1973 Mustang Mach 1: Last of the Greats

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1973 Ford Mustang Mach 1

With the Mustang II waiting in the wings, the 1973 Mach 1 was one of the last Mustangs to get Ford’s hot 351 Cleveland V8.

We’ve got a few friends who own, and love, the 1970-1973 Mustangs. Generally, they’re a little more affordable than the early ‘Stangs, while still having lots of support for restoration and modification. Whichever you prefer. We were looking through classified listings and came across this Medium Yellow Gold ’73 Mach 1 in Florida. We prefer to drive our Mustangs, so we were pleasantly surprised to see more than 100,000 miles on a numbers-matching car like this. The listing describes it as “partially restored” and mentions two repaints. Quality work too. Just look at that hood.

1973 Ford Mustang Mach 1

And now, the good stuff underneath that flawless hood. (Remember, shade is your friend for photos.)

1973 Ford Mustang Mach 1

Instead of going on and on about the 351 Cleveland, we’ll point you to this excellent write up on Hemmings if you’re looking for some in-depth reading. The short version goes like this: though Ford didn’t advertise the 351C Q-code Cobra Jet, it was there in the 1971-73 Mustang, and a few other Ford models. Back in the day, Ford claimed it made 246 hp. 1973 was the last chance to get a 351C in a Ford Mustang from the factory.

We’re digging the color. According to the Marti Report, which is included with the car, this is one of 62 in this color with this engine/transmission/trim combo.

The interior is likewise incredibly well kept, especially with six-figures on the odometer. The last 15 years the Mach 1 has been with a collector, and we’re thinking that means it’s been driven. Thank goodness.

Probably the best argument in favor of buying something like this and making it a driver is the four-speed manual. There’s nothing better than running a classic like this through the gears. This isn’t an autocross, or road course, car. This is a Mustang to get out and take on a long drive. Albeit, one without rain in the forecast. Since someone’s already put the miles on it and repainted it twice, might as well put a few more miles on the clock.

Anyone else enjoy driving their classic as much as looking at it? Join us in the Forums.

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Austin Lott is a longtime professional automotive journalist who learned the ropes after landing a stint writing for the iconic magazine MotorTrend after earning a bachelor's degree in English from Vanguard University in Southern California.

Lott is a regular contributor to popular Internet Brands Auto Group websites, including Rennlist and Ford Truck Enthusiasts. Austin is published regularly in Super Street and is a frequent contributor to Honda-Tech and 6SpeedOnline. Although he's partial to Japanese imports, he'll give anything cool a shot.

Austin can be reached at [email protected].

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