By on October 18, 2013

(Let’s all welcome Zombie McQuestionbot back to TTAC. He’s a well-known and well-loved writer who is now writing for “bigger” and “better” and “more easily recognized” and “less thoroughly despised” outlets than this one, but we managed to convince him to write a few questions for us — JB)

Mustangs. I know, right? I almost bought a Mustang once. Actually, I did buy a Mustang. I was in the American South on my way to see an actual underground bullfight, with a bull and everything. But it turned out that the two-year-old “Mustang” that I agreed to pay five thousand dollars for in a back room of a Mexican restaurant was actually a Mustang.

You know, a horse.

The good news is that “Trigger” and I had plenty of good years together before I let him retire to a farm in Oregon. For “plenty of good years” subtitute “one drunken night”. And for “a farm in Oregon” substitute “the glue factory”. Oh, how I cried when they led Trigger away. Mostly because he’d stepped on my foot. But that isn’t the kind of Mustang we’re talking about here. The retro Mustang’s been around since 2005. What’s your favorite one?

Let’s start with the first generation. There was the Mustang V6, which was so bad that owning one is an actual legal cause for divorce in three southern states and Delaware. There was the Mustang GT, which had three hundred horsepower from a giant V-8 that made a lot of noise and once was used to power the world’s most powerful Sybian. Next up, we had the Mustang GT California Special, which was never purchased by anyone in California for the same reasons that you never see Aussies ordering a Bloomin’ Onion at the Outback Steakhouse.

Last but not least, we had the Shelby GT500, which had five hundred horsepower and was named in tribute to the original Shelby GT500, which did not.

Even more last but not least, we had the Mustang Bullitt, which was a nice way to have a tribute to Steve McQueen without having to pay Steve McQueen’s estate anything for doing it. One time I borrowed a Mustang Bullitt and drove it all the way to New York to participate in a high-stakes private poker game. The whole time there it kept punching me in the back every time I drove over an expansion joint. Eventually I gave up on the idea of using the freeway. By the time I got to the poker game, the only people left were James Bond and Le Chiffre, who thought I was making fun of him because I was bleeding from my left eye. I had to explain to him that it was just the ox-cart rear axle that made me that way.

I think there was also a Shelby GT-H, which was rented by Hertz to car collectors who never gave them back. “Send me the bill,” they’d say, and cackle as they stroked their Persian cats.

The original 2005 Mustang was so awesome that Ford decided not to change it for 2010. They just left it in an oven to melt a little bit. There was some concern about the interior melting as well, but it turned out that the plastic on the dashboard was so hard that it refused to melt. Instead, it actually transferred the heat to the nose of the car and made it look all droopy.

A drunken mistake by Alan Mullalllally while watching the Vanilla Ice movie, “Cool As Ice”, forced Ford to immediately put 5.0 engines in the 2011 model. These engines were actually twice as powerful as the original Mustang 5.0, which meant that it should have been a Mustang 10.0. Unfortunately, the average Mustang owner can’t count that high, so they left it as 5.0.

The original Mustang 5.0 was actually a 4.9. But Mustang owners didn’t understand the decimal system, so Ford called it the 5.0.

The new Mustang has spawned multiple variants — the Durable Technical V-6, which is not durable and has the “technical” solid rear axle. There’s the GT Track Pack, for both of the Mustang GT owners in America who think tracks have right turns, too. The California Special is back and it sells very well in Ohio.

Last but not least is the Boss 302. This car is more expensive than a used Corvette, which has always been the case for new Mustangs. Supposedly it’s very fast, but probably not as fast as a CTS-V.

If you’ve always wanted a Boss 302 your whole life since they came out two years ago, you might also be satisfied with a Hertz Penske GT, which is being rented from Hertz directly to collectors who will not be giving them back. I was an at airport recently, on my way to party with the guy who used to date the girl who sat next to Lindsay Lohan in her most recent rehab circle. I asked for an “Adrenaline” car, so they gave me a Dodge Challenger SRT. It was so obviously made for older people that I wasn’t surprised that one of the buttons on the steering wheel was labeled “Fallen And Can’t Get Up.”

All of these Mustangs are classics, but only one can be your favorite. So which will it be?

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86 Comments on “QOTD: What’s The Best Retro Mustang?...”

  • avatar

    Damn it I laughed at every paragraph.

