Here in a year when I’m able to pay cash for one I’d like to pick up an ‘05-’09 Mustang GT coupe with a manual. Blue, preferably. The 3-valve mod isn’t a screamer but if a manual RWD coupe with 300hp isn’t enough for you to have some fun with then the problem is you, not the car. I fell in love with the neo-retro-futuristic-buzzword bar-of-soap-with-fender-flares look of these in 2005 when they came out and blew my mind about as much as the Audi R8 did a year later. I think this would be an excellent daily for a dude with a wife and no kids. Spacious enough for road trips and reasonably fun to drive when we get to our destination.

Just like this one. Meaty five spoke retro wheels, fog lights in the grille, and no graphics or spoiler. Maybe get rid of the “GT” badge. Gotta have the Shaker 1000 and aluminum/leather wheel. If not blue I’d settle for white or silver with red interior.

Are these great cars? Hell no. They handle “meh” at best, they’re severely outclassed by the 5.0 facelifted models and out-cheaped by the SN95s, the interior build quality is laughable (fucking door panels I swear to god) and the door handles fall off.

But I had one before. A 2005 V6 ‘vert auto. And I absolutely loved it despite all the first-year issues (door handles, shitty exhaust tuning that results in weird resonances, etc.) and only sold it due to the time bomb 4.0 SOHC. It was the first “modern” car I owned and I was proud as shit of it and badly want to own another S197.

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