Ford Mustang Mach 1 428 SCJ Twister Special

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Mustang Mach 1 428 SCJ Twister Special





1969 was the benchmark year for Ford Mustang in its proliferation of performance names and engines. No less than 6 factory performance Mustang models were available (GT, Boss 302, Boss 429, Shelby GT350, Shelby GT500 and the Mach 1). Additionally, seven variations of V-8s were available in the '69–'70 models; most of these also available in the new Mach 1.

Due to the Mach 1's success, the GT model was discontinued after 1969 following poor sales of 5,396 units - versus the 72,458 sales for the Mach 1. The Mustang would not wear the "GT" badge again until 1982.

The Mach 1 package was only available in the 'Sports roof' body style (previously known as the 'Fastback'); never on the coupe or convertible. Many resto-mod visual conversions have since been performed by owners and enthusiasts, but are not Mach 1's by VIN code.

The Mach 1's original recipe was simple: It started with a V8 powered 'Sportsroof' body and added numerous visual and performance enhancing items such as matte black hood treatment with hood pins, hood scoop (including optional Shaker scoop), competition suspension, chrome pop-open gas cap, revised wheels with Goodyear Polyglas tires, chrome exhaust tips (except 351W 2V), deluxe interior, unmissable livery and dealer optional chin spoiler, rear deck spoiler, and rear window louvers.

Standard equipment was a 351 cu in (5.8 L) Windsor (351W) 2V motor with a 3 speed manual transmission, and a 9" 28 spline open rear axle. A 351W 4V was optional as was a 390 cu in (6.4 L) FE, and the huge 428 cu in (7.0 L) Cobra Jet 4V with or without Ramair, and even the introduction of the "drag pack" option with the modified 428 cu in (7.0 L) Super Cobra Jet engine. A 4 speed manual or 3 speed FMX (small block)/C6 (big block) automatic transmission was optional, and the 428SCJ added a cast iron tail shaft in place of the regular aluminum one to the C6. A "traction lock" rear axle was optional, and the 428 CJ/SCJ included a "traction lock" with a 3.91 or 4.30 ratio, 31 spline axle shafts and a nodular case. In 1970, the 3.91 ratio was a "traction-lock", while the 4:30 ratio was a Detroit locker.

Mach 1s came with upgraded suspension to varying degrees dependent upon powertrain choices. Big block cars had front shock tower reinforcement, thicker sway bars (no rear bar for 69), and heavier springs and shocks. 428 CJ/SCJ 4 speed cars also came with staggered rear shocks. Standard on Mach 1s was a fierce but cosmetic hood scoop that had integrated turn-signal lights mounted in the back. A more functional option was the signature "Shaker hood", an air scoop mounted directly to the top of the motor, used to collect fresh air and so named for its tendency to "shake" above the rumbling V-8 below. The interior came complete with teak wood grain details, full sound deadening material and high-back sport bucket seats.

In 1969 endurance driver Mickey Thompson took three Mach 1 Mustangs to the Bonneville salt flats for a feature in Hot Rod magazine, in the process setting 295 speed and endurance records over a series of 500-mile and 24-hour courses.

Ford kept the Mach 1 alive into 1970 and little changed other than the visuals. The 1970 body included dual-beam headlights with the previous inner headlights becoming sport lamps and recessed taillights on a black honeycomb rear panel, side scoops behind both doors removed, revised bucket seats, deep dish sports wheel covers, as well as new side and rear badging and striping were the main visual differences. 1970 saw the previous 351W V8 engine options replaced with a new 351 cu in (5.8 L) Cleveland (351C) V8 in either 2V (2-venturi carburetor) or 4V (4-venturi carburetor) versions. The 351C 4V (M code) engine featured 11.0:1 compression and produced 300bhp (224 kW; 304 PS) at 5400 rpm. This new performance engine incorporated elements learned from the Ford 385 series engine and the Boss 302, particularly the poly-angle combustion chambers with canted valves and the thin-wall casting technology.

Ford Special Promotion Division built a handful (probably 10) of track-modified and highly-optioned R-code 1970 Mustang Pace Cars for American Raceways Inc. According to the late Terry Fritts of the Twister Special Registry, this would have been prohibitively expensive for ARI, so Special Promotions pre-sold 100 similarly equipped cars to the Kansas City District (District 53) Sales Office to subsidize the project. Thus, all Twister Specials were built first and have consecutive VINs in the 118000 range, and ARI Pace Cars have 120000-series VINs. These Specials would be used for a November 7, 1969, Total Performance Day promotion at Kansas City Raceway, and where the ARI Mustangs were both NASCAR-spec and loaded with options, the DSO 53 Kansas cars were all supposed to totally performance-oriented. The only comfort and convenience features at all were tinted glass, hubcaps and trim rings, and an AM radio. Ford was also planning to sell the ARI package as a special Pace Car edition; however, late in 1969 ARI went bankrupt.

All Twister Specials were supposed to have been built as R-code 428 Super Cobra Jet Drag Pack cars with 3.91:1 Traction-Lock differentials; however, there were only 48 SCJs in inventory, so the remainder received the new 4-barrel 351 Cleveland engine. All of them were in Grabber Orange with special Ford Mach 1 side stripes with Twister logo. They all also came with not just the Drag Pack and SCJ competition suspension; but a shaker hood, power front disc brakes and F70x14 raised white letter Polyglas tires. In the end, only 96 Mach 1 Twister Specials were built in October 1969.

Sold for: 225000 USD
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