What Happens When a VW Owner and Fan Goes to The Dark Side, Pt II
by, 04-06-2012 at 10:10 PM (3526 Views)
So after about 3-4 days of looking and thinking, I decided that the mustang GT was my car. I started going to all the Ford dealers I could find in my area to try and purchase a base model car with the BBK. Well, there were none in my area. All the BBK cars I had access to were premium package cars that were just more than I wanted to spend. I mean, in a 3 state radius, there wasn't a car available that fit my requirements. So I ordered the car directly from the factory.
I never ordered a car before, so to be honest, I was kind of intrigued by the whole thing. I could finally get the mustang exactly how I envisioned it. And at a good price as well! SOLD! So the process of picking out the options and then waiting began. I ordered a silver car (not all that exciting, but the car is a daily and after owning a black crossfire, dark colors were OUT!), the BBK, the 3.55 rear end (I thought this would be a good compromise between the stock rear end and the 3.73 rear end), and the security package (back up sensors, wheel locks, and an audible alarm). I wanted the gray, but supposedly Ford simply stopped offering the color--maybe it was because of the tsunami in Japan? Who knows, but Ford started offering the gray later in the 2012 production run.
So the long 6-8 week began. In the meantime, I started going to the Mustang forums to learn more about the vehicle I would soon be driving. I realized 2 things: Ford has customer care (FCC) reps on the enthusiast forums to help owners with their cars and people were seriously going full-retard about the MT82 transmission. So I got in contact with FCC in order to track my car. After a battle with the dealer, I FINALLY got my order number, which allowed FCC to track my car. I also started to wonder, just a little, if I made the right decision with this car because of the transmission mess. The more I read about the issue, the more I realized that the issue was being blown up far more than it should have been. Some people did have some issues, but like anything else, when you start to scrutinize something, you notice every little thing. And that, IMO, is exactly what happened. A couple of big mouths riled people up and every shifting imperfection was suddenly considered a transmission failure. I never owned a car that shifter perfectly 100% of the time. So I started to give less credence to anti-MT82 people as time went on. Through all of this, the FCC people were awesome! They gave me updates where the car was whenever I wanted it. My car was born on August 4th, 2011. And it was late enough in the cycle to have many of the updates to the MT82 that were made throughout 2011. I had no concerns or worries when I realized this.
But what I was worried about was that my car was about to come in to the dealer any day (literally, it was on a transport train) and I had an airbag light on the crossfire that wouldn't go away (and I told the Ford people I would take care of it prior to handing it over) and during one of the times I was going to get it fixed for said problem, someone with a flatbed backed into the car when I wasn't even at the dealership, causing $8800 worth of damage. That's right, I wasn't physically in or even near the car when this happened. Did I mention that my car was en route? I was a bundle of nerves for about 2 weeks. The car did get repaired (not nearly as well as I would have liked), but it was in fine shape for the avg person and I did manage to get the airbag light off when I turned the car in--hopefully it remained off.
So the big day came and went. I picked up the car from the Ford dealer with 6 miles on it and promptly put on another 50 miles that first day. I remember thinking how much different the mustang is to drive compared to what I was used to. It was big--it was fast--it sounded awesome---and it had an excellent shifter. It was very easy to like the car at the start. This was the first legitimately fast car I've ever owned and it was a great feeling.
Here are some pics from the first day:
During that first week of ownership, I was reminded of a conversation I had about 7 years prior in which I was at a VW-Porsche dealer getting some work done to my Jetta (of course, right!). I started chatting with a saleman who was telling me about his experiences driving a 911. He told me he felt the car was just too fast for the street. I thought that was an interesting perspective, but simply didn't believe that could be true. Well, I have to admit, that during that first week with the mustang, there were a couple of times where I thought that maybe the car was a bit too fast for me. Even after pushing down the throttle 3/4 of the way to the floor, I was able to pass items in the distance at a rate that was frankly foreign to me. I thought I would have a problem processing how fast the world around me was going by. I always thought my corrado was pretty quick as it was lighter than stock and had an aftermarket blower--it was and is great fun to drive. But the mustang is in a different league entirely. It moved out quick and made noises that I only dreamed about---I thought it sounded a bit like a Nascar as I moved through the rev range. I quickly became smitten with my purchase. But will that feeling last? That's what I'll be exploring. In the next installment, I'll talk a bit about what the car is like to drive compared with the vehicles I'm used to driving, in addition to a 10k mile update on the overall ownership experience. Stay tuned!