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Help identifying a 1973 Mach 1... how to locate VIN?
Hi Everybody:

I am new here. Victor, from Mexico. I have been around old cars for 30 years and have several of them, but no Mustangs, so far, but I am trying to fix that...

Today I went to look at a 1973 Mach 1. By the way, it was the only year that we got the Mach 1 down here, and all of them had the 351 Windsor engine with a four barrel carb and a four speed box with Hurst shift and an aluminum grip handle, power steering and disc brakes. That was sort of the regular package, as far as I understand it, and there were no options, or not important ones, at least. I am not sure but I have been told that even no A/C.

My father, by the way, had a 1972 hardtop, and that one did had A/C so I find it strange that the Mach 1 could not have it... but again, that is what I was told.

Anyhow, as to the car I saw today, it appears to have a 351 Windsor (though I could not swear it, of course), but there are a few things that I find a bit puzzling, up to the point that I am thinking it my be an American car which is here with the Mexican car's documents (since it is difficult and very expensive to import a car). It has A/C (at least the controls for it though the compressor is a newer one), tinted windows (both things not common), the four speed but with a regular ball shifter as in the US, the american car design on upholstery (mexican cars had a different design), Magnum 500 wheels (never offered here but easily fitted afterwards) and most puzzling of all, it is missing the VIN plate, and the door plastic tag, and even the "Register" plate which all mexican cars back then needed to have and which is glued or riveted to the car. Also, Mexican cars had an aluminum plate on the driver's door, which this car is missing, which would tell the regular characteristics of the car... VIN, color, upholstery etc. So, no way that I can see in which I can match the car to the papers.

All of those tags could have been removed and lost during a paint or restoration job... that is what I am hoping.

If I buy and it is really a wrong car, so to say, or that it is irregularly in the country, it would be an expensive mistake.... so I am trying to find out how to check the car.

In short, how can I check which is the VIN of the car I looked at today if it is missing the VIN plate that you can regularly see through the windshield on the driver's side?

Looking forward to getting the car and participating in the Mustang community!


Attached Files Thumbnail(s)

.jpg   1973 Mach 1 en Qro (29).JPG (Size: 43.47 KB / Downloads: 109)
it looks like its a Windsor motor. AC looks aftermarket. And the VIn you should be able to find on drivers side fender apron. But you may have to pull the fender to see it. Here's a pic of where it is. It is not the full VIN but It will tell you Year, where is was made and consecutive number. So if those match your documents you should be good.

[Image: 66kh7n.jpg]


1971 Mach 1
408C Stroker
C4 w/3,000 stall
8.8" Rear w/3.73's
Disc brakes all way around.

[Image: 28ivsix.png]

If it was built in U.S. the Unit # is stamped on both inner fenders as show in picture just above the spring. It should also be on the transmission on the tag and also on the top very front of the transmission right against the bell housing stamped into the casting. Very difficult to see have to use mirror. Since U.S. never installed a Windsor in 71-73 I doubt that it is in the left rear of the block.
If there is not VIN# in the dash or missing I would assume the car was stolen at some point. I could not register a car here without the VIN plate. If you get the Consecutive unit # then I think Marti can get you a report on what was on the car for options, interior and paint. I know the door panels in Mexico were different and the stripes on the Mach 1 were also different like in the attached picture.
I know of no other place to look for the vin except the elusive Build Sheet that is under the carpet on most U.S. built cars. It tells everything on the car. Attached example of a build sheet in better shape than most. Sometimes under the back seat, under dash but usually under the carpet.
Good luck,

Attached Files Thumbnail(s)

.jpg   Mex1.jpg (Size: 74.64 KB / Downloads: 81)
.jpg   mex3.jpg (Size: 74.74 KB / Downloads: 82)

When a man is in the woods and talks and no women are there is he still wrong??
Kevin, thanks for the pic! It will be a bit of work but it shouldn't be too difficult to look at the number. Let's hope the owner agrees to it, as I do want to get the car.

David, thanks for the information! I lived the era and remember Mach 1's painted like the white and blue you sent, but just a very few. The great majority of them came just like the red car I am looking at, with the side stripe and hood in black (a few black cars had it in silver, if I recall correctly). As for interiors, true, the door panels in mexican Mach 1's were the regular Mustang type with the small and simple door pull handles, and the design of upholstery was slightly different. I will try to find out the numbers in the places you describe.

Thanks guys!
Hi Victor,

as others have mentioned here and in your other post I would be very careful to buy that car. The question is not where the numbers and their pieces of evidence are but why they are completely lost?!? That is suspect... In a restauration you don't have to remove all the important tags. On my dash I taped it easily before painting it new, also the tag on the door, the metal tag on the right fender apron and so on. Why will somebody remove them and lost them all? That smells like this car has to be not here anymore. Think of theft, perhaps insurance betrayal or spending the whole tags and pieces of evidence to legalize another car. You know what I mean? I don't know if you could legalize such a car anymore without all that important numbers and papers in Mexico. And what if the formerly legitimate owner finds the car after you restored it and want it back?

It all could also be totally harmless but there is something speaking in me... to not do it!

The car looks perhaps good from the outside but what is underneath? What's such a special car worth without all the special mexican stuff?!?

I don't want to speak your car to death or make it bad! I only want you to be careful, ok thumb

Take care, Victor!


Never drive faster than your guardian angel can fly Angel

Thanks! I agree it sounds terrible! I would only purchase the car if the owner agrees to let me check on the numbers in the places Dave mentioned. If he does and it matches, I would go ahead with the purchase. If it doesn't, then I would run away from it. I don't want to have to do anything with a car with suspicious past.

Thanks again!
Good luck with finding the correct VIN. Where in Mexico do you live? My brother-in-law lived in Queretaro for several years.

73 Grandé H Code. Headman long tube headers, T-5 Transmission, 3.70 Traclok, Lowered 1" all around, Aussie 2v heads w/ 2.19 intake, 1.71 exhaust, screw in studs, full roller cam 608/612 lift 280/281 duration LSA 112, Quick Fuel 750 CFM double pumper, AirGap intake.

- Jason

[Image: 082-hot-rod-power-tour-2017-1970-1970s.jpg]
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