It was far better than I expected, but I also drove the most un-Mustang Mustang of all time: A 1989 Mustang LX V6 auto. And I loved it.
Let’s get this out of the way first: I am not a Mustang person. By any means. I laugh at their solid rear axles, their leaf springs, the heavy weight (many Mustangs are on par with the Murdersofa weight-wise), and the ridiculous popularity amongst tryhards. My girlfriend has been trying to find some transportation, and I was considering which of several 90s Buick LeSabres would be a good candidate for some decent $300 here-to-there transportation. Then I remembered this beat-up horrid yellow Mustang languishing in the yard, owned at one point by the same guy who owned my Civic.
It was a bit of a mess. The driver’s glass had been smashed out and it leaked coolant out of the heater core like a sieve. Luckily I had a vacuum and a coupling, so I bypassed the heater core, filled it up with coolant, and vacuumed up the smashed glass. A few minutes on a battery charger and it was good to go.
My first impression: Damn this seat is comfy.
My second impression: Damn that exhaust rattle is awful.
My third impression: Dear god it is so 80s in here I love it. The square dashboard with round gauges, the grid pattern on the dash surround, the tiny little steering wheel with cruise control (!!!) buttons, the T-shifter... damn. It was, as Mr. Regular said, nostalgia for something I never experienced.
My fourth impression was that the seating position honestly sucks dick and I, as a short person, couldn’t see a damn thing because of how low I was sitting relative to the rest of the car. The seat might be broken, I dunno, but it was kind of annoying.
So what’s it actually like to drive? I took it on a 6 mile journey composed of half 45 mph city driving and a stint of 70mph highway, and I was honestly really impressed. It felt fine. Not old, not decrepid, just an honest vehicle with a surprisingly nice ride. Handling was slightly better than the Murdersofa, and it accelerated similarly (? it was really hard to tell). It doesn’t make the best noise in the world but it wasn’t awful, and most importantly it didn’t have any vibrations at speed. And all the lights worked. And the turn signals.
This is the first pony car, mustang, oldest car, and smallest car I’ve ever driven, so I don’t have a whole lot to compare it to. I liked the experience, and for $1000 I think my girlfriend will be getting a hell of a deal on it. Sure, it needs a lot of work to be a nice car, but as it is it’s a good car and decent transportation. A few weekends wiring up some speakers and a radio, bolting down a few rattling interior bits, putting in some new $80 driver’s side door glass (some asshole kicked it in), possibly doing some exhaust work (moar loud? definitely fixing the rattle), and Rustoleum-ing the black lower half of the car and some trim pieces will improve the car massively and turn it into a genuinely nice thing to have and an excellent way to get her into cars (muahaha). I can’t wait, and hope I can convince her to take the plunge.
Bonus picture of the comparison nobody asked for: 1998 Honda Civic sedan vs 1989 Mustang LX