Spirit of ’76

Mustang Monthly - - READERS ALBUM -

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.

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