2003 Ford Mustang Photo
Quick Take
LAS VEGAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY, Nev. — Strapped into a wild ride, I cinch my helmet, blip the throttle... Read more »
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LAS VEGAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY, Nev. — Strapped into a wild ride, I cinch my helmet, blip the throttle, run through the gears just for practice, and watch as the Christmas-tree lights of the drag strip move from stop to… go-as-fast-as-you-can. With slightly wet palms, I steady this Darth Vader-black stallion to a straight course, mash the go pedal, watch for the red needle to hit 6200 rpm, mash, shift and watch for 6200 again. I'm a nose off of 104 mph when the time clock is tripped at the quarter mile. How’s that for a working afternoon?

Slowing to round the pavement to the return, where I'll get to do this all over again, I am brazenly aware that I have shaken off the Bright Lights, Big City attitude of Veghast — stripped of the fantasy of hotels that assert you're in Paris or Venice all almost at once. Who needs ‘em? Here, at the motor speedway, the best show is a ponycar that wants to rock and roll one more time before it’s put out to become adhesive.

Ford's Mustang Mach 1 lives again — and still does the 23-year-old current Mustang, though it’s only a short month or so before Ford shows the new one in Detroit.

How much horsepower?

Pounding out 305 horses and sporting a signature 'shaker' hood scoop, the 2003 version of Ford's legendary muscle car is designed from wheels to seat covers to recall the heritage of its predecessors. Only 6,500 will be sent down the assembly line, and almost all are spoken for already.

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