Spirit of ’76
Owning the same Mustang for four decades means you’re bound to switch things up and make changes over the years. When Mike Gierten of St. Peters, Missouri, first picked up this ’69 Mach 1 in July of 1976, he was just out of high school. The Indian Fire Mach with 351 Windsor and four-speed was no doubt a fun car, but the following year he had it painted Dark Metallic Blue (a ’77 Ford color) and added the Shaker scoop, spoilers, and rear window louvers. “In 1978 I bought a wrecked ’71 Cyclone and put the 429 Cobra Jet in the car. My brother John repainted it in 1983, and that paint is on it today,” Mike explains. The Mach ran like that until 2006 when Mike and his dad rebuilt the engine and added a Ford Racing 514ci stroker kit with aluminum heads, along with an Edelbrock intake and 850-cfm Demon carburetor. In 2012 the Mach was further upgraded with a Tremec TKO-600 five-speed transmission. Additional upgrades over the years have included bigger sway bars, gas shocks, and more. The 15x8 Magnum 500s, power disc brakes, and 3.50-geared 9-inch with Traction-Lok have always been there. Inside, Mike added power windows, power locks, and a Tilt-Away steering column.