I am 66 years old and grew up in the time when you could buy some great cars for very little money. When I heard that Ford was going to downsize and de-tune the Mustang even more for the 1974 model year I went to the local dealer and sat down to order a 1973. We go out the catalog and the salesman I was dealing with had order several cars for me and my dad. We started going down the list and when it was all done it included every option that was available on a Mach 1 even down to a non factory color, cost I think $125.00 more. When he took the order to the boss to enter he came back and said the boss would not order it unless I put down at least $1,000.00 deposit because they could never sell the car if I did not take it. The sticker price was a little over $5,200.00. That was more than a boss 429 cost or a Shelby. I do have the original order, window stickers and even the dealer invoice so all can be proved. I ordered the car with the CJ 351 4-V 4 speed and optioned the 3.25 gear in the rear to get all the top end I could. I got a call a work and the factory could not do the color I wanted in the rubber bumper so they gave me the choice of going with a chrome front bumper or changing to a standard Mustang color. I went with the Mustang color. Then they said they could not get a 4 speed and I demanded that they get one from a warehouse or somewhere that it had to have the 4 speed. This was made at the end of the production of the model and parts were already running out.
Ok now the car came in and I had given then instruction that they were not to even clean it. I went in got the keys and went straight to the interstate and opened it up. To my disappointment it ran out of steam at 125 mph. I came back to the dealership and complained that it would not do more than 125 and they freaked out. I worked in a NASCAR shop and knew that there is no breaking in of an engine other than the rings and that is done in the first heat cycle of the engine. It is either right or wrong and treating it like a baby will not make it last. They ordered me a mechanical spark advance for the distributor and the recurve springs to change the rate and get some more MPH. I tore three rears out of the car or broke the rear U-joints. I told them they were going to have to do something so they called a Ford rep in and he put the car on a lift and as soon as he looked at the rear he knew the issue. They had put the next smaller U-joint rear in the car not the one for the CJ engine. So they ordered another and never broke another.
I had three cars and a motorcycle so I only drove the car for dates usually or for a little street racing. They claim that Japan invented drifting but it was alive in the mountains of Western North Carolina in the early 1960's. Even before the Mustang I had a 1950 Ford Tudor Sedan with a built .125" overbore, balanced, ported and pretty much a hot rod that drifted the curves like a dream. People would get down on their knees in the floor and beg me to pull over and let them get out, lol. I ran the Mustang in autocross events in the area and would make everyone upset with all my tire smoke and sliding. One of our favorite races was to get on an interstate cloverleaf exchange and not get off. You drift the four clovers and drag the short straights. A friend got a Datsun 240 Z and thought he had me but I could outrun him in first gear and he would be in 3rd. I had a friend that sold tires and usually 2,000 miles was all I would get and they were gone.
I eventually got married and when I did I parked the car. When I cleaned it up to park it I cleaned the rice out from the wedding. It has sat in a pole barn since 1977 I did take it to one Mustang Club of America show and won 3rd. place in unrestored original in 1982 or 83. I has a little over 12,000 hard miles on it and has not been started since. I poured oil down the engine when I parked it. All the tires have been flat for years. I have a snake that lives in it and keeps the mice out but it goes away a little more each year. I was offered $25,000.00 for it at the show but never even thought about selling it. One day you might see in on Yahoo News or something as a Barn Find.
Oh I still have the 1950 with it's built engine and my 1956 Ford Club Sedan with 4-V overdrive and my 1957 Ford hardtop Thunderbird Special, my 1950 Ford business coupe and a 1950 Ford Tudor with 16,000 miles on it and the original belts, hoses and tires. It is one of those time capsules but the paint just fell off setting there in the barn. I have two 1965 Mustang convertibles sitting there, and 20th Ann Mustang and a 1985 SVO Mustang. There is even a 1972 Mach 1 T-5 with 36,000 miles. Remember in years gone by these cost nothing because nobody wanted them. You could buy boss 429 mustangs for $1,000.00 yes one thousand because of the gas shortage in 1974.
I am working in China right now so I cannot take a picture to send to prove but they are there in all their dust, dirt and glory. I will be home in Sept. 2014.
For all of those people that never go look because they think they are all gone, believe me they are not and there are thousands of them out there just keep looking.
David F. Fowler