Ford Mustang Mach 1 1971
American cars were known to be big and expensive in the post-war era, but that trend took a drastic turn in the early part of the 1960s with the arrival of the Ford Mustang in 1964. The car immediately captured the heart of the American public, thanks to its sporty demeanor and high level of performance, all coming at a relatively low price. The original Mustang was an instant financial success for Ford Motor Co., and the car’s popularity continued in the ensuing years.
In 1969, Ford gave its pony car a major facelift, with its defining styling characteristic kept intact, namely the long nose and short rear deck. That said, everything else about the car changed; in fact, the changes were so drastic that many considered the reborn Mustang as an all-new car. The new car was bigger, but kept its basic packaging and mechanisms.
Still, the changes were substantial enough for us to categorize the 1969-1970 cars as second-generation models. (The 1964-1968 Mustangs are considered first-generation cars, while the cars from 1971 to 1973 are classified as third-generation models.)
The ominous Mach 1 made its presence in the second-generation model era. This sports-grade car was part of the Mustang’s fastback lineup called “Sports Roof”, whose sporty roof design served as an inspiration to sports car builders around the world.
Many engines were offered underneath the hood of the Mustang, including a big-block V8 that could keep pace with many race cars, but the most common powerplant was the small-block 351ci V8. The 351 Mustang from 1970-1971 with Ram Air produced 299 HP, making it one of the sportiest and fastest cars on the road in its day.