Every now and again I go and drive a domestic sports car. Over the last eight years, I've rented Mustangs, or I've gone for a test drive. January 2002 I rented a Mustang and I was impressed with it. It had eight cylinders and was speedy. Later, in about 2005 or 2006 (I don't remember), I rented another Mustang. It had a V6 and I was impressed with it as well.
Then last year I tested a used V6 Mustang and a used 2007 Mustang GT. Those two models that I drove, well, they were uninspiring for me. They didn't have the punch like the earlier models had and I was severely disappointed.
A few months ago I purchased a new base model Camry. Nice car. Good mileage (30 mpg), but the car is uninspiring. How so? Its a bit on the gutless side. Don't get me wrong. Its a nice car. The ride is nice, smooth, and quiet. And for a four banger, it does pretty good. But not quite there for peppiness.
Today I took the Camry in to get serviced. The same dealer has a Ford franchise. A few weeks ago I was looking at Mustangs on the Internet. I noticed that this dealership had a V6 Mustang with a manual transmission. I've never driven one of those before and I thought it would be cool/interesting to drive a V6 with a manual. So I went in and asked if I could test drive it. I did and it was impressive. This was a much better copy than the used automatic I tried last summer. In fact, it reminded me of the V6 rental that I used several years back. It was a fairly decent car with more oomph than my pleasantly bland Camry.
I then asked for the keys for the Mustang GT. The rear-end had a 3.73 gear ratio. So it was geared low. Low gearing means this thing should accelerate like a beast. I had hoped that it would meet my expectations, because the 2007 GT that I drove last year was simply disappointing. I started it up and drove off the dealer lot. I put the gas pedal to the floor. The engine came to life and the engine roared. And it accelerated like a bat out of a very warm place. I smiled like a kid in a candy store... I took the GT on the same track that I did the smaller displacement Mustang. And I was simply impressed. This car accelerated impressively. The way a muscle car should accelerate. I drove the car my route and then went back to the dealership.
I walked into the dealership and went to the guy that let me drive the car. "I have two words for you.... HOLY CRAP!" The salesman grinned. He knew I was impressed with the car. I even told him that if I had the money, I'd be signing papers for the car right then. But I don't have the money. I have two car payments (and probably will for quite some time) and I won't be able to afford my toy car. I thanked him for letting me drive the car. We talked for a few more minutes and I left the dealership.
This little experience totally made my day. It definitely put the Mustang back on my fun car to drive list. And if I have an extra $30,000 laying around, I will go and pick up a copy for myself.
If you're interested, go drive one of those bad boys. Make sure you get a GT with a 5-speed manual with the 3.73 rear-end. The sticker should show the lower geared rear end. Give it a try and then let me know what you think....