Four Engines & Four-Wheel Drive: The Mach IV Mustang

I’ve always thought that 1960s drag racing was basically what drifting and other ‘extreme’ motorsports are today.

Back then it was as much about putting on a show for the fans as it was a competition, and this wild beast found inside the Galpin Auto Sports collection is a perfect example of that idea.

Galpin-Ford-Museum-39 copy

Known as Mach IV, this perfectly restored quarter-miler was originally built by Gary Weckesser back in 1969. At the time, the Funny Car movement was beginning to take off, but Gary had a different idea. Using a custom-built chassis as his base, he set out to create one of the more outrageous cars ever to take to a drag strip.

Galpin-Ford-Museum-33 copy

If one injected 351ci V8 is cool, how about four of them?! That was the setup that Gary used to power the Mach IV; total output around 3,000 horsepower.

Galpin-Ford-Museum-23 copy

But rather than sending all the power to the rear wheels alone, the four engines powered up the front and rear wheels simultaneously. The giant slicks up front provide for a very unusual look.

Galpin-Ford-Museum-29 copy

To complete the look, the chassis was fitted with a modified Funny Car body styled after the then new ’69 Mustang fastback.

Galpin-Ford-Museum-37 copy

And of course, the body is finished in the bitchin’ metalflake striping and hand-lettered graphics that so many of the great ’60s race cars had. It was equal parts show car and drag strip destroyer.

Galpin-Ford-Museum-32 copy

In its heyday, Mach IV ran ETs in the 7-second zone, crossing through the traps at 180mph – and looking absolutely ridiculous while doing so.

Galpin-Ford-Museum-40 copy

After touring drag strips across the United States through the first half of the ’70s, the car was put into storage before undergoing a full restoration and becoming part of the Galpin collection.

While it’s unlikely something as wild as Mach IV will ever be allowed on the track again, it really makes me wish I could have been around to experience drag-mania for myself back in the ’60s.

Mike Garrett
Instagram: japanifornia_media



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Bad Ass


I always wonder how the gearboxes work on these things


Gary Weckesser was actually my uncle. He told me that he had to hire an engineer to build a custom gearbox, and driveshaft as well to to take the stresses of that immense power he never said how it worked exactly because i was too young to understand at the time. I know it's not much help but thought I'd add that to the conversation.


Just plain amazing. High speed art at its finest


JakWhite saaaaaame here lol


JakWhite What gearboxes? Haha


How are the cranks connected together?


JakWhite  Direct drive with a slipper clutch. No transmissions there.


If this is anything like Tommy Ivo's 4-motor car, it was likely none too successful or enjoyable to drive.


NicholasDixon , yea but it put on a great show, as the "Show Boat" name might suggest and it's appeal was great enough for it morph into the "Wagon Master" and back again. Who cares if it wasn't fastest, it made a load of smoke at all four wheels and it makes me smile when I see clips of it. 
Here's a clip, with Tommy Evo explaining how it worked


NicholasDixon All in the name of putting on a show!


Mike Garrett NicholasDixon Oh, not saying it wasn't cool. Ivo absolutely hated that car though


Why dont people make these multi engine cars today?


NicholasDixon JakWhite  providing all the engines are running at the same RPM? I presume the left two engines are connected at the crank as are the right two, then some kind of belt/cog setup between the two to a driveshaft?


with a very nice speed  sure the car could be a champion one


the car was very good 
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People are more concerned about winning by getting to the finish line first. I grew up in this era. Sure it's nice to cross the line first but how much fun did you have? Do fans talk about how cool your car is? When people look at your car and smile, you love working on your car without a paid crew just good friends........then you won! Yeah I think it's interesting how quick and fast current cars are. But they have lost the guy that builds a car with friends. Now you need a major corporation to fund you. If you don't win they drop you. Where's the fun part?


The above link explains how it was done, it's pretty interesting. I had thought it was done like the 5 engined tractor pull vehicles use. They put hydraulic pumps on each engine and they all end up in one hydraulic motor. That's what large construction equipment uses. Reduce electronics and increase innovation.
I sent a letter to NHRA, bring back 1/4mile racing but require cars to stop within a specified distance or be disqualified. Mud bloggers do this. It promotes safety, brake companies will participate more and develope better brakes. You racing made cars better for everyone. Otherwise they might as well stop drag racing now. What's next? 1/8mile? Cars already hit 280mph in the 1/8mile. Com on NHRA wake up!