    Unless they’ve fixed the 6 speed manual finally my favorite retro Mustangs have V8s and 5 speed manuals. But my FAVORITE just because I love the wheels and the green paint color is the Mustang Bullitt.

  • avatar

    My favorite still remains the 1999-2004 styling, before Ford went down the dead-end path of “retro”.

    The 2014 in particular is, if you’ll excuse the pun, coyote ugly.

    • 0 avatar

      Agreed, 100%. It lost the last of the 90’s bubbles, and had a modern shape with the heritage styling elements (3 bar taillights, pony grille, sharp creases, long hood. That’s the Mustang I lusted after in college, which will always make it the “real” Mustang to me!

      The retro-stang looks like an truck. Slabsided, bland, oversized. It improved a bit with the facelift. The pictures of the ’15 look like a continuation of the 99-04 design language. I wonder if it will be back down in size;the fifth generation has the longest width and wheelbase of any mustance since the oversized 73 was taken out to pasture and shot.

      • 0 avatar

        The current Coyote is the best motor thus far, but the Bullitt is the best styled Mustang ever.

        I watch Top Gear UK because it’s entertaining, but once in a while Clarkson or another host hits the proverbial nail on the head, as he did in a recent episode driving the GT500 across Europe while racing Hammond & May, who took the bullet train to a futbal match in Spain.

        The exterior (even wearing racing stripes’on even the top end GT500) looks dated now, and the interior looks cheap & frumpy (the green backlighting on the gauge cluster looks especially dreary).

    • 0 avatar

      “coyote ugly”


    • 0 avatar

      This, a million times this! The 1999 to 2004 is my favorite retro Mustang. Confused? Read on!

      Take a picture of a 2004 and put it next to a 1965. The original-original Mustang, not the ’69 to ’70 fast back that the 2005 shamelessly harps on.

      Short trunk/long hood? check
      C-indent behind driver’s door? check
      3-segmented tail lights? check
      chrome pony logo enclosed in a chrome frame? check
      The squarish gap between the head lights even looks similar.

      If you look at them side by side, you can tell that the ’04 is definitely a Mustang. It is inspired by the original but does not copy the original. It is like a son to a father; the son (’04) resembles the father (’65) but is definitely his own individual. This to me is “healthy retro”.

      • 0 avatar

        I had a ’98 and when I saw the refresh for ’99 I thanked my lucky stars I bought when i did. I hated the way the new front end didn’t seem to fit together properly, the way the new parts clashed with the roofline that went untouched, and that stupid gigantic fake hood scoop. They changed it because the previous styling was 5 years old but they obviously didn’t want to spend a lot of cash.

    • 0 avatar
      White Shadow

      The ’99 to ’04 styling was only slightly better than the ’94 – ’98 styling, with both being the worst looking Mustangs since the Mustang II.

  • avatar

    I like the P-51D, with the bubble canopy and Merlin engine. Does that count?

  • avatar

    The ’03-’04 Mach 1 was my favorite retro Mustang but it doesn’t fall into your criteria. The latest Shelby GT500 would be my pick but I’m not a big fan of the ’05 and up Mustang.

  • avatar

    My ’94 rode harder than my ’99 3/4 ton SD diesel. Straight axle be damned, I love our legend lime ’06 GT. Nearly 8 years later…we get constant compliments on its looks.

  • avatar
    Compaq Deskpro

    I’ll take the last mod motor Mustang with an automatic, and the bodykit for the Mach 1 style headlights.

  • avatar

    Solid rear axle

    I am not a Mustang guy and I never understood the reason for using this design in the rear suspension for so many years. Cost? Durability (assuming most customers drag race)? Is it just one of those “broken” designs that has been continuously honed over the years (ex: 911) and by now is actually pretty good?

    • 0 avatar

      From what I understand it’s mostly cost. I mean the Mustang is a cheap sporty car, with the emphasis on cheap, and really isn’t intended to do more than make lots of noise and look good. There’s probably a durability component too. Ford seems to have taken the flak they got for Cobra IRS’s puking their guts out on the drag strip personally.

      As to the question, oddly enough the answer is the 07-ish V6’s. Now I do have to qualify that answer by saying they need lower profile rubber and the rocker panel stripes removed, but the lack of the grille lights and the short wing on the trunk really cleans the car up visually.

