Will it run? Starting up a 1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 for the first time in 30 years - Hagerty Media
Finding a cool car that has been tucked away for decades is inspiring, but firing it up for the first time can be less so. Davin found that out last week with the 1969 Ford Mustang he attempted to bring back to life. Without spark, that V-8 was never going to roar to life—so, rather than abuse the tired parts, Davin put in a RockAuto order. Now, it’s time to get serious.
This Mustang is a prime example of an honest, “ran when parked” car. Everything under the hood is still there and connected, which makes the project seem hopeful. Simply being present is the minimum criterion for parts, however; they should also function. Something in the ignition system is not doing its job, and thus Davin is electing to replace the entire ignition system. This decision seems a bit extreme at first blush but, since the parts are available—and easy to remove and replace—he’s actually saving some troubleshooting time at just a few dollars’ cost.
Other to-dos include curing a few leaks and sussing out what the interior of this engine has to say about the car’s history. The valve-cover gaskets were leaking and Davin pulled and cleaned the covers and installed fresh gaskets. Before those last components went back on, Davin spun the engine over with the spark plugs removed. This allowed him to visually inspect the valvetrain and see whether the engine would build appropriate oil pressure quickly.
Put it all back together, cross fingers, and turn the key. Of course, the V-8 fires right up and idles along happily on the choke. There is still a bunch of work left before this Mustang hits the road again, and Davin’s only got one week to make that happen—so as happy as he might be about winning this particular battle, the war wages on. What issues may surface in the brakes and driveline to keep this car off the streets? We aren’t sure yet, but you’ll know next Monday. Be sure to subscribe to the Hagerty YouTube channel to never miss an update.
— Kyle Smith
Thanks to our sponsor RockAuto.com, an auto parts retailer founded in 1999 by automotive engineers with two goals: Liberate information hidden behind the auto parts store counter (by listing all available parts, not just what one store stocks or one counter-person knows), and make auto parts affordable so vehicles of all ages can be kept reliable and fun to drive. Visit RockAuto.com to order auto parts online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and have them conveniently delivered to your door. Need help finding parts or placing an order? Visit the Help pages for further assistance.