Throughout the years, we've come across those infrequent stories about Mustangs that never really left the nest. Most often, the restored Ponies featured in Mustang Monthly have changed owners and state residencies many times throughout the years. Those that haven't played musical chairs across the country usually involve the current owner having bought his car from the original purchaser, who just happens to live "not too far away." What's so interesting about Bill Genard's Medium Lime Metallic '70 Mach 1 is that it has changed hands three times since being pulled off the dealer lot, yet it has resided within a 15-mile radius throughout its 30-year history.
Bill, a resident of Youngwood, Pennsylvania, found the car through a local newspaper classified ad in September 1996. The ad stated that it was a '70 Mach 1, and the restoration was not complete. Living only five minutes from Laurel Mountain Mustang, Bill asked LMM owner Kevin Mills to help him check out the car.
The Mach 1 sported a sorely faded paint job, and as a "boxed" restoration, it wasn't much to look at. Still, it did come with some interesting OE goodies. First among them was the street-sweet driveline- consisting of a 351W V-8, an FMX auto tranny, and a 3.50:1 limited-slip rear in a 9-inch housing. Also included in the desirable column was power steering, power front disc brakes, Magnum 500 wheels, a rear antisway bar, and Deluxe Mach 1 black interior.
"After talking with the owner, Fred," says Bill, "he [told us that he] started to restore the car in 1978, never finished it, and finally realized that he never would and wanted to find it a new home. The engine and the transmission had been removed, the front clip was being held in place by two bolts, and there was some damage to the right rear quarter-panel, but the remainder of the car was practically all there. After a discussion with Kevin on the ride home and a couple of phone calls to Fred, he allowed me to buy his car.
"A few days later, with the help of my buddy, Cliff-who borrowed a rollback-and Kevin Mills' pickup, we brought the Mach 1 to its new temporary home at the Laurel Mountain Mustang shop, where Russ Turack took over.
"The car was completely dismantled, with all the paint stripped off and the body sandblasted. The sheetmetal work consisted of some minor torque box repair, a new taillight panel, and a few other minor rust spots. Two new old stock front fenders were located by Kevin and Russ. The car was reassembled, the bodywork completed, and all the panels and the doors were fitted and aligned. The car was once again disassembled and painted with Glasuit basecoat/clearcoat Medium Lime Metallic."
During the next five months, the Mach 1 gradually began its transformation to its former glory. Aside from receiving new brakes, suspension components, and an AM/FM stereo with a multidisc CD changer, the big revamp was in the powertrain department. Evanuik Performance of White Oak, Pennsylvania, was given the 351 with the mission to warm up the V-8 a bit. Beginning with a 0.020 bore, the Windsor was balanced and fitted with flat-top pistons, roller rockers, a Hydraulic Performance cam, a ported Edelbrock Performer intake, and a Holley 600-cfm carburetor. An MSD ignition system was selected to bolster the firing component and improve streetability. Finally, Greensburg Transmission rebuilt the FMX and installed a shift kit to augment the engine upgrades.
The interesting part about this entire restoration came after the project was completed
"On one of my many visits to the shop," says Bill, "a passenger tire warranty was discovered on the inside of the trunk lid. The name on the warranty was not the person from whom I had bought the car. After a little digging, I came up with two phone numbers that matched the name. One evening, I gathered up enough nerve and called one of the numbers. As I was telling my story about the found warranty, the voice on the other end of the phone began to describe the car to me. During our talk, we decided that when the car was finished, it might be nice to get a picture of all three owners with the car.
"The interesting thing to me is that we live within only 15 miles of each other in the same county where the car was purchased. We're all about the same age, and we all still share a love for Mustangs. I have the '70 Mach 1, Jim-the original owner-has a '72 Mach 1, and Fred-the middle owner-has an'86 GT.
"Sometimes it's a small world."
In case you're wondering, the trio did get together a couple of years ago for that photo. And heck, the little Pony didn't have to leave home to do it!