’69 Mach I Candyapple Red - VIN 9T02R119697:
Description prepared by
Bill Collins on March 24, 2008
This “R code” 428 Cobra Jet Mach I was sold new at Smith, Cleveland &
Smith Ford in Lanesboro, PA. This is about 100 miles northeast of my
location in the Harrisburg area. The original dash VIN plate, door warranty
tag, build or "body buck" and engine ID tags are all intact. Documents
presently include Marti Report, original dealer bill of sale, and first
owner’s plastic warranty card.
This Mach I has had only three Pennsylvania owners. All are located
within 15 miles of where the car was sold new. The most recent owner
acquired it about 1981. It is presently on a PA title in his name.
displays 00350, actually 100,350 miles, believed to be the actual
mileage. The exterior was refinished about 18 years ago in the
original Candyapple Red color.
Optional equipment includes four speed transmission, 3:50 non locking
differential, power steering and power disc brakes, tach dash, AM radio with
integral 8 track stereo tape player, fold down rear seat, visibility group
and tinted glass. All of these options are factory installed, as confirmed
by the dealer invoice and Marti Report. The door warranty plate is also
decoded on that report.
Owner added accessories include front and rear spoilers, and rear window
louvres. The spoiler and louvers are OEM Ford parts, not reproductions.
Wheels are presently replacement Magnum 500’s mounted with Goodrich T/A
radial 235/60R14 tires. A matching new spare tire is mounted on an original
Mach I wheel in the trunk with original jack, handle and holdown hardware.
The remaining four original Mach I wheels also remain with the car and are
complete with their original trim rings and center caps, all in excellent
The engine is represented to be the factory installed original to this
Mach I. The block is not VIN stamped; this is typical with Metuchen built
cars. Verification has been obtained from owner history and confirmed by
examining date codes on various components, most notably the block. All are
within a tight time range and timely to the build date of the vehicle.
The engine has reportedly been rebuilt, but no documents are
available to substantiate the date or extent of this work.
Major engine equipment, including carburetor, distributor and fuel pump,
is factory original. The emission system is also original Ford but was
partially sourced from another vehicle. The shaker unit is the correct
factory original. It retains the snorkel and “S” tube but is missing the
manifold heat shield.
The original cast iron exhaust manifolds connect into an OEM style 2¼
inch diameter replacement exhaust system, with original rolled lip quad
outlets below the rear valence.
The following is a summary of date, engineering and stamping codes on
various components. NOTE: the basic part/engineering number portion of these
codes has been omitted here for ease of reading:
ENGINE: No external block engineering
number as is typical with Cobra Jets. Block casting date 8J27
(September 27, 1968). Original engine assembly tag intact below coil
– reads as follows:
- 428 69 6 FoMoCo
- L 8 K 420S
The tag indicates a 1969 Model year 428CJ assembled at change level 6
during the month of October, 1968. Code 420S indicates ram air version (R
Carburetor air horn stampings are C9AF-M, Holley list 4279, date 894 (4th
week September 1968). The carburetor also has original Autolite tag
displaying C9AF-M ” and date “8J4”. The tag date indicates year/month/week
(also 4th week Sept 1968). The three-digit alphanumeric date code properly
denotes a production line installed Holley on a manual transmission equipped
428CJ engine. The fuel pump is the original Carter “X” body high
performance, stamped 4441S on the mounting flange, dated 8J8A (Sept 8,
The intake manifold engineering number is C8OE-C, with 8J18 date (Sept
18, 1968). This is the correct 428CJ intake number. The valve covers are
date coded, plated steel style with “Power by Ford” script.
The distributor is an Autolite logo with “C9OF-H” engineering number and
“8G24” date (July 24,1968). This is the correct code for a 1969 428CJ
application with thermactor emission and manual transmission. An aftermarket
electronic ignition module has been installed into the distributor. The coil
is an aftermarket unit. The emission system anti-backfire canister is
stamped “C8OE-C” and “3-31-69”, so is a replacement. The air emission air
pump has a blue plastic pop off valve, correct for a high performance
The radiator is the original with FoMoCo logo top tank and C8ZE-L 1
engineering number stamped into the passenger side core brace. The fan is
the original 8 blade C9ZE-E, with E-C9ZE-B stamped fan clutch. The fan
shroud is FoMoCo logo’d with engineering number C8ZE-C. The water pump
engineering number is C9AE-A with 2J20 date code (Aug 20, 1972) indicating a
The power steering pump ID tag is obscured by the pressure hose mounting
bracket and is not observable. The PS pulley is marked “S”. The original
power steering oil cooler is intact, correctly mounted on the frame rail.
