Courtesy of GAA Classic Cars
  • 428 Super Cobra Jet R-code
  • Automatic
  • Power steering
  • Power disc brakes
  • Factory shaker hood
  • Factory oil cooler
  • Frame-off restoration to show-standards
  • From the Davis Collection

SCM Analysis


Vehicle:1970 Ford Mustang Mach 1 428 SCJ
Years Produced:1970
Number Produced:40,970
Original List Price:$3,271
SCM Valuation:$64,000
Tune Up Cost:$250
Chassis Number Location:Tag under windshield
Engine Number Location:Front right-hand cylinder bank
Alternatives:1970 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 RS, 1970 Dodge Challenger 440, 1970 Plymouth ’Cuda 440
Investment Grade:B

This car, Lot ST0112, sold for $63,720, including buyer’s premium, at GAA Classic Cars’ Greensboro, NC, sale held February 27–29, 2020.

Power stable

When introduced in 1969, the new Mach 1 was one of six high-performance Mustangs on offer: GT, Mach 1, Boss 302 and 429, Shelby GT350 and 500. The basic premise was to combine performance, appearance and luxury upgrades into one package.

Buyers had five engine choices: the new base in 351-ci 250-hp/2-bbl and 300-hp/4-bbl trim, the venerable 320-hp 390, and a pair of 428 Cobra Jets: Ram Air R-code and the non-Ram Q-code, both rated at 335 hp.

Either Cobra Jet could be turned into a “Super Cobra Jet” by ordering the “Drag Pack,” which featured minor internal upgrades, quarter-mile-friendly numerically higher axle ratios and an external oil cooler.

Visually, the Mach 1 featured a blacked-out hood with NASCAR-style pins, dual chrome exhaust tips, a reflective tape stripe, dual color-keyed mirrors, a deluxe interior with two-tone seats, and wood trim on dash, doors and console.

Impressive performance numbers helped bring impressive sales numbers. The Mach 1 was an immediate hit, selling more than 72,000 — nearly a quarter of the 302,000 Mustangs sold that year. It became an icon, the name surviving until 1978 and revived in 2003–04.

Sophomore-year blues

For 1970, the big Mustang news was the absence of the 390 and indeed the entire GT model, while the Boss 302 was more widely available and, unlike the ’69, even listed in the catalog.

The Mach 1 shared the minor body revisions to the ’69 shell, most notably a retreat from quad headlights. The tape stripe was replaced by a large die-cast panel that ran the length of the rockers, a honeycomb applique found its way to the rear panel, and the hood pins were replaced with Shelby-like twist units.

1970 also saw increased competition in the marketplace, with the introduction of the second-generation Camaro/Firebird and the Mopar E-body Barracudas/Challengers. The net result was Mustang sales fell to 191,000, with Mach 1 sales dropping 43% to 41,000.

Rich Golisch, editor of, says the fall of the Mach 1 wasn’t as bad as it may look. “The actual percentage of Mach 1s sold from total Mustang production isn’t that different, falling from 24% to more than 21%. Also, you have to remember that in 1970, Ford sold about 7,000 Boss 302s, which certainly cannibalized some potential Mach 1 sales that year.”

Golisch also notes, “In today’s market, generally a similarly equipped ’69 will sell for more than a ’70. I think some of the ’70–specific elements may hurt it. The performance crowd seems to find the heavy lower side cladding a bit too much.”


The GAA Classic Cars example has got to be considered the ultimate spec for a ’70: 428 Ram Air R-code, Drag Pack, 4-speed with an impressive frame-off restoration in the very period G-code Medium Lime. It’s reportedly numbers-matching with supporting documents and Marti Report.

The car presents with excellent body lines and chrome and sits on correct wheels and tires. The only deviation from stock is a thin pinstripe that follows the bodyline on the front fenders and door.

The interior looks new, with great seat covers, carpets, instruments and dash. Underhood is likely better than new, spotless with correct factory stamps and stickers and correct hoses, belts and wires. Like many of the cars we see, it has a modern battery in place of the original Autolite — something easily changed.

A great buy

The ACC Pocket Price Guide gives a $64,000 valuation for a 428-equipped ’70 Mach 1 — a healthy bump over the $39,500 for a 351 car. The price guide reports a recent 7% increase and that looks correct, as five years ago the value ranged from $30k to $46k.

The GAA sale is just a bit above the most recent sale of a ’70 428 in our Premium Auction Database: a condition 1- yellow example that brought $58,300 at the Barrett-Jackson Northeast sale in June 2019 (ACC# 6906921).

Underscoring the value of this example, it’s currently listed for sale by a large Midwest dealer with an asking price of $79,998.

All in all, this was a great buy on a really nice example, and it demonstrates that even top-shelf examples of popular models are still within reach of average enthusiasts.

(Introductory details courtesy of GAA Classic Cars.)

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