Car Collector's Corner A 1970 Mustang Mach 1 Gets Traded For a Tool Box. The Reality Behind the Ultimate Car Deal

J Sutherland
by J Sutherland
car collector s corner a 1970 mustang mach 1 gets traded for a tool box the reality

Most car guys dream about the ultimate car deal, but reality is a cruel master in the old car game. These dreams often center around mint, well-stored barn finds with less than 1000 miles on the clock.

The mint barn find scenario is found within the range of “possible.” Read on to learn what usually happens in one of those ultimate car deals.

Curt Barton knew about this 1970 Mustang Mach 1 since he was a kid. One day, car guy fate rang the doorbell, as Curt’s son John reports:

In the summer of 1998 Doug came to the door, proposing a trade of the tool box for his project Mustang. Curt didn’t hesitate to say yes as it was a car he grew up seeing as teenager.”

This wasn’t a pristine car and Curt knew that it would be a major job, so he did what most car guys do in similar circumstances. He jumped into the project with both feet. Or as John explains:

“The restoration started shortly thereafter as the passion to get it on the road was never-ending.”

The easiest part of any restoration is the beginning, but as anyone experienced with a major project realizes, the road to completion is long and arduous. According to John,

“It went through its ups and downs, everything from shortage or parts and funds to the lack of employment and a place to work on it.”

Eventually, circumstances tilt towards the car guy in any successful project, and this Mach 1 was no exception as John explains:

“Becoming self-employed at least worked out the problem of where to work on it.”

Despite the stock look of this Mach 1, Curt wanted to make this Mustang his own personal statement, so he started to design the finished product to suit his own vision for the car. John explains this process:

“The search was on for some rare options to add to the car as Curt didn’t want this to be just another 1970 Mach 1. To finish off the list of the rare options, a special order color was chosen to go with the ivy green interior.”

By car project standards, this car was nearly a basket case, but eventually an abundance of talent, perseverance, hard work and of course, money can make a car look like it just came out of the showroom. The finished product came about 6 years later, almost to the day Curt had received the car.

The fun begins long before the project ends in many cases, but ultimately the goal is simple – put the car back on road and drive the wheels off it. John was pleased to report that his Dad has this covered after all the work on the Mach 1:

“From that day on, Curt has put on many miles including trips to the United States for car shows and all around Western Canada.”

Curt is still in the auto body business, and he’s recognized as a serious talent in that arena. His favorite project will always be the “toolbox for a Mach 1 Mustang”. This true-life ultimate car deal couldn’t have happened without a lot more hard work and talent than luck.

The lesson is simple. Mint ultimate car deals are more myth than fact.

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2 of 15 comments
  • David C. Holzman David C. Holzman on Mar 16, 2012

    Beautiful job, beautiful piece of Americana.

  • Obbop Obbop on Mar 17, 2012

    Lemme' win the Lottery for a few million bucks and I MAY share the pics of the early 70s 340 Duster I buy and the 1969 V8 2-door Dart. Already restored to optimum condition, of course. I may even allow you to briefly touch them. Now, off the shanty's dirt and weeds ye neer-do-wells.

  • Teddyc73 A resounding NO. This has "Democrat" "Socialism" "liberalism" "Progressivism" and "Communism" written all over it.
  • Jeffrey An all electric entry level vehicle is needed and as a second car I'm interested. Though I will wait for it to be manufactured in the states with US components eligible for the EV credit.
  • Bob65688581 Small by American standards, this car is just right for Europe, and probably China, although I don't really know, there. Upscale small cars don't exist in the US because Americans associate size and luxury, so it will have a tough time in the States... but again Europe is used to such cars. Audi has been making "small, upscale" since forever. As usual, Americans will miss an opportunity. I'll buy one, though!Contrary to your text, the EX30 has nothing whatsoever to do with the XC40 or C40, being built on a dedicated chassis.
  • Tassos Chinese owned Vollvo-Geely must have the best PR department of all automakers. A TINY maker with only 0.5-0.8% market share in the US, it is in the news every day.I have lost count how many different models Volvo has, and it is shocking how FEW of each miserable one it sells in the US market.Approximately, it sells as many units (TOTAL) as is the total number of loser models it offers.
  • ToolGuy Seems pretty reasonable to me. (Sorry)