1999 was a big year for the Ford Mustang. It was about to go through a re-design for the 35th anniversary of the car. My brother was a big fan of the Mustang and had spent months reading the Internet hoping to catch a glimpse of what it may look like. Once the reveal was complete, he promptly went to the Ford dealer and ordered his dream car at the time.
I remember pulling into a Tim Horton’s drive thru and having the entire location stare at the car. It was a unique sight and captured the attention of the general public. That car has never seen snow and is still a staple in the family to this day. Some families are Camaros, some are Mustangs. This one falls in the latter category. As such, when I was told we were getting a chance to drive the new 5.0L Mustang featuring 420 HP, I was ecstatic. It has some cosmetic tweaks, namely the lighting featuring a much-needed change to HIDs with LED accents. The rims are perfectly complimentary but could use a bit of a drop to eliminate some wheel gap.
There are two things that will warm its way into a man’s heart. Food and a beautiful set of baby blues eyes. The Mustang came with the baby blues covered, featuring the factory optioned Recaro seats and the colour based illumination options through the system’s computer. The navigation screen is massive and is sharp, clear and easy to read.
However, talking about the electronics and options take away from the pureness of the Mustang. To be a pure vehicle, I feel the driver needs to be at one with the road. Engine, Driver, and Road. Disrupt any aspect of that and the experience is soured. There’s no souring with this car. The clutch is perfectly placed with the right engagement point. The shifter is an absolute blast to use with extremely short throws between the gears. The steering is responsive and you always feel in control of the car.
There exists a button on the Mustang that should be used at all times when the roads are clear and the weather is nice. That button is the traction control. Disabling that driver aid is what takes a modern car and makes you feel like you’re entering a time portal.
In 1999 Ford included a 3-disc CD set called Mustang: Reborn to Run. It featured music from the 60s, 70s and 80s. With the similar styling to the late 60s Ford Mustang fastback I found myself naturally gravitating to that 1960s CD. Listening to songs such as I’m a Believer, California Dreamin’, and Summer in the City, I found myself connecting with the car. I understood what it must have been like to live in the 60s. Road, car, diners, girls and backstreet drives. Raw, pure and harmonious.
After a spirited jaunt through some country roads, I couldn’t help but feel like I was a kid again. When I pulled into my driveway I just had to take a minute and laugh as I tried to wipe my grin off my face. Cars shouldn’t be this fun, but when they are, they do a fantastic thing of not really caring about small details. Namely for some reason I averaged over 16L / 100 KM. Seriously. Don’t know why but man did I ever love those 100km.
Some people say that money can’t buy happiness but with the new Mustang the smiles it will bring to your face is worth every penny. Just picture driving through those same country roads, windows open, glass roof above your head, playing some music and just laughing. If that interests you, go drive one of these cars for yourself. You won’t regret it.