I recently bought a '71 Mach 1--it is in absolutely great shape, no rust at all (AZ car supposedly), very decent paint, good interior, etc. Basically I have a 33 y/o car that looks like it is less than 10 y/o. The only real problem with the car is the engine--it is a 351C-4V, bone stock from what I can tell (it even still has exhaust manifolds) and it feels very tired. Also, the car is an auto (C6), I had originally planned on changing this to a TKO like is in my '69 Mach, but the more I drive the '71 around the less opposed to the auto I become, so I have decided to ditch the 5-speed conversion idea. So, to get the power up to a little more respectable level, I am going to concentrate on the engine.
Here is the dilemma--I have a basically fresh (probably less than 500 miles on it) "built" 460 sitting in the garage right now--balanced, forged pistons, custom cam, etc. All it needs is a set of aluminum heads and it would be a really killer engine. All I would need to drop this in the '71 would be accessory brackets, headers, etc. I already have a big-block C6 as well. I have always wanted a big-block Mustang by the way.
On the other hand, I almost hate to do this to such a relatively pristine car--the other option would be to build up a 351C and drop it in. This would keep it more original, but would end up costing about the same or more as the 460 because I would basically need to do a total rebuild, plus if I go this route I will get aluminum heads for the 351C.
I do want this thing to have very respectable performance, and I am never planning on turning it into a garage queen or concours show car.
So--what do you think? 460 or 351C?
1969 Mach 1 351C-4V, TKO, 3.89 Detroit Locker
1971 Mach 1 466 CID, C6, 3.50 T-Lok Light Pewter Metallic
1996 Mystic Cobra, really wants a supercharger