It's been 33 years since the original Mach 1 Mustang hit the streets, but ask anyone who's ever seen one and they'll describe it as if it were sitting right in front of them. With its menacing shaker hood scoop (named so because it was mounted on the engine and therefore "shook" when the throttle was blipped), flat black body trim and optional 428 Cobra Jet V8, the original '69 Mach 1 was certainly a sight to behold and a competitor to be feared. Among the various Mustangs produced during the muscle car era of the late '60s and early '70s, the Mach 1 stood out from the rest -- and still does to this day.
For 2003, the Mach 1 is back again, this time as part of Ford's "Living Legends" lineup. The idea is simple: take some of the most memorable Ford vehicles of the past and recreate them for modern-day consumption. Maintain the style and performance that made each particular model a legend, but do it in a way that not only pays homage to the original but improves upon it as well.
Never having piloted an original Mach 1, our impressions of the new model don't have the added insight of direct comparison, but like most attempts to recreate the past, the modern version is probably dead-on in numerous ways and not even close in others. One look and it's obvious that there wasn't much stylistic license used when it came to the exterior. It's got the shaker hood scoop, the air dam and the black rear deck spoiler just like the original. The extended rocker panels are there, too, along with side scoops and all-new 17-inch wheels similar in style to the original mags used in '69. It doesn't have the awe-inspiring presence of the original but the modern demands of aerodynamics and fuel efficiency don't always allow for the proportions and size that made yesterday's street machines so visually dynamic.
The all-new engine could be accused of the same lack of character if it weren't for the fact that it generates nearly as much horsepower as the top-shelf 428 did in its day. The ultramodern dual-overhead cam V8 extracts a very respectable 305 horsepower and 320 pound-feet of torque from its comparatively small 281 cubic inches of displacement. Combine that with significantly better mileage and less maintenance and air conditioning and...well, you get the picture.
Credit for the extra 45 horsepower over the standard 4.6 can be attributed to high-flow four-valve heads, higher compression (10.1:1), specially calibrated camshafts and port-matched exhaust manifolds. A specially tuned stainless steel exhaust system finished off with chrome tips completes the upgrades. It sounds burly enough to wear "Mach 1" badges, but we would venture to guess that the original still holds a slight advantage in this area.
Anyone who's acclimated to the standard 4.6 in the GT will notice the Mach 1's extra juice immediately. Unlike the revisions in the Bullitt Mustang that resulted in barely discernable differences in power, the Mach's substantial improvements return results you can feel. The Mach 1 is also aided by a shorter 3.55:1 final drive ratio, so sub-14 second quarter-mile times shouldn't be much of a problem. The Mach uses the same five-speed manual transmission found in the Bullitt, although a standard four-speed automatic is offered as well.
Suspension upgrades for the live axle Mach are nearly identical to those used on the Bullitt. Higher-rate front and rear springs lower the car half an inch, while specially tuned Tokico gas-pressurized shocks provide the dampening. The front stabilizer bar is carried over from the GT (23mm) while the rear gets a solid 23mm bar in place of GT's hollow unit. The Mach 1 also uses the same brake system upgrades as the Bullitt with 13-inch Brembo rotors and calipers (painted black) up front and slightly larger rear rotors (11.6 inches) as well.
Not surprisingly, the Mach 1 performs much like the Bullitt, with a tighter, more stable feel in the corners and a slightly stiffer ride everywhere else. The beefier brakes are a welcomed improvement, but they're still not powerful enough for serious track duty as they faded considerably after repeated hot laps. Those gathered for our media preview drive recalled that the Bullitt seemed to feel more balanced on the track, but the Mach definitely has an edge when it comes to usable power.
Although we spent most of our time behind the wheel staring at the rumbling hood scoop, we did manage to take in some of the Mach 1's throwback styling cues. The black leather "comfortweave" seats look like respectable reproductions of the original trim (albeit with considerably more lateral support), while the retro gauges make for a clean-looking instrument cluster. An optional interior trim package includes gray accents for the instrument panel, center stack and shift bezel in addition to aluminum pedals and an aluminum shift ball and boot ring. The extra dose of shimmering trim brightens up the otherwise unremarkable interior, so if you're planning on buying one don't forget to mark this $300 option.
With only 6,500 Mach 1s scheduled for production, they're likely to fly off the lots as fast as they tear down the drag strip. While the modern version isn't exactly the street king that the original version was, it still has more than enough guts under the hood to rattle a few nerves and put a smile on your face. But then again, like so many other recreations of late-'60s legends, the new Mach is missing that aura of originality that can't be added like an options package. For those who experienced it firsthand, it will never be the same, but for those who only had the chance to admire the original Mach 1 from the pages of a magazine or a dealer brochure, this all-new "living legend" is a dream come true.
What's a good price on a used 2003 Ford Mustang ?
Price comparisons for used 2003 Ford Mustang trim styles:
The used 2003 Ford Mustang GT Deluxe is priced around $9324 with average odometer reading of 73376 miles.
The used 2003 Ford Mustang GT Premium is priced around $6250 with average odometer reading of 115000 miles.
The used 2003 Ford Mustang SVT Cobra is priced around $17695 with average odometer reading of 101853 miles.