      • 0 avatar

        @LeMansteve – Early on, it was about cost. All Ford cars had live rear axles. Today, LRAs are there for Mustang handling performance. IRS wouldn’t be, and isn’t cost prohibitive on the hot selling Mustang. That’s crazy. Millions are sold in each generation. And Today, the Mustang does not share the LRA with any other FMC cars. Not THAT’S expensive. Even the Expedition is IRS.

        Except the next generation Mustang platform is going global and likely will be shared with RWD sedans including Lincoln sedans/coupes. So sacrifices have to be made, including all-out performance.

      • 0 avatar

        Searcher, wouldn’t you agree that it’s lame for Ford to even hint st durability as a/the reason they haven’t long ago fitted IRS to all Mustangs?

        Ford is the only manufacturer I know of that has used excuse after excuse to delay implementing rear IRS on its one & only rwd “sports car” offering.

        Any remotely modern, proper rwd sports car necessarily requires IRS and a limited slip differential; anything short of this setup is pathetic (and this includes the Cayman in its earliest iteration, which lacked LSD) and the excuse parade Ford has given for not joining the 21st century in this regard has been nothing short of pathetic.

        • 0 avatar

          Couldn’t agree more, Dead Weight.

          Its the damn Ford bean counters.

          I can understand not putting it in the V-6 models, even though I think that would be a pretty sweet combo. Ford knows that most owners wouldn’t know the difference, but not putting IRS in the GT and Boss for performance enthusiasts?

          The new Camaro came out with it in all models.

          Speaking of LSD’s, the new CTS_V-Sport, Corvette, and Z-28 have a beauty in their active electronic controlled LSD.

          • 0 avatar

            @3Deuce77 – Have you not noticed the Boss 302 running with super cars and absolutely killing the mighty BMW M3? The live rear axle is ONLY there for performance enthusiasts. It’s precisely the bean counters that killed the live rear axle. It’s getting too expensive to NOT have and IRS. And btw, IRS is heavier. V6 Mustang owners don’t care and wouldn’t know the difference. But with OEMs focusing on the least amount of platforms and future Lincoln owners and Europeans demanding IRS, it’s the end of the LRA era.

          • 0 avatar

            DenverMike, the Boss 302 is an excellent car but it doesn’t kill the M3. When EVO tested the M3 against the Boss 302 at Bedford Autodrome in the UK it was 4 seconds off of the M3’s pace, but at Laguna Seca the Boss is faster. One car doesn’t kill the other, they’re pretty tightly matched.

          • 0 avatar

            The SRA works far better on a smooth race track than on normal roads. On the crumbling, bumpy roads in Texas, the rear end of the Mustang hops around like the Easter Bunny on Meth.

          • 0 avatar

            FYI karvanet, the Boss 302 LS is faster around VIR than ANY production BMW. 1M, M3, M5 and M7. Go see C&D Lightning Lap for the results.

          • 0 avatar

            @karvanet – Any sports car that’s stiffly sprung on 30 series tires will hop around like a bunny on bad roads. Who told you different? So there’s no advantage to IRS on all-out performers. Just performance drawbacks. And no way is Bedford more technical than Laguna. And that’s what driving is all about. The steep drops, on a tight decreasing radius’ and or, offcambers while braking hard. Push a sports car to the limits and IRS has trouble keeping super wide tires firmly planted and parallel to the road. They get a limited contact patch when the tire’s on edge. Commonsense.

            Here’s the GT500 negotiating the “Carousel”:

            Not the most graceful, but here’s the Mercedes SL on the same bit of poor surface transition:

            And here’s the Camaro Z28 on the same bad patch:

            Things aren’t always what you assume and wive tales die hard.

        • 0 avatar

          AMEN, DW.

          Think just for a moment of the past Fords that have had IRS: Lincoln LS, retro 04-06 Thunderbird, ’94 era Thunderbird, ’99- Cobra SVT. When the ’06 Mustang was shown at the NY Auto Show, I asked the narration actor on the stand if Ford had included in his speil why they kept refusing to change out of the LRA on V8 Mustangs. He used his best authoritative voice to repeat the marketing mantra, ‘ (IRS) can’t take the abuse that our buyers would subject it to’, thereby telling me that he’s an actor, not an automotive engineer or Mustang project person. BMW has used IRS in their 2002, 320i,325iS, M3 four cylinder, six cylinder, and V8 models since 1968, and they haven’t been stopped by abuse from drivers.

