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11 Apr 2018

BY DR CLIVE FRASER

Doctors nearing retirement often have a desire to buy cars that would have been impractical during earlier stages of their career.

Top of the bucket list for many would be the purchase of a current generation Ford Mustang.

Having grown up in the 60s and 70s, I knew that a Ford Mustang was always something special.

After all, Mustangs featured in three James Bond films, Goldfinger (1964), Thunderball (1965) and Diamonds Are Forever (1971).

Back in 1967, a handsome home-grown Tony Ward drove a Mustang in the much-loved Australian TV spy series Hunter.

As the good guy working for COSMIC (aka ASIO), John Hunter would need a fast set of wheels to have any chance of catching the evil Kragg.

Fast forward to 2018 and Tony Ward would now be driving a sixth generation V8 Mustang convertible.

He would have by-passed the 2.3 litre four cylinder option because he would have said that driving that car was like “kissing his sister”.

But the 2.3 litre Ecoboost engine produces a sprightly 233kW power and 432Nm torque.

On paper it is more than adequate and uses 25 per cent less fuel, but 85 per cent of Mustangs sold are V8s.

With twice the number of cylinders the 5-litre V8 does look the goods under the bonnet and has 306kW and 530Nm.

In this 50-something demographic most owners already have some degree of presbycusis.

While the standard exhaust system on the V8 does have a nice note, hearing loss does encourage many Mustang owners to replace the factory exhaust with after-market mufflers that have more burble.

At 4.8 metres in length, there is no shortage of room inside the Mustang’s cabin and the switch gear has some nice chrome-plated retro features.

The speedometer is in metric and miles per hour and specifically mentions ground speed just in case anyone decides to become air-borne.

For convenience it would be nice if Ford could work out an easier way to move the front seats forward to climb into the rear, but perhaps the comfort of rear seat passengers is not usually a priority for Mustang owners.

Unfortunately, the current Mustang only has a two-star safety rating on ANCAP.

This wouldn’t worry the likes of James Bond or John Hunter, for whom being shot or poisoned by foreign agents is a far more dangerous threat.

Later this year the Mustang will undergo a significant upgrade.

Instead of six speeds the automatic will have ten ratios and the V8 motor will have 33 more kW.

The dashboard will be all digital and to address safety issues the up-dated Mustang will come standard with autonomous emergency braking (AEB) with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and lane keeping assist.

The extra fruit will mean that prices will rise between $4,000 and $9,000 depending on the model.

So would I buy a Mustang now or wait a few months?

My career has been about delaying gratification so I’ll hold the horses and wait a little longer to join the Pony Club.

Safe motoring.

Doctor Clive Fraser


Published: 11 Apr 2018