I am a budding car enthusiast and recently I stumbled upon your column in the papers. I am thinking of getting myself a Ford Mustang. Please advise me on availability of the make locally, fuel consumption, spares availability and its off-road capabilities, if any.
Finally, what is the range of its price range locally compared to imported models?
The Ford Mustang is not locally available, mostly because it is a left-hand drive. There were RHD conversions done for the old-model, limited-edition Cobra R in South Africa but I do not know if this still happens.
It might also be done in Australia, but again I am not sure. Locally, I only know of two: one that rally ace Ian Duncan was using to race in the East African Classic Safari Rally and another one, sky-blue, that featured in a past Concours d’Elegance event (a looker, I must add). Anyway, from what I have just written, I think it is safe to assume that neither one is for sale at the moment.
Fuel consumption has never been a strong point for Ford Mustangs, past and present (future ones may be available with a very small turbocharged engine, though). This is because the car is heavy and the engine used in it is ancient, to be diplomatic (two valves per cylinder with push-rod technology, and the block built from cast iron, and the whole design has been in use with little change since the 1980s).
Five kpl is the norm for the V8 models that use the 4.6-litre Ford modular engine that also serves in the police cars that crash spectacularly in many a Hollywood movie.
This engine is cheap because it is crude, so it makes the cars cheap also — that is why, according to Hollywood, sometimes the police use their vehicles as weapons, unlike other people who drive with the cost of the car in mind. They are disposable on the most part.
Spares availability would not be a problem if you lived in the US, where the Mustang’s unashamed sales quarry can be found in large numbers. Since you live here, it will be a problem. I do not know how this impacts on your desires.
Off-road capability: Only Ian Duncan’s Ford Mustang can go off-road. The rest are more at home on tarmac, especially if that tarmac is dead straight with no corners whatsoever.
Pricing range: See local availability above