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What options are available on the 2003 Ford Mustang?
Available Ford Mustang 2003 Submodel Types: Boss 302, Convertible, Coupe, SVT Cobra, Mach 1 Premium, Hatchback
Available Ford Mustang 2003 Trims: GT, V6, EcoBoost, EcoBoost Premium, V6 Premium, Deluxe, Base, Standard, Boss 302, SVT Cobra, GT Deluxe, Mach 1 Premium, GT 50 Years Limited Edition, LX 5.0, GT Premium, GTS, Premium
Exterior Colors: Shadow Black, Magnetic Metallic, Ruby Red Metallic Tinted Clearcoat, Race Red, Oxford White, Black, Ingot Silver Metallic, Lightning Blue Metallic, Kona Blue Metallic, Grabber Blue, Deep Impact Blue Metallic, Sterling Gray Metallic, Triple Yellow Tri-Coat, Royal Crimson Metallic Tinted Clearcoat, White Platinum Metallic Tri-Coat, Performance White Clearcoat, Competition Orange, Guard Metallic, Orange Fury Metallic Tri-Coat, Windveil Blue Clearcoat Metallic, Satin Silver Clearcoat Metallic, Performance White, Red Candy Metallic Tinted Clearcoat, Brilliant Silver Clearcoat Metallic, Ebony, Tungsten Grey Clearcoat Metallic, Alloy Clearcoat Metallic, Gotta Have it Green Metallic Tri-Coat, Screaming Yellow Clearcoat, Silver Clearcoat Metallic, Dark Candy Apple Red Clearcoat Metallic, Mineral Gray Clearcoat Metallic, Redfire Clearcoat Metallic, Sunset Gold Metallic, Legend Lime Clearcoat Metallic, Vista Blue Clearcoat Metallic, Red Candy Metallic w/Tinted Clearcoat, Redfire Clearcoat, Yellow Blaze Metallic Tri-Coat, 40th Anniversary Crimson Red, Black Clearcoat, Laser Red Tinted Clearcoat, Lava Red Metallic, Mineral Grey Clearcoat Metallic, Rio Red Tinted Clearcoat, Silver Metallic, Zinc Yellow Clearcoat, Amazon Green Clearcoat Metallic, Azure Blue, Crystal White, Crystal White Clearcoat, Dark Shadow Grey Clearcoat Metallic, Electric Green Clearcoat Metallic, Grabber Orange Clearcoat, Oxford White Clearcoat, Performance Red Clearcoat, Satin Silver Clearcoat, Screaming Yellow, Sonic Blue Clearcoat Metallic, Torch Red Clearcoat, True Blue Clearcoat Metallic, Vapor Clearcoat Metallic, Wimbledon White
Interior Colors: Ebony cloth, Ebony leather, Charcoal Black cloth, Charcoal Black leather, Dark Charcoal cloth, Ebony leather/sueded microfiber, Dark Charcoal leather, Medium Stone cloth, Ceramic leather, Dark Charcoal, Saddle leather, Dark Ceramic cloth, Medium Parchment leather, Medium Stone leather, Midnight Blue leather, Raven Black leather, Tan leather, Ceramic cloth, Showstopper Red leather, Medium Parchment cloth, Dark Saddle leather, Stone cloth, Medium Graphite, Black w/Chamois Accent leather, Dark Charcoal w/Red Accent leather, Cashmere leather, Dark Charcoal w/Red Accent, Black w/Dove Accent leather, Black w/Dove Accent premium leather, Black w/Red Accent leather, Charcoal Black w/Grabber Blue Accent leather, Dark Charcoal w/Dark Charcoal, Dark Charcoal w/Medium Graphite, Dark Charcoal w/Medium Parchment, Lava Red leather, Light Graphite, Light Graphite cloth, Light Graphite leather, Medium Parchment, Stone leather, Yellow Jacket leather
Popular Features: Audio and cruise controls on steering wheel, Aux Audio Inputs, Tire Pressure Warning, Post-collision safety system, Stability Control, Upgraded Headlights, Bluetooth, USB Inputs, Back-up camera, Keyless Entry/Start, Parking sensors, Auto Climate Control, Multi-Zone Climate Control, Heated seats, Cooled Seats, Trip Computer, Apple Carplay/Android Auto, Mobile Internet, Remote Start, Navigation, 2nd Row Bucket Seats, Blind Spot Monitoring, Upgraded Stereo, Adaptive Cruise Control, Rear Bench Seats, Automatic Emergency Braking, Lane Departure Warning, Power Driver Seat, Pre-collision safety system, Leather Seats, Fold Flat Rear Seats, Soft Top, Alarm, Sunroof/Moonroof
The used 2003 Ford Mustang is offered in the following submodels: Convertible, SVT Cobra, Coupe, SVT Cobra 10th Anniversary, Mach 1 Premuim. Available styles include Deluxe 2dr Convertible (3.8L 6cyl 5M), 2dr Coupe (3.8L 6cyl 5M), and GT Deluxe 2dr Convertible (4.6L 8cyl 5M). Pre-owned Mustang models are available with a 0-liter gas engine, with output up to 260 hp, depending on engine type. The used 2003 Mustang comes with rear wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 5-speed manual.