Pure numbers tell part of the story. Seven thousand five hundred miles. Twenty-five states. Yes, this was a road trip of massive proportions, with two destinations in mind-the All-Ford Nationals in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and a portion of the Hot Rod Power Tour in Louisiana. Obviously, we had a lot of ground to cover.
So, since those two events are far from California, we figured why not have some fun along the way, create something worthwhile to report about, and do the trip in probably the coolest car we could think of?
All three of those goals were met in fine fashion, thanks to Jason Camp, Sandy Badgett, and the rest of the fine folks at the SoCal Ford Public Affairs office, who graciously loaned, as Jason put it, a "shiny red Mach 1" for us to roam more than half the lower 48 states on our way to the events.
Us included myself and my brother, Wayne Cook, who is tech editor of our vintage-restomod sister magazine, Mustang & Fords. For good measure-and to test the feasibility of three-up in a late-model Mustang-we thoughtful brothers also brought along our mom, Lin Cook, to partake in the fun all the way to Detroit before she flew back to California from the Motor City.
While Carlisle and the Power Tour are big events in their own right, our focus is the journey that got us there and our route, which provided different sights, making for a welcomed alternative to the usual slog on one of the heartland's interstates.
Getting back to the awesome '03 (and upcoming '04) Mach 1-is it the ultimate road-trip special? In short, absolutely. Not only can three ride comfortably when rotating in and out of the backseat every few hours, 25 mpg was also the norm along with effortless triple-digit cruising speeds on, for example, some of the deserted Nevada highways we traversed.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, we'll let the photos tell the rest. For reference, the best way to see exactly where we went along the way is to have a U.S. road atlas in front of you as you follow along to see where we pointed our trusty Mach 1 each day of the 211/42-week journey last May and June.
State by StateThese are the 25 states we covered during the Mach 1 Across America road trip. To give you an idea of our circular route, the states are listed in the order in which we drove through them.
1. California2. Nevada3. Utah4. Idaho5. Wyoming6. Montana7. North Dakota8. Minnesota9. Wisconsin10. Michigan11. Ohio12. Pennsylvania13. Maryland14. West Virginia15. Virginia16. Tennessee17. Georgia18. Alabama19. Mississippi20. Louisiana21. Arkansas22. Oklahoma23. Texas24. New Mexico25. Arizona