          It was one thing when a SN95 Mustang GT was $25,000, and we’d settle for LRA. Now that just a GT is close to $40,000 without the touch of Shelby, I have no interest in limiting my shopping to Ford when there’s so much more nicer wheels out there new or pre-owned for the same amount of loot, with IRS. My ‘Stang will be the last one I buy, unless Ford joins the modern world. I’m done with excuses.

          • 0 avatar
            Larry P2

            “BMW has used IRS in their 2002, 320i,325iS, M3 four cylinder, six cylinder, and V8 models since 1968, and they haven’t been stopped by abuse from drivers.”

            How many of those BMW’s have you seen drag racing? That is the kind of abuse the Ford rep was obviously referring to.

            And as stated, IRS has little if any advantage on a smooth circular track and a massive, unsurmountable disadvantage on a drag strip.

            On rough paved roads (which is now most of the United States) the IRS has a clear, commanding and insurmountable advantage in comfort.

            Nobody in the history of the world has bought a Mustang because they were comfortable, with the exception of Cobras with the IRS, which stereotypically were sold to middle-aged cruiser types – in their last spasm of nursing home avoidance – who basically were looking for a tiny Lincoln that looks like a Mustang. And I would suspect the Cobras enjoyed (from Ford’s perspective anyway) an abnormally-high rate of the convertible option selected, where the added weight and destruction of performance was outweighed by the sheer comfort gain. And I would bet that the vast majority of those were sold with automatic transmissions.

            Cobra IRS Mustangs: A wierdly-tiny convertible Lincoln.

          • 0 avatar

            I would argue that BMW has been using IRS since the 600 was introduced in 1957. I’ll also point out that they’ve been suffering from rear subframe failures since the move to multi-link IRS on the E36 and things only get worse with each more obese and indifferently engineered new product. OTOH, Mercedes has been putting IRS under third world taxicabs for generations without issue. Unfortunately, Ford’s competence is more like modern day BMW’s than late ’60s Mercedes-Benz’.

          • 0 avatar

            @LarryP2 – Comment: “On rough paved roads (which is now most of the United States) the IRS has a clear, commanding and insurmountable advantage in comfort.”

            When tire’s were only as wide as they were tall, yes IRS absolutely won out. LRAs were still riding on leaf springs, btw. But things slowly shifted as tires got crazy wide and ultra low profile. All performance cars already came with IRS and that was, and is the ‘standard’. And rear/mid engine sports cars have no choice.

            Now Ford has no choice because the top performance Mustang have to share a platform with the ‘everyday’ V6 Mustangs and other Ford and Lincoln RWDs to come. And then there’s the European market.

    • 0 avatar

      It’s all the Cobra’s fault. SVT wanted to redesign the entire rear suspension but ford wouldn’t let them so they had to use the same mounting points as the LRA. The result wasn’t pretty and they would throw half shafts at the drag strip. The problem only got worse when SVT supercharged the cobra in 03 and people started destroying the IRS when they played with bolt ons.

      For awhile the IRS had such a bad rep that you could buy take offs for less than the GT’s 8.8 LRA. Quite a few people swapped them into SVOs and V6s for track cars.

      • 0 avatar
        Larry P2

        There is a clear, unambiguous superiority of “log rear axle” over IRS for drag racing. It is not even a close call. Not only is the LRA much much stronger, but its superiority in eliminating axle hop and windup and “hooking up” is not even debatable. That is why Ford has always, up until now, caterred to demands of the Mustang traditionalists, who frequently drag race their cars.

        Once you surpass the 500 horsepower market, IRS is simply worthless and dangerously fragile on a drag strip. I will be very interested in how Ford overcomes this glaring deficiency if indeed it goes with only IRS. I would be willing to bet that Ford will stay with a LRA on the 500 plus horse Shelby Cobras.

        I would wager that at least 50 percent of all IRS Cobras had their rear suspensions replaced with LRA, and probably 100 percent of them regularly used for drag racing did. I have personally seen at least 20 Corvettes used for drag racing equipped with an aftermarket LRA.

        Hilariously, for Cobra IRS drivers who actually race on “round tracks” the cost of aftermarket parts is just about dead even with the cost of modifying log rear axles. There doesn’t seem to be much if any advantages in actual performance between the two.

        The traditionalists are the reason the Mustang enjoys a commanding sales lead among ponycars. Ford will alienate these traditionalists at their own peril.

