This Saturday was an 'extended road trip day', as the Ford Store from where I ordered the Mustang all the way back in May of last year was some 300 miles away.
The alarm clock was set for 5.40, but who was I kidding. I got no sleep that night.
My parents, bless them, wanted to be along for the moment, so we all packed in to my Dad's BMW 120i and set off a 6am. The sight of the sun rising over a beautiful, clear winter landscape, pink skies and all, framed the morning so beautifully.
By the time we'd arrived at Brandt Bil, in Vänersborg, it was 11 am, and we walked into the dealership to be met by the sight of a car, walled off behind blue velvet ropes, beautifully detailed. Apparently, the dealership maintains a staged area where new customers pick up their cars. 'Tack' means 'Thank you'. The car was ready, roped off and on display as the 'delivery of the day'. I have to admit I was quite giddy at this point. Nothing can really prepare you for the sensation of seeing your car for the first time.
As the astute among you may have gleamed from the background of the headline shot, there were a good few Mustangs ready to be delivered, and interestingly, mine was the only Fastback in the bunch. It seems, therefore, that us good Swedes proudly and defiantly refuse to accept our climate!
The car, to me, just looks stunning from every angle. The hips, the long bonnet, the double brow roofline, the creases along the side... It's a styling exercise which just floors me. We popped the bonnet open to go through all the 'fill up liquid X into hole Y' bits, and the sound this engine makes when you open the throttle just beggars belief. It's moody, throaty, and fits the look and feel of the car so well. I honestly expected to be underwhelmed, and ordering an exhaust immediately, but really, honestly, I don't feel I need it anymore. It's more than enough for me. The sound it makes starting in cold weather is wonderful.
I ordered the car with the black 19 inch Performance Pack wheels, but for winter use I ordered a spare set of wheels in Nickel Luster, shod in Nokian Hakkapelliitta R2 studless winter tyres. After having driven in winter conditions for a few days I really can attest to their quality insofar as making this car controllable on ice. I was ready to make amends and say 'guys, ordering this car for winter use is a bad idea'. But the truth is, it just isn't. Snow/Wet mode reigns the car in so well, and even driving like a little bit of a male organ didn't phase it. I'm floored by how docile and controllable it can be.
Inside those wheels, of course, are the Mustang's party piece. The 380mm Brembos basically fill out the wheel completely. They look enormous. I can see why 19'' is a must with the Performance Package brakes. The brakes are, next to the engine noise, the single greatest factor about the car. Everything from the feel to the sheer force of them is incredible. Coming from four pot Brembos in my RS, to this, still was enough to seriously, seriously impress me.
I decided to only privacy tint the very rear window, as the S550 Mustang has no visible B pillar and only one daylight opening. The dealership did a grade A tint job, and I'm happy with my decision.
Now for some bad news. The day before I picked the car up, the dealer called me to say that to his great dismay, they had discovered a 'sizable paint scratch' on the left door, apologizing profusely and offering to compensate me for the work done to repaint the door. As it turns out, the scratch is only about an inch and a half long, and only goes through the clear coat. Many dealers wouldn't have even reported this, I'm sure. As it was, the price of the car ended up being reduced by the amount necessary to repaint the door. Very pleased with the willingness of the dealer to admit fault, compensate, and be open. A+.
The dealership at Brandt Bil are Sweden's top Ford dealer for the fourth year in a row, and I can understand why. The whole process was so smooth, friendly and customer experience oriented. A free tank of gas, free all weather rubber floor mats, a baseball cap (pictured) and a bottle of champagne, along with six months free insurance and the aforementioned price reduction on a car they could easily have sold at a markup, shows a willingness to make the customer experience a good one. In the end, I got a 2016 Mustang GT with leather Recaro seats, a five year warranty, and tinted windows for 1000 Euros LESS than the base price of a new Focus RS. That is just incredible, incredible value.
After this, it was time for the 300 mile drive down. It turns out the car had been stood in the 'receiving area' for so long that the battery was dead and we had to jump start it to get it going - which was a little anticlimactic to say the least Starting it up for the first time, adjusting the seat, pairing my phone with it, all of those small experiences really helped me put into my mind that this actually is my car now...
Once going, the 300 miles melted away like they didn't exist. I ended up using sixth gear and cruise control for a lot of the trip, and it became clear to me that the Mustang GT really is just that - a true GT car, a highway eater deserving of the title. It's a bit soft in the suspension, and it feels absolutely massive on the road, but it just feels like the whole car is made for you, the driver, to feel at home in. No rear seat or luggage space considerations, no compromises. Just you, a tightly hugging seat, a steering wheel where you want it, and that hood to look out over. The driving position in a car like this is just wonderful. With the Recaros at their lowest setting I was just about low enough to feel part of the car, but still able to see over the brow of the dashboard to that aircraft carrier sized hood, with those lines spearing off into the distance like sight lines on an aircraft canopy. The miles disappeared under the car.
It was somewhere during this drive that I realized I was so loopy in the head from having driven down, done all this and driving up again, that I hadn't really had time to emotionally register what I'd done. 'I'm driving a Mustang', I told my wife when I called her. 'No, darling', she said. 'You're driving YOUR Mustang'.
And so, finally, after 8 months and 22 days, there is now a Mustang in my garage. Parking it was a nightmare - but still. I can't even believe it :)
I'll answer any and all questions you may have!