A Ford muscle icon is back

If you came of age in the late 1960s, you likely remember what a big deal it was when Ford first introduced the Mach 1 version of the Mustang in late 1968 as a 1969 model. If you were a performance fan and liked Fords, those were golden years, as no less than an even half-dozen go-fast variations on the Mustang (think Boss 302 and Boss 429) existed during that heady era. The Mach 1 blended muscle and appearance cues, the latter including a blacked-out hood with scoop (a shaker hood was optional) and dealer-installed backlight slats. At least initially, most Mach 1s were powered by the Windsor-block 351, but everything up to the Super Cobra Jet 428 was available for the asking. It was strongly popular, even surviving the Mustang II years, and briefly made a reappearance on the SN-95 platform in 2003. No Mach 1 was existed since, but that’s about to change.

Ford made a lot of Stangphiles happy last week when it announced that the Mach 1 will rejoin the Mustang lineup this spring, becoming the lead offering among 5.0-liter cars and according to some accounts, replacing the Bullitt option package. Dearborn disclosed its plans along with a teaser photo, which we’ve included, that shows the Mach 1 making moves on the proving ground. The prototype disguising, such as it is, shows circular openings in the grille that just might accommodate the fog lamps that were part of the original Mach 1 grille in 1969. The rear view shows a spoiler and a quartet of huge-diameter exhaust tips. Full details are still pending, but Ford did make clear that the revived Mach 1 will stand as a bridge between less exclusive Mustang models and the outrageously potent Shelby variants. It’s undeniably a development to cheer.

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