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For those that care (or don't), yesterday was a bit of a milestone in that I passed through 12,000 miles in my Mustang. To me, 10,000 is an insignificant amount, because racking up 12,000 in the time I've had it (which is 6 months) is one-third of the bumper-to-bumper warranty coverage, as well as double the so-called 'average' driver amount of 12,000 per year. In that time, I think I've gotten a good-enough feel of the car to write up some notes, as well as weigh the pros and cons of ownership for those considering picking up a newer GT in the future.

Why did I buy it?

Bit of a tough one here, and something I ask myself quite a bit. Never been a 'Mustang' guy whatsoever. Never even been a domestic guy. But there seems to be a real dearth of exciting, fun-to-drive, new cars these days that don't cost German-sized $tacks. I came back from living abroad missing my Cayman S, which had unfortunately appreciated in value in the time since I'd owned one to a point that ruled out buying one again. With that off the list, I thought about a 335i. Too ubiquitous, not exciting enough. Then my mind wandered to a 135i. I liked this car a lot, and almost pulled the trigger on a two-year-old example, but for one thing: it just felt a little bit 'worn out'. With only 37k miles on the clock, that led me to believe that either this one had been flogged mercilessness by its PO, or the cars weren't built all that stoutly. Either way, I moved on, although I'm forever haunted by the possibility of what could have been. I really did like the 135i.

Few other candidates were a MkVI GTI (didn't do it for me- a little too familiar), 370Z (gunslit windows and agrarian noises), Mini Cooper S (dinky interior) and CR-Z (didn't even test drive one, although I probably should have). No real common pattern here, just cars that interested me at a reasonable price point.

Ultimately, I bought the Mustang because the finance terms were attractive, the car was brand new and I didn't have to worry about what any previous owners did to it, it had the options I wanted and it looked fantastic. And it was FAST. I wasn't even considering getting a 'yellow' car but the way it looked that day, in the sun, just did it for me. So I bought it.

How's it been?

At first, great. Then, as all new purchases do, it started to lose just a little of its luster. I haven't bought a car brand-new before and am thus new to the whole 'massive depreciation' concept. It's a bit of a downer. But other than that, the car itself has been very good. It's not as fun to drive as the Cayman, nor does it handle as well or delight in its build quality. BUT, it does the day-to-day thing very well. It's comfortable, it's big and safe, quiet, has a good stereo and lots of gadgets, even gets decent mileage considering (about 20 mpg mixed and 25 mpg purely highway). And it's very fast in a straight line and turns and stops more than reasonably well. Does it have the intangibles of a Porsche? No. Will it drain your wallet to the tune of $60 grand brand new and then threaten to vomit its internals all over the highway at the drop of a hat? No. So it has that going for it.

It's built well-enough but it's got its issues. I can tell the jarring 'sport' suspension my car has, plus the Shaker stereo (aptly named for shaking loose plastic trim pieces) will cause some rattles eventually. The brakes squeak but I'm sure that's down to the pad compound for the Brembos. Paint runs are evident in a couple places and overall you can tell what you bought and why it delivers the performance of an M3 for half the price...this ain't no M3. But for the 99% like me, it'll be just fine.

Has the MT82 shat the bed yet?

No. Stop asking. Yes, second gear can be balky when cold. So were all of my Hondas, and they are revered for having some of the best manual transmissions in the business. When it's warmed up, it's bliss. And it doesn't 'grind'. Ever.

Will you keep it?

Maybe. Haven't decided yet. Professional situations change, as mine has, so in the near term I may need to seek something more economical and less flash. But we'll see. I took it out for a good romp today on some fast roads and it got my heart racing the way not too many cars can. Maybe I just need to do that a little more often. Florida autocross season is about to get rolling anyway...

P4C, CSB:


IMG_9650 by raregreen91, on Flickr


IMG_9552 by raregreen91, on Flickr


IMG_9554 by raregreen91, on Flickr


IMG_9559 by raregreen91, on Flickr


photo by raregreen91, on Flickr
 

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Looks great.
I'm at 22,000 in mine. 2nd transmission, 2nd clutch assembly, still grinds randomly. Its most noticeable when turning left while accelerating through an intersection, where it will usually totally lock out 2nd gear (and no the v6 doesn't have skip shift).

I'd kill for a GT with a good transmission. Aside from that, its a fantastic car.
 

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Looks great.
I'm at 22,000 in mine. 2nd transmission, 2nd clutch assembly, still grinds randomly. Its most noticeable when turning left while accelerating through an intersection, where it will usually totally lock out 2nd gear (and no the v6 doesn't have skip shift).
The biggest problem I see here is it's a V6
 

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Nice car, fancy pants! :p (I only have the base model!)

