Mustang Appeals to Young and Young-at-Heart
Jason Dudley started driving a Ford Mustang at the age of 15. The 25-year-old captain in the U.S. Army said of his 1992 Ford Mustang, "I loved the hell out of that thing and cried the day I traded it in." Dudley later traded in his beloved 2000 Mustang GT, for which he would have "taken a bullet," to get behind the wheel of a new 2005 Mustang GT. He doesn't regret the decision to update his wheels. "Man, what an instant classic," Dudley said from his home base at Fort Hood in Texas. "The new car instantly takes you back to the '60s and '70s when the Mustang was tearing across the streets of America, and it performs better than it did then. That's the reason the new model is so popular with me and every other person that admires cars."
Dudley isn't alone in that assessment. Men and women of all ages are fans of the vehicle. Mark Hayden, a 35-year-old troubleshooter for Sun Microsystems, Inc., looks forward to getting his own '05 model.
"It's generated a great deal of interest in Europe and has brought new members to the Mustang Owners Club of Great Britain," the club's Webmaster said.
According to Popular Mechanics, there are approximately 250 Mustang clubs with 35,000 members in the United States, Canada, England, France, Netherlands, Germany, New Zealand, Australia, Mexico, South Africa and many other countries.
Ann Wiley, a member of the Mustang Owners Club of Austin, Texas, knew she had to have the new Mustang the moment she spotted it in the pages of Car and Driver magazine.
"The new Mustang called to me," said the junior high teacher and coach, who received her mineral grey GT last October. "The first couple of weeks of ownership were amusing as everyone would stop and stare at the car. One woman at a red light literally said 'what is it?' as she turned the corner. The reaction has been amazing."
Sixty-four-year-old Floridian Chris Meyer gets a kick out of the car's popularity. "Since I drive it daily, the stares and thumbs-up are a regular occurrence," he said. "I've become something of an ad-hoc Mustang salesman, sending several friends and acquaintances to the local dealer."
Bob Hicks, who is in his 60s and is awaiting delivery of a 2005 GT, has driven Mustangs off and on since 1965. He is a member of the Mustang Club of America, Mustangs in Motion, The Great American Pony Drive and the San Angelo Ford Mustang Club.
"I always thought Ford would 'hit a home run' if they ever built a retro-styled modern technology Mustang," Hicks said. "They have done that with the '05. Ford has managed to give Mustang owners style, power, economy and value. As an added bonus, they are fun to own and drive."
"Beautiful" is how 63-year-old Mike James of Creve Coeur, Mo., describes it. The newsletter editor of the Show-Me Mustang Club went on to say that the lines on the 2005 give him the same thrill he got upon first seeing the '67 fastback.
"I've driven other cars, but they never gave me the warm feeling I got from Mustangs," the retired enzyme researcher said. "My wife and I have named our Mustangs, or rather they let us know their names. My wife refers to them as 'the other women.' At 63, I can no longer call this madness 'middle age crazy.' Maybe it's dementia."
Crazy or not, enthusiasm for the new Mustang knows no age. John Kachigian, an 83-year-old Ford Motor Company retiree, has owned 12 Mustangs, including three Shelby models, since 1965. He ordered the '05, sight unseen, and got the first vehicle to be delivered to a dealership in Ann Arbor, Mich., in 2004.
Dearborn, June 6, 2005
Source: Ford Mustang news from the Ford Motor Company
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