May 11, 2013


I cannot claim to have driven the great cars in the world but I can certainly boast that I have done The Mustang.  What a car!  The latest 5th generation 2014 model is light years away from the rest.  This was not just a Mustang, it's a convertible.  From highways to back roads, this mama was a superstar, an American Idol. 

Let’s start with engine power.  To an average driver like me, more used to a regular compact, engine power is an idea that is as fancy as the Indianapolis 500.  When I was turning into Highway 101 in the Olympic Peninsula, a truck trailer I thought was safely distant, just suddenly showed its fender on my rearview mirror.  A quick but gentle step on the pedal and I was safely ahead in seconds.  Wheww!  What power!

And not just zoom    When parking - passerbys would give that admiring look and would utter just one word “Mustang” with that upswing tone.  What a presence!

If there’s any car that is 100% testorone,  it’s the Mustang! 

During the first week of May, Northwest  weather was in the mid-70s, sunshine  - perfect.  With the wind chill factoring as you drove top down, it was still Nirvana on any type of road: asphalt or Portland cement or dry mud.

Here are some tips I discovered driving a convertible:
I heard once that driving with the vinyl top up can still be noisy inside the car.  Not in this case, the Ford engineers have done a marvelous job attenuating external sound and positioning speakers at the base of both driver and passenger doors to contain the audio even when driving top down.  Open air yet clear symphonic!

You have to bring a windbreaker  – it may be sunny and warm standing but driving at 6o to 70 mph means the wind chill can bring the temperature to as low as 10 degrees or more.   Your body will lose heat faster.  And just in case the sun is above you, a baseball cap will do the trick.  Although driving head naked is what convertibles is all about.

Avoid dusty roads – I think you know what I mean.

And if you are self-conscious.   Don’t.  Other drivers are often busy in their own lanes that you are just another car on the road.

One of the idiosyncrasies about convertibles is that 9 times out of ten, the driver is often a man in his 50s at the youngest.  Unless the convertible is a VW Beetle, most likely a woman in her 30s, or a Mazda, a more affordable toy for a man in his 30s.

Next time I will drive a top down at night especially on a full-moon.  I wonder how it feels.

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