Eric Cheney of XMP (Xtreme Mustang Performance) had a little less than 6 weeks to put together this
2003 Mach 1 for the 2003 SEMA Show, which is a display of new products and vehicles for the upcoming year.
When Ford delivered the Mach to XMP, Eric and his crew started the tear down and within the day, they had
the car stripped down to a rolling shell of its former self. With nothing left but the dash and original
wire loom and some body panels, they began to dress it up with a gaggle of performance parts from many
Glancing at the overall image of the Mach, you can see that it is far from stock: with a Saleen ground
effects package; S-351 wing; APM’s Mach 2 hand-laid fiberglass hood; custom targa top; and Lamborghini doors.
He shaved almost everything: door handles, antenna, door/trunk locks, and rear quarter panel scoops.
The wheels up front are HRE 446R in 19x9" wrapped with Pirelli P-Zero 275/30/ZR19 rubber; out back are
HRE 446R 19x11" with Pirelli P-Zero 305/25/ZR19.
The suspension is all Maximum Motorsports bumper-to-bumper, their complete "Max Grip" package. This kit
includes Bilstein coil-over shocks on all four corners, torque arm, adjustable sway bar, custom jacking rails,
1-3/4" ladder bracing and firewall bracing to support the windshield and targa top, and full-length sub frame
connectors and welded torque boxes. The beast needed a roll cage, so Eric customized a Maximum 6-point with
swing-away door braces, so he can get in and out easier. The paint & bodywork was done by Ratical Automotive
and really needs to be seen in person. Modern Image Signworks custom high-resolution vinyl was applied to add
a little flair to the single color paint scheme designed by Max Sigwart. You’d think it was paint until you
saw it in person and felt the edge of the sticker. We were going to have custom airbrush done, but there was
literally no time to let it dry, clear it and color sand. The cost for the vinyl was less than 1/5th the
amount of a paint job, too!
The engine bay of this monster is quite intense. Eric started with the aluminum modular 4V 4.6L and stroked
to a 5.0L using the new Houston Performance kit. Cylinder heads Mach I, but have been highly-modified, equipped
with Ferrea oversized stainless steel intake and exhaust valves, Comp Cams hi-lift valve springs, Houston
Performance Stage 3 blower grind billet cams, Clevite bearings, Ford Cobra HD oil pump, Sean Hyland billet oil
pump gears, billet timing wheel, and gasket/port-matched. Custom sheet metal work really cleaned up the engine
bay giving it a clean and classy appearance. Underneath the motor lurks the 8-quart Moroso road race oil pan.
While the intake looks stock, it has been ported to increase airflow for all the bolt-on goodies. The Paxton
Renegade Novi-2000 perched off to the side has Reichardt Racing 2.65" Ultra Grip pulley (22 lbs. of boost).
Fuel delivery is aided with modified 63 lb./hr. fuel injectors, twin-European Focus RS fuel pumps inside a
2003 Cobra fuel cell, twin-modified 2003 Cobra fuel pumps, XMP custom billet fuel rails with electric pressure
sensor, and –8 AN steel braided fuel lines. Sparking the beast are NGK Iridium IX TR6 spark plugs. The intake
is fed through a ported 90mm Lightning throttle body, 9x7" K&N air filter, and XMP custom aluminum intercooler
with 3-inch tubing and massive core measuring 25x16.5x3.5". If that wasn’t enough modifications, there’s also
a Nitrous Express Stage One 125hp "wet" kit and "N-ter" Cooler spray bar perched in front of the intercooler
for extreme boost conditions. Superior 4.56:1 gears and 31-spline axles aid the launch with the help of
Eaton’s E-Locker rear differential, and McLeod twin disc racing clutch with billet aluminum flywheel.
Other features include UPR Extreme quadrant cable, UPR Blu-Thunder shifter, and a T-56 six-speed transmission. The
exhaust system needed to be much larger to help the engine exhale, so Eric installed a custom 3" Magnaflow
X-pipe, Magnaflow 3" custom race mufflers, and Hooker SuperComp 1-5/8" ceramic long-tube headers, increasing
to 4" tips out back for a very aggressive exhaust note.
Peeking into the interior, we find a few Autometer Lunar Series gauges all around the dash and pillars and
dash, and a 5" Pro-Lite tachometer to match. The gorgeous seats are Recaro’s "Top Line" electric models
equipped with heat and "Recaro Vent" air, wrapped in charcoal Grey leather and blue Alcanterra suede. Other
features of the interior were executed by Stitchcraft in Huntington Beach, CA., including the custom door
panels and fiberglass rear quarter panels, which provide a home for the 20 Alphasonik speakers and 6 Audiobahn
monitors. In the dash lies a Kenwood flip-up touch-screen head unit to orchestrate the tunes. The trunk has
Audiobahn monitors and Alphasonik amps with Street Glow neon strategically placed for color accents and under
the body for night shows.
With around 742 rear wheel horsepower and 705 ft./lbs. of torque, this Mach is no slouch. It’ll get up and
go with the best of them. If all goes well, XMP will be putting together a 2005 Mustang GT for this year’s
SEMA show in November. I have done a few computer renderings for the proposal to Ford and let me tell you,
it’s nothing short of holy s@#! The 2005 will be as wicked if not more than the Mach. I’ll keep you posted on
the update of this next project in upcoming months.
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