This 1969 Mach 1 is Not a Trailer Queen!
John Godfrey’s story is similar to what many Mustang enthusiasts experience. He bought his first Mustang, a 1969 SportsRoof, when he was just 17 and used it as his daily driver for about six years. But as with so many people, marriage and kids made the Mustang a less than practical family car, so it was sold, but in the back of his mind John always knew he’d have another Mustang.
Once he had achieved some success as a machinist and the finances allowed, John and his wife, Shari, bought and restored a 1969 Mach 1 R-code with 4.30:1 gears. That makes it a Super Cobra Jet (SCJ), a highly desirable Mustang to be sure! The restoration took 10 years, and the Acapulco Blue SCJ is not a driver. John says, “We wanted a car that we could drive and our friends would not give us a hard time about having a ‘trailer queen.’ We wanted a his-and-hers, but also a car we could drive to cruise nights and car shows.” He continues, “The original plan was for the car to look like our other car but be a ‘sleeper’ with a modern engine, drivetrain, interior, and suspension.”
They kept looking for the second car until they found another Acapulco Blue Mach 1 in Springfield, Missouri, on Craigslist about nine years ago. John described the Mach as being a total rust bucket, but they only paid $1,200 for it. In search of that modern engine and drivetrain, a few months later he found a 2004 Cobra “Terminator” engine from a salvage lot. John says, “The engine was recovered by the police after the original car was stolen off the car lot. It still had the police tag on it when we purchased the engine.”
As the parts were coming together, and to address the rust issues, John replaced all of the sheetmetal on the car—roof panel, complete floor, full quarters, taillight panel, both doors, front framerails, core support, both fenders, and the hood—which leaves us to wonder what was left of the original car?! To make room for that wide Terminator engine, John installed the frameclip, moved back the heater area of the firewall, removed the shock towers, raised the transmission tunnel an inch and a half, and he did all of the work in their 30x40 shop on weekends. Then the Godfreys’ son Johnny mediablasted the body and sprayed epoxy primer, at which point they sent the car to The RestoMod Store in Independence, Missouri, for the rest of the bodywork and paint.
John wanted a different front spoiler and Shari had a thing for flush door handles, which were the only exterior modifications originally planned. But you know how this story ends, right? After seeing what The RestoMod Shop’s Michael McLin came up with for a new, all-metal spoiler design, they pretty much turned the car over to the shop for a two-year process that is best described as a snowball rolling downhill—those two mods grew into so much more. By the time it was done, those modifications included shaved driprails, lower rocker panels, custom sidescoops, tucked bumpers, and flush-mount Kindig-It door handles. There are no fiberglass parts on the car, by the way. Then The RestoMod Shop sprayed a custom mix of blue similar to Acapulco Blue, but just different enough. They also spiffed up the interior with threads from TMI, tunes from Kenwood, and more.
To get the modern “sleeper” suspension, John installed a Heidts Super Ride II Mustang II front suspension and a Total Cost Involved (TCI) three-link rear torque-arm suspension, with a sway bar, double-adjustable coilovers front and rear, and TCI subframe connectors tying it together. A late-model Mustang sacrificed its power rack-and-pinion steering, and out back is a 9-inch rear from a ’69 Drag Pack Mustang with 3.91 gears and 31-spline axles. The wheels are from Intro.
The end result is certainly a car that lives up to the Godfreys’ original goals of being a sleeper restomod that they can drive to cruises and shows, keeping it off a trailer and their friends off their case! With that engine, drivetrain, suspension, and interior, we suspect this Mustang is faster and much nicer to drive than its R-code twin.
John and Shari also wanted to mention, “We had a lot of help with getting to where we are now with the car. Thank you to Jeff Stuart at Classic Parts of America for getting the body parts and Mike McLin and the crew at The RestoMod Store.”
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The seats are the original Mach 1 frames covered with TMI XR Sport seat foam and upholstery. TMI also supplied the suede headliner and dashboard. The RestoMod Store installed everything, as well as a custom center console, door panels, and package tray. Dakota Digital gauges are in the stock cluster, and Kenwood tunes rock the house.