Many years have passed since I had my first conversation with George Hatcher of Easton, Maryland. He rang my telephone nearly a decade ago, and we became something of an extended family for each other. We obviously have a mutual interest in Mustangs, and Fords have been a way of life for George and his wife, Kim, since they first met in high school.
During that first conversation with George, I learned his first Mustang at age 16 was a brand-new Pewter Metallic '72 Mach 1 with a 302-2V, three-speed, 3.00:1 conventional axle, corporate hubcaps, Wide Oval tires, and little else. It was an unusual, base-sticker-priced Mach 1; something you don't often see today. Just imagine the excitement of a new Mustang for a kid coming of age in rural Maryland.
George and I found a lot of common ground in our pasts. We were both from Maryland. He got his driver's license in 1972. So did I. He totaled his '72 Mach 1 in 1976. I totaled my first Mustang, a '67 hardtop, that same year. He was heartbroken. So was I. George has been selling new Fords in Easton for nearly as long as I have been writing about them. That we are both still into Mustangs at this juncture of our lives shouldn't surprise anyone who knows the two of us.
My goal has always been to find a Pewter Metallic '72 Mach 1 for George, but finding a restorable example has been anything but easy. In fact, it hasn't happened yet. Meanwhile, he's been living the fourth-generation Mustang experience one slippery SportsRoof at a time. There was a red '71 Mach 1 in his garage when we met, and it was replaced by a turquoise '66 convertible. When the '66 didn't fill the void left by his original '72 Mach 1, George sold it and began looking for another '71-'73 Mustang. He found it in a light blue, all-original '73 Mach 1.
In 2002, George and Kim celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary. Driven by the memories of his Pewter Metallic '72 Mach 1, George went to an online trader Web site and found this low-mileage Grabber Blue '71 Mach 1 in Detroit. Kim sealed the deal with the words Happy Anniversary.
Grabber Blue from slippery hood to slippery deck, the Mach 1 is equipped with 351C-2V power, an FMX tranny, 3.00:1 gears in a 9-inch housing, a black knitted vinyl Sports interior, Magnum 500 wheels with Goodyear GT radials that Kim gave George for Christmas, a pop-open gas cap, full instrumentation with clock, and more. Amazingly, the Grabber Blue enamel finish is factory original.
It's not the original Pewter Mach 1, but George's Grabber Mach is a nice way to hold onto the old memories.