So here we are, a year in since the landmark 2005 Mustang has arrived. In enthusiast circles, this car has been long awaited and anticipated as the SN-95 generation slowly aged. Now that the party has been cleaned up and the new cars have been in owners garages for a year now, what is the verdict on the new pony?
Overall, the message we are hearing is “Yeehaw”! Owners of the new S197 Mustangs range from seasoned Mustang owners who have owned several Mustangs, to young buyers who made it their first new car. The cars are filling up new sections of the season’s car shows and sharing the same bottle of wax with the vintage cars in the garage. “Modders” have found that the new car offers a couple of new challenges, but offers a new level of reward with the traditional power adding bolt-ons. Software and computer tunes have become a little more of a game, but it hasn’t taken long for local shops to learn the ropes. Mustang magazines have been fast to publish how to articles on the subject.
On the market are almost as many aftermarket parts as there are available for previous generations. Ford made good by offering pre-production cars to the SEMA members and manufacturers so they could get parts to market fast. Thus far the drag racers, drifters, and road course mavens have embraced the new car on the tracks as well. The overwhelming marketing success of Ford Racing’s “Boy Racer” factory race car has been on the covers of almost every Ford related magazine there is. “Wins Again and Again”, the headlines repeat. Numerous mainstream car magazines have done comparison tests with the Mustang against more powerful rivals like the GTO and the new Dodge Charger. In almost all of these comparisons the Mustang is continuing to win the nod as the best all around choice.
This is good news on all fronts. It has made the people at the local Ford dealer pretty happy too. Still, a year later selection of new Mustangs s pretty thin. After adding production capacity last spring, many people looking for a GT in just the right color are facing the order sheet and a 4-6 week wait. Still other dealers are continuing to get full sticker or above. Ford is doing a good job of keeping the car fresh and coming up with new models in the next year or two to continue that trend.
In summary, it is safe to say that we the Mustang Enthusiasts of America have approved the new Pony and have voted with our pocketbooks. Good Job Ford!
By Sam Haymart