        Just as the Jeep Wrangler has a clear and unambiguous superiority off-road with front and rear solid axles over any other suspension setup. Should the Wrangler ever DREAM of having independant suspension of any kind, no matter how capable will be the day that the Wrangler ceases to sell.

        I have some friends who have made a very lucrative full-time business replacing late model Jeeps’ front independant suspensions with live axles.

        The LRA has had so many years of developmental tweaking and adjustments and technology applied to it that it seems bizarre to announce that it has some sort of disadvantage on a race track with curves, or that staying with LRA has some sort of cost benefit. Additionally, it seems amazing that IRS cars, in the interest of handling, are equipped with massive anti-sway bars that have the design purpose of LESSENING the amount of independence of those suspensions!

        At some point, it seems obvious that once you have achieved big enough anti-sway bars and stiff enough aftermarket bushings, you have succeeding brilliantly but unintentionally in replicating the ride quality of LRA!

        IRS has a clear and unambiguous advantage in comfort over a LRA. Has anybody, in the history of the world in the market for a “comfortable riding” car ever even test drove a Mustang?

    • 0 avatar

      The truth is that the decision to use the solid rear axle was made in the era when Ford was still being run by accountants. They already had a multi-link setup in the works when some smartass in the management decided to convince everyone to use the solid rear axle because that will save like 200-300 bucks per vehicle. For me, this decision ruins this great car forever.

    • 0 avatar
      Joe McKinney

      The funny thing is, the platform used for the current Mustang was derived from the DEW98 platform which has IRS. When DEW98 was being re-engineered for the Mustang the IRS was replaced with a LRA as a cost cutting measure.

      • 0 avatar
        MRF 95 T-Bird

        As well as the 94-04 which used many components from the Fox and MN-12 T-Bird/Cougar. Yet the IRS was only included in the Cobra version. They should have included it in at least GT’s.

  • avatar

    The Bullitt. Wish they’d make a new Bullitt edition with the 5.0.

  • avatar

    Although this is clearly a Mustang-bashing article I’ll bite: ’13 and ’14 GT500.

  • avatar

    Love me some Boss 302.

  • avatar

    Are we serious here? Is this who I think it is?

  • avatar

    “Bullit Mustang?” Dodge needs to seize on this idea and offer us a “Crazy Larry Charger”

  • avatar
    juicy sushi

    A Kona Blue ’11 GT with the track pack would be nice, but it’s behind a long list of other cars I would rather have, so it’s not so much a favourite as a vaguely articulated preference among random choices…

  • avatar

    How about the Roush or Saleen versions? Do they count?

  • avatar
    Mr Imperial

    The wife says that our next car should be a van or a wagon, with our growing family….

    Make mine a MUSTANG WAGON!!

  • avatar
    Dan R

    A triumph of form over function.
    Dinosaurs born of very old Detroit policy.
    They do look good though.
    I had a ’83 Thunderbird, my first US car.
    A triumph of form over function. Tough as nails though.

  • avatar
    Joe McKinney

    Since this all sounds very tongue-in-cheek, I am going to nominate the ORIGINAL retro Mustang – the 1973-1978 Mustang II.

  • avatar

    For me it’s the first new car I bought, 1985.5 SVO Yea, I could of had a V8.

  • avatar

    I’ll go with the one I have, a 2012 GT.

    and yes, the MT82 is fine.

  • avatar

    1. Shelby GT (Over-priced and has lots of tacky gingerbread, but for some reason it really does it for me. I guess it’s my Trans Am fandom coming through)

    2. Anything with the glass roof option (I like the Jeep Skyslider too)

    • 0 avatar

      The Shelby GT was just a set of tires away from being the best handling Mustang of the 05-09 cars. Why SAI never bothered to install a good summer tire is beyond me?

      • 0 avatar

        IIRC the Shelby GT just had a Ford Racing suspension kit on it, anyone could buy the kit from the dealer and even have it installed on a regular GT. But buying the Shelby added something like $10-12k to the price for about $4k in stuff ($6k for the name I suppose). I knew a few guys who bought it because they thought it might increase in value like the old Shelby models. It didn’t.

  • avatar

    Me too. I love looks, and the “fun to drive” factor of my 08 6cyl rag top.

  • avatar

    “There’s the GT Track Pack, for both of the Mustang GT owners in America who think tracks have right turns, too.”

    I’m number one. Who’s the other dweeb?

  • avatar

    You can spend a LOT more on Shelby or a Boss 302, but for the buck, the basic 5.0 is very tough to beat. I’d say it’s the all-around winner.

