When Scott McClure picked up his brand-new '03 Mach 1, it was certainly a sight to behold. The gleaming Torch Red paint was enough to set the air itself on fire and the shaker hoodscoop unquestionably made this special edition Mustang one of the horniest-looking versions in a decade. (Did he just say horniest? -Ed.)
To many Mustang enthusiasts, the '03 Mach 1 was exactly what the '01 SVT Cobra should have been-a four-valve aluminum V-8 engine hooked up to a solid rear axle. Granted, there was much more to this car than a simplistic dream like that, but for Scott, there was one simple attraction to the car. "The shaker was what sold me on the Mach 1," he told us.
Indeed, the shaker hoodscoop had not seen the light of day on a performance Ford for three decades. For the uninitiated, a shaker scoop is one that is mounted directly on the engine and passes through a hole in the hood to draw fresh air. Because it moves when the engine does, it is called a shaker.
Scott is no stranger to picking up a wrench, more by necessity than not in the past. He had previously owned a couple of Mustang IIs, including a '77 Cobra II. Trying to keep them on the road as reliable daily drivers proved to be more of a chore than he had anticipated. One of them met an untimely end on New Year's Day of 1987 and the other was eventually given away as a project car.
Regardless, the experience he had from finding parts for those cars served him well when the new Mach 1 arrived. Others had gone before him in the power-adder department and their experiences served to guide him well when the time came. It came soon enough with the arrival of an ATI ProCharger kit for the Mach. The intercooled P-1SC setup was good for a 60 percent power boost and still kept the shaker scoop in place.
The car grew in other areas as well. Careful attention was paid to maintaining overall performance. Brakes, driveline, and suspension each got its share of attention as the weekend cruiser and show field dominator began to accumulate mileage. Still, when a killer deal came along for a 2.2L Kenne Bell blower, the opportunity to upgrade the Mach was just too irresistible.
"When I had a motor built, I knew the 2.2 Kenne Bell wasn't going to be enough for what I wanted, so I went the Whipple route," he explained. What Scott wanted in the new motor began with the somewhat uncommon Italian-manufactured Teksid aluminum DOHC 4.6L block. These particular castings are prized among performance seekers as the company Teksid is also a casting supplier to Ferrari and started making these blocks in 1993. They appeared in various Lincoln and Mercury vehicles and are understood to be the strongest of the 4.6L DOHC aluminum blocks made, capable of handling in excess of 800 hp.
An SVT Cobra forged steel, eight-bolt crankshaft was next to be added, along with Manley forged steel H-beam connecting rods and an eight-pack of Diamond's forged aluminum pistons. This was going to be a rotating assembly that Scott made sure was going to stay together. That same quality of component selection was maintained throughout the engine build, as the top end was taken care of just as well as the bottom. A new set of the most up-to-date OE four-valve heads were secured, machined, and fitted with Ford GT supercar camshafts and Livernois Motorsports' valvesprings.
There was one small problem to address though. The 2.3L Whipple supercharger was not being made for the Mach I. The closest model was for the Terminator Cobra, which would require all front end components of the engine-accessories, mounting brackets, and so on-to be changed over from Mach to Cobra configuration.