When the 1971 Mustang Mach 1 made it’s debut, it left no doubt that Ford was still in the muscle car business.
The fastback, or sportsroof was the only option available, if you wanted to own a Mach 1 Mustang.
Ford’s continuation of the new styling inside and out for the second generation 1971 Mustang, made the car look bigger overall, which it was, but it also looked like it was going fast even when sitting at the curb.
With it’s color keyed front bumper, large chin spoiler and NASA style hood scoops ducting cold air into the engine when you ordered the optional Dual Ram Air Induction package told the world that this was still a serious road car.
Part of the new design, was a product of government safety mandates, while the other was coming up with an engine compartment big enough to shoe horn in the Big 429 cubic inch CobraJet engine, an new and completely different powerplant, from the previous year’s Boss 429 engine.
Add in the classic fastback styling, high belt line and long hood and you could spot it’s heritage a block away.
The new front design featured a color keyed urethane bumper, sports lamps in the grille and a textured black front chin spoiler.
Further enhancing the look, the hoods of cars ordered with the optional cowl induction were decorated with either matte black or argent paint and featured two functional air ducts, bringing fresh air into the motor.
Similar to the Boss 351 versions which sported a special stripe package featuring an inverted hockey stick body stripe and the words Boss 351 displayed behind the front wheel arches, the new second generation Mach l cars featured restyled lower rocker coverings and a large decal attached just behind the front wheel wells and optional upper rally stripe appearing later in the production cycle, taking the place of the base car’s chrome Mustang logo.
One of the cooler and more distinctive features of the tail light area on the 1971 models was the addition of a sweet looking honeycomb filler between the light assemblies.
Along with the completely new body, came a brand new interior. Not to be confused with the plain jane Ford Mustang, the 1971 Mustang Mach 1 featured some distinctive interior additions for their lucky owners to enjoy.
Like the 1970 Mach 1, the new car had it’s own special high back buckets, with distinctive styling and familiar comfort weave panels.
The dash featured big round gauge pods, with a tachometer on one side and speedometer on the other.
Engine and Transmission
There was a wide variety of 1971 Mustang Mach 1 specs, depending on your desires and the size of your wallet.
The base engine was a 302 cubic inch (5.0 liter) V8 with a 2 barrel carburetor.
A total of four 351 cubic inch Cleveland V8’s were available, including a 240 hp 2 barrel, 285 horsepower 351 Cleveland 4 barrel, 280 horsepower Cobrajet and the 330 horsepower Boss 351 engine.
And with all that extra real estate under the hood, there was still room for the 370 horsepower big block 429 cubic inch Cobrajet and the even more powerful 375 horsepower Super Cobrajet V8.
One of the highlights of the year, was an incredible car chase in an around the Las Vegas strip seen in the James Bond feature “Diamonds are Forever”, with Bond thrashing Tiffany Case’s (Jill St.John) red 1971 Mach l, which was an early 429 Cobrajet car, with a C6 automatic. Early cars were distinguished by the lack of the inverted hockey stick stripe seen on later cars.