Tom Mangert has a wonderfully logical rationalization for a way he has managed to maintain his beautiful 1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 since he ordered it new in the summertime of ’69.
“I kept this one strictly by Jupiter lining up with Mars, you know what I mean?” laughs Mangert, a resident of Waupaca, Wis. “It’s fairly hot stuff.
“I by no means would have believed it. No method. But I’ve all the time been taught when you have earn issues and pay for them your self, you deal with them! You don’t pound ’em up whenever you pay for them. I footed the invoice for the entire thing — insurance coverage and the whole lot else — and whenever you purchase stuff and earn the cash, you deal with it. I by no means pounded the automobile, and that was actually the important thing to the entire thing.”
The muscular Mustang, with its rumbling 428 Cobra Jet engine hidden below a menacing hood scoop, didn’t have a very simple youth. It survived each day driver duties for a fairly some time and even a couple of harsh Wisconsin winters as on a regular basis transportation. Somehow, it’s none the more serious for put on and nonetheless appears to be like love a virtually new automobile.
“After 50 years of driving, last summer in 2019 it did turn 100,000 miles, but they were good miles. This car did not jump into a bridge abutment or wrap around an oak tree,” Mangert says proudly. “I finished driving it in winter in 1975. For the primary few years, it was my common automobile and I really had a trailer hitch on it and towed the boat. I took the trailer hitch off after we re-did the automobile in 1986.
“It’s all I had. With that Traction-Lok rear finish, I used to be pulling a double snowmobile trailer for some time. On chrome reverse rims, I placed on H40-17 studded tires! With the Traction-Lok, I might pull the trailer by means of deep snow, no sweat. If you have been on a snow-covered parking zone… you may really spin across the size of the automobile, if you happen to have been cautious, and do a whole 180 and go the opposite method. But if you happen to stood on it, you’re gonna have an issue,” he laughs.
“In 1975 it had 70,000 miles on it, and since then it’s been basically a sunny day, summer drive situation ever since.”
Mangert can snicker about it now, however, mockingly, his worst second with the automobile in all probability took place 4 years in the past courtesy of a deer when he was driving cautiously to a gathering with different previous automobile lovers. “I was going over to our Wednesday night car meet at Burger King, and by the [local] Catholic church a deer came out of nowhere and hit the right front fender! I got that fixed up. But I was heartbroken. I was in disbelief that this deer had the nerve to hit my car! The guy that painted the car for me back in 1986, he’s now retired, Beckman’s Collision Service — Ralph Beckman — he’s an excellent painter and body man … He fixed it up for me. The hood and front fender had to be fixed and repainted. But she’s standing tall and looking good now!”
1969 MUSTANG: LIVING LARGER
For mannequin yr 1969, the Mustang obtained its third main restyling. Its new physique wasn’t drastically modified, but it surely grew 3.Eight inches. There was no change in wheelbase, which was nonetheless the identical 108 inches as in 1965. The windshield was extra sharply raked and quad headlamps have been used. The outer lenses have been deeply recessed into the fenders and the inboard lenses have been set into the grille.
Missing for the primary time was a facet scoop or cove on the physique. This styling gimmick was changed with a characteristic line that ran from the tip of the entrance fender to only behind the rear-most door seam, at a stage simply above the entrance wheel opening. On convertibles and hardtops there was a rear-facing, simulated air vent in entrance of the rear wheel opening on either side. On fastbacks, this characteristic line result in a backwards C-shaped air scoop above the primary characteristic line.The fastback was now known as the SportsRoof. It had a 0.9-inch decrease roofline than earlier fastbacks. Also, Mustang fastbacks have been now true hardtops. The rear quarter louvers have been gone. Instead, a tiny window abutted the door glass.
The fastback was now known as the SportsRoof. It had a 0.9-inch decrease roofline than earlier fastbacks. Also, Mustang fastbacks have been now true hardtops. The rear quarter louvers have been gone. Instead, a tiny window abutted the door glass.
Though the styling theme remained Ford-like, the Mustang adopted GM-like concepts to swimsuit the tastes of various patrons. Mustangs now got here in fundamental, luxurious, sporty and high-performance codecs love a Camaro or Firebird. Mach 1’s had the Mustang’s fanciest inside with high-back bucket seats, black carpets, a rim-blow steering wheel, a middle console, a clock, sound-deadening insulation and teakwood-grained trim on the doorways, sprint and console.
One good efficiency possibility obtainable to fanatic patrons in 1969 was a Mustang GT or Mach 1 with the Cobra Jet 428 engine. This motor was Ford’s big-block efficiency chief. It got here in Cobra Jet (CJ 428) or Super Cobra Jet 428 (SCJ 428) variations. The former was known as the “standard Cobra engine” within the 1969 Performance Buyer’s Guide. It generated 335 hp at 5200 rpm and 440 lbs.-ft. of torque at 3400 rpm. The latter was the identical engine with Ram Air induction, a hardened metal forged crankshaft, particular “LeMans” connecting rods and improved balancing for drag racing. It had the identical marketed horsepower.
A 1969 Mach 1 two-door hardtop with the 428-cid/335-hp engine carried simply 9.6 lbs. per hp. It might do 0-to-60 mph in 5.5 seconds and canopy the quarter-mile in 13.9 seconds in response to one street take a look at. Car and Driver examined a Mach 1 fastback with the common Cobra Jet V-8, computerized transmission and a 3.91:1 restricted slip axle. This mixture produced 5.7-second 0-to-60-mph efficiency and a 14.3-second quarter-mile at 100 mph. The automobile had an estimated prime velocity of 115 mph.
