Tony Kondrotis’ 1969 Mustang Mach 1 Super Cobra Jet
Tony Kondrotis is a self-admitted Chevy guy but says he always had an itch to own a ’69 Mustang Mach 1.
Five years ago, he scratched that itch, finding a rare 428-powered ’69 Mach 1 Super Cobra Jet just 10 miles from his home in Keller, Texas. In the years since, he has transformed a solid driver into pristine specimen of the breed through deep dives into the history of the Mustang as well as helpful guidance and advice from Mustang enthusiasts.
The 1969 model year was the first for the Mach 1 name. Of the 72,458 Mach 1 Mustangs produced that year, fewer than 3,200 were 428 Super Cobra Jet models.
The 335-horsepower, four-speed Mustang underwent a nut-and-bolt restoration that included such detail work as using period-correct red oxide primer and factory markings. The optional Shaker scoop air cleaner tops the highly detailed engine that produces 440 foot-pounds of torque.
Horsepower moves through a close-ratio Top Loader four-speed transmission to a stock Traction-Lok rear axle housing 31-spline axles and 4.30:1 gears. Optional factory-installed disc brakes in the front and drums in the rear handle the stopping chores. Stock wheels are wrapped in F70-14 Goodyear Polyglas GT tires. Period road tests reported quarter-mile times in the high 13-second, low 14-second range.
Ford Black Jade paint with gold accents covers the car’s restored body. The interior features original-style vinyl upholstery and a complete original gauge package and wood-trimmed dash. A stock console houses the four-speed shifter.
Critical to the restoration was Tony’s methodical use of NOS parts or restored original pieces wherever possible. Researching and procuring the correct parts was a challenge, Tony says. Guidance from a variety of sources was helpful as he learned the history of the Mach 1, including slight variations of the build process, depending on which of the three Ford factories built the car.
Now that the restoration is complete, Tony enjoys taking the Mach 1 to car shows and talking with fellow enthusiasts about the highs and lows of restoring vintage muscle cars. A confessed perfectionist, though, Tony says he is ready to tackle another project.
The as-yet-unanswered question? Is the former Chevy guy now a Ford guy? Or could he morph into a Mopar guy? Whatever happens, if Tony’s next project turns out as good as this Mach 1, he’ll have another winner in the garage.
Photos by John Jackson