For once, the car parked in the open was for sale.
Jarrod Frankum has been looking for a Mach 1 Mustang since he found a set of faded 3×5 photos in his dad’s tool chest in 2009. Then 16 years old, Jarrod got a good look at the 1969 that his father Royce had driven in high school back in 1982, and a 1970 that he had bought a year after that. He might have stared a little too long, as it woke his inner car guy.
For the next 11 years, Jarrod searched for a decent Mach 1 that wasn’t either marked up through the roof or a total rust bucket. To ease some of the frustration, he built a Mach 1 styled skateboard to ride to and from classes through college. He was riding that very skateboard through his neighborhood in Lubbock, Texas, when he saw this Mach 1 parked on ramps under a carport.
Jarrod recalled thinking, “Man, this guy’s not going to sell the car. Just forget about it. I passed the house, but something said, ‘just turn around and go knock on the door’.” So he did.
The owner, Bryan Hamilton, wasn’t interested in selling the car that night, but the sincerity of Jarrod’s story was hard to ignore. The next day, Jarrod got a call. “You live close by, come on over,” said Bryan. Jarrod grabbed a flashlight, hopped on his skateboard, and went to take a closer look at his dream Mach 1.
The car had been sitting since the late ’90s, as Bryan collected parts for a street restoration. There was some minor rust, and the steering column had been removed to deter thieves, but otherwise it was an original 351-2V powered Mach 1 with an automatic transmission.
Since then, Bryan had retired and grown weary of the restoration. He had been buying parts for years, but hadn’t been able to complete the car. In Lubbock, there is a rule against cars on blocks being visible from the street, and the city had posted a Junk Vehicle Notice replete with threats of fines and a deadline to remove the car. The sudden threat of additional expense, the unexpected appearance of Jarrod, as well as his reasons for wanting the car, convinced Bryan to “pass it down” at a price far below market. Into the deal he tossed in his large collection of parts, new and used, which included a set of new BF Goodrich raised white letter tires on four Magnum 500 wheels, optional on this car in 1970.
The next weekend, Jarrod’s father Royce drove down from Dallas to help get the car going. Within a few hours, they had the 351-2V running. Royce brought his MIG welder and began patching minor rust in the floor pans and “a couple of rust holes by the gas tank mounting flange. “
Jarrod wants to make the car into a fun driver for now, and dreams of painting the car Grabber Blue and installing a fuel-injected engine and an assortment of other performance modifications to bring his Mach 1 into the 21st century. Whatever the case, he says “I will never sell that car. It took me too long to find!”