Mustang MonthlyCar Reviews
2003 Ford Mustang Mach 1 - It's Back! The 2003
Is It All That The Old Cars Are-Or Is It More? We Look At The Car, Drive It, And Let You Know
The Mach 1 name is familiar to many folks; familiar in the sense that the cars were produced from the 1969 model year through the end of 1978. The plain truth is that the only years that seem to really interest most Mustangers are those during the musclecar wars-1969 through 1973. Even so, after 1970 Ford seemed to lose its way to some degree where the Mach 1 was concerned. In 1971 the 302 became the base Mach 1 powerplant, and from there it just got worse. For example, in 1974 a V-6 was the only engine under the hood of the Mach. From there, when the 302 was revived for 1975, the V-6 remained the bottom-line powerplant for the Mach.
Well, let's just say the folks at Team Mustang wanted to set the record straight by bringing the Mach 1 name back to its former glory and capturing a new brand of enthusiast. As if to prove that point and drive it home to the Blue Oval fans, we caught Team Mustang at the Fun Ford Weekend at Atlanta Dragway. What were they doing there? It definitely wasn't posing, though the show car was there. No, they were beating the snot out of two test-mule cars to see just what they were capable of. Were they capable? Read on to find out.
We have also put together a sample of what the two most popular years of Mach 1 ('69-'70) offered in the way of options and standard items, giving you the chance to see how the new Mach compares. This comparision will also let you see just how much "retro" thought went into the new car.
What It Was
* Low-gloss black hood and cowl.
* Nonfunctional hoodscoop-with integral turn signal indicators and engine identification. Mach 1s equipped with the 428 Cobra Jet Ram Air engine (R code) get a new-for-1969 "Shaker" hoodscoop that attaches to the top of the engine air cleaner and protrudes up through a cutout in the hood. The scoop is functional, operating on engine vacuum.
* Racing-type hood pins-the pins are secured to the car by plastic-encased wires. Upon the original buyer's request, the hood pins were a delete option.
* Dual color-keyed racing mirrors.
* Mach 1 stripe on body side and rear of decklid-The stripe begins just aft of the front wheelwell, with MACH 1 in the forward section, and stretches to the rear bumper. MACH 1 is also cut out of the rear decklid stripe. The stripes are available in three color combinations-black w/gold, red w/gold, or gold w/white-depending on body and interior colors.
* Pop-open gas cap-with a Mustang running horse/tri-color bar in the center.
* Chrome Styled Steel Wheels-with plain hubcap (no GT emblem).
* Dual exhaust with chrome quad outlets (four-barrel engines only).
* E70 x 14 white sidewall tires.
* Bright rocker panel moulding.