There's a car graveyard deep in the heart of Alaska that's hidden some of the rarest Ford Mustangs away from prying eyes for decades – including a 429 Cobra Jet-fitted Mach 1
Tom Cotter is a veteran when it boils down to unearthing classic cars with amazing provenance, but in the latest episode of Hagerty’s Barn Find Hunter, he’s hit the mother lode. Venturing into deepest Alaska, Tom has located a Ford Mustang graveyard containing a rare Mach 1 fitted with a 429 Cobra Jet engine, amid a lashing of other special pony cars.
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Very few of the vehicles languishing within the Fairbanks boneyard would make easy restoration projects, the majority ripped apart or rusted beyond salvation. Some abandoned shells have been gutted of their drivetrain, while never-used panels once delivered fresh from the Ford factory rest between tufts of sprawling grasses.
To most passers-by, this is simply an oxidising pile of corroded sludge. Yet, to any self-respecting American petrolhead, this is Mustang nirvana. Most of the vehicles range from 1964 through to 1972, Mother Nature puncturing the floorpans and entangling each interior with roots, moss and wildlife – but beyond the encroaching greensward rest some pretty special cars.
From the earliest of big block Mach 1s to low-mileage first-generation coupés, these Mustangs belonged to a man by the name of Ray McLeod. Sadly, Ray recently passed away, prompting his widow to contact Tom to help identify the vehicles. And, boy, did Ray have some cool stuff.
However, once machine is more special than most. Only one Mustang on the property is stored away within a garage – a 1972 Mach 1. Ray clearly cared about this car a lot. That’s because it’s an incredibly rare combination of options; a Boss 429 Cobra Jet, ram-air car with a factory four-speed manual, factory air conditioning and lighting pack. This is one seriously exceptional beast.
The ram-air Mustang is surrounded by its own components, with the engine in storage upfront alongside the transmission. Cabin trim litters the garage, indicating that this was Ray’s cherished restoration project. While Tom notes that there is no clutch pedal, the VIN plate indicates it was once a manual car, meaning that a previous owner previously had it converted to automatic transmission.
Interestingly, the Mustang was built in December of 1970 but not registered for a further two years. Originally painted in bright blue metallic with knit interior, documentation proves that the 72’ Mach 1 was indeed built with close ratio manual transmission. According to Hagerty’s valuation guide, in its current state, the Mach 1 is worth at least $27,400 (£21,500, €24,000). Once resorted, this would be a $81,000 (£63,500, €71,000) muscle car.
Everything on the lot is for sale, as the family wish to part ways with these Mustangs and the associated parts. There’s some properly scarce stuff in there, so don’t hang around, as these vehicles are sure to be snapped up quickly.