1969 Ford Mustang Grande & Mach 1

The Grande version of the Mustang was aimed at the luxury end of the market.
The Grande version of the Mustang was aimed at the luxury end of the market.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

Though they were targeted at different markets, the 1969 Ford Mustang Grande and Mach 1 each had options that set them apart from the everyday Mustang.

On the exterior of the Ford Mustang Mach 1, the long fastback profile rolled past tiny swing-out quarter windows, ending with a gracefully curved integral spoiler. Dual reflective stripes decorated the spoiler and quarter-panel extension; two-tone striping adorned bodysides.

Other differences from the garden-variety SportsRoof fastback included a special grille, black honeycomb rear applique, and a racy dome airscoop atop the hood's matte-black center section. Neither fastback retained Mustang's former pillar-mounted air extractor.

Every Mach 1 carried GT-style equipment including E70 Wide-Oval belted whitewalls on styled chrome wheels, competition springs and shocks, and quick-fill gas cap. Racing mirrors faced both the driver and passenger. High-back buckets were trimmed in vinyl, and the driver handled a three-spoke wood-rimmed steering wheel. Teak woodtone decorated both the dash and the door panels. Low-gloss hood/cowl paint eased eyestrain when the going got tough, and pin-type latches held down the hood.

The Ford Mustang Grande was a Mustang of far different hue, aimed at another target. Focused more on luxuriant ride than hot motion, the Grande could have any Mustang engine, starting with the 200- or 250-cid six, on up through any of half a dozen V-8s (all the way to the Cobra Jet).

Decorated by narrow two-tone stripes, racing mirrors, and wire-style wheel covers, Grandes had a manual three-speed or optional SelectShift, with T-bar gearshift lever. Black and white vinyl roofs were available. Passengers reveled in knitted vinyl and hopsack cloth bucket seats, while vinyl-trimmed door panels wore teak-toned accent appliques. Wood-tone also highlighted the dashboard. More than twice the usual amount of insulation helped soak up noise and vibrations.

A Mach 1 sold for $3139, while $2866 bought a six-cylinder Grande -- this at a time when the base Mustang went for $2635. Ford ads promoted the fact that a modified Mach 1 held 295 USAC land speed records, achieved on the salt flats of Bonneville.

The 1969 Ford Mustang Grande could be ordered with anything from a 200-cid six to the 428 Cobra-Jet.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

Despite the popularity of the Mach 1 and Grande, total Mustang output (not including Boss versions) slumped to 299,870 for 1969, down from 317,404 the year before and close to twice that total in 1966. Yet without the additional selection, the year might have ended at an even lower point.

Though the Mach 1 and Grande nameplates lasted through the early 1970s, they had a hard time capturing as many customers as in their opening season. However, this was due more to the changing marketplace than to any deficiencies in the cars themselves, for these are prime examples of what Detroit could accomplish when its imagination was given free rein.

Read detailed specifications for the 1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 and Grande on the next page.

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