Back in those days the world was populated by the likes of the die-hard Camaro fans, the Hemi Cuda crowd, the Chevrolet Chevelle fanatics, and the Pontiac Firebird folks. Although I found many of those cars fascinating, I always gravitated towards the Mustang. It didn’t necessarily have the tough looks of the Cuda, and it didn’t have impressive T-Tops like those Firebirds (at least not at the time), but the car managed to conjure up images of freedom and performance in my young mind.
I credit my neighbor for sealing the deal. He had an Arcadian Blue 1966 Ford Mustang. Every time he started it up, it was like someone turned the lights on inside my automotive enthusiast soul. One day he took me for a ride. I was hooked. And the rest, they say, is history.
So what it is about the Ford Mustang that we love so much? Let’s take a look at my Top 10 reasons for owning a Mustang.
1. An Iconic History: The Ford Mustang is a success story through and through. It’s the second-longest-running sports car nameplate in the U.S., after the Chevy Corvette.
2. Affordable and Reliable: The Mustang is affordable and within reach. Ask me if I think the Ferrari 575M is a nice car and you’ll get a definite “Yes.” I mean come on now, 0-60 in about 4.2 seconds. But let’s be realistic, the chances of this automotive journalist being able to purchase a $246,000 car in his lifetime are slim. The Mustang is, and always has been, a real value in terms of what you get for the price. Is it an exotic supercar? No, but it wasn’t designed to be.
3. A Vehicle for Many Needs: There’s a Mustang for almost everyone. Some cars are limited to just a few models. The Mustang is full of variety. Do you like to drive with the top down? You can step into a Mustang Convertible. Looking for power on a budget? Opt for a Mustang GT. Want great looks without paying more insurance to own a V-8? There’s the V-6 Mustang. Maybe you’re a collector looking for a serious street machine. Mr. Carroll Shelby, Jack Roush, or even Steve Saleen have a few Mustangs that would be perfect for you. Looking for a race-ready track car? How about the FR500S Mustang? The list goes on and on.
4. Making Friends: I’m constantly amazed at how friendly and enthusiastic Mustang owners are when I’m out on the road in my Ford pony car. Having driven a motorcycle part-time for almost 20 years, I’m used to other cyclists greeting me along my journey. Step into a car and this rarely happens, unless it’s a Mustang. Similar to the motorcycle community, Mustang owners are a tight-knit group. Just ask any Mustang Club of America member. In all, Ford estimates there are more than 250 Mustang enthusiast clubs in the world.
5. Fully Customizable: The aftermarket community fully embraces all generations of the Ford Mustang. Looking to add some power to your car? Maybe you’d like to modify its exterior. The Mustang is fully customizable, with thousands of aftermarket parts out there to choose from. In a world where standing out can make all the difference, it’s easy with the Mustang.
6. Fun to Drive: Ever gone cruising in a Mustang convertible? Need I say more? The car perfect for cruising the strip on a Friday night; even if you graduated from high school long before the creation of the internet.
7. A Ticket to Car Shows: One of the things I love most about Ford Mustang ownership is all the car shows I get to attend; and not just as a spectator but as a participant. Mustang clubs all over the world host a number of car shows throughout the year. These shows offer up things like good food, prizes, and unlimited networking opportunities. Never been to one? Attend a Mustang car show and you’ll see what I’m talking about.
8. Great Both On and Off the Track: The Ford Mustang has a long-standing history of success on the race track. Does the name Jerry Titus ring a bell? How about Parnelli Jones, Dan Gurney, John Force, or Bob Tasca? Each of these winning race car drivers piloted a Ford Mustang in their career.
9. Signature trademarks: While some automakers sell out over the years, the Ford Mustang has signature trademarks that have stood the test of time. Take the running horse emblem. Sure, it changed to a trot for a short time in 1974, but when you see one it brings to mind "Ford Mustang". Oh, and there’s the distinct tri-bar tail lamps configuration.
10. For Nostalgia’s Sake: The Ford Mustang is a time machine of sorts. It’s sure to conjure up many memories. Whether you drove one in high school, owned one in college, or own one now, most Mustang owners have many fond memories of their experiences with the car. From cross-country road trips to cruising the strip, the Ford Mustang has a way of taking us back in time.