MUSTANG MACH 1
The Ford Mustang Mach 1 is a performance-oriented option package of the Ford Mustang, originally introduced by Ford in August 1968 as a package for the 1969 model year. The Mach 1 title adorned performance oriented Mustang offerings until the original retirement of the moniker in 1978.
As part of a Ford heritage program, the Mach 1 package returned in 2003 as a high performance version of the New Edge platform. Visual connections to the 1969 model were integrated into the design to pay homage to the original. This generation of the Mach 1 was discontinued after the 2004 model year, with the introduction of the fifth-generation Mustang.
Ford first used the name “Mach 1” in its 1959 display of a concept called the “Levacar Mach I” at the Ford Rotunda. This concept vehicle used a cushion of air as propulsion on a circular dais.
The Ford Mustang was successfully introduced in April 1964 as a sporty “pony car” to attract younger buyers into Ford products. After a few years of development, Ford saw the need to create performance Mustangs to compete with GM and their release of the Chevrolet Camaro and Pontiac Firebird.
As the performance war continued, the Mustang’s platform and engine bay were progressively redesigned to accommodate larger engine blocks. Late in the 1968 model year, Ford introduced the 428 cu in (7.0 L) Cobra Jet FE engine in a small group of Mustang GTs and into the 1968 Shelby GT500KR. This was a strong performer and indicated the direction of the 1969 Mustang. However, “GT” wasn’t a name that would initiate images of street screeching performance; hence the introduction of the Mach 1 title.