Jerry Heasley
March 1, 2000

Step By Step

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P46101_large 1969_Ford_Mustang_Mach_1 Front_Driver_SideP46102_large 1969_Ford_Mustang_Mach_1 Rear_Driver_SideP46104_large 1969_Ford_Mustang_Mach_1 EngineP46106_large 1969_Ford_Mustang_Mach_1 Interior_Dashboard

When Ed Ragan found this CJ Mach 1, the whiz-bang parts had been sold off, and it was his job--after paying the nominal fee of $600 for the chassis and scattered parts--to replace them. As the proud owner of a 1970 Calypso Coral Mach 1 with the 351 Cleveland, Ed knew he wanted the Cobra Jet, especially since the car was an authentic R-code.

The Mach 1 was found in a barn, amidst pecking chickens and roaming cats who were living in and around the car. To Ed, the car was worth the buildup for three main reasons: factory shaker hoodscoop for ram-air (a standard component on the R-code), factory air conditioning, and the body was in fairly good condition--aka minimal rust.

This CJ was in a deplorable, yet restorable, shape because it had been wrecked in a rollover collision. An engine fire ensued, and the car was a disaster, hence the $600 starting price. The previous owner, an army serviceman stationed at Fort Hood, Texas, rolled the car over in the wreck and let it go to the insurance company, which sold it to a salvage yard.

A man who worked at the salvage yard took a liking to the car, bought it, and decided to fix it up. However, he realized it was easier to sell off the whiz-bang parts--shaker hoodscoop, Cobra Jet cylinder heads, Holley carburetor, exhaust manifolds, and assorted CJ specialty parts, such as brackets, pulleys, and smog tubes. Fortunately, the C6 and 3.00 rear gears were still on the car.

Ed immediately turned his attention to those whiz-bang parts, and how to obtain them. "We had to go about the task of recruiting parts and went to lots of swap meets from state to state," he said, "and found everything we needed to put it back together over the next five years."

The body damage wasn't severe. In fact, it was practically rust-free, but it had typical holes in the doors and two floorpans. Unfortunately, the fenders were wrinkled, but Ed replaced them with fenders from a parts car: "We [his family] took it down to raw metal from end to end, and put it back together properly."

Silver Jade is the stock color on this San Jose Mach 1, as seen here. The stripe could have been one of three different colors--black, red, or gold. Ed chose red, the most vibrant color on the green car, not knowing which color stripe was applied to the car at the factory. After the wreck, the man who bought the car for salvage repainted it and deleted the side stripe.

After five years, the black interior Mach 1 is finished. Ed's kids call it the Christmas car because of the colors. Silver Jade has the appearance of holiday green next to the red and gold Mach 1 stripe. The Mach 1 Cobra Jet with ram-air is the Keeper of Ed's stable of cars. They don't drive it much on public roads, due to the concern about parking lot dings and road rash. Even so, Ed does like to go out and drive the car, whizzing by slack-jawed admirers and banging away at an ever-growing pile of awards.