Thursday, July 26, 2018

ever hear of the of the 1969-1970 Mach 1 rally cars? There were two Ford sponsored teams, they won the 1969 and 1970 SCCA Manufacturer’s Road Rally Championship for

For 1969, Ford began offering contingency money to rallyists who won or placed second or third with the new Mustang Mach 1. New Jersey-based accomplished rallyist Ed Crockett approached Ford with an idea for a national team, and Ford was in. The plan prescribed five individual teams based around the country to give Ford maximum coverage without the cost and logistics of transporting one team to all national and divisional events.

In Michigan, a separate group led by Gene Henderson, a Dearborn police officer and successful rallyist, proposed a similar plan to Ford. Henderson had run the Rallye Monte Carlo, Shell 4000 Trans-Canadian Rally and Michigan’s Press on Regardless Rally (P.O.R.) and also had a rally equipment company, Competition Limited.

“Gene and I put together a program for Ford to do national rallying, and Ford said yes,” recalls Ralph Beckman, Henderson’s fellow member in the Rallygators sports car club. “We later found out the New Jersey team had asked for a lot more money and got it!”

Prior to the Ford rally program, Beckman had won the Shell 4000 in 1968 with Chrysler engineer Scott Harvey in a Plymouth Barracuda. The duo also won the P.O.R. several times, before and after the Mustang program. Beckman is today involved with the Subaru Rally Team USA, and he also drives in European historic rallies in a 1967 Barracuda.

Crockett’s operation became the official “Ford Rally Team,” with Mach 1s painted Meadowlark Yellow. Henderson’s Dearborn-based group campaigned under his “Competition Limited” banner with Wimbledon White Mach 1s.

there were 15 or 16 events, including one-day divisional rallies. You had to do three out of five nationals and four out of six divisionals to do the championship.”

In addition to Ford winning the SCCA Manufacturer’s Championships in 1969 and 1970 with the Mach 1, the individual teams also did well. The Bohls won the Class A Championship in 1969, and Wieman and Rekus took it for 1970; Gezon and Chidester won the Class B Championship in both years.

Ford dropped the Mustang rally program after 1970.

only one of the cars has been found,” says Gezon, referring to the Jones/Brown 1969 428 CJ Mach 1 that sold at a Barrett-Jackson auction in 2013 for $53,900.

The #8 Mach 1 428 CobraJet was given to Ken Adams (driver) and Steve Wood (navigator) to campaign for the Ford Rally Team.

 The photo you have with the car in front of the house used to belong to Ken on Rice Street.

Archie helped Ken drive the car from Bakersfield to Mexico City (and back) for the 1970 24 Horas de Mexico while Steve flew in from LA.


  1. Wow, I don't even know where to begin. Im Ed Crockett's son-Daniel. My sister sent me this link. I drove dad's '70 428 cobra jet while on his lap at age 11. I did 150 at Tom's River, NJ on a long backroad. Love this page-Thank you, Daniel Crockett

    1. I'm real glad to hear from you!
      If you want to share photos of your Dad's mustang, and tell some stories, I'd be happy to share them here... and I know that my readers would love to see more photos of those cars, and read the stories that only someone who is a part of the family of a rally racer in the rare years that Ford sponsored it would know.

      Even if I don't hear back from you, it's been a pleasure to make you happy by posting what I have here. That's one of the few perks of this being something I do every day for free.

    2. I glad to be part of this in ay way that I can. I will be glad to pass along memories of my father and his friends. They all treated me so well. As I was 10-11 at this time, I didn't have a camera. That would have been a great thing to have back then too. Some of the other cars I also got to look at were just amazing. I hope that my future comments will at least paint a mental picture of cars like the Ocean City Cavalcade days or Pocono Raceway. I'll be back my friend. Sincerely, Daniel Crockett

    3. Thanks! If you come across photos in your family albums, or the garage, or even a scrapbook if your parents made one of the many races and events that they went to... and would like to share them so your family's part of rally history gets onto the internet for us fans, I hope you let me know, or even that you make a facebook page for it, or something. It wasn't so long ago, but already so little is known, remembered, and even less is on the internet for people to find when they go looking for information so they can learn about it.
      I know I didn't find much when I went to look it up and share it with my readers.
      That's a shame, everyone loves Mustangs, especially Mustangs that raced!
      Well, I look forward to hearing and learning more, thanks for reaching out and getting in touch!

    4. Hello, a Facebook page would be a good idea but I'd only have the photos that you have found. I could try to reach out to Ford, since they are so dedicated to Mustangs. I have seen some images on youtube that would be excellent. My father, Ed Crockett, knew Carrol Shelby back in the day and I did learn something very interesting. Because of some corporate friction at the time, Carrol Shelby left Ford in 1968-according to an interview he did long ago. He barley had any involvement. Now the 1969 Shelby Mustang is a beautiful car, but the Ford Mustangs like the Boss 302 or the 428 cobra jet cars my father drove were actually much better cars. All were designed by Ford but many of those 69-70 "Shelbys" had automatic transmissions, power windows and seats, tilt wheel, ac, etc. In my mind, they were luxury mustangs that were the same car with a facelift and many options. They even dropped the alloy wheels for mag like hub caps on later shelbys. I would love to own any of those cars, Im not that picky. My choice would be a 69-70 Boss 429 since it is so rare. The Shelby Mustangs of that short era were probably a bit heavier, but I don't know that for sure. It is important to note that the Ford Rally Team Mustangs had automatic transmissions so that driver could focus on controlling the car and it's power in any condition. (thank you dad, I can drive an auto too)