[Gallery] Leo Kingsbury’s 1970 Ford Mustang Mach 1

Click Here to Begin Slideshow Since the advent of the automobile some 120 years ago, there must have been a gazillion speed-ing tickets issued. If I had Leo Kingsbury’s muscle car, I know my glove compartment would be stuffed with speeding tickets. This car is meant to be driven one way - fast - but not just fast, but the type of car you enter after you’ve signed your last-will-and-testament fast as was demonstrated to me unexpectedly while climbing, sorry, launching up a long steep hill. The speedometer needle only went in one direction - up and up and up. I was pushed back so hard into my seat, I can’t recall whether it was the car that screamed like a girl or if it was me. If I had a hair piece, it would have been drilled into the backseat. I was pressing down on the imaginary brake, but it wasn’t working. Three-quarters of the way up and the Mach 1’s 351 had only been teasing me and soared into stratospheric gear. It’s the first time I’ve been terrified and exhilarated simultaneously. This isn’t typical for Leo, who prefers to simply cruise these days. However, oc-casionally a heavy foot hits the throttle and a burst of speed reminds him of some old memories of when he was young. To paraphrase the late writer, P.J. O’Rourke, “America made the best engines in the world - compact, powerful, gas-station-mechanic-proof V8s that were overbored, understressed, and delivered terrifying horsepower at comforting rpms.” In this case, I’m talking about Papa Ford’s marvel, the 1970 Mustang 351 Mach 1 with all the above credentials. This is not a car to go sightseeing in unless you like the surroundings to be a blur. This is a car for those who get bored easily. This is not a car for the Green Party. Incredulously, the 1970 Mustangs received harsh criticism by the press as being over-hyped and underperforming, especially when compared to the more competitive Camaros, Firebirds and Challengers. It wasn’t so much that Mustang faltered, but that the competition caught up, usurp-ing the pony car market. In lieu of the carping by the press, it didn’t deter the public from gleefully getting their hands on a 351 Mach 1 for their own experience. Leo Kingsbury’s acquaintance, Jerry, was one such customer. That year Mustang introduced the famous 351 ‘Cleveland’ V8 engine in two- and four-barrel configurations. “I had fallen in love with the car the moment I saw it and told Jerry that one day I would buy it from him. Five years later, Leo had done just that. Since the car had only aged five years, it was still in good shape with only 30,000 miles on it,” recollects Leo. He takes a gulp of water from his plastic water bottle. “I’ve had the car for almost 50 years and I’ve never had to replace the original 351 Cleveland engine. It’s still work-ing great.” A testament to Ford’s craftsmanship, not to mention the extra 80,000 miles tacked on. Majestic Shop, located in Manotick, restored the body and repainted the car its lemon yellow hue in 1992. “I drove the car until 2002, but then neglected it due to work and other priorities and my interest had changed at the time.” It was like an old lover that had been dismissed. “Since a very young age my father had a big passion for cars and would always teach me how to fix and main-tain them,” says Leo. “He would buy and exchange his cars regularly and it was a thrill to be taken for a car ride around town. He showed me how to care, shine and maintain cars, and to take pride in the results. To this day I continue to take excellent care and attention with my Mustang for it has never been exposed to snow nor rain since 1975. I never thought that I would one day decide to restore the engine, drive train, and transmission. That day came in 2017. I had West Carleton Automotive in Carp rebuilt my engine, transmission, rear-end and over-hauling. I am so glad I did because the car has become my pride and joy again. It is as much a part of my life now as it was when I was a teenager,” confirms Leo. “When I sit behind the wheel I think of my dad,” he says as though caught by a flash of a moment. “It brings a smile to my face. I remember watching him borrow my car to go to work and he was so proud to drive it. That image is indelibly etched in my memory.” Since its restoration, Leo has par-ticipated in numerous car shows and has won over 50 trophies. “An accomplishment I am very proud of. When I consider how long the body restoration took, painstakingly taking the car apart and putting it back together, I’ve gotten emotionally attached to it. I am very proud when people comment on its look and attention to details I put into it. I can’t help but smile whenever I drive it around town and people wave at me and slide their windows down to praise my car. It’s a won-derful sign of recognition and admiration.” Some of his admirers are actually members of the younger generations. “They’re starting to appreciate and buy classic and muscle cars, which is a great sign for the future. What I would recommend to those interested in restoring a classic is to try to find one that is already restored to their liking. Choose wisely and go with reputable restora-tion shops. This is not an area where you should be penny pinching. Above all, bringing an old relic or rejuvenating a classic muscle car back to life makes me feel young again. It brings back good old memories and an adrenaline rush. To de-stress I often go for a ride to forgot life’s has-sles and worries. It brings me happiness.” What other incentive could be better than that? Click Here to Begin Slideshow

