2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Better Than
April 25, 2011
Driving this Mustang makes me realize that I've actually been driving cars like it for a very long, long time.
And this made me think about them all and where the Mustang fits in on my list of favorites.
Unfortunately it's a long, long list.
The Mustang GT 5.0 is better than the 1967 Pontiac Firebird 400 that belonged to Skip Robidart's dad and which we drove down to Laguna Seca with Mary Stuart and Ann Scholey to see the races. (And way better than the 1964 MG Midget that Robidart and I had driven down there to the races six months before.)
The Mustang GT 5.0 is better than the 1967 Firebird 326 H.O. which belonged to Analissa Anastasia's boyfriend that I drove after we swam that race on the Russian River. (Wonder if he ever found out?)
Better than that 1969 Mustang Boss 302 that belonged to the Marine helicopter pilot at El Toro. (It had all the trick stuff, too.)
Maybe not better than that 1977 Firebird Trans Am with the black-and-gold package, designer John Schinella's screaming chicken decal on the hood, snowflake wheels, four-speed manual transmission and clanking Detroit-locker limited slip. (Drove it cross-country about a week after the release of Smokey and the Bandit and never could figure out why all those truckers kept hailing me on the CB.)
Better than the 1982 Ford Mustang GT 5.0 (The only one of the Fox-platform Mustangs that I can remember even being close to good.)
Better than the 1982 Chevrolet Camaro Z28. (Though it's a close thing, as this Fred Schaafsma-developed car was a breakthrough, a 1,000 percent better than the car that preceded it.)
Better than the 1993 Chevrolet Camaro. (Stiffer structure than before, but soggier engine.)
Better than 1993 Firebird Firehawk SLP. (No grip from those trick tires.)
Better than 1994 Mustang. (Fox-4 platform was cheap at least and engine went for hp.)
Better than 1999 Mustang. (Then they made it ugly and engine went for lb-ft.)
Better than 1999 Firebird Trans Am 30th Anniversary. (Speaking of ugly.)
Better than 2001 Mustang Bullitt. (Great Steve McQueen TV commercial, though.)
Better than 2004 Pontiac GTO. (Well, actually, it's not better, but it certainly matches up at a more affordable price.)
Better than 2005 Mustang. (Almost there, but still missing the lightning in a bottle that has been captured by the new V8.)
Better than 2009 Dodge Challenger. (Nice car, but the size of a school bus.)
Better than 2010 Chevrolet Camaro. (A mess in too many ways to list.)
So that seems to make the 2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0 pretty good, doesn't it? (Wait, do I have to include all those Mustangs from McLaren, Roush and Saleen? What about those cars that wished they were the Mustang, like the Ferrari 550 Maranello and Porsche 928?)
Michael Jordan (Executive Editor, Edmunds.com)