Jeff Ford
August 1, 2002
Contributers: Jeff Ford

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
Mach 1-1969

* 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.

* High-back bucket seats-with "Comfortweave" knitted vinyl inserts and red trim across the top of the insert on the seat back (black only).
* Deluxe three-spoke Rim-Blow steering wheel.
* Special carpet-with red sewn-in floor mats, front and rear.
* Console-with simulated woodgrain.
* Moulded door panels-with simulated wood-grain insert and courtesy lights.
* Simulated wood-grain instrument panel appliques-including a round rally-type electric clock and Mach 1 emblem on the passenger side.
* Bright rocker panel mouldings.
* Simulated woodgrain panel around radio and heater controls.

* The Handling Suspension is standard on the Mach 1.
* Special Insulation: The Mach 1s include a special sound-insulation package that adds 55 pounds of sound insulation and deadener materials.

Power Team Specifications 1969
3-speed 4-speed Cruise- 3-Speed Manual 4-Speed Manual Cruise-O-Matic
Manual Manual O-Matic Standard Option Standard Option Standard Option
Opt. 351 2v V-8 Standard Option Option 2.75 3.00 3.00 3.25+ 2.75 3.00
3.25+ 3.25+
Opt. 351 4v V-8 Standard Option Option 3.00 3.25+ 3.00 3.25+ 3.00 3.25+
Opt. 390 4v V-8 N.A.** Option Option N/A N/A 3.00 3.25+ 2.75 3.00
3.50* 3.25+
3.91* 3.50*
4.30* 3.91*
Opt. 428 4v V-8 N.A.** Option Option N/A N/A 3.25 3.50+ 3.25 3.50+
(Non-Ram-Air) 3.91* 3.91*
4.30* 4.30*
428 4v V-8 N.A.** Option Option N/A N/A 3.50+ 3.25+ 3.50+ 3.25+
{{{CJ}}} (Ram-Air) 3.91* 3.91*
4.30* 4.30*
Tire Specifications 1969
E78-14 E70-14 F70-14 FR70-14 F70-14
BSW Wide-Oval Wide-Oval Wide-Oval Fiberglass-
Fiberglass- Fiberglass- Radial Ply belted
belted, WSW belted, WSW N/A RWL
351 and 390 V-8 Std. Opt. Opt. Opt. N/A
428 V-8 Std. Opt. Opt. N/A
428 Cobra jet N/A N/A N/A Mandatory

Back in the day, the Mach 1 was a car that was to be "designed by you." That meant you got your Mach with several levels of performance. One thing you didn't get in 1969 was a code to denote the Mach 1 in the vehicle identification number (VIN). Not until 1970 did Ford give the Mach 1 its own "05" code in the VIN. What you did get was, at the very least, a 351 2V Windsor and three-speed tranny in addition to all the Mach 1 stuff listed below.

As the Mach 1 grew and changed, so did its option list. There were, as of 1971, very few options left. Perhaps this is why Ford decided to go with the look and feel of the fist two years of the Mach 1 for the '03. Even so, there were plenty of ways to option out the Mach 1 in 1969 and 1970. Many revolved around the list below, but many were creature comforts that we really don't have the space to go into here.

Mach 1-1970
* Special grille with unique driving lamps.
* Mach 1 hood treatments-The '70 Mach 1 hood features a wide paint stripe down the center of the hood, either low-gloss black or white depending on the body color. A thinner stripe is on either side of the large stripe. The engine size is inserted into the stripe on each side of the standard hoodscoop (bolt-on, nonfunctional-the functional Shaker is standard with the 428 Cobra Jet Ram-Air, optional with all other engines. Its stripe wraps around the back of the scoop). Twist-type hood latches are standard.
* Dual color-keyed racing mirrors.
* Aluminum rocker panel moulding-unique to the '70 Mach 1. The dark-gray mouldings are finned and feature die-cast "MACH 1" lettering on the front fender.
* Wide decklid tape stripe, either black or white depending on the body color, with die-cast "MACH 1," centered on the rear face of the decklid.
* Dark gray honeycomb rear-panel applique.
* Pop-open gas cap.
* Chrome oval exhaust extensions-with the 351 Cleveland 4V or either 428 4Vs only.
* E70x14 fiberglass-belted tires.
* Sports wheel covers-simulated mag-type.

* Special Mach 1 bucket seats-Mach 1 seats are knitted vinyl with horizontal pleats like the '69 Mach 1 buckets. The stripe at the top of the seat back insert is color-keyed to the interior.
* Deluxe three-spoke Rim-Blow steering wheel with simulated woodgrain rim.
* Special color-keyed carpet-with built-in floor mats color-keyed to the interior.
* Console-with simulated woodgrain trim.
* Moulded door panels.
* Simulated woodgrain instrument panel appliques-with Mach 1 emblem on the passenger side.
* Round electric clock-mounted in the passenger-side instrument panel.
* Bright trimmed pedal pads.

* Higher-rate front and rear springs.
* High-capacity shock absorbers.
* Large-diameter front stabilizer bar.
* Rear stabilizer bar.

