This Cleveland-powered matching-numbers Mustang will deliver plenty of summer excitement, says our road tester, Charlie Calderwood
Not all Mustangs are made equal. If you fancy living the American dream but want something that will stand out from the sea of standard fastbacks and coupés, then you could own a Mach 1 for the price of a Big Healey. This matching-numbers example was built at the San Jose plant in February 1970 with the optional Cleveland engine.
The exterior is in terrific shape, reflecting a recent restoration in the US not long before it was imported into the UK in summer 2018. We couldn’t fault the Grabber Orange paintwork, panel fit is largely good and the underside is straight but the bonnet sits slightly higher than it should. One of the circular bonnet clamps doesn’t depress quite fully either so the two issues could be connected. The vinyl stripes and rear window louvres are in good shape, as are the Cragar steel dished vintage wheels, which wear little-worn BF Goodrich tyres dated 2018.
The inside looks a lot more original than the pristinely restored exterior. The dash bezels have lost a bit of their chrome finish and the panelling around the rear seats is scuffed. The steering wheel is missing two of the plastic pieces that fit between the spokes though one is still in the car.
The vinyl coverings on the seats are fresh and both the faux wood trim and the top of the dashboard are clean and unblemished. The carpets are in good shape, though we did spot a small coolant leak in the passenger footwell, which the vendor says will be sorted before sale.
It’s pretty clean under the bonnet though a light layer of dust reflects the fact that is has been driven a few hundred miles since it was last cleaned. We saw no evidence of leaks from the Cleveland V8 but then we wouldn’t we expect to because one of the receipts in the large folder that documents its history in the years immediately before it came to the UK is for a full engine re-build in San Diego. The ancillaries and wiring look fresh and a new starter motor was fitted shortly after its arrival in the UK.
Getting the huge V8 going from cold takes a little feathering of the throttle but it settles to an even idle after about 30 seconds. There’s a bit of a flat spot under light throttle and we’re pretty sure that we heard a front fire (where the flame front goes up the inlet manifold) at one point; the supplying dealer says that this will be looked into before sale.
A heavy right foot sees the V8 perform perfectly with dollops of lazy power and a thrilling soundtrack. The three-speed FMX Select Shift Automatic works as it should and kicks down promptly. The car stops fine and there are no extraordinary noises from the suspension – the minor squeaking we heard is normal with these cars.
This car should be high on your list if you prefer your Mustang with a bit of Seventies chic rather than Sixties cool. It is in terrific condition throughout, runs on the button and has the bonus of having retained its original build spec, rather than being a hodgepodge. This is top dollar for a 1970 Mustang, but it seems to warrant it.
Price £42,500 Engine 5766cc ohv V8, Motorcraft four-choke M-Code carburettor Power 300bhp @ 5400rpm Torque 380lb ft @ 3400rpm Top speed 134mph 0-60mph 6.1sec Fuel consumption 18mpg Length 4750mm Width 1824mm