1969 Ford Mustang Flaunts Cobra Jet Goodies, Disappointing Surprise Under the Hood

I don't know about you, but I love it when a mundane muscle car from the golden era hides a beefed-up engine under the hood. Because nothing beats a sneaky sleeper. But it can happen the other way around, too, as many nicely optioned vehicles have lost their original high-performance mills along the way. This 1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 is one of them.
1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 Cobra Jet 9 photos
Photo: American Mustangs/YouTube
1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 Cobra Jet1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 Cobra Jet1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 Cobra Jet1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 Cobra Jet1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 Cobra Jet1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 Cobra Jet1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 Cobra Jet1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 Cobra Jet
Introduced in 1969 as a performance-oriented package, the Mach 1 became one of no fewer than six souped-up Mustangs available that year. The bundle became so popular that Ford discontinued the GT model. The latter would not return until the 1980s.

Available exclusively with V8 engines, the Mach 1 looked the part thanks to a matte black hood with locking pins, a big scoop, race-inspired suspension, a pop-open gas cap, and a Deluxe interior. It was also available with a dealer-installed chin spoiler, rear deck spoiler, and rear window louvers.

The Mach 1 came standard with the 351-cubic-inch (5.8-liter) Windsor V8. The two-barrel powerplant delivered 250 horsepower. Ford also offered a four-barrel version good for 290 horses and a 390-cubic-inch (6.4-liter) FE rated at 320 horsepower. But the Mach 1 was also available with the range-topping 428-cubic-inch (7.0-liter) Cobra Jet V8, which delivered 335 horses. When bundled with the Drag Pak, this option became the Super Cobra Jet.

The Cobra Jet was highly popular that year, moving 13,261 units. Not precisely rare by classic car standards, but we must remember that far fewer examples have survived more than five decades. But it makes no difference in this case because the Mach 1 you're looking at is a "good news, bad news" king of rig.

The good news is that it's factory R-code 'Stang, which means it left the factory with the mighty 428 Cobra Jet under the hood. It still rocks the original four-speed manual and rear end; also good news regarding Mustangs from the golden muscle car era. There's bad news under the hood. While the shaker scoop may trick you into thinking that the good ole 428 is still in there, the original mill is long gone.

There's no info on why a previous owner opted for a swap, but it's been replaced with the smaller and notably less powerful 351-cubic-inch Windsor. A date-correct 1969 lump, the 351W was altered to accept the air breather, so whoever did the swap made sure the R-code looks authentic with the hood closed.

Engine transplant aside, the Mustang looks pretty decent for a classic that was repainted in a garage. Originally finished in Candyapple Red, the Mach 1 is now white and sports black stripes on the side. Sadly, whoever refinished the car didn't bother to apply the Mach 1 stripes where they should be but opted for a lower placement just above the side skirts. All told, this once glorious Mach 1 is in dire need of restoration and a proper 428 Cobra Jet. Check it out in the video below.

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About the author: Ciprian Florea
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Ask Ciprian about cars and he'll reveal an obsession with classics and an annoyance with modern design cues. Read his articles and you'll understand why his ideal SUV is the 1969 Chevrolet K5 Blazer.
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