Power Team Specifications 1970
3-speed 4-speed Cruise- 3-Speed Manual 4-Speed Manual Cruise-O-Matic
Manual Manual O-Matic Standard Option Standard Option Standard Option
Opt. 351 2v V-8 Standard Option Option 2.75 3.00+ 3.00+ 3.25+ 2.75 3.00+
3.25+ 3.25+
Opt. 351 2v V-8
Mach I and Ram-Air Standard Option Option 3.00+ 2.75 3.25+ 3.00+ 3.00+ 2.75
3.25+ 3.25+
Opt. 351 4v V-8 Standard Option Option 3.25+ 3.00+ 3.25+ 3.00+ 3.00+ 3.25+
3.50* 3.50*
Opt. 351 4v V-8
Mach I and Ram-Air Standard Option Option 3.25+ 3.00+ 3.25+ 3.00+ 3.25+ 3.00+
3.50 3.50*
Opt. 428 4v Cobra V-8 NA Option Option NA NA 3.25 3.50+ 3.25 3.00*
(Non-Ram-Air) 3.50+
Opt. 428 4v Cobra
Jet V-8 (Ram-Air) NA Option Option NA NA 3.50+ 3.25+ 3.50+ 3.00+
Opt. Drag Pack NA Option Option NA NA 3.91* 4.30** 3.91* 4.30**

+ Also available with optional "Traction-Lok" differential
* Available only with "Traction-Lok" differential.
** Available only with Detroit Automotive "No-Spin" differential.
NA Not Available

Tire Specifications 1970
E78-14 F70-14 F70-14
Fiberglass- Fiberglass- Fiberglass-
belted, WSW belted, WSW belted, RWL
351 V-8 Standard Option
428 V-8 Standard Option
428 Cobra jet Option

What It Is
When we first saw the '03 Mach 1, we knew Ford had a winner. The hood and Shaker scoop alone were worth the price of admission. Not to mention the Magnum 500 esqu wheels and the subtle graphics. We weren't prepared for the 32-valve experience that's nothing like its Cobra cousin-but more on that later.

Scott Hoge and Co. has put a lot of thought into the Mach 1-as much, if not more so, than the Bullitt from last year. The car is subtle but catchy, wild but refined. In short, it's an updated Mach 1 that's the perfect replacement for the vintage cars.

'03 Mach 1
Engine and Transmission Modifications
* The functional Shaker is modeled after the original '69 Shaker. The Shaker is mounted to the intake manifold and directs fresh air to the air-filter tray assembly.
* The dual 57mm throttle body feeds air through a cast-aluminum intake manifold and into a set of new high-flow, four-valve cylinder heads.
* The new cylinder heads house a 5.4L four-valve intake cam and a high-performance exhaust cam. This cam combination greatly enhances torque at lower engine speeds.
* A new set of exhaust manifolds are port-matched to the new cylinder heads.
* The mufflers are tuned to create a unique sound and the tips are chromed, setting the Mach 1 apart from other steeds in the stable.
* The Mach 1 axle has been upgraded with a high-torque differential that is coupled to a set of 3.55:1 final drive gears.

* Independent, modified 35mm piston, Tokico valve MacPherson strut with separate spring on lower arm and stabilizer bar.
* Springs-Helical coil, rubber-insulated, unique linear rate. Springs are 600 lb/in linear (lowers car 11/42 inch).
* Shock Absorbers-Integral with Tokico strut, gas-pressurized, hydraulic, unique valving.
* Stabilizer bar 26.5 mm (1.04 in.) solid.

* Four-bar link with coil springs on lower arm, unique horizontal axle damper and stabilizer bar.
* Springs-Helical coil, rubber-insulated; 250 lb/in linear (lowers car 11/42 inch) unique linear rate.
* Shock Absorbers-Unique axle damper, gas-pressurized, hydraulic vertical Tokico shock absorbers with horizontal axle dampers, unique valving
* Stabilizer bar 23mm solid (0.905 inch) solid.

* Power-assisted rack-and-pinion.
* Overall ratio 15.3:1 on center.
* Turning Diameter, Curb-to-Curb-38.1 ft.

* Front calipers aluminum dual piston, custom anodized painted.
* Rotors-330 mm (13 inches) Brembo vented.
* Rear calipers single piston.
* Rotors-296 mm (11.7 inches) Brembo vented.
* ABS/T.C.-Yes.
* Miscellaneous-Subframe connectors.

* Optional stainless steel pedal covers are positioned to provide better heel-to-toe relationship.
* Unique dash panel and custom gauges.
* Unique Mach 1 seats with leather centers designed to appear like '69-'70 Comfortweave.
* Custom aluminum shifter ball.

