Well after lurking here reading the build threads of others, it is time I stop procrastinating and get my build thread going.
This is going to be a long term project, likely 3 years or more, ideally will be done in 2021 or sooner. The build started with a mostly rust free two owner California car. Although I was not specifically after a Mach 1, I was after a 1970 fastback. The end product will be a Boss 302 tribute car, however the 302 will be a 2nd generation Coyote.
Before anyone gets annoyed with changing a Mach 1 into a Boss 302 tribute, please note that the original owner nuked the original 351 Cleveland and replaced it with a 302 of unknown origin. When purchased, the car did not run so there was no plan to restore the unknown stock engine. The original owner also destroyed the original Calypso Corral orange paint by doing several a really poor repaints in a silver blue metallic. Given the original engine, transmission, and paint are gone, any attempt to restore the car would cost far more than the gain.
So my build plan is as follows:
The car will be a Trans Am look 1970 Boss 302 tribute. No hood scoop, but with all the Boss 302 graphics modified somewhat from the original layout. I want to combine the 1969 Mach 1 hood treatment with the Boss 302 side stripes. A good example for the look is the 1969 Gateway Mustang built for Auto Trader magazine.
Body modifications will be very limited to removing the Mach 1 rocker mouldings and tail trim. No final decision on shaving door handles as yet, but I do like those trick door handles that Kindigit design sells.
Front Suspension will be the high HP front clip, splined anti-roll bar, 13” Wilwoods, and dual adjustable shocks from Total Control Products. The shock towers will be removed as part of the front clip installation to make room for the Coyote engine.
Rear suspension will be TCP g-link rear. I am staying with stock rear tubs to maintain the rear fold down rear seat option. Going dual adjustable coil-overs with splined rear sway bar. Rear tires will be 295, with 305 as possibility.
Wheels will like be Magnum 500 look in a 18” size. I like larger wheels than stock but just large enough to clear the larger brake rotors and calipers. I would like to see 255’s up front and 295’s at the rear.
Interior will be mostly stock appearing with some updates. I plan to redo the Mach 1 seats with new more highly bolstered foam to keep original look but improve comfort and ability to stay planted in the seat. AC is a must and power windows are likely. Modern Dakota Digital analog instruments to replace the original gauges.
Motor/Trans – Second Gen Coyote with 6R80 automatic. Not sure if the engine will be left stock or modified with Boss 302 intake and new cams. I may just leave it stock to begin with and modify later should I decide to seek more power. Also considering Borla stack injection as an option.
I am looking to build a vintage looking car with modern engine and suspension. Looking for a chassis that can handle the added HP and handle well enough to be auto crossed at times.
For color, although I like the Penske orange, but my wife hates orange. Second choice is the Ford metallic black with a dark metallic gray for the striping. Stripes will be gloss so entire body can be clear coated and color sanded. Stripes will have a subtle “phantom” look rather than a bright look at me appearance. Another possibility is a dark cherry red pearl and staying with the dark metallic gray for the stripping.
So far I have taken the car down to not much more than a shell. The only serious rust issue is the lower cowl is rusted through is several places. I am hoping the repairs can be limited to patch panels, but access is limited to the openings in the upper patch panel. A new cowl assembly has been purchased, so full replacement is now more likely.
The OEM front sub-frame has been cut from the car and the TCP front clip positioned and tack welded. I am cutting out the remainder of the rear frame rails to make room for the new lower TCP frame rails.
Here are a few pics of the car after it arrived home in late 2016.