Mike McFate admits he's a "bit of a Mustang collector," owning a '66K-GT fastback, a '67 GTA fastback, a '69 Cobra Jet Mach 1, and a '70Mach 1 Twister Special. "My game plan when I started was to collect andrestore interesting fastbacks from '65 to '70. As you can see, I'mmissing two years."
No matter, as Mike's stable of fastbacks includessome mighty interesting Mustangs, including this '69 Mach 1 with the 428Cobra Jet powerplant. "My first new car was a '69 Mustang SportsRoofwhen I returned from Vietnam," Mike says. "I wanted a Mach 1, butcouldn't afford one back then."
When he found the Mach through anewspaper ad back in the late '90s, it was poorly restored, if you couldeven call it a restoration. According to Mike, the engine was unpaintedand the engine, engine compartment, and interior were missing keycomponents, many of which are extremely hard to find today. For threeyears, he searched for the correct parts with the correct numbers, thenhe went to work--with a little help from his friends--to put the mightiestof Machs back into showroom condition.
Mustang musclecars don't come much better than Mike's Mach 1. First ofall, the Candyapple Red exterior with white deluxe interior is aneye-grabber. Then there's the drivetrain combination of 428 Cobra Jetwith the Ram Air Shaker hoodscoop, four-speed transmission, and 4.30gears in a Traction-Lok differential. It even has the factory tachometeroption, along with clock, AM/FM radio, and fold-down rear seat. Thoughnot factory correct for the car, Mike added the front and rear spoilers.The Styled Steel wheels even have the correct plain hubcaps--without theGT emblem.
Mike, from Grand Junction, Colorado, uses the Mach 1 for"pure enjoyment," driving it two or three times a month during goodweather.