1970 Ford Mustang Mach 1

Most vintage Mustang owners have little or no knowledge about the original owner of their car. For example, was it purchased as a cruiser to impress the girls, a family car, or possibly a muscle machine for stoplight challenges? With Cincinnati’s Glen Wilhoit, it’s interesting to speculate about what the initial buyer was thinking when he ordered this ’70 Mach 1.

It appears that performance was the number one motivation when the option sheet was checked off by that first owner. First of all, he ordered the 300hp version of the M-code 351 Cleveland, the most powerful small-block for ’70, while also choosing the functional Shaker hoodscoop for a dose of cold-air induction. He also selected the close-ratio four-speed, Traction-Lok rearend with optional gear ratio, and the better-gripping F70x14 tires. For those performance options, the original purchaser had to put down an additional $267.

Of course, a 335hp 428 Cobra Jet would have made it a more potent combination, so the fact that owner number one went with the 351 might point to a lack of funds, seeing how the 428 would have required considerably more cash.

And then there are the options that the original owner didn’t order, including the available spoilers, rear window louvers, and air conditioning, which goes back to the performance assumption since there wouldn’t be an extra pulley to eat into the engine power.

But today the Mach 1 has all of those accessories.

“I installed them during the car’s restoration,” says current owner Wilhoit. “Since they were all available in 1970, their presence has never detracted from concours judging.”

Twenty-three years ago, Wilhoit purchased the Mach 1 for $850. But don’t get the idea that it was anything remotely close to the beauty displayed here.

“The previous owner wanted to restore it but never got around to it,” Wilhoit explains. “It sat for five years before he decided to sell it. I didn’t start the restoration immediately. In fact, I gave it a cosmetic paintjob and drove it for 13 years before starting the restoration in 2000.”

That also gave Wilhoit time to convert his one-car garage into a body shop. “I am not a body man but I worked long and hard to get it right. There was a lot of rust so I had to replace the quarters, a torque box, and other sheetmetal. There were parts and pieces all over the house. I really have to thank my wife, Chris, for putting up with the mess. It took me six years to complete the restoration. The only thing l didn’t do myself was rebuild the engine.”

Medium Bright Blue Metallic was fairly popular, with 4,278 ’70 Mustangs painted that color. But the Marti Report reveals that Wilhoit’s Mach 1 car was one of only 1,681 with its combination of paint and trim codes.

Although street driven, the Mach 1 really struts its stuff in concours shows. Wilhoit points out that the car got a Silver rating in a 2008 Mustang Club of America show in Louisville, Kentucky. Later that year, with corrections made, it got a Gold, losing only two points out of a possible 701 due to a scratch on a window and Glen’s use of Flowmaster mufflers.