Power Team Specifications 2003
Engine Type MOD 4.6L DOHC V-8
Displacement 4.6L, 281 ci
Horsepower @ rpm {{{300}}}+ @ 6,000 (projected)
Torque lb-ft @ rpm 300+ @ 4,250 (projected)
Compression Ratio 10.1:1
Bore x Stroke {{{90}}}.2 mm x 90 mm
(3.55 in. x 3.54 in.)
Fuel System Sequential
(91-octane minimum)
Fuel Requirement Premium (91-octane minimum)
Exhaust System Stainless steel with chromed rolled tips
Type five-speed manual or four-speed automatic
Final Drive Ratio 3.55:1
Gear Ratios (Manual) First-3.38;

Wheels and Tire Specification:
17x8-inch Magnum 500-style (five-spoke)Goodyear 245/45ZR17 Eagle ZR45

How It Is
The Details
When we say Hoge put a great deal of thought into the Mach 1, we mean there are subtle hints-clues, if you will-to the car's origins. It is awesome to us that Hoge and Co. took the time and energy to make the Mach 1 retro enough to evoke images of the past without making a ham-fisted mess of it. There is just enough nostalgia that the vintage buffs will like it and plenty of go to make the late-model boys and girls happy too. Below is a list of the items that the Mach 1 pays homage to.

The Engine Code
When Hoge went after a Mach 1 look, he also wanted the whole package to reflect the past, to mirror what Ford has done. Therefore, the 32-valve 4.6 is coded in the VIN as an "R," just like the 428 Cobra Jet Ram Air cars of yore.

The code was something of a problem, too. It was not as easy to get that letter as one might think. According to Hoge, any new engine code is usually picked by the Ford corporate computer-not the design team. So when he asked for the "R" code he put a wrench in the Ford works, furthering the untamed reputation of the Mustang Team.

The Shaker
Though it is not a faithful rendering due to thicker lines and edges, the look and feel are definitely there, right down to the ribs on top. Ford didn't have to do this; it could have come up with a new-look Shaker. Certainly the younger crowd, on the whole, would not have known the difference.

The wheels
There is no way to make the Magnum 500 work well on the new car. That's fine by us. So Hoge used these completely new wheels for the Mach 1 that have the flair of the original 500. A very nice update to a classic look. We like these wheels every bit as much as the Bullitt wheels from last year.

The logo
This is another place where Ford could have done as it pleased but decided to stay faithful to the original mark-well, not the "original," but the logo type that was used on the '70-up Mach 1s.

Straight Line
The new 32-valve 4.6 engine with its special cams and hot-rod airs is where the new zing of the Mach 1 is. Though the handling aspects of the car are stout, the 4.6 is where Ford has put the lion's share of its verve. The car is a blast to drive because of both the Shaker and the stunning low and midrange power. Gone is the boggy "4V Cleveland" feel of the older 4.6 Cobra four-valve. Power is pointed and sharp-sharp enough to have Paul Svinicki of Paul's High Performance smack down a 12.97/105.1 quarter-mile time. Even with the Ford guys pummeling the beast, it managed a raft of mid-13 second e.t.'s.

The Mach 1 was the baddest thing Ford had going outside of
the Boss cars. Below are the e.t.'s as reported by the magazines
of the day.
Best stock time, 428 CJ C6 auto: 13.69 at 103.4
- Popular Hotrodding, Jan. 1969
Best modified time,* 428CJ C6 auto: 12.65 at 112.1
- Car Craft, Apr. 1969
Best stick time, 428 CJ four-speed: 13.80 at 103
- Sport Car, 1970
*Slicks, headers and other "unspecified""mods.

The e.t.'s shown below are with either Paul Svinicki driving
or the Ford engineers behind the wheel.
Best stock time, '03 Mach 1 auto 12.97 at 105.1
Best modified time,* '03 Mach 1 five-speed 12.97 at 105.1
Best stick time, Ford engineers:
'03 Mach 1 five-speed 12.97 at 105.1
Best stick time**: '03 Mach 1 five-speed: 12.97 at 105.1

*Drag Radials
** Paul Svinicki, pro late-model driver.

The Car
OK, we've outlined the car, given the goods on the whys and what fors, and shown you all its sex appeal. But the power hounds want to know this and this alone: Is the New Mach a match for the old? The one word answer is, yes. In fact, the new car outstrips its ol' granddad in all aspects. One could only expect this after 34 years of development. But even so, it obliterates the 428SCJ for straight-line speed and definitely smacks the old man when it comes to handling.

The Mach 1 handles much like the Bullitt from last year. There are some minor differences, but the average Mustang buyer won't be able to tell them. It handles well, brakes great, and drives smoothly. In short, it is an excellent road car with great manners. When pushed, it plays well-especially when the traction control is turned off. At that point, the grin factor goes way up-just swish the tail out and have fun. With the traction control on, the car is less fun, but it does the job of road holding a bit better.

Team Mustang Plus One
So, who are these guys? Well, Scott Hoge, (second from left) chief designer of the Mach 1, is a Mustang fan from way back and has been a subscriber to Mustang Monthly for 15 years. In fact, Scott owns a '70 428CJ Mach 1. That makes him particularly well-suited to the job of making the Mach 1 what it is. To Hoge's left are the other fellows who pulled it all together-Daniel Lymburner is the manager for powertrain engineering on Mustang, Brian Young is the product development Mustang GT calibration engineer.

Of course, this would have looked really lame if Nathanial Key had not brought out his beautiful '70 Mach powered by a 351 Cleveland 4V, and has all the goodies. Our thanks and gratitude go out to all of these guys for bending over backward to help us.