By on September 23, 2013


Back in 2009 I wrote a blog about buying a Z4M on a whim. Four years later, I’ve made another impulse buy. Prior to moving to Seattle last summer my wife and I downsized our car stable and I purchased an $8k E39 530 as my daily driver.  Given how expensive Seattle can be I didn’t want a big car payment until we got our new housing budget in check.  Finding a new place took less time than expected, and soon enough, I started the research process to lease a new vehicle for my 50 minute commute.


Being away from my shop and tools I left in Oklahoma, buying an old BMW like usual wasn’t the best option.  I looked at everything new in the mid-size lux segment–BMW 5-series, Lexus GS, Audi A6, etc.All of them leasing in the $800 monthly range.  After leaving a car show on Sunday, my wife and I stopped by a Ford dealer to look at Mustangs.  The reason why is still a little fuzzy.

Since it was a Sunday, I assumed I was safe to just browse and check out what was on the lot. It turned out that in Washington, car dealers are open on Sundays, and I was quickly intercepted by a salesman. He didn’t have to work very hard to get me into a Mustang, and one drive was all it took.  I giggled like a child as I roared through the empty streets of Tacoma, and all of a sudden, I had signed a lease. Within about an hour of taking the car home, I had already ordered a Ford Racing exhaust.

I’ve never been a muscle car guy to this point, but at a time when my beloved BMWs have efficiency stickers plastered on them, and cars are coming with start-stop systems and low rolling resistance tires I absolutely relish my American V8.  I charge down mountain roads passing hipsters in Foresters, giving them a blip and a downshift; the exhaust actually uttering the word “Merica” as I pass.

By researching Internet reviews, getting price quotes, and test driving every car in the segment, everyone likes to think they make conservative car buying decisions.  However, should you make a hasty purchase riddled with passion I’m here to let you know it’s ok. You did it because you’re a gearhead.  Could I have saved $40 a month by going home and working the phones? Sure, but then I wouldn’t get to tell the story about the time I drove a candy apple red Mustang off a showroom floor.


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70 Comments on “Ur-Turn: I Bought A Mustang On A Whim...”

  • avatar

    Fantastic! I’m an over 50 American male that has never owned a V8, which I think is just wrong.

    Someday (or for you, Sunday!).

    • 0 avatar

      Since you turned 16 in 1979 at the latest, it’s a wonder you never owned an American V8 – would be interesting to hear how you missed that during a time when there was damn little else out there.

      • 0 avatar

        Well, I was 16 in 79. 7 cyl 74 Torino: Dad didn’t believe in reg oil changes, V6 79 Mustang (dog), I6 80 Fairmont, I4 86 Nissan PU, V6 91 Explorer, V6 97 Caravan, V6 99 Taurus, then a V8 06 Mustang (totaled in 09)and replaced by V6 06 Impala. If I hadn’t bought that Mustang, I would have never had a “full-on” V8. Saving pennies for next Mustang.

    • 0 avatar

      I’m over 60, and have only owned one American eight cylinder car.

      And it was a straight either. 1937 Buick Special. My first car.

  • avatar

    Everyone who has grown up an American needs to own an American V8 sometime in their life. I owned a couple of C5 Corvettes and they are allot of fun, better with back seat for the dog. Now I’m twin turbo charging a 2004 GTO($5,500 for 700hp).

    Turbos FTW!

    • 0 avatar

      Caddy STS for me. Rag on the Northstar all you want, if it weren’t for the head bolts that engine would be famous like the 351 Windsor.

    • 0 avatar

      Where did you get the turbo? did you install it yourself? 700 hp sounds insane, what does it run?

      • 0 avatar

        Norm purchased his kit (turbo & all accessories) for the low, low price of $279.99 (but the kits start at $209.99) from Zamir’s House of Turbos on eBay, which is a 100% Rated Seller, and then had The Blue Man Tuners Group from French Lick, Indiana, do the custom install for another $139.99.

        His entire motor, including turbo & turbo related parts, now has a 350,000 mile unconditional guarantee, provided by BOOST-DAT-BITCH-YO Systems, LLC, located off the Baltic Sea.

    • 0 avatar

      I drove a 1983 Caddy Coupe de Ville in the early 90s, which had a 135 HP V8.

      I am only now recovering from the emotional damage.

    • 0 avatar

      I am 31, and have actually never owned a V8 car, American or otherwise. So far I have owned only N/A inline 4’s and a rotary. No I don’t feel like I am missing out on anything in life, and am very content with how things are.

