Jeff Ford
December 1, 2001
Photos By: Chuck James
Doug Evans gives Editor Ford a big hug for getting him into this Mach project.
We inspected the car before we bought it and found the fan, and thereby the A/C, to be nonfunctioning. We recommend that you check all the accessories, then check all the fuses for the accessories. We saw a blown fuse for the fan and hoped for the best.
The air conditioning problem was due to a blown 15-amp fuse. This is a dual-prong problem, since the air conditioning system uses an AGX 30-amp fuse. We only had an AGC 15-amp glass fuse to pop in the bars, and that fuse saved us untold dollars in repairs when really cold air came through the vents. Whew! Later the 15-amp was replaced with the correct 30-amp fuse.
We also encountered a problem with oil pressure. Never assume that the problem is catastrophic. Ours turned out to be the $8 oil pressure sending unit. We advise you to deal on the car off the bad oil pressure. If push comes to shove, and it turns out to be the main bearings, then you’ve backed out the price accordingly.
We were a little concerned about the missing lighter. Though this part is not hard to find, it was still an annoyance that it was missing.
Fortune smiled on us once again when we were rummaging around under the seats for a wrench that got away. We found the complete lighter package under the driver seat.
How many keys does it take to get into a Mach 1? Apparently, this many. This mess will be changed out shortly for a nice, compact pair of keys.
We used said keys to access the trunk and found nothing. Bereft of its spare, jack, handle, and other trunk stuff, we finally struck out. Some serious cash will have to be spent here. The owner remembers throwing out the jack and handle several years ago in favor of a bottle jack. The spare couldn’t be located after several subsequent searches by the former owner.
There were several things in the plus column. One was the fact that the car had fresh weatherstrip all around, so there will be no need to reweatherstrip the car.
The original shifter, shifter boot, and lock-out rod were in place and functioning. This is a good thing, since the lock-out rod runs in the $125-plus price bracket.
The car even has the original dual-point distributor, carburetor, and deceleration valve (arrow). The decel valve is almost always missing from the ’71-’73 four-speed cars. The carburetor is an item that could have cost big time to replace since it is a four-speed–specific item. The distributor is also quite rare, being that it is a dual-point–dual-advance type.
Ram air came as part of the package deal on this car. Though the 351 4V was not available with this setup as a regular production option, at sale time it will only serve to make the car more valuable.
The original radiator and (now) scary-looking original radiator cap were there.
For once, a factory rear deck spoiler car.
We measured the distance from the outer edge of the decklid to the center of the upper stud and found this distance to be 6-1/2 inches. The measurement from the rear of the decklid to the lower stud was 9-1/2 inches. Now you know.
The original valve cover decal and even the number 395 on the passenger-side cover was written in paint stick. The car has the correct exhaust manifolds but lacks the heat shield and tube.
The wheels are original, and the caps are new. Once more, fortune smiled upon us because these caps are not cheap. The tires look to be circa 1981 and are showing some dry rot. We are planning to replace these with new BFGoodrich T/As.
The interior needs a minor freshening, since the driver seat is the only item showing wear.

It all started innocently enough. While buying parts from the local NAPA Auto Parts store for the Lazarus Project, a friend approached us about a car that his friend owned.

"It's a really nice '73 Mach 1," said Larry, "351 V-8, four-speed with air. I think you could get into it for around $7,000."

Since we've been around the block on this same type of ride before, we were curious but cautious. Some of the "really nice cars" out there turn into really large pieces of poop when you pop the garage door. Even so, we agreed to take a look--just out of curiosity.

What we found surprised us and actually caught us off guard. The car was passable, if not super nice. It ended up being a nice driver or "an older restoration showing wear." Though neither Mark nor I bought the Mach 1 (wisely), our Group Director, Doug Evans, was suckered--er, given the opportunity--to join the Mustang frenzy.

Here is our idea with this Mach. Since Lazarus is almost complete, we decided to jump into another '71-'73 via this car. However, our premise here is to start with a $7,500 (selling price) Mach and turn it into a $12,000 Mach, as cheaply as we can. Best of all, in this series we'll tell you how you can do the same with your car.

Positives & Negatives To The Deal

Positives

  • Factory Convenience Group
  • Both front and rear spoilers came with the car
  • Ram air
  • Engine is solid, though we are planning a cam swap
  • Factory gauge package has been added already
  • All the hard-to-find parts are already there
  • Paint is in very good condition
  • All-new weatherstrips
  • Key parts have been replaced (gas cap, center caps)

Negatives

  • Trunk is missing key items
  • Air shocks on rear allude to worn rear springs
  • Detail on the last resto was poorly done
  • Tires on the verge of needing replacement
  • Nonlocking differential
  • Engine bay is nasty
  • Center gauge panel is incorrect for the car
  • Tranny needs attention; second gear synchros are worn