[Gallery] Leo Kingsbury's 1970 Ford Mustang Mach 1

Click Here to Begin Slideshow

Since the advent of the automobile some 120 years ago, there must have been a gazillion speed-ing tickets issued. If I had Leo Kingsbury’s muscle car, I know my glove compartment would be stuffed with speeding tickets. This car is meant to be driven one way - fast - but not just fast, but the type of car you enter after you’ve signed your last-will-and-testament fast as was demonstrated to me unexpectedly while climbing, sorry, launching up a long steep hill. The speedometer needle only went in one direction - up and up and up. I was pushed back so hard into my seat, I can’t recall whether it was the car that screamed like a girl or if it was me. If I had a hair piece, it would have been drilled into the backseat. I was pressing down on the imaginary brake, but it wasn’t working. Three-quarters of the way up and the Mach 1’s 351 had only been teasing me and soared into stratospheric gear. It’s the first time I’ve been terrified and exhilarated simultaneously. This isn’t typical for Leo, who prefers to simply cruise these days. However, oc-casionally a heavy foot hits the throttle and a burst of speed reminds him of some old memories of when he was young. To paraphrase the late writer, P.J. O’Rourke, “America made the best engines in the world - compact, powerful, gas-station-mechanic-proof V8s that were overbored, understressed, and delivered terrifying horsepower at comforting rpms.” In this case, I’m talking about Papa Ford’s marvel, the 1970 Mustang 351 Mach 1 with all the above credentials. This is not a car to go sightseeing in unless you like the surroundings to be a blur. This is a car for those who get bored easily. This is not a car for the Green Party.

Incredulously, the 1970 Mustangs received harsh criticism by the press as being over-hyped and underperforming, especially when compared to the more competitive Camaros, Firebirds and Challengers. It wasn’t so much that Mustang faltered, but that the competition caught up, usurp-ing the pony car market. In lieu of the carping by the press, it didn’t deter the public from gleefully getting their hands on a 351 Mach 1 for their own experience. Leo Kingsbury’s acquaintance, Jerry, was one such customer. That year Mustang introduced the famous 351 ‘Cleveland’ V8 engine in two- and four-barrel configurations. “I had fallen in love with the car the moment I saw it and told Jerry that one day I would buy it from him. Five years later, Leo had done just that. Since the car had only aged five years, it was still in good shape with only 30,000 miles on it,” recollects Leo. He takes a gulp of water from his plastic water bottle. “I’ve had the car for almost 50 years and I’ve never had to replace the original 351 Cleveland engine. It’s still work-ing great.” A testament to Ford’s craftsmanship, not to mention the extra 80,000 miles tacked on. Majestic Shop, located in Manotick, restored the body and repainted the car its lemon yellow hue in 1992. “I drove the car until 2002, but then neglected it due to work and other priorities and my interest had changed at the time.” It was like an old lover that had been dismissed. “Since a very young age my father had a big passion for cars and would always teach me how to fix and main-tain them,” says Leo. “He would buy and exchange his cars regularly and it was a thrill to be taken for a car ride around town. He showed me how to care, shine and maintain cars, and to take pride in the results. To this day I continue to take excellent care and attention with my Mustang for it has never been exposed to snow nor rain since 1975.

I never thought that I would one day decide to restore the engine, drive train, and transmission. That day came in 2017. I had West Carleton Automotive in Carp rebuilt my engine, transmission, rear-end and over-hauling. I am so glad I did because the car has become my pride and joy again. It is as much a part of my life now as it was when I was a teenager,” confirms Leo. “When I sit behind the wheel I think of my dad,” he says as though caught by a flash of a moment. “It brings a smile to my face. I remember watching him borrow my car to go to work and he was so proud to drive it. That image is indelibly etched in my memory.” Since its restoration, Leo has par-ticipated in numerous car shows and has won over 50 trophies. “An accomplishment I am very proud of. When I consider how long the body restoration took, painstakingly taking the car apart and putting it back together, I’ve gotten emotionally attached to it. I am very proud when people comment on its look and attention to details I put into it. I can’t help but smile whenever I drive it around town and people wave at me and slide their windows down to praise my car. It’s a won-derful sign of recognition and admiration.” Some of his admirers are actually members of the younger generations. “They’re starting to appreciate and buy classic and muscle cars, which is a great sign for the future. What I would recommend to those interested in restoring a classic is to try to find one that is already restored to their liking. Choose wisely and go with reputable restora-tion shops. This is not an area where you should be penny pinching. Above all, bringing an old relic or rejuvenating a classic muscle car back to life makes me feel young again. It brings back good old memories and an adrenaline rush. To de-stress I often go for a ride to forgot life’s has-sles and worries. It brings me happiness.” What other incentive could be better than that?

Click Here to Begin Slideshow

[Gallery] Leo Kingsbury's 1970 Ford Mustang Mach 1

[Gallery] Leo Kingsbury's 1970 Ford Mustang Mach 1

[Gallery] Leo Kingsbury's 1970 Ford Mustang Mach 1

[Gallery] Leo Kingsbury's 1970 Ford Mustang Mach 1

[Gallery] Leo Kingsbury's 1970 Ford Mustang Mach 1

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About Clive Branson 42 Articles
Clive Branson is a photography graduate from Parsons School of Design in New York City and has since divided his career as an advertising creative director/copywriter and as a freelance writer/photographer. He is the author of Focus On Close-Up and Macro Photography and numerous articles for magazines and newspapers throughout North America and Britain. Clive lives and works in Ottawa, Ontario.

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