      Compounding the weirdness is that I have also lived in Texas my whole life, and I have also never owned a pickup truck or SUV.

      Note, no ill will or smugness intended to those who DO own V8 cars. Your money, your choice. If it makes you happy then more power to you. For me though, I am happy with my little inline-4’s.

    • 0 avatar

      My Range Rover is my first V8 (at age 44), and it is sort-of American, being the last 4.6L descendent of the aluminium Buick V8. So far it is VERY thirsty and makes unpleasant rumbly noises, but the noise is due to the custom cowboy exhaust system that is getting put back to stock very shortly. Not much to do about the thirst though.

      I do have a soft spot for the current Mustang, but mine would be a V6 with manual transmission. 300hp is more than enough for mere mortals, and less weight in the nose is a good thing.

  • avatar

    A 50 minute commute in Seattle? Why don’t you just walk, chances are you’re close enough…

  • avatar

    Sometimes you just make a purchase based on a positive vibe. Never regretted those. The ones where I gave it alot of thought were hit or miss.

  • avatar

    At no point in your story did you even once say, “My wife said…” She must be an amazing women to let you do this without even so much as a “You’ll see…”

    Congrats on the Mustang, may it always make you giddy…

    Oh, and kosmo, go get yourself a V8 before it’s too late, you could die happy without ever having one, but why would you?

    • 0 avatar

      She clubbed him, hence “The reason why is still a little fuzzy.”

    • 0 avatar
      Justin Crenshaw

      Over the past decade she has become well aware of my car addiction. We still have six cars, and that is after downsizing for our move. As long as the bills are paid and retirement accounts contributed to, she doesn’t complaint too much. I just have to hold my tongue when she comes home with a $50 pair of shoes every now and then.
      And hey, the Mustang was quite a bit cheaper than the 535 would have been!

      • 0 avatar

        “I just have to hold my tongue when she comes home with a $50 pair of shoes every now and then.”

        $50 pair of shoes?! You’re getting off easy. My wife tolerates the Raptor, Mustang and bikes but I have to tolerate the Burberry and Michael Kors purses that she brings home….everyone has their hobbies, it’s all good!

  • avatar

    I bought a V8 Camaro on a whim 15 months ago. It took a lot of practice to get comfortable with it. Now I look for excuses to drive it.
    Enjoy your Mustang. There is nothing out there that compares to a high hp American V8.

    • 0 avatar

      I own a 5.7 Hemi V-8 Challenger. I grin from ear to ear every day as I drive my Red Challenger with black racing stripes to work. My ears never tire of the baritone engine growl, as I cruse the interstate. I look for reasons to drive my car. Would I buy it again? In a New York minute.

      • 0 avatar

        Have owned cars since 1970 and have always had at least 1 V8 in my fleet at any given time. I have owned plenty of V6’s but never a 4 cylinder.

        • 0 avatar

          I had one 4 cylinder, a Mitsu 2.6 in my 85 Caravan. That one was enough. My cars have mostly had V8’s:

          ’71 Cutlass-350 Olds.
          ’72 Cutlass-350 Olds.
          ’74 Roadrunner-360 Mopar.
          ’79 Trans Am-403 Olds.
          ’82 K5 Blazer-305 Chevy.
          ’85 Caravan-2.6 Mitsu-Arf!
          ’88 S10 Blazer-4.3 Chevy V6.
          ’86 Camaro Iroc-Z28-305 Chevy.
          ’93 Jeep Grand Cherokee-4.0 six
          ’99 Jeep Grand Cherokee-4.0 six.
          ’00 Sierra ext cab 4×4-5.3 V8
          ’03 Ram Quad Cab 4×4-5.7 V8.
          ’08 Charger-5.7 V8.
          ’10 Challenger 5.7 V8.

          I can almost guarantee the next vehicle will be another 5.7 or larger Mopar V8, unless GM doesn’t screw up the new Camaro.

  • avatar

    ” I charge down mountain roads passing hipsters in Foresters, giving them a blip and a downshift; the exhaust actually uttering the word “Merica” as I pass.”

    This turn of phrase made my day.

    • 0 avatar

      Very nice indeed.

    • 0 avatar

      While the exhasut might say “Merica”, I assume since you mentioned downshifts that it is a manual. In that case, the tranny should speak to you in Chinese…which I find to be a very sad statement in one of America’s best known vehicles. And I tend to really like the Mustang. A lot.