  • avatar

    The 2008/09 Bullitt GT. Doesn’t matter that it’s the older, more inefficient (and less powerful) 4.6l engine. Doesn’t matter that they didn’t make brushed aluminum surfaces in 1960’s-era cars. Doesn’t matter that you can brand the inversion of the shift pattern from the aluminum geaftshift knob into your palm, Shaolin-style, when you start the car and shift into Reverse on a hot summer’s day (in fact that gives me a terrific idea for a tattoo if I ever buy one of those)…there is nothing about the Bullitt GT version of the Mustang that doesn’t make it inherently cooler than any other Mustang Ford has ever built.

  • avatar

    The latest Boss 302 is just about perfect. It’s in my Mustang dream garage along with the ’69 Boss 302, 1965 GT350 and my beloved ’93 notchback.

  • avatar

    GHIG Boss 302 – so much so I traded a B5 Blue SRT Challenger on one. While there are many days I miss the SRT (it is a great grand-tourer), the Boss does it for me during every drive. Even with the crappy MT82…….

  • avatar

    I’ve had a ’94 GT with the 17″ alloys, and a a stock ’96 Cobra SVT. I like my ’06 black GT-H the best, so far.

  • avatar

    Not much of a Mustang fan (I think the late 90s Fox body was the better looking) but if I had to choose I’d pick the Boss 302. Was tailing one on the 95 the other day and when that exhaust opened up….let’s just say I had to pull over.

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    I’d go with the Bullitt; even better if they’d do a ’14 version. I love the hitch on the hips the ’08 grew, and the ’13-’14 front end is the best itineration yet.

  • avatar

    I’d like a shiny new V6 6sp coupe in Grabber Blue with the Track Pack and Recaro seats please. The Bullit takes a close second. Would probably have to get a set of those wheels regardless.

  • avatar
    Bark M.

    To whom can I speak about this Unauthorized usage of my driveway photo?

  • avatar

    ???_ Did I miss something, or did the rest of you?

    The question specifically referred to the retro(current) Mustang of 2005 _ 2014. Not the original generation or the caricature Mustang or the Fox bodied Mustangs, or the 4th Gen, but the ‘Retro’ Mustang.

    Most of you couldn’t answer a simple question without digressing into the type of under shorts you wear and why.

    I like Mustangs, even love a few, but my answer to the question is… none, of the ‘Retro’ Mustangs. But, if a Bullit Mustang found its way into the shop, I would do a 4-deuce Weber small blk. engine and IRS transplant, tweak the suspension, and call it good

    • 0 avatar

      Why waste all that engine bay space Duece,

      An all aluminum Boss 429 would fit in there no problem thanks to the need for a big old’ honk’n tall deck dohc mod motor to fit. I rember showing my brother a YouTube video of a push rod install in an 05-09 car. He thought it was a 351 nestled into the engine bay, I told him it was 429 ( albeit a standard version and not a Boss motor).

      Or maybe a 427 Cammer, how awesome would that be.

      • 0 avatar

        Why not indeed, Raph,

        Good call on that engine, especially with the Boss Nine Stack Injection. Gives me the under hood look I want with DFI. Probably way more expensive then a Sm Blk with Webers, built in my shop. But would almost make that up with drive-ability and scorching performance in a door slammer. Depending on the power level selected, it could probably break 200mph.

        And. thanks! You may have given me a lead on a unique powerplant for a pending project.

        We are working with a customer, who wants a modern all weather version of my Sevenesque style roadster, but he wants it Ford powered. Mine has the 530hp LS376. He has signed off on the concept design, now I can give him this Boss engine as an option over the Mod engine. Would look righteous in that extreme ride. All eye candy and over the top performance.


  • avatar

    I’ll go with what’s in my garage: A triple-black, 2012 V6 automatic convertible with the Premium and Pony packages, stripes deleted. Although I’d “settle” for 2014, but only if I could buy it for what I paid for mine two months ago, with 10,000 miles on the odometer. :)

    It’s my fourth Mustang, the previous three having been Fox-platformed, and I returned to the fold after almost 20 years of thinking I was too cool for a Mustang. Yes, it doesn’t have a V8, and yes, it has a live axle, but I’m well past the age where I care what other think about how prestigious my vehicle is…and every time I put the top down, I have the time of my life.

  • avatar

    Bullitt for the bullivvard, Laguna Seca for hooning. GT500 for the auction block in 20 years.