The Mach 1’s base engine was a 351-cid two-venturi Windsor V-8. This was basically a stroked 302-cid Ford V-Eight with raised deck peak, which created an incredible avenue efficiency engine. The fundamental model cranked up 250 horses. Options included the 351-cid/290-hp four-venturi V-Eight and a 390-cid/320-hp V-8.
Manual 10-in. four-wheel drums have been customary on the Mach 1 with 11.3-in. energy entrance disc brakes on the choices listing. Five transmissions have been on the menu: a three-speed guide (on 351 Mach 1s); close- or wide-ratio transmissions on 390- and 428 Mach 1s; and two completely different SelectShift automatics. All Mach 1 Mustangs had Ford’s limited-slip differential (aka Traction-Lok). E70-14 wide-oval belted white sidewall tires have been customary with 14 x 6-inch chrome styled metal wheels. White-letter F70-14 white-letter tires have been non-obligatory.
The larger, redesigned Mustang noticed loads of press for 1969. Many purists lamented the automobile getting larger and bulkier. Car and Driver discovered lots to love concerning the 428-powered Mach 1, however wasn’t loopy concerning the further 3.Eight inches in size, or the truth that 59.Three % of the automobile’s weight was on the entrance wheels. “Any rear-wheel-drive car would be hamstrung with that kind of weight distribution and the Mustang is no exception,” the journal commented. “It can’t begin to put its power to the ground for acceleration.” Still the journal praised the automobile as “a blend of dragster and Trans-Am sedan. In a year when every manufacturer offers hood scoops, Ford outdoes them all with an AA/Fuel dragster-style bug-catcher sticking right out through a hole in the hood… Torque is its most important product and torque is available on instant notice without having to climb high into the rpm scale. The standard dual exhaust system, which ends in two pairs of chrome tipped pipes under the rear bumper, allows the Cobra Jet to rumble in a fashion that puts its competition to shame.”
In all, a whopping 72,458 Mach 1s have been constructed for the 1969 mannequin yr.
One of these ponies was a amazing Indian Fire Red CJ-428 ordered by Mangert that he claims was the final ’69 Mach 1 his native Ford dealership might get its palms on. Mangert had purchased a pleasant automobile a couple of years earlier — a 1966 Ford Fairlane 500 XL two-door hardtop for $2700 — however he wound up promoting it whereas he was within the Army. As quickly as he received residence in May of 1969, he began in search of one other good automobile and roped a Mach 1.
“They said you had the choice of a ’69 Mach 1, or you could order a ’70,” he recalled. “But I wished the ’69 as a result of that they had the tremendous traces and scooped grille and rear brake scoops, which have been eliminated in ’70. This automobile was loaded with four-speed; close-ratio; Traction-Lok rear finish; manufacturing facility in-dash tach; entrance disc brakes, which was a brand new factor then. It additionally has the digital intermittent wipers, which is $16.95 further. The automobile listed out totally loaded at $4067, and my funds have been $104.53, for 36 months, paid for in 1971!
“I personally ordered the automobile. It was by no means on lots. None of those have been ever on lots. A pal of mine purchased the same automobile at a dealership, an Indian Fire Mach 1, but it surely was not the Ram Air and it had the 351 four-barrel in it.”
Mangert opted for the white inside and the folding rear seat, which was a $97 further on the time. “Most of the cars had black interiors. I particularly wanted the white interior and I ordered the white bucket seats. Many of these do not have white bucket seats. Almost all are black. You could get a red interior if you had, like, a black car or a white car… but they were all high-back buckets if it was a Mach 1.”
Mangert insists that the Mach 1 isn’t as loaded with goodies as individuals would possibly assume at first look. It’s actually received the look — and the go-power below the hood — however it’s a extra Spartan muscle automobile than a few of its Ford household cousins.
“By today’s standards, for an upscale car, it wasn’t much for what you actually got,” he chuckles. “You received the luxurious inside, which was vinyl with the high-back buckets … It was form of a plain inside .. It seemed form of sporty in comparison with the previous bench seat look, and other people then have been actually enthusiastic about buckets. Bench seats have been form of fading off, and now the whole lot is bucket seats.
“It’s received energy steering and energy entrance disc bakes. One factor I wanted it had was cruise management. That was not obtainable in ’69, and [neither were] leather-based seats, energy seats, and even energy home windows. [They were] not obtainable on the Mach 1.”
It’s been about 44 years because the Mach 1 was restored, but it surely stays in beautiful situation. Beckman took the automobile down the naked metallic and repainted it again in ’86. At the identical time Mangert changed all of the belts and hoses and swapped in new water and oil pumps, timing chain, starter and alternator. The seats have been recovered throughout the identical time interval and the door panels have been reconditioned.
“He painted it right with the proper undercoat and so forth,” Mangert notes. “At the time, clearcoat was a new thing and we did clearcoat it, and that’s what really saved the paint! That, and being able to store it indoors.”
Mangert pulled off the unique rims again within the ’80s and has been operating 14×7 American Racing mags ever since “that I got locally at NAPA right here in Waupaca. And those steel-belted radials make all the difference in the world in handling.” Like all the opposite unique components he has faraway from the automobile, even upkeep objects, Mangert nonetheless has the unique wheels.
Mangert has two different lovely Mustangs, but it surely’s fairly clear which one has probably the most sentimental worth to him. He shutters pondering again to the one time he ever thought of parting with the ’69 Mach 1. “Back in like ’71 when gas was starting to get high — like 41 cents or something for premium — I looked at trading it in for something else, like an LTD, which would have been a major mistake!”
“No, I’ve got no plans to never get rid of it. As long as I’ve got a garage to keep ’em in, I’m in Mustang heaven!”
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