      And while leasing makes sense for some (very few), I can’t help but think that all a person does while leasing is renting the vehicle…with the very real chance of being charged extra for the privilege of driving his/her car as he would normally. Extra mileage…ka-ching…that scratch that is declared beyond “wear and tear?” ka-ching…Leased once, won’t ever do it again. But if it works out for the individual, all the merrier!

      • 0 avatar

        When there’s bad news in the family they let you call all the relatives, don’t they?

      • 0 avatar

        Sigh. Leasing gets a bad rap a lot because someone always “knows someone” (usually a friends sisters aunts cousin) who once turned in a lease and got charged thousands of dollars for extra miles and damage. The other side of the coin: That person drives 15k per year, but wanted the cheap payments, so leased for 10K miles per year. Then they beat the ever living crap out of car for 36 months, hitting everything but the pace car. The only time the car got cleaned was when they drove through a puddle or it rained. Then they (most important part) tell everyone how awful leasing is. ‘Merica.

        • 0 avatar

          I am that person, and yes they nickle and dime you to death. The smart strategy used to be buy your DD used on the cheap for the price of a lease payment and run it X amount of time/miles, rinse and repeat. However the amount of solid cars being available in the aftermarket has dwindled since 2008 (as did auto production from 2008-11), and between this and the price of fuel, they will lure you in to the lease because let’s face it cars have become very expensive to buy and wages have not kept up. So you’ll lease your shiny new POS and get taken on all of the charges on lease return (or perhaps blackmailed into leasing again) without having much choice. ‘Merica: where debt slavery is king.

  • avatar

    I was in the market for a new car earlier this year to replace the 2009 Volkswagen—ahem—Beetle I had been driving a while. After market research I realized the V6 Mustang was comfortably in my price range…..drove away with a V6 Mustang, Ingot Silver – 6 Speed Manual – trunklid spoiler – Black “Mustang” Striping.

    6 months and 9500 miles later, my daily commuter Mustang makes me smile every morning and evening while battling I-4 traffic.

  • avatar

    I worked this all backwards. I bought a 2012 Mustang when I commuted up the entire distance of the dreaded 405. Once I moved 3 miles down the road, I sold the Mustang and bought a 2005 Focus ST.

    There is something VERY gratifying about driving a Mustang through Capital Hill and the U District. I loved the hipster smirks when parallel parking a giant Mustang between a Prius and Subaru.

    Suck it.

    I’m a beer affectionado. Let me know if you need some tap room recommendations.

  • avatar

    Replica. Also from Seattle. Make that parking between a Prius and a Lezzbaru.

  • avatar

    Could someone please post the slow clap guy?


  • avatar

    Say goodbye to whatever gas mileage you were getting once you install that Ford Racing exhaust. You’ll be driving 2 gears too low wherever you go just to hear that glorious sound.

    Also, give it a few months for the exhaust note to really settle in.

  • avatar

    Nice article and good post. Now is the time to rush out and get a V8. For me Mustangs are just too small – becaue I am 6’4″. But they are very fun. I am aiming for the Challenger.. a bit bigger but what are you gonna do..

    You can’t beat a large N/A V8. They sound great and have terrific throttle response..

    • 0 avatar

      You’ll love it. What kind of amazes me is I still get asked about it after almost 3 years. Unless Chrysler screws up the redesign, like Ford appears to have screwed the future Mustang up, I plan on buying another one in 2015 or so.

      • 0 avatar

        Really? I like what I have seen so far of the new Mustang. If I assume that the recent rumors from Edmunds about the Mustang being 400 lbs lighter, 15 inches, and 6 inches narrower are true I have been very interested in the new Mustang. Admittedly, I am taking those rumors with a grain of salt.

        If Ford had something like this in 2012 when I was shopping; between the smaller size, lighter weight, and better styling I might actually be driving a Ford today and not an Acura.

  • avatar

    Great story.

    I flew from Iowa to DC to buy a used M Coupe. It wasn’t in the condition I expected; so instead of booking a return flight home, I bought a new S2000 and enjoyed the drive disregarding the break-in procedures. Definitely fun to buy a car on a whim.

  • avatar

    Cool story bro.

  • avatar

    About last year or so, I sold my 2008 350Z to a friend in Seattle with the intention of buying a used C5 Z06. Half an hour after dropping the car off, a friend of mine in Austin, TX calls me and asks if I’d be interested in his ’03 BMW 330i M Performance package. He a great price, so I flew out, drove it from Austin to Fort Collins, CO, then back to LA.

