Mustang Convertible


LOOKS . Macho Techno
AMBIANCE. Curveoid
COMFORT. Cramped
STEREO. Max Blast
FUN TO DRIVE. Power Trip
GADGET FACTOR. State of the Past
HEADS TURNED . Rock & Rollers
EMOTION . Young Love
CACHET . Pony Car II


Sticker . $28,315.
Power. 215 horsepower
0 to 60 . 7 to 8 sec.
Test Mileage. 17.3 mpg
Seating. 2+2
Trunk . 8.0 cubic feet

Muscle Man

The blast from the past, still blaring, strong and defiant. Just for kicks. This pony rocks. Fresh take on an American classic. Refined, redone, tighter, tougher, restyled out to tomorrow. Simple at heart, not bashful, well padded and trimmed with class.

The Mustang is still a deal, but no strippers go out the door. Standard equip and more noticeably - trim and finish levels, are very upscale. This is a luxurious car, with a sensual wrap-around cockpit. The Mach 460 (watts) stereo boasts some bogus specs, but sounds like dynamite ! Clear, loud and perfectly bold. The convertible part of the equation adds about $6K to the bottom line, for a well engineered top that automotes up & down without frowns and steals just a bit of trunk and rear seat space from the coupe version, neither being very generous in any event. The Mustang hauls, but don't expect to carry much in it.

Underhood, a big ol' Ford V8, with nice roller-action cam followers and good injection, provides solid blast, if not class leading numbers. There is plenty of power, pushing through a satisfying automatic. Smoking takeoffs and tail dancing readily achieved with good control and much joy. If you need more go, or simply want to keep up with the Camaro Z28's, a 305 hp DOHC V-8 is now available. More is better but the 215 hp of the standard GT is more than adequate. The good road ride is very good good, the bad road ride is kinda jouncy, just like in 1965.

Looks wise -Love it or Leave it seems the norm. It is a fresh look, but I question the longevity; proportions being short and many cheap visual tricks being played to jazz up the lines. The popular taste seems to approve and Mustang sales are very good.

Plush or not, the inside is tiny and the backseat a laugher. Ergonomics are a disaster, seat control placement, seat belt hassles, tiny glove spot, push-button radio, and more annoying details than a parking ticket. They rushed this car through design and it shows in the lack of attention to detail.

Which is not to say I didn't like it. The Mustang GT convertible is a real fun ride. The character is well drawn, if a bit rough around the edges.