Featured Builds » Jeffery Cruz's 1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1
Jeffery Cruz's 1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 R-code 428 Cobra Jet
Checking out a Rare Diamond-in-the-Rough Double R-code Mach 1
By: Miles Cook
Photography: Miles Cook
It's fair to say that many vintage '65-'73 Mustang enthusiasts would likely not argue with the notion that the '68-'70 428 Cobra Jet cars were the pinnacle of big-block Mustang performance.
And while the super specialized Boss 429s built only in 1969 and 1970 are an equal legend in their own right, the Cobra Jets such as this Royal Maroon, R-code 428 Cobra Jet Mach 1 and its Q-code non ram-air sibling were considerably more attainable in terms of price and production compared to the less-than 1,400 Boss '9s produced. In fact, it has often been thought that a good-running 428 Cobra Jet Mustang will usually go toe-to-toe with a stock Boss 429 and maybe even outrun the Boss by a car-length or so. In any case, the '69-'70 fastback body-style (also known as a Sports Roof) are certainly among the most desirable early Mustangs of all--regardless of what engine is equipped in these cars.
Speaking of desirability, one of the really cool features of this car is the "double" R-code status of its VIN. The first "R" (the second character in the VIN) means it was built at Ford's San Jose, California assembly plant. ("F"-code cars were built at Dearborn, Michigan, while "T" indicates a car from Metuchen, New Jersey.) The second "R" (fifth character in the VIN) is the big one in the form of the ram-air shaker induction on top of the 428 Cobra Jet FE powerplant.
Furthermore on the spectrum of intrigue, this particular car's rather forlorn condition doesn't have as much of a detrimental effect on the interest level among devoted vintage Mustang lovers as you might think. Its level of completeness and originality are among the most important highlights as is.
Owner Jeffery Cruz acquired the car about two years ago from the original owner's family and it had been sitting for 36 years. Furthermore, as one of the most asked-about cars in the San Diego Auto museum, its worn-in patina is testament to the popularity of the weathered trend these days. In the end, these big-block CJ Mustangs--whether a relic such as this example or a perfectly-restored showpiece--are clearly one of the greatest high-performance Ford cars of all time.
Model: Mustang Mach 1
Engine: Ram air 428 Cobra Jet
Transmission: C6 three-speed automatic
Suspension: Stock 1969 Mustang Mach 1
Paint: Original Royal Maroon
Interior: Stock 1969 Mustang deluxe
Gauges: Stock 1969 Mustang
Brakes: Stock 1969 Mustang front disc/rear drum