  • avatar

    What’s strange, not having the historic car lover heritage, I don’t feel any of the newer Mustangs as historic-looking. The elements like C-ident and 3-slot tail lights tell me absolutely nothing. When I see a Challenger, I can tell that it’s retro-looking. But not Mustang in any recent incarnation.

  • avatar

    Looks: 2005, when a new body style is introduced, it’s almost always the best looking one. The updated front/rears are usually not as good looking.
    Engine: The one in my friend’s 2012 GT is pretty great.

  • avatar

    Until they come out with a model like the ’73 Fastback, none. Only mustang I cared to own. Loved that car.

    • 0 avatar

      @bluebrat – then you should pick up a 73, they are currently not very popular with the collectors and are relative bargains these days. I personally don’t care so much for the 71-73 model Mustangs but I have been tempted since the prices are so low compared to the earlier generations.

      • 0 avatar

        Interesting, now I’m curious. I will look into this. I’ve been currently stalking a couple other un-loved muscle cars, the Road Runner and a stock Satellite, but the ones I find are usually in horrible condition.

        • 0 avatar

          I like Mopar too but it’s harder to find a good deal even on an unloved model unless you like sedans (I don’t) or early Cudas (kinda, but only the fastback version). Even a basic Satellite these days is in the upper teens if you want a good one, and I have even considered the giant sized 73+ model.

          But I have seen many 71+ Mustangs in good condition going for about $8-12K. There are 2 local guys selling Boss Mustang fastbacks in that range…. perfect condition. As long as you dont want a 429 or something rare you should be able to steal one.

  • avatar

    ’86 Saleen.

    Used to see a gunmetal grey one on the I-10 almost every day on the way home from school. I’d struggle to keep up in my little gold Escort as it sliced its way through traffic.

    Something about the whale tail, the low stance, the wheels, and the honest, simple shape. The coolness factor was boosted by the license plate that read “WEAPON X.”

  • avatar

    Great piece, and welcome! I also love your obviously fake name.

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    I’ll nominate the GT/CS. A nice compromise between a stock GT and a full throated Cobra plus easier to deal with for everyday driving.

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    No, it’s the California Special which is just the appearance package on a regular GT. I always liked the 68 GT/CS which had the T-Bird Shelby taillights. The Shelby, and Super Snake while great are a bit loud and boisterous for me. The GT/CS is more of a sedate luxury cruiser in the mold of a T-Bird/Cougar.

  • avatar

    Boss 302, hands down. Raw, pure, unadulterated ‘Merican bad-ass fun.

    Re: the stick axle rear suspension: Who gives a flyin’ f*#k? It flat out works. The thing is balls-out fast and fun on the street and the track. It’s one of the most balanced, composed chassis you’ll drive… even running over high curbing on a road course doesn’t upset the car. It puts the power down out of corners with no drama and just goes where you point it. Only the most pot holed or uneven pavement streets will remind you of what’s between the rear wheels.

    The real weakness on the Boss 302 is the brakes (well, that and the clutch and shifter, but I won’t go into that right now)… Ford shoulda put GT500 6 piston Brembos and 15″ front rotors and rear 4 piston Brembos on this car. It’s so fast on the track that it’s easy for even an intermediate track day driver to out-drive the brakes. At minimum the Ford Racing Parts brake cooling kit (included on the Boss Laguna Seca), race-spec pads, and high temp DOT 4 fluid are all a MUST if you’re gonna seriously track this car.

    Otherwise, it’s damn near perfect. A keeper for sure!

    • 0 avatar

      Who cares that Ford has yet to put a live rear axle into a base GT Mustang?

      Obviously, I do and a few others do. I’ve driven ’65 Mustangs, owned two, and I’m fine with their LRA and leaf rear springs. For what a new GT or better model sells for, I expect IRS from a performance car, pretty much all the competitors here and abroad have it.

      I respect those who say they’ve blown up Cobra SVT rear axles at the drag, but my cars will never see a drag strip. They’ll see an autocross course and track days at a racetrack, but frankly I don’t do driving straight lines for just a quarter mile.

      So, you should be pleased that Ford is building a car for you, LRA and all. For me, my 2006 will probably be my last Mustang. Ford put IRS in other models, I’m done with their excuses for leaving it off new Mustangs.

  • avatar
    Domestic Hearse

    Johnny? Dat you?

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