True Blue 1973 Ford Mustang Mach 1
From the beginning, Dave Sargent of Alburnett, was in love with the Mustang. Debuting on April 17, 1964 at the World’s Fair in New York City, the 4-seater sports car took the automotive world by storm. Donald Frey, chief engineer for the concept car, under the direction of Ford Division General Manager, Lee Iacocca, started developing the Mustang as a 2-seat sports car, but added a small rear seat due to the rising sales of the 4-seater Thunderbird.
Sargent grew up in Center Point and had a pretty cool dad, also a Mustang fan, who purchased a ‘68 Acapulco Blue coupe with white “C-stripe” graphics. Dave helped out with his dad’s business and Dad reciprocated later by giving him the ‘68. In September of ‘73, Sargent traded it in at Zimmerman Ford on an Ivy Glow ‘73 Mach 1 fastback. He initially had his eye on a Boss 302, which would be worth a boat-load of money now, but the 302 also came with some pretty high insurance rates, typical for muscle cars of the era. He “settled” for the “plain-Jane” version, as he calls it, although it did have some options, including the 351 Cleveland engine with 2-barrel carb and Select-Shift Cruise-o-matic 3-speed tranny costing $245. The beautiful green paint was an extra $35, two-tone silver hood was $18, F70x14 wide oval tires ran about $38 extra, leather wrapped steering wheel was $23, aluminum wheels - $111, rear bumper guards - $14, power steering - $103, power front disc brakes - $62, and an am radio cost $59. The options totaled $708. With a $50 dealer prep charge the grand total was $3,932. Sargent bought the Mach 1 off the lot, so there was no opting for a/c or fm radio, but it certainly wasn’t “plain.”
Dave and his wife, Janet, recall the night that he picked up his new purchase and headed to Alburnett, where Janet lived. It was a Friday night in the fall and he was going to surprise her with the new Mustang at the local football game. Unfortunately, major storms hit that evening, knocking out power and postponing all the games of Eastern Iowa. It must have been true love that drove a die-hard car guy to bring his new wheels out on a night like that.
Both love affairs grew and blossomed. Dave and Janet married in 1976, later having a daughter, Brandi, a son, Chris, and many more Mustangs that have come and gone, including a ‘73 Grande, an ‘83 GT, a ‘94 GT convertible, and a 2002 GT convertible. They currently have a 2007 Shelby GT, white with silver striping, which shares their 6-car garage along with the ‘73, an ‘03 F150 pickup, a ‘15 Explorer, a ‘06 Freestar and a ‘95 Taurus. Oh, there were a couple of Super Coupe (supercharged) Thunderbirds in the mix – a ‘90 and a ‘95, along with a few other Fords. The Sargents’ love of the “blue oval” is an understatement
The Ivy Glow Mustang is now almost as it was when built in April of ‘73. With only 84,000+ miles on the odometer, most everything, other than tires, is original, although the spare is original. Sargent chose to keep the original am radio, but did later add the front and rear spoilers. The ‘73 logged many miles with trips to Florida, New Mexico, Indianapolis and a lot of area cars cruises and shows. The Sargents made the long trip to New Mexico to the Grand National Mustang Club Show in 1986 where they were accused of trailering the car, as “it didn’t have a/c and was way too clean,” Janet says. Many of those classes were divided into “trailered” and “non-trailered” divisions. They convinced the judges and drove away from Albuquerque with a first place trophy. They also received top trophies at 5 World of Wheels shows in the early ‘80s and a huge one from Indianapolis.
The Sargents intend to keep the two love affairs going, and will pass the “blue ovals” on to their two children hoping that they, too, will stay “true blue.”