Steve LaRiviere 1970 Mach 1 - Restoration Progress
[Image: Nose1.jpg]

I can trace my desire to own a '70 Mach 1 to way back in September of 1969. My dad was buying a new car and I went with him to Christensen Ford in Kennebunk, Maine to look at cars. My dad test drove and bought a Winter Blue '69 Torino four door sedan. While he was dealing with the salesman I absolutely went bananas with the Lime Gold '70 Boss 302 in the showroom. It was such a cool car, sitting there with spoiiers and rear slats, all sassy and tough looking.

Outside there was also another hot Mustang, a Black Mach 1. I looked at the diecast rocker moldings and thought it looked like art. I couldn't decide if I liked the Mach or the Boss better.

Back inside, I asked another salesman if I could take one of the Mustang brochures. He said I could, so I sat on the couch and studied it, page by page. My dad finished his dealings with the car and told me it was time to go. The saleman was putting paper plates on the Torino. "Put that back." my dad said, referring to the brochure. "The man said I could have it!" I protested. "You're not buying any car any time soon, put it back!." I obeyed. Thanks dad.

From that point on, Mustangs caught my eye whenever I saw them. I couldn't believe my luck when one Sunday in the church parking lot a Bright Yellow '69 Boss 302 appeared! From that day on it appeared every week, aways parked in more or less the same spot. My dad would less me drool over it every week before we went in. One week my mind nearly blew a circuit when a Grabber Blue '70 Boss 302 showed up in the same parking lot. I couldn't decide which one to drool over with my alloted five minutes each week until my dad would say "Ok son, let's go in now." I tried to split my time equally between the two. The Yellow '69 was there every week, Grabber Blue would skip a few weeks at a time. One day I noticed the owner of the '69 Boss 302 had a blond wife that wore very high mini skirts, blatantly ignoring the 'Scantily attired women are requested NOT to enter this church!' sign at the front door. I didn't mind, but my mother and sisters had plenty to say about it...

The first '70 Mustang SportsRoof I bought was when I was working as a tech at a Buick dealership in 1979. It was a real nice looking car, shiny Royal Maroon with black interior, and a 302/C4 drivetrain. They had taken it in trade and I had gotten it to prep for the used car line. At the time I was thinking of garaging my Sprint for the winter so I asked about buying it. The owner liked me and said I could buy it for what they gave the owner for trade, which was $550. I remember I had to get a loan at the bank for it. It was a great car, really quick for a stock 2 barrel and I remember when I used to kick in passing gear on the highway it would rev like crazy, you'd swear it was going to grenade itself. As I made it through the winter it became obvious the car had a lot of rust underneath, and the heavy undercoating underneath began to fall off revealing lots of rust. {like they used to tell me in the business, the buyers are liars, and hiding damage was a common occurrance.} One time, driving to work on a cold winter day on the highway 3 of the 4 wheelcovers flew off revealing to my surprise rusty and crusty wheels. I began to wonder if the previous owners used to park the car in the ocean. That car introduced me to the early Mustang's crappy power steering system, every cold winter day was a wrestling match with the steering wheel until I had gone a mile or two. It did wonders for my biceps. The next spring I started having problems with a leaky radiator that would spring a new leak only a week after I would solder the last leak. Then one day I was changing oil on a lift and starting peeling undercoating off the frame rails only to find holey rusty metal another mechanic talked me into selling the car to him and buying his '73 Pinto for $75 and I was no longer a '70 Mustang owner. He quickly flipped it, and I saw the car about a year later jacked up in the rear sky high and wearing some huge rear wheels and tires. I was amazed the car was still on the road, knowing what I did about it's framerails.

I've spent the years since 1969 always looking at Mustangs, and all my driving years searching for nice Mustangs I could afford, but I really wanted a '69 or '70. I came close a few times, once I was looking over a '69 Mach 1, Lime Gold with a 351W/FMX and as I crawled out from underneath, and decided I was going to buy it, the owner suddenly and without explanation threw a fit, saying "You punks are wasting my time! You don't want to buy this car, get the hell out of here right now!" Neither my friend nor I had any idea what set him off, we were just excitedly looking the car over, and I believe we were even complimentary. But that one got away.

Then there was the time I almost bought a white '69 Boss 429. Around '78 or '79 I was friends with some guys that worked at an auto part store and I used to go in and shoot the breeze with them from time to time. We used to give each other crap because while I was a Ford guy, they were all either Mopar or GM guys. One time I went in a one of the guys said "Hey, want to buy a Boss Mustang?" He told me his mom had a big block Mustang she bought new, and they always hated it. Supposedly it drank fuel like crazy, was always leaking oil, and breaking down and it had just developed a case of no oil pressure. His mother had had enough and just wanted it gone. Supposedly it didn't have much rust because it ran like crap in the cold so they didn't drive it much in the winter. I agreed to go look at it. The second I saw it I was stunned, it was a white '69 Boss 429, a few dings and dents here and there but a pretty nice car. The engine was massive and filty. Hard to believe that people drove Boss 429s like regular cars, but they did back then. He said they even bought the car pretty cheap because it had been sitting at the dealer for over a year, nobody wanted it. His mother bought the car because of the discount, she didn't care that it was a Boss 429 and because of all the trouble she had with it she had grown to not like it. Her son was a rabid Chevy guy, so to him it was "Just a Ford." He got the keys and started it up and ran it for a few minutes, it didn't make any noise but it didn't have oil pressure either. They wanted $1000 for it, but in my stupid 18-19 year old mind I didn't want a car I'd have to put money into, and maybe get into 'a can of worms.' To this day I can't believe I passed the car up. He sold it a few days later and I never heard about it again. The real ironic part is right around that time I started working at a Buick dealer, taking GM training seminars {one of which was engine repair} and starting working on engines right and left. What I was afraid of, I have no idea. For all I know the car might have only needed a oil sending unit.

Man, it hurts to be stupid.

Well, it only took a little over 31 years, but I finally got a '70 Mach 1.

I bought a reproduction 1970 Mustang brochure, too.

Neat story!
Gotta love the before and after pictures :)

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