LEADING THE WAY WITH CLASSIC MUSTANGS
BY BOB WALLACE
Reprinted from the January 1998 issue of Mustang Illustrated.
Politicians and ponycars; not a common mixture, but it does happen occasionally. President Bill Clinton owns a 1967 Mustang convertible, and Speaker of the House of Representatives Newt Gingrich is also reportedly a classic Mustang owner. South of the border, Cesar Comacho, the governor of the state of Mexico (yes, there is a state of Mexico within the nation of Mexico), owns not one or two, but three beautifully restored classic Mustangs, a 1969 convertible (one of only three in Mexico) and the two ponies seen here, a 1966 hardtop and a made-in-Mexico 1973 Mach 1.
Governor Comacho’s 1966 coupe is remarkable in that its odometer had only rolled up 860 miles when it was acquired in early 1996. Unfortunately, the almost brand new hardtop had spent most of the prior 30 years parked outdoors, and the paint, interior and rubber trim parts were ruined from the extended exposure to the sun.
The weatherworn pony was taken to Mustang & Mercedes Import Parts, S.A., in Mexico City where proprietor Alejandro Moreno and his craftsmen flawlessly restored the coupe to better-than-new condition. The Mustang & Mercedes crew stripped the little coupe down to bare metal and applied several perfect coats of Wimbledon White paint to the pony’s flanks. A new code 26, standard black vinyl interior was installed with two minor but distinctive upgrades, a factory console and a “repro” Rally-Pac.
|Governor Comacho (arrow) doesn’t get as many opportunities as he’d like to savor the pleasures of owning classic Mustangs. He’s seen here viewing his ’73 Mach 1 at last April’s Club Jaguar de Mexico XI Gran Concurso Internacional De Elegancia, where his three Mustangs were part of the Mustang & Mercedes Import Parts S.A. exhibit.||Betcha never saw a “data” tag like this before. Neither had we before inspecting this made-in-Mexico 1973 Mach 1, which is owned by the governor of the state of Mexico, Cesar Comacho.|
Detailing abounds beneath the hood. The T-code, 200-CID six-holer is completely stock, and connects to a three-speed manual gearbox. But instead of matte black paint on the aprons and firewall, those panels match the exterior’s Wimbledon White. Gloss black coats the radiator core support, which received numerous hours of attention rendering its top perfectly smooth rather than rippled and irregular like original.
The governor’s 1973 Mach 1 is uncommon in that it was built in Mexico, and 1973 was the only year fastback Mustangs were built there. Also unique to 1973-only Mexican Mustangs is the 351 Windsor engine, which was factory-installed.
The Mexican Mach 1 was in excellent unrestored condition, but Governor Comacho wanted the Mach to be more than just a nice original car, so it, too was restored and detailed for show by Alejandro Moreno’s Mustang & Mercedes Import Parts.
Silver metallic was not offered on U.S.-built 1973 Mustangs, but judging by how great it looks on this politician’s pony, it should have been. The stylish wheels are the original chrome-plated Magnum 500s. The governor’s Mach 1 features a black knitted-vinyl interior and all the same interior trim as its Norte American compatriots, including a Hurst shifter poking through the console where it falls (as the sporty car books used to say) readily to hand for rowing the gears in the top loader four-speed. Show details include body-colored engine compartment panels and lots of Ford Motorsport SVO chrome goodies adorning the engine.
The rigors of his office keep Governor Comacho from spending much time driving his classic ponycars, but he thoroughly enjoys the rare occasions when he gets to sneak out for a run in one of his Mustangs. And what could be more appropriate than a government leader enjoying the world’s leading pony car?