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Ford Mustang

Ford Mustang Published: 20th Jul 2018 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Ford Mustang
Ford Mustang
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Why should I buy one?

Mustangs are a milestone in marketing and even detractors of American classics usually make an exception for them due to their ‘Europeaness’ and are not too outlandish. Still hugely popular with sales around the 10 million mark and still going strong, both sides of the pond, owning and running one is as easy and low cost as an MGB.

What can I get?

There’s essentially six generations, going back to its style roots with the Mk5 almost 15 years ago (and these are very good value for money). Originally based on the Falcon saloon but with a choice of convertible, hardtop coupé and fastback in a seemingly never ending list of engines, transmissions and trim packs. It’s widely thought that pre ’69 cars are the lithe and loveliest before the Mustang became gaudy and overweight.

The 1971 line up saw the car a lot bigger and more than 500lb heavier thanks to its newer Fairlane-based chassis while increasing detox equipment hindered performance, despite a hot Mach1 moniker.

Mustang II was a complete departure with economy in mind although the model did receive good power and trim upgrades. Commonly referred to as the Fox-bodied Mustang, the Mk3 marked the beginning of a renaissance for the model with power and performance making a welcome return too, the most desirable being the 1993 Cobra Coupé. Mk4 looks very svelte and attractive, the best for years, with the 1994 Cobra’s 302ci 5-litre engine rated at 240bhp, topped by the Cobra R: 250 built with a 351ci 5.8-litre 300bhp motor.

The Mk5 saw a retro look but not the driving experience as it was easily the best handling Mustang yet made.

A more highbrow but less expensive take on the Mustang is available; Mercury’s Cougar is based upon the same unitary steel chassis and bodyshell with a three inch longer wheelbase and its own individual panelwork. The model fitted neatly in the marketplace between the Mustang and the Thunderbird and V8 only.

What are they like to drive?

The Mustang has often been endearingly compared with our Cortina or Mk3 Zodiac when it comes to driving while the Falcon was never the greatest handling car of all time! Cars without power steering can be heavy at slow speeds, though with power steering it is nice and light albeit woolly. A car fitted with a stock 289ci V8 engine will offer good performance, and further modification tweaks are often a popular route, but not necessarily a must. In contrast, the 101bhp straight sixes are the least loved but this means a bargain if you are not performance mad; ditto the rare three-speed manual transmission although this combo is quite suffice for cruising and ‘second’ gear acts like a semi-auto in town driving.

Successive generations kept more in tune with the changing times and the 1990’s models are particularly good as well as the easier drivers if not so classic in looks and character.

What are they like to live with?

Ignoring the six figure sums for Shelby and Boss high performance variants, you’re looking at £25,000 and upwards for a rag top in fine order with fastbacks a little less; later generations are the cheaper bargains, meaning there’s a model for every budget; Cougar prices usually undercut the above. Spare parts are the least of your worries on all models with part panel as well as brand new shells being available and specialist support is extremely good too – and all at affordable enough prices.

we reckon

Better ride that pony now if you want a Mustang which has the better image.


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