The Prancing Pony

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The Ford Mustang is now in India! Gaurav Nagpal takes it for a spin at the Buddh International Circuit

Rare is the car enthusiast who has not watched Gone In 60 Seconds and drooled at the sight of Eleanor, the moniker given to the 1967 Shelby Mustang GT500 that was the protagonist’s Waterloo every time. For long, India has lusted after the Ford Mustang, and just over half a century since its international debut, the iconic muscle car has finally arrived in India. This is the sixth-generation model of the Mustang – the newest version – that wowed Indian audiences at the Auto Expo earlier this year and now can be bought for “just” `65 lakh!

The Mustang is a two-door car – a coupé – with generous front seats and a rather tight rear bench; for someone of my (relatively) modest height, though, it would serve as a perfectly adequate four-seater. But then, that is not why you buy a Mustang. All “regular” questions such as mileage, boot space and service cost fade into the background when you cast a glance at the new Mustang – especially in my favourite Race Red livery; it gives you goosebumps! Finding a comfortable seating position is easy, with a fully power-adjustable driver seat. Thumb the start/ stop button and the deep recesses of the long hood emanate a muted rumble, giving no clue about the riot that lies ahead. Floor the pedal when you get a straight stretch of tarmac, and the fun really begins! The growl gets louder with every upshift of the sixspeed auto ‘box – after all, this is 401 horses begging to be unleashed.

In the closed-circuit environs of the Buddh International Circuit, I managed to cross the double-ton mark before slamming on the brakes, because the turn at the end of the straight comes on in the blink of an eye. It is great fun around corners too, with the screeching tyres and burning rubber guaranteed to plaster a smile wider than the widest highway!

Invigoration, excitement, muscle, stunner – the Mustang is a cocktail of superlatives that can get you flying high. Saddle up!


The Legend Reborn!

The Ford Mustang debuted on April 17, 1964, at a bargain price of just $2,368 (compare that with the current price of approx $100,000!). Fifteen customers bid on the same Mustang in Garland, Texas, and the winner slept in the car overnight so it would not be sold to someone else! First year sales touched 4,17,000, four times the expected figure. Famous movie appearances of the Mustang include the 1964 James Bond movie Goldfinger, and, of course, the 1974 and 2000 versions of the thriller Gone In 60 Seconds. The ninemillionth Mustang – a GT convertible – was sold to an Iowa farmer in 2008.

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