Jerry Heasley
November 1, 2009

When the Arab oil embargo struck in 1973-1974, many Mustang owners traded in their Boss 429s, Shelbys, and Mach 1s for Pintos. Gas lines and higher prices created hysteria and flipped the car market upside down in a matter of days.

Bob Macabobby's trade-in was a '71 Mach 1. The dealer was Conway Ford in Austintown, Ohio. Bob felt the need for the better gas mileage and cargo space in a new Pinto station wagon.

"My wife was expecting, so I thought maybe it was time to get rid of my toys," Bob explains.

Less than three years earlier, Bob had felt the need for speed. In January of 1972, right out of the military, the 21-year-old walked into Shively Ford Sales & Service in Niles, Ohio, and eyed a Grabber Lime '71 Mach 1, a demo with 5,000 miles. The new '72s were out so Bob was able to haggle a screaming deal-$2,995 on a $4,100 sticker price. Although he preferred a hotter engine than the 351-2V, the deal was too good to turn down. He said, "I hung my dog tags on the rear view mirror and fell in love with the car."

Like a generation of baby boomers, Bob got married and his car needs changed. Even if he could afford the higher gas prices, the Mach 1's small trunk couldn't carry a baby carriage. In 1974, the Macabobby's needed a grocery-getter with some room.

The salesman at Conway Ford wanted full sticker price for the Pinto wagon, plus he tacked on for undercoating and mud flaps. He offered Bob $600 for his like-new Mach 1.

Bob told the salesman he would let his Mustang rot before accepting a $600 trade-in. Bob simply parked the Mach 1 in the family garage.

In the early 1980s when muscle cars began their popularity surge, Bob peered into his garage and grinned. "I pulled it out and started to show it," he says. "I got involved with the Mustang Club of America." That's an understatement. He's now a gold card national judge for '71-'73s.

Because Bob bought the car as a demo and didn't get the options he wanted, he decided to add some factory components. Number one on his "bucket list" was a four-barrel carburetor. The Autolite 4300 was factory on 4V heads, but Pony Carburetors advised going with the 4100 series, which required an Edelbrock manifold to match the 2V heads to the 4V carburetor. The biggest addition was a new-old-stock ram-air assembly, which mounted on the 4100 Autolite with no modifications. Next, Bob installed dual exhausts with a pair of original-style chrome tips through the cut-outs in a Ford rear valance. Inside, he installed a full-length console. Last but not least were the Magnum 500 wheels, another option available in 1971.

Bob said, "Over the years, I made it into the car I wanted using Ford factory parts from that era."

Mileage today is 39,800. Except for the upgrades and a repaint five years ago, the Mach 1 is unrestored. Bob has "every piece of paper," even two recall letters.

"With the first one they replaced an O-ring in the shoulder harness, and the second time Ford made a determination that the transmission could slip out of gear on a hill. I've never had a problem with it."

Bob found the buildsheet under the rear seat. Years ago, he contacted Lois Eminger for a duplicate window sticker. He still has the warranty card and original bill of sale.

While other original Mustang owners traded in their steeds during the Arab oil embargo of 1973-1974, Bob just smiles and says, "I still have mine."

Even his dog tags are still hanging from the rear view mirror.