My "relationship" with my Mach 1.
#1
I had the good fortune to go to the local Ford dealer (Don MacMillan Ford) off the Katy Freeway in Houston, Tx with my dad where we ordered my Mustang exactly as I wanted it, in late 1970.
While the lot was practically filled with all manner of new 302 and 351 powered Mustangs, and even a few 6-bangers ("paint-shakers", my dad called them), there were no 429 Mustangs in stock. In fact, the salesman checked and said there were no 429 Mustangs at any of the area Ford dealers.
He said almost nobody would "floorplan" or stock a 429 in thier inventory because they just did not sell very well.
He said if I wanted a 429 we would have order it.

They tried valiantly to make a deal on a 351 Mach 1, but I had my heart set on that big rumpin' 429 bad-boy.
I filled out the order with the salesman: It was simple to order...I wanted everything on it.
429 CJ ram-air, auto trans, A/C , fold-down seat, power windows, stripes, magnums, spoiler, etc...
In fact, the only two items not included were rear defrost and interval wipers.

$5514 we payed...up front, no discount.

The car came in about 2 months later, and I was instantly smitten with "my" car. I felt a wierd kinship to the car because I special ordered it. It was cool knowing that this particular car was made specifically for me, and not just some random dealer inventory unit destined to sit around and collect dust, with occasional abusive blasts around the dealership by salesmen and prospective customers until it was eventually sold to someone who would thrash it for a few years and then dump it on a trade in for something else.
No, this car felt like it was a special horse among the herd to me.

I was only 14 when I got it, so it sat in the garage for almost 3 years, undriven by anyone, until I got my drivers license.

I would occasionally go to the garage and fiddle about with stuff, in anticipation of when I could finally get it out and put some miles on it.

When I finally got to drive...and to drive this car...I was ecstatic! I clearly remember how I felt driving this car around that first week, and I think about that feeling every time I drive the car to this very day.
I started driving in '74, so the Mustang IIs were out, and many people were already beginning to mourn the loss of the "old" Mustang.
The big-body 71-73s were never really popular when new, so there wasn't much love for these at the time.
It seems odd now, but the 429s were kind of unknown to many back then...I had many people who thought I must have put the engine in, thinking that all Mach 1s came with 351 Clevelands exclusively. That demonstrates just how impactful the 351-C really was on motorheads back then.

I drove the car full-time for over 25 years. I treated it badly...I never realized how important it was to me then, or how important it would become to me as the years went by. Several fender-benders, a few crapola quickie paint jobs and a teenagers lack of respect took its toll. My affection and care for it waxed and waned a bit over the years, but I never lost all interest in it. I never once considered selling it, and even if I wanted to...it was worth nothing anyway.
These cars don't seem to have had much of a used-car value in thier life. Originally they were just worthless old gas-guzzling beheamoths that were not considered "classic" Mustangs...that honor typically extended only up to the 1970 models.
These cars could be found very cheap everywhere in the mid to late 70s.
Then, seemingly overnight ( to me anyhow), these big-bodies were let into the "club".
Around the early to mid eighties, it changed quickly. I started getting pbone calls from people I had not talked to in years: "Hey, you still got that junky old Mustang sitting around somewhere"? And other calls like that, all from people looking to "get in" on the latest craze.
Of course, I never considered selling it...but no one offered me crazy money either.

That car was special to me when it was nothing special to anyone else. That car drove me and both of my wives away from our respective marriages to our honeymoon sight.
All 5 of my kids came home from the hospital in that car after being born. One may even have started thier life in that car 9 months earlier.
I went to my graduations in that car, and have taken several annivesaries in that car.

I nicknamed the car "old boots" many years ago. Nothing is more durable or fits better than old pair of broken-in boots.
New boots are just...new boots. A new car is just...a new car.

I'd rather have the old boots and the old car.
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#2
Great story Kit.

I can hardly imagine having bought a new car at fourteen years of age and still having it forty-three years latter at fifty-seven. It must have been quite the experience as well to have the car sitting in the garage "waiting" on you for the first couple of years.

Add a few pictures to the story if you would so that others can see "old boots" as well.
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#3
Sounds like both you and old boots learned the hard way that the bond between Man and Machine can be very strong. Sounds like it could be indestructible in your case. Continue living the dream and never throw out your old boots! JTS 71 Mach1
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#4
Sign0175 NOW THATS DEDICATION TO A VEHICLE. EVEN AS A KID NOT HAVING THE PROPER RESPECT FOR THE CAR YOU STILL HUNG ON TO IT BECAUSE THERE WAS A SPECIAL BOND. I FEEL THE EXACT SAME WAY ABOUT MY 65 BOUGHT IN PARTS AND PIECES FOR $200 IN 1985 AND FIXED UP HELPING MY DAD. AT THE TIME WHEN THE CAR WAS FINISHED IN 1987 THE FORD DEALER WERE GIVING AWAY DASH PLAQUES WITH THE NEW CARS THAT THE SAID SPECIALLY BULIT FOR WITH THE NEW OWNERS NAME ENGRAVED ON IT. MY DAD PICKED ONE OF THOSE UP AND PUT MY NAME ON IT AND IT IS STILL ON THE DASH UNDER THE RADIO TODAY Biggrin I BELIEVE YOU HAVE HIT IT RIGHT ON THE HEAD WITH THE OLD BOOTS REFERENCE. SSig_goodjob
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#5
That is a stunning story. And I thought my daugher did well getting her Mach 1 two years before her learner licence.
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