December 01, 2015

Latest Mustang Hits The Roads Downunder


The long wait for Mustang fans is about to end, with the first ­shipment of cars docking in Melbourne early today.

But the shipment of more than 170 made-in-the-US Mustangs will go only so far in filling a backlog of 3000 orders piled up since the car was revealed two years ago.
The Michigan factory began right-hand-drive production in September, making the Mustang a world car for the first time since its mid-1960s debut.

Australian enthusiasts were some of the most eager to put down deposits and for many it will be just the newest car in a garage of classics ’Stangs.

Building consultant Bob Lorich, 60, placed his order 14 months ago. He has been an enthusiast for more than 40 years.

“Ever since I saw Allan Moffat race in 1969-70 at Sandown I’ve been caught up with Mustangs,” he said. “I’ve been accumulating them ever since.”

He pursued his dream by buying and restoring a classic 15 years ago and since he has bought and sold about a dozen.

One of his earliest purchases, an orange 1970 Boss 302 Fastback, remains his favourite.
His collection also includes a 1969 replica of Moffat’s No 9 Coca-Cola race-car and a 1969 convertible.

As members of the Mustang owners club, Bob and wife Anne regularly drive the cars in classic races and rallies.

When Bob realised the next generation would reach Australia, it didn’t take long to decide. “Anne needed a new car and I thought it would be perfect.”

They decided on a top-of-the-range black automatic convertible, with a 303kW 5.0-litre V8, which starts at $63,990.

Fastback coupe V8s with manual transmission cost $54,990 while a turbocharged 2.3-litre four-cylinder starts the line-up at $44,990.

The new Mustang is already a hit in left-hand-drive markets, with 76,124 bought over the first half of 2015, making it the most popular sports car on the planet.

Local Ford boss Graeme Whickman said he believed it would be as welcome here as it was in the US.

“We are so excited to launch Mustang in Australia and see how people respond to its iconic, magical looks and performance,” he said. “Just like in America, we are seeing great early demand for the V8 GT models.”

Bob and Anne’s V8 GT is in the first batch, but they will need a ­little more patience after ordering through a fellow enthusiast who has a Ford dealership in South Australia.
Bob looks forward to collecting the car and driving home to Melbourne.

“There’s nothing like jumping in a modern car … and it’s still got the same mystique about it.”

It will be his first taste of the new generation, but he already ­believes it’s a bargain next to ­classics.

“To convert a later model Mustang to right-hand-drive is $35,000, plus you’ve got to buy the car in America,’’ he said. “The new one is great value for money.”

By Philip King
With many thanks to The Australian
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