For our second feature car we travelled to the south side of Cork City to meet with Tom Leahy and his 1972 429 Mustang Mach 1. Tom a well know figure within the American Car Scene in Cork has had his car for the last 18 months or so. He purchased it right here in Cork from another well know person within the scene.
The mustang was bought pretty much in the condition it is today which from the pictures you can see in pristine, but the photos of this car do it no justice in order to get the feel and appreciate the true character of this car you have to see it in the flesh, and then you need to hear it. Loud loud loud is the only word that can explain it, the sound of this 429 V8 mutes every other car around it.
The Mach 1 was made famous in such films as Gone in 60 seconds the original in 1974, and of course James Bond “Diamonds are forever” in 1971. The red 71 mach 1 that was used in the bond film and driven by the best bond Sean Connery was put for auction in June 2004 in L.A. by Barrett-Jackson Automobile Auction but was withdrawn due to not making its reserve. In both films the Mach 1 could not be stopped no matter how many cop cars chased it, the car just kept on going and beat everything that was put in front of it, and from travelling in convoy with this car I can see why. I have watched this car appear in my rear mirror and disappear from my windscreen, and every time I see and hear it on the road it brings a smile to my face and has me counting up the cost of putting a big block in my own car.
Tom has always wanted a big block muscle car and could not believe his luck when a friend told him that there was one for sale virtually on his door step. He originally wanted a 454 big block Chevy but this 429 mustang lay in wait. His friend Vincent explained that he knew where the mustang was, made contact with the owner and collected Tom and they both travelled to see the car. On viewing it he knew he had to have it. Money went one way, keys the other and Tom had his big block. Soon after Tom purchased the car the engine was sent to the UK to Richard Harris engineering in Derby who specialize in rebuilding and dynotuning big block engines. Tom spent a staggering €10000.00 on a rebuild and tune up for his new pride and joy. The engine was then put on a Dyno before it was shipped home and managed 420HP@5000rpm and 450 ft-lbs of torque@2000rpm. Tom has researched the history of his Mustang back as far as it’s original owners and up to the last owner in the states who happened to be working for the parts dept in the Ford motor company. Tom has all documentation on his car right up to present day.
Both tom and car have been to a good few shows and the car creates attention everywhere it goes. It has won car of the show in the Blarney Barbi in 2006 and I am sure will pick up a lot more silverware for it owner in the future.
The car is originally from Kansas which explains why the body is so rust free and in such good condition. Inside keeps up to the standard set by the outside. Leather seats, colour coded steering wheel and clean throughout.
It has a big block 429 v8 under the hood, 3 speed c6 auto transmission with a shift kit which speeds up gear change, power steering and disc brakes. Colour coded mirrors and bumpers and sits on chrome magnum 500 wheels rapped in BF Goodrich 255/60R15. Throw this all together and you have one awesome looking motor.
This Mustang is a truly iconic car and steeped in American history and there is no finer example of one than Tom Leahy’s 1972 Mach 1.
GAScc wishes Tom many happy years of motoring, and I’m looking forward to seeing and hearing the Mach 1 again in convoy.
Jason O’Driscoll the best boy