Steve Turner
Former Editor, 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords
October 1, 2004
Photos By: Courtesy Of ATI-Procharger
We didn't lose our eyesight when we saw Athena Barber and her Mach 1 bathed in the fluorescent dyno-cell light, but we did gain new respect for supercharged Mach 1s. Athena has big plans for her black beauty, including wheels, tires, suspension bits, and more, so you might just see more of it in this mag one day.

Horse Sense: ATI recommends forged pistons and 9:1 compression ratios for maximum longevity, with high-octane pump gas and 8-10 pounds of boost. Given that the Mach 1 comes from the factory with hypereutectic pistons and 10:1 compression, we wouldn't advise putting a smaller pulley on the blower unless you build a new short-block first.

Most of us have problems explaining to our girlfriends and wives why it's so important that we modify our perfectly good Mustangs. Let's just say they don't understand our testosterone-fueled urge to make our Mustangs better, stronger, and faster. But despite some of our personal experiences, there are ladies out there who have the need for speed just as badly as we do. One such enthusiast is Athena Barber, who gets her name by way of Greek myth, although she actually resides in the Carolinas. Not only has Athena owned several Mustangs, but she also likes to race them and work on them.

Before you've even seen her, we're already describing your dream girl, right? Well, it gets better. If you've ever been to a Ford race and walked by the Bassani trailer or visited the Bassani Web site, you've probably seen Athena. That's right, she's one of the legendary Bassani babes who's usually there signing posters and making small talk. If you've had a chance to talk to her, you know she's nice too. Scary-all that in the same gal. It's a bit hard to believe.

Athena Barber (left)

Knowing what you do about Athena now, it's easy to believe that when her Fox Mustang was lost to an unfortunate accident, she wanted to replace it with another. That Mustang was a new Mach 1. It's a fast car out of the box, but Athena wanted to make it faster. A Bassani exhaust system was a slam-dunk, but, of course, Athena wanted more. She had thoughts of supercharging, and she used to live not far from ProCharger's Lenexa, Kansas, headquarters. We had long wanted to try the intercooled ProCharger on a Mach 1, so when we heard about Athena's potential project, we decided to follow along.

As it turned out, Athena even helped ATI's Jet Car Jeremy Jensen with the installation of the exhaust and blower kit, with impressive results.

After the obligatory positive-battery-cable disconnection, it's necessary to remove the coolant overflow tank from its mounts and slide it out of the way to create some working space. You needn't disconnect hoses; just slide the tank out of the way. After doing so, Athena removes the Shaker scoop from its mounts atop the intake.

Next is the removal of the entire factory air-inlet system, including the airbox, the mass air meter, the inlet duct, the PCV hose, and the Shaker-to-airbox duct. Don't put the mass air too far away, however, as you'll be transferring it to the ProCharger tubing. And you'll probably want to keep the assorted inlet pieces, should you ever want to sell your limited-production Mach 1 down the road.