I hate Mustang’s. There I said it. Get over it.... Get over yourself. This has been a way of life for me. I dunno if my issue is with the car, or if it’s the owners that are attached to the car. Before I delve into the pictured ride, let’s deal with my issues.
First, the owners: can’t speak for everybody else’s experience, but they tend to be... Let’s say... Outspoken. A car conversation with them tends to be a bit one sided: “I beat a blah blah blah blah quarter mile blah blah blah, Nitros blah blah.... 60ft...’Merica... Lynyrd Skynyrd.” It’s more of a conversation about how superior their car is, and you are lucky to be able to experience their greatness. I usually find myself just nodding in approval whilst I age.
Second, the car: I have had a personal beef with the car. I have known them to be clunky, heavy, heavy feeling, not particularly great handling, did I mention heavy? While I have LOVED some of the engine choices (past and present 2.3 turbo four, Coyote, H.O. 5 liter, Cobra 4.6), I have been let down over the rear suspension, ride height, steering (notable exception being the turbo SVT cars of the mid eighties).
Then I was offered the chance to drive this one.... Spencer, this car’s owner, can be a bit typical, but the car was (at least on the surface) less than typical. 50% ain’t bad, and it’s his gas... I’ll take him up on it.
First, I had to see what a FOUR THOUSAND POUND Mustang felt like. I recall this sounding impossible when Spencer first told me this stat. I remember thinking, “no, I don’t want to know how much your Buick weighs, I wanna know how much the Mustang tips the scales at!” Sure enough.... It weighs four thousand dang pounds.
I have always known that the GT 500 would be a blast from an engine standpoint: 5.4 liters, 500 ponies, supercharged. I have, in times past, dismissed it because it still sat up way too high, and screamed “Quater mile blah blah blah, ZZ Top.” For this reason, I was more of a Shelby GT kinda guy (You’re welcome, Tony). It sat right, it was a better handler right outta the box.
But this car is different....
Uprated springs and suspension bring this car back into closer relationship with the earth. It makes the power bulge in the hood look right at home, and even menacing. Not a touch of OTT here. Unlike the picture that I stole from Mr. Zimmer’s page, his car has black, aftermarket wheels to complete the “Hide yo kids/ Hide yo wife” look. This car is mean. I didn’t want to like it. I got in.
Fire it over. Nastiness. There is a chorus of raw sound...Manly stuff....Would scare children. No need for traction control or stereo. I’ve got all I need. Let’s go.
The ride was actually supple. No boy racer bouncing from poorly matched dampers with lowered springs. Could this car be.... Right? Shuddered to imagine it. Found a few on and off ramps to play with.... Found daylight, punched the throttle, and was greeted by both the wail of a willing engine, and the intoxicating whine of the supercharger (think cat by its tail, here). You will want to hear this all of the time if you ever drive one. Surprisingly, I could make the car dance! Steering the car with the throttle was effortless, the stiffer springs made for less nose-dive which allows you to concentrate more on line than trying to recover the car, even rev-matching was treat. IT WAS DELICIOUS! Time warp acceleration, and good handling for a fat boy (sorry, it does weigh 4k... But, it’s light on its feet).
Most of my hooliganism was stopped by your obligatory Prius, or Impala (hereafter known as rolling roadblock’s). This car had the stuff that makes the stuff the stuff. You will want to drive this car in third and fourth gears on the highway. Fifth and sixth are just excercises in fuel conservation. The car guy lives in third/fourth gear with this one. I hate Mustangs. I love this car. Don’t tell Spencer... He’s a loudmouth.
**Disclaimer** To the uninitiated: please Understand that my ribbing of Mustang’s/Mustang owners is just that... Light-hearted fun. I have a number of dear friends and acquaintances that own these automobiles, and love them dearly. I am a car guy first, and see the merit of these cars. I am honored to have them as buddy’s, and I will not tolerate them being bashed. You’ve been warned.