1971 Ford Mustang Mach 1 – Lois’ Legacy

It isn’t every day that you see a Dusk Rose Mustang of any kind, let alone a ’71 Mach 1. However, this isn’t just any pink Mach 1. It was originally owned by the late Lois Eminger, the Ford employee who saved Mustang invoices from the incinerator and made copies available to Mustang owners worldwide. During the 1980s, “Eminger invoices” became part of the Mustang vernacular.

Lois’ passion for Dusk Rose came from her love of ’55-’57 Thunderbirds, which were available in the pink hue. In 1957, Lois, a secretary in Ford’s legal department, and her husband, Wynn, a Ford engineer, bought a new Dusk Rose ’57 Thunderbird, a Ford executive program car with all the options. It was a gorgeous automobile that Lois would keep for the rest of her life.

Lois didn’t realize it then, but her involvement in the car hobby was only beginning. She would eventually become involved in the founding of Classic Thunderbird Club International. Through her ties at Ford’s legal department, she had access to Thunderbird factory invoices, which she shared with ’55-’57 Thunderbird owners. Before the two-seater Thunderbirds were even ten years old, owners were coming to Lois to see what they could learn about their cars.

Unfortunately, at the time, Lois didn’t realize that ’65-’66 Mustang invoices would become just as coveted, so she didn’t think to save them from the incinerator. Later, however, Lois would manage to obtain some of the ’69 and later Mustang invoices. Today, Marti Auto Works has the surviving invoices (’69-’73 and ’79-’86, depending on assembly plant) and makes them available to Mustang owners through the www.martiauto.com website.

Lois’ love of Dusk Rose became an integral part of her persona. There would be a new ’67 Mustang convertible in Dusk Rose. By 1971, Ford was no longer offering Dusk Rose. But Lois wanted a new Mach 1 because she’d heard that powerful V-8s were on their way out.

When Lois’ Mach 1 rolled off the car carrier at Floyd Rice Ford in Detroit, it was white with black graphics and well-appointed with 351 Cobra Jet, C6 transmission, 3.50:1 gears, black Sports Interior Group, Sport Deck rear seat, power windows, rear window electric defogger, tinted glass, and Sports wheel covers with F70 x 14 biased belted tires. Sticker price out the door was $3,623.69.

When Lois brought her Mach 1 home in June of 1971, she couldn’t escape noticing its odd duck status in a garage full of Dusk Rose Fords. So before ever really driving her Mach 1, she turned it over to Paul’s Body & Fender in Moneca, Pennsylvania, where the SportsRoof received a Dusk Rose makeover. Paul removed all the trim work, taillights, fenders, grille, and door hardware to get this paintjob just like Dearborn would have done it. At first glance, it looks like factory paint with just the right amount of orange peel and the black Mach 1 hockey stick stripes positioned exactly where they belong.

When Lois passed away in 2008, her son, Paul, was determined to maintain her legacy and decided to freshen up her Mach 1 time capsule. “The Mach 1 was painted Dusk Rose to become a garage partner to her ’57 Thunderbird and ’67 Mustang convertible,” Paul comments. “I gave her Mustang convertible to my son, John, who lives here in Spokane, Washington.”

With some emotion, Paul said, “The last time her Mach 1 was driven was in 1996 to a Thunderbird meet in Bend, Oregon. It was never driven again.” This year, Paul decided it was time to haul the Mach 1 out and get it to Bellevue, Washington, for the annual Mustangs Northwest Round-Up. It was a terrific coming out party for two of Lois’ Dusk Rose Mustangs-the ’67 convertible and this Mach 1.

When Lois took delivery of the Mach 1 nearly 40 years ago, it didn’t have the NACA-scooped hood, so Lois ordered a scooped hood and had it painted, but never had it installed. Earlier this year, Paul had the Dusk Rose NACA hood installed on the car. Another lament by Lois was the absence of a console and full instrumentation. That’s when Paul contacted Perogie Enterprises and ordered these items to complete Lois’ dream.

Paul says getting the Mach 1 show ready was not easy despite being garaged all these years. What made preparation especially difficult was all the Texaco undercoating applied back in September of 1972 to protect the car from rough Michigan winters. Using kerosene and elbow grease, Paul removed all of the petroleum-based undercoat, which got the car back to the way it was at Floyd Rice Ford.

At Bellevue, Paul and his wife, Kendall, showed Lois’ Mach 1 in the Mustang Club of America’s “Occasional Driver” class, a great tribute for an extraordinary lady that Thunderbird and Mustang enthusiasts continue to miss.