just to ensure everything was running around the clock, especially when Ford was banging out new Mustangs to meet demand during the mid-'60s.

Bob's primary responsibilities were at the No. 3 powerhouse next to the assembly plant where Mustangs were built for 40 years. He purchased several Dearborn-built Mustangs, including a '65 fastback, a '68 fastback, and a '70 SportsRoof. Then, in 1973, there was this Light Blue Mach 1.

When Bob ordered this Mach 1, he was able to walk the line as it was built. It became known as "Baby Blue." When the car was new, Bob was driving down a divided highway when a car in the left lane made a right turn into the left side of the Mach 1. Despite his misfortune, good fortune came his way when one of the welders at Dearborn assembly offered to fix the damaged Mach 1.

For Bob, the '73 Mach 1 was the most memorable Mustang he ever owned. But in 1994, a persistent buyer offered to purchase the Mach 1. Bob was resistant but eventually sold his 48,000-mile Mach in 1995.

This leads us to Maryland's George Hatcher, whose first car was a Pewter Metallic '72 Mach 1, purchased new when he was in high school. "That first car was a milestone," George told us. "It had such an impact on me that I truly believe it is why I am where I am now." He is currently vice president of Norris Ford in Easton, on the Delmarva Peninsula.

Like a lot of us in mid-life, George decided to relive his youth by searching for a '72 Mach 1 equipped like his first car, which had been totaled in an accident long ago. What George didn't realize at the time was the rarity of his original Mustang, a base '72 Mach 1 in Pewter with the 302-2V V-8 and three on the floor. According to Kevin Marti's production records, Ford produced just 79 Mach 1s with the same color and powertrain combination.

George never came close to finding an identical '72 Mach 1. Most finds were in horrible condition and not worth the kind of money sellers were asking. George bought a Bright Red '71 Mach 1 with a 351 Cleveland, but eventually sold it in hopes that something closer to his first car would surface.

In 2000, Rachel Emmons of the National Capital Region Mustang Club called George and told him about a light blue '73 Mach 1 for sale in the Washington Post classifieds. It was gorgeous, George tells us, with just 49,000 miles. The car needed freshening up with new tires, shocks, radiator, and exhaust system, but he couldn't resist the opportunity. That Christmas, George's son gave him a set of Magnum 500 wheels and Goodyear radials. His wife, Kim, followed suit with new bumpers. With help from his trusted mechanic, Bill Steward, and minor bodywork performed by D'Arcy Bramble Body Shop, the Mach 1 is now a classic Mustang ride that everyone notices on the Shore.

Because George is a historian by nature, he managed to find his Mach 1's original owner, Bob Rozsnyai, now retired from Ford. Finding Bob made the Mach 1's history complete. George and Bob have become friends with the shared heritage of one automobile--a Light Blue '73 Mach 1 named "Baby Blue."

On the surface, the car is sedate in its powder blue demeanor. But sedate it ain't because 3.50:1 Traction-Lok gears give the 351 Cleveland 4V powerplant a mechanical advantage. Power front disc brakes provide excellent stopping power. We like the 15-inch Magnum 500s and Goodyear Eagle GT II radials because they respect the car's past.

What makes this car a keeper for George is its condition and a bloodline that can be traced to the Dearborn assembly plant where it was built under the watchful eyes of original owner Bob Rozsnyai.