Why I don't want a Ford Mustang
The surprising truth
Ever since I was a kid, the Ford Mustang has been an icon. Its evocative shape and pure, clean lines... Erm, well... At least some of them.... But perhaps not EVERY model of Mustang ever produced:-
The 1980 model of 'Mustang'
I admit, the 1980s models through to fairly recent ones, HAD lost some of the magic. Well, let's be fair - a lot of the magic. I appreciate this was a 1980 model, but look at it! How could they sully the Mustang name by applying it to such an automotive abomination as this!?
Now my good friend and colleague Mr. Rick Hammond owns a Mustang. He however has a proper one. It's left-hand drive, Bullit green and the classy old shape. He doesn't drive it daily, like many of the cars in his collection it's an obje dar, more to be admired than driven.
A 'proper' Mustang Source:- https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?search=Ford+Mustang&title=Special:Search&profile=advanced&fulltext=1&advancedSearch-current=%7B%7D&ns0=1&ns6=1&ns12=1&ns14=1&ns100=1&ns106=1#/media/File:Ford_Mustang_Shelby_GT501_i
Thankfully, by the mid-noughties, Ford were back on track with making a Mustang that actually LOOKED like a Mustang:-
A mid-noughties model| Source:- https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?search=Ford+Mustang+2005&title=Special:Search&profile=advanced&fulltext=1&advancedSearch-current=%7B%7D&ns0=1&ns6=1&ns12=1&ns14=1&ns100=1&ns106=1#/media/File:2005_Mustang_V6_Wi
Okay, okay, I admit it's not quite the gallery piece that the 1969 model is, but it looks aggressive, it looks like it has purpose and most importantly, it looks like a Mustang, rather than some lame sedan with the rear doors welded up and a Pony logo and Mustang sticker slapped on it.
Fast forward to 2021 and the Mustang is again, something special:-
Current Mustang| Source:- https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?search=Ford+Mustang&title=Special:Search&profile=advanced&fulltext=1&advancedSearch-current=%7B%7D&ns0=1&ns6=1&ns12=1&ns14=1&ns100=1&ns106=1#/media/File:Ford_Mustang_GT,_20.5.2017_(2
Now THIS looks like a Mustang. It looks aggressive, powerful, purposeful. Frankly, it looks like a beast.
Right, it looks great, it comes with a 5.0 V8 why don't you want one?
Well there are many reasons why I'm unlikely to EVER be handed the keys to a Ford Mustang. A small one, but one worth mentioning is that unless I could somehow specify one to look significantly more understated and sensible than the above example, I doubt I could ever convince the present Mrs. Stanley to ride alongside me. That's not necessarily a bad thing in SOME respects, but it could mean more family outings in the diesel Toyota - which wouldn't be fun. I don't have this problem with the 911 (unless we're taking the dog), but I accept I may have had if I'd succeeded in buying the speed yellow example with the aero kit which I was looking for. Subtle and anonymous the Mustang is not. But then it was never meant to be!
I thought about the Mustang prospect after entering my bright orange example in Marcus Milligan's Tribe Coin competition:-
Show us your favourite car from the blue oval
There WAS genuinely a point when I was thinking seriously, about getting a Mustang. In some ways it's a sensible choice. It's relatively interesting, fast enough and not too expensive to maintain. You could argue it would have been a more sensible choice and could have appeased my convertible mad son in a more practical way than a 911 cabriolet would have.
So why didn't you?
I'll be honest, they're not without their flaws. I've seen them close up. They are a massive car, but with very little space and practicality. The problem isn't the flaws though, it's the lack of them.
The lack of flaws? Are you mad?
I don't know! Maybe I am! For years, the Mustang was this ultimately flawed, iconic car that was ever unattainable, because they sold it in the states and you didn't get any in the UK unless they were left hand drive. They didn't handle well, they simply weren't modern cars by European standards. Maybe the reason we all wanted on in the UK was mainly because we couldn't have one?
The latest model, which had a global release didn't have the flaws. It's fast, reliable and right-hand drive. It has proper modern suspension and size issues aside is a perfectly usable daily-drive car. That somehow robs it of some of the magic.
So if you had a muscle car you'd want an old Mustang to just park up & look at?
No! I wouldn't! I really, really like Rick's classic Mustang. It truly is a thing of beauty. I'd love to drive one like that, but I don't think I'd want to own one. If money was no object and I was going to go out and buy myself a muscle car, I'd buy myself a Dodge Challenger SRT Hell Cat.
Retro, but modern looks, I love it! | Source:- https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?search=dodge+challenger&title=Special:Search&profile=advanced&fulltext=1&advancedSearch-current=%7B%7D&ns0=1&ns6=1&ns12=1&ns14=1&ns100=1&ns106=1
Hell Cat note! NOT A Demon. I'd honestly go for an SRT Hell Cat and nothing more. In my books, 700 Bhp is probably plenty for British roads. The Mustang is probably an objectively 'better' car in almost every measurable way. But that sort of makes it less interesting, and in being less interesting it makes it less desirable.
The biggest bug bears of the Challenger SRT Hell Cat are two-fold and linked. Firstly, they are obscenely expensive. Look at this example on sale now here.
That's a great colour and spec, plus it's a 2018 model so once it's 5 years old, it's in cheap UK VED territory. But it's £69,000! It's a lot of car, but that's a lot of money. It's also still the dreaded LHD, which will be no issue for most Europeans, but here in the UK it really would be a serious pain in the butt.
All of course is not lost. Most things in life, which you desire, can be bought if you have the cash (Except James May's toe nail clippings. Apparently he's paranoid about voodoo or something). You CAN get your Challenger SRT Hell Cat converted to RHD. One such company that offers this is Clive Sutton cars of London.
Now I'll be honest. I daren't imagine what the cost of this must be. Dismantling and rebuilding an SRT Hell Cat in mirror-image RHD isn't a 5 minute job you could do in your garage. It must involve hours of labour, specialist skills and quality fabrication.
When I finally win the Euromillions, I'll buy a Hell Cat and enquire. But until that day, I think I'll leave muscle cars to the Stetson and cowboy boot wearing 'true' Americaphiles, like my good friend Rick Hammond.
showing a lack of respect for people or things that are generally taken serious
Stories and images of supercar crashes, in honour of veteran crasher Hammond