Michael Johnson
Associate Editor, 5.0 Mustangs & Super Fords
June 13, 2007
Photos By: Steve Turner

Horse Sense: Tim showed up on Modular Madness' doorsteps the day the Bradenton, Florida, shop opened for business. Since then, he and his Mach 1 have been fixtures there, often playing guinea pig for new performance components.

"In my spare time, I like to hang out with the gang down at Modular Madness," says Bradenton, Florida, resident Tim Vendette. It may seem strange to hear that someone actually likes hanging out a performance shop, but to us it's no surprise at all. When we do a tech story at a Mustang shop, inevitably people come and go throughout the day. Some come to drop off a car for repairs or upgrades, yet it seems as though the majority of people use that time for bench racing, telling stories, or-like Tim-just hanging out. Call it the automotive enthusiast's version of the mall, but when you want to be close to the action, your favorite Mustang shop can provide hours of entertainment.

When the Mach 1 returned for '03, Mustang fans flocked to the car's old-school character, and Tim Vendette was no different. As such, he didn't change much on the outside. He dropped it down a smidge using Eibach springs and filled the gaps with replica Mach 1 wheels-17x9s up front and 17x10 1/2-inch examples out back. Nitto treads constitute the rolling stock.

For Tim, Modular Madness is a home away from home. Located nearby in the small city of Sarasota, Florida, the shop is quickly gaining a reputation for building fast modular Mustangs, and Tim's Mach 1 is testament to that.

Similar to his favorite shop, Tim is no stranger to Fords. His dad started the trend with a '63 Galaxy 500, and Tim and his brothers followed suit with an array of classic Fords and Mustangs. His first car was a '67 Galaxy 500 with a 289, but he expanded his automotive horizons via a variety of sports cars. After those experiences, he went off-road for a few years in several four-wheel-drive trucks.

With the Mach 1's reintroduction for '03, Tim returned to his automotive roots. He planted his behind in this Azure Blue example-or Pepsi blue, since Tim is a fleet manager for our favorite soda manufacturer (Pepsi is responsible for Mountain Dew, Associate Editor Johnson's life fuel). "I just had to have one," Tim says. "I wanted a combination of show, street, and strip performance." To that end, the Mach 1 received a Vortech SQ S-Trim supercharger. A combination he refers to as "fairly mild." With the Vortech, Tim's Mach was right at the 430-rwhp mark.

Of course, he wanted more. Tim took a two-pronged approach at realizing his goal, which at that time was eclipsing the 500-rwhp mark. He realized he would need a built engine, so he had Modular Madness build an iron-block 4.6 with Manley rods and Mahle pistons. The heads and intake remained stock, but he also made the switch to a ProCharger F-1A supercharger to accomplish his goal. The reason Tim wanted more power was because he wanted to go to the track more, and he wanted to get some horsepower behind the Mach. With the power upgrades, he knew rearend components would be sorely overtaxed, so he upgraded the stock parts with an Eaton Posi, Moser 31-spline axles, and 3.73 gears. But Tim left the stock TR3650 transmission to take the abuse of 620 rwhp. That's right-he easily met and exceeded his 500hp goal.

Realizing his goal meant Tim was done working-wait, are you kidding? At the '06 SEMA show, he laid eyes on Hellion Power Systems' new Four-Valve single-turbo kit, and the wrenches began turning again. It brought to the foray a T76 single turbo, but he didn't just add the turbo kit. Tim upgraded the transmission with a ProMotion-upgraded TKO 600, Lakewood scattershield, and a Pro-5.0 shifter. Crower custom-grind cams also came on board with the Hellion kit, and a UPR Products' tubular K-member kit provided a bit more space to work with.

When asked what his future plans are for the Mach, Tim simply says, "Race it!"