Certain items are OEM style reproductions; these are C9ZE dual alternator
and power steering belts and upper/lower radiator hoses. The battery is a
modern Motorcraft heavy duty and the cables are reproduction. The original
battery heat shield is intact. The ignition relay is a Motorcraft D2AE
DRIVELINE: “Big spline” toploader four speed transmission with factory
Transmission ID tag properly reads for the ’69 428CJ application as
The bellhousing has a FoMoCo logo and 8J24 casting date (Aug 24, 1968).
The rear differential is the original 9 inch housing with staggered
shocks. The center section is the original nodular style unit. The
distinctive “N” is absent, as the case is dated 8H12 (Aug 12, 1968) and
housings cast during calendar year 1968 lack the “N” in the center of the
grid. This was added in 1969.
The original axle ID tag is attached, which reads:
3 .50 9 980A
The tag codes interpret as follows:
- WES-AE – 1969/70 Nodular 31 spline
differential assembly with 3:50 ratio
- 8KA - Assembled during first week of
- 3.50 – Non locking 3:50 gear ratio (an
“L” in this code would designate locking)
- 9 – 9 Inch ring gear
- 980A – Axle / differential / housing identification number for the entire
BODY: Original sheet metal with exception of the rear quarter panels and
trunk floor extensions. Original undisturbed underbody and structural metal,
including floor pans. I have found no evidence of accident damage. All frame
rails and aprons appear undisturbed, evidencing no buckles or straightened
areas. The front fenders are original with their factory date codes.
Exterior panel fit, gaps and alignment are very good.
The exterior trim plating and/or finishes are in excellent condition.
Most of the trim is believed to be OEM Ford rather than reproduction, as
these items were still largely available from Ford at the time of this car’s
The exterior paint is good but not show quality. The finish has good
overall smoothness and gloss. There are a few touched up stone chips and
minor scratches from normal use. A few areas show subsurface sanding
scratches and a minor amount of dirt. These deficiencies are visible
primarily when the car is viewed under strong interior light, but are not
evident when it is seen outside. The exterior presents itself well overall.
The underside floor pan has been painted red. Photographs of the various
underside areas are available.
One photo shows the build tag - here are the code interpretations from
- 625 - Rotation number (this vehicle's
place on the assembly line for a particular build sequence)
- 1 - Welding bay number
- 17K - Actual build date October
17, 1968 (may vary from door tag schedule date)
- 63C - Fastback body style with
Mach I deluxe interior
- 3A - Interior trim code - black
- 9T02R119697 -
Vehicle identification number
- T CARD RED - Exterior color Candyapple
Red - color code T
- PB - Power brakes
- GT - GT Equipment group
- PS - Power steering
- DE - Dual exhaust
- TT – Two tone paint (Hood blackout)
- CL - Courtesy lights
- RM - Remote mirror
- MO - Rocker mouldings
- LP - Special radio operation (AM 8
- MC - Middle console
These codes are for equipment or options requiring a body operation to
install, hence the name "body build" or "buck" tag. Thus, it does not recite
all options installed onto a particular car. For instance, dual exhaust
required special inserts to be welded onto both sides of the rear floor pan
to reinforce it for the brackets that mount and hold the weight of the
exhaust system. Rocker mouldings required holes to be drilled into the
rocker panels to hold the mounting clips.
INTERIOR: The interior has been restored and is in excellent condition.
No cracks in dash pad, no tears in seats and no cut or modified interior
panels. The plated rings around the dash instruments are bright. The
steering wheel has been restored and the woodgrain pattern on the rim is
very distinct. The rim blow horn works. All original Mach I equipment is
intact including 140MPH speedo with trip odometer, optional 8000 RPM tach,
console, and optional fold down rear seat. The original AM radio with 8
track stereo tape player is functional. Factory stereo speakers are in the
doors. All accessories, gauges and interior lights are in working order.
The trunk contains a high quality reproduction mat in the proper speckled
style, plus matching spare tire on an original Mach I wheel. The jack and
handle are intact and secured by the original holdown hardware.
OBSERVATIONS: Although restored years ago, this Mach I has the character
of a survivor, by reason of retaining all of its factory original major
components. The documentation and history add to its appeal. The car starts
readily, runs well, and is smooth and tight on the road with great power. A
complete safety check has been performed including steering, brakes,
exhaust, lights and signals. Any items needing attention have been repaired.
Any leaks of engine oil and/or other fluids have also been repaired.
Everything is well set up and sorted out. No surprises!
Description prepared by
Bill Collins on March 24, 2008