How much is a $60k Mustang worth?
Every cent — plus change.
That’s not quite what it costs to buy a new Mach 1 — if you don’t opt for everything — but even if you do, it’d be worth the spend.
Because of the drive.
What It Is
The Mach 1 is a functionally and visually amped-up version of the Mustang GT: the iconic muscle car Ford has been building since 1964. It comes with everything the regular GT has, including the 5.0-liter V8, but it also comes with its output kicked up to 480 horsepower — along with a bellowing four-pipe-tipped exhaust system, vise-grip Brembo brakes tucked inside 19-inch light allow wheels, track-ready suspension and exterior/interior visuals to match.
Plus, it has some parts picked from the discontinued GT350 and the still-available but much more spendy (and automatic-only) GT500.
The Mach 1 stickers for $51,720 — a $15,600 bump up over the asking price of a base Mustang GT, which is a helluva car itself and worth every cent of that, too.
But some things are worth more, even if you can’t put a price on them.
The Mach 1 replaces the Bullitt GT as the maximum Mustang … or at least, the most maximum Mustang you can still get with a manual transmission now that the $59,150 GT350 is off the roster.
Memories of 1968 — and 2020.
The power — and the clutch.
Finesse that’s lacking in larger rivals such the Challenger and practicality absent in rivals such as the Camaro.
What’s Not So Good
2021 price tag — plus tax.
Small (16-gallon) fuel tank makes for short hops in between stops.
Back seat legroom isn’t terrible for the type of car it is, but headroom is — the price you pay for that sexy swept-back roofline.
Under The Hood
In 1968 — when the first Mach 1 was announced — the strongest engine it could be ordered with was the Super Cobra Jet 428 (7 liters), and it made 335 advertised horsepower. In 2021, the Mustang’s standard 2.3-liter “Ecoboost” turbocharged, four-cylinder engine makes 310 horsepower.
It takes more to impress, 50 years hence.
Enter today’s Mach 1.
It comes standard with a 480 horsepower, 5-liter V8, paired with either a six-speed manual transmission or a ten-speed automatic.
On The Road
You have no doubt heard of hybrid vigor. The Mach 1 is very … vigorous . It blends the everyday driveability of the regular Mustang GT with the additional pep in its step of the GT350, which was not an everyday driver due to the racetrack-intended, 5.2-liter, flat-plane crank’d V8 that spins to 8,250 RPM and makes its peak 526 horsepower at 7,500 RPM — an engine speed that’s hard to achieve in between red lights, on the street.
Also, the GT350 was manual-only, precisely because its engine was born to rev and manuals are the better tool for that. The Mach gives you the option to go automatic without sacrificing snap.
At The Curb
The Mustang — and not just the Mach 1 — is a very different expression of the muscle car concept relative to the other two muscle cars extant: Camaro and Challenger.
The Challenger is bigger, so it has more room — but it’s also more ponderous for that reason. The Camaro is about the same size as the Mustang, but it has a trunk so tiny (9.1 cubic feet) they might as well not have bothered.
The Mustang’s 13.5 cubic foot trunk is actually about as much trunk as in many current mid-sized sedans, which makes this car much more feasible for everyday use than the Camaro, without being as massive as the Challenger is.
Is $51k a preposterous sum to pay for a Mustang? Ask the man who owns a ’69 Mach 1 429 Cobra Jet Mustang today. If he wanted to — and what fool would want to — he could sell that ’69 and be able to buy two ’21s, today — plus gas money.
How much will a ’21 Mach 1 buy 50 years hence?
A car such as the Mach 1 might be worth its curb weight in gold by then — and not just because of the historic value of a car such as this. We have likely reached the apogee of the latter-day muscle car; and we may not ever see another apogee. As in the early ’70s, forces are arrayed against cars such as this, and this time, it may not be possible to overcome them with engineering.
The Bottom Line
They say speed is just a question of money — as in how fast do you want to go? But there are some things that transcend money.
The Mach 1 is one of them.
Gather ye horsepower, while ye may.
(SET IMAGE) epe072721adAP.jpg (END IMAGE) (SET CAPTION) View the Mustang Mach 1 this week. (END CAPTION)
To find out more about Eric and read his past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com. Eric’s latest book, “Don’t Get Taken for a Ride!” is available now.
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Last Updated: Monday, Jul 26, 2021 12:25:33 -0700