    I didn’t expect to enjoy the car so much. Quiet, smooth, comfortable, good passing power, and a ridiculous 450 mile cruising range (30 mpg or so). I ended up being extremely enamored with the car, since it was everything I wanted from a car, despite being less powerful than the Z.

  • avatar

    It doesn’t even have to be an American V8. I bought a 2001 740i Sport, and that thing made all the right sounds. Fast, quiet, but it let it all the right engine noises. Pity that so many of the electrical problems made me fall out of love with it.

    • 0 avatar

      M62 is a fun engine. Had one in a 540. BMW used to do a great job of quieting the ride while letting the engine noise through.

      You had to change/cut off the mufflers to burble about town the same way almost all American V8s do though.

  • avatar

    GREAT article. That’s what being a car guy is all about. Doesn’t matter what the car is as long as it’s loved.

  • avatar

    I had an E39 530 and a Z4 (non M)! How would you describe the Mustang compared to them?

    • 0 avatar
      Justin Crenshaw

      I regard the E39 5-series to be one of the greatest BMWs of all time. Everything about the car is done well and the build quality is impeccable. I still have the Z4M that I wrote about in the linked blog. I found out that it was a 1 of 1 color combo, now I can’t sell it! The S54 is a gem, the last great NA inline-6 from BMW.
      The Mustang is a great GT car, comfortable when needed with leather, heated seats, nav system, sync, etc… But I was most impressed with the flat handling. I have always thought Mustangs wallowed through corners, but the track pack 2013 is very impressive. I drive mountain roads for the first part of my commute so I try to give the tires a pretty good workout.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    It’s awesome to read everyone’s V8 stories. My 100+ mile daily round necessitates a four-cylinder, but a V8 might be feasible in the near future. I’m a GM fan, but I find the current Camaro to be quite obnoxious (especially after the 2014 refresh). The Mustang GT, though, really catches my eye.

  • avatar

    I have been thinking about buying that bonus/extra car and want the V8.
    Maybe a Mustang or Challenger but I am leaning towards the RAM Express V8 regular cab, 2wd. All the muscle plus towing and in my opinion better looking then the coupes.

  • avatar

    Being old as well, many of my way-too-many cars were V8s. Great sounds regardless of muffler systems and that best of all things — torque. A gentle nudge of the fast pedal and effortless acceleration is right there.

  • avatar

    Fellow car guy in Tacoma checking in! I’ve been tempted to do something similar lately. Must be in the air.

  • avatar

    First WB buys a ‘stang and now you? I’m thinking a couple of years of watching me autocross my green ’06 (when I could make it out there)rubbed off on you. Of course, this is assuming you’re the same Crenshaw who autocrossed a blue Z4 “Landshark”. Congrats, and welcome to the V8 POWAH! club.

  • avatar

    Agreed , all Gearheads should at least try a V-8 powered vehicle , I’ve had a few and they were great , I just didn’t like the awful fuel economy that much .

    Impulse buys ? also much fun *most* of the time , I’ve been lied to and burned with every vehicle I bought off E-Bay though but it hasn’t stopped me from returning to that well =8-) .


  • avatar

    I had been driving V6s for 15 years and was dying for a V8 again. Lexus GS did the trick. And it was an impulse buy, on a Friday night, 300KM away from home.

  • avatar

    First car was a SOHC carbureted I4, second car is a OHV fuel injected V6…and if I can find a not totally junk IROC Camaro for less than 5 grand, I’m going to jump on it like a flea onto a lazy dog.

  • avatar

    If you’re passing somebody in a Forester on a twisty mountain road, the person you’re passing can’t drive worth beans.

  • avatar

    Got my license in ’93. My first vehicle was a 1978 Ford Bronco with a full-time xfer case (Never had to turn any hubs) Trailer special with a 37 Gallon fuel tank (almost gives me a stroke when I think about how much that would cost to fill now) Gas was around a buck a gallon, so it wasn’t too much of a concern. Had the good ole malaise era Ford 400 (midblock?) and when that went tits-up, it was replaced with a 351 Modified. Absolutely loved that truck. Besides that, my other V8 vehicles included a ’68 Pontiac Catalina (Poncho 400) a 1976 GMC Truck (454) 1977 Pontiac Trans-Am (Malaise Poncho 400) and my 1987 Pontiac Trans-Am (350).

    Man, I would have loved to put that 400 from the Catalina in the T-A…

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