Monday, August 25, 2008
My little pony
My current rental car (yes, another business trip) is a 2007 Ford Mustang with 18,500 miles on the clock. Well you all know my opinion of American cars - crap. The paint on the Mustang is wafer thin - it drops off if you so much as walk too close to it. The inside is a vast sea of hateful, hard, rattly, scratchy grey plastic. The suspension is prehistoric - driving over a bump in the road feels like falling down stairs in leg irons. God - it's just - bloody wonderful actually. Ok so the rear wheel drive is suicidal in the wet, but this latest generation Pony Car has the 'it' factor for me. It's surprisingly roomy inside and the view through the windscreen is nowhere near as cramped as it was on the previous model. The power steering is the usual over-done affair but because the front wheels aren't driven, I can feel a lot more of what the road is doing, and it does take a lot less effort to steer it in a straight line than most American land yachts. The engine noise from inside is wonderful though. Even the sound of the electric radiator fans winding down after I've turned the ignition off - it sounds like a spaceship cooling down its hyperdrive. I found it a bit overpowering to start with - narrow windows all round, hugely overdone engine, deep seats. It was like piloting a submarine for the first day. But today I had my bonding experience with it on I-280 going down to Cupertino. The Mustang is one of those cars that is such a fun car that it's actually easy to overlook all its niggles. If you don't own one, rent one for a few days. Ford have a winner on their hands here - unusual for that company - but the Pony Car lives on nicely in this current revision.