I agree with a lot of what you said about the build quality of the car. It's far from a beater or jalopy, but at the same time, you know the same care wasn't put into the details as it was for many german cars. Though I will say I like the adjustable headrests, which are very vw-like. And there are some other nice touches that even the base model car has. Also very VW-like---the base model stereo sucks. Unlike my experiences with a VW (even in my VR Corrado), I still fight myself on occassion about whether to listen to the motor or the radio. Having spent a couple months with the car, I think there's something just insanely charming about the car. Not charming in a german "soul" sort of way, but I don't know, charming in an aloof Southern hospitality sort of way---if that makes any sense. But damn if the car doesn't move out when pushed hard!

I'm glad to hear your transmission is treating you well. I have about a quarter of the mileage and my transmission is doing just fine. It's been 45F on occassion up here and the car still shifts like new. I'll be looking forward to what the NHTSA finds on their preliminary investigation.

However, you left out the most important question! Mods?!?!?!?!? Yes, no? As I type this, I have a set of GT500 mufflers that I will hopefully install this weekend. After I type this and head out of work for the evening, I will be driving home in my blown corrado, which I have to admit feels quite a bit like a model T in comparison to the stock GT. Then again, it's much more at home on the track---where it likely will still get walked by a GT! :banghead:
 

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oh what could have been with the 135......i get weak at the knees whenever i see one. i havent gotten to drive one yet but in theory and from the outside truely a perfect modern age drivers car.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
:beer:

Nice car, fancy pants! :p (I only have the base model!)

I agree with a lot of what you said about the build quality of the car. It's far from a beater or jalopy, but at the same time, you know the same care wasn't put into the details as it was for many german cars. Though I will say I like the adjustable headrests, which are very vw-like. And there are some other nice touches that even the base model car has. Also very VW-like---the base model stereo sucks. Unlike my experiences with a VW (even in my VR Corrado), I still fight myself on occassion about whether to listen to the motor or the radio. Having spent a couple months with the car, I think there's something just insanely charming about the car. Not charming in a german "soul" sort of way, but I don't know, charming in an aloof Southern hospitality sort of way---if that makes any sense. But damn if the car doesn't move out when pushed hard!

I'm glad to hear your transmission is treating you well. I have about a quarter of the mileage and my transmission is doing just fine. It's been 45F on occassion up here and the car still shifts like new. I'll be looking forward to what the NHTSA finds on their preliminary investigation.

However, you left out the most important question! Mods?!?!?!?!? Yes, no? As I type this, I have a set of GT500 mufflers that I will hopefully install this weekend. After I type this and head out of work for the evening, I will be driving home in my blown corrado, which I have to admit feels quite a bit like a model T in comparison to the stock GT. Then again, it's much more at home on the track---where it likely will still get walked by a GT! :banghead:
I agree with you on the 'Southern hospitality' point. The car is refreshingly honest, but there are a few things I've found wrong with it that are just 'seriously guys?' type things.


oh what could have been with the 135......i get weak at the knees whenever i see one. i havent gotten to drive one yet but in theory and from the outside truely a perfect modern age drivers car.
I definitely wasn't in love with the looks. They are nice cruisers but as a 'driver's car' they might leave a little to be desired.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
However, you left out the most important question! Mods?!?!?!?!? Yes, no? As I type this, I have a set of GT500 mufflers that I will hopefully install this weekend. After I type this and head out of work for the evening, I will be driving home in my blown corrado, which I have to admit feels quite a bit like a model T in comparison to the stock GT. Then again, it's much more at home on the track---where it likely will still get walked by a GT! :banghead:
Almost forgot- no mods yet. But the GT500 mufflers will be first on the list. Please take some sound clips of them when you get them installed!

After that, it'll be the Boss 302 shift knob, coilovers of some sort, and maybe eventually the Boss Recaros, if I keep it that long.
 

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boss302 intake is a must. that plus a nice exhaust should have you really close to the 444hp. Might be slightly less, but with more torque than the Boss since it actually loses 10 to the GT.

I really want the boss recaro seats. the 'leather' in the premium is horrible. 90% of it is vinyl, with a few leather pieces just so they can call it LEATHERtrimmed
 

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ah i see...good to hear. the looks, you either love em or hate em. i melt for em. either way good to hear your putting the thing through its paces and enjoying it. rather than letting it sit in the garage and looking at it rubbing your hands together "one day you will be worth GOLD!!!!! buahahahahahahahahahahahahahah" -_-. :beer:
 

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Almost forgot- no mods yet. But the GT500 mufflers will be first on the list. Please take some sound clips of them when you get them installed!

After that, it'll be the Boss 302 shift knob, coilovers of some sort, and maybe eventually the Boss Recaros, if I keep it that long.
I like it! Let me know where you can find the Boss recaros if you end up doing them. One thing that I've come to appreciate about the mustang is that you can really mod these cars in pretty much any way you want. Looks, suspension, suspension, and any combination of the 3. It''s not all that much different in some ways than the VW world that I'm most accustomed to. Which makes it easier to change some of the "why did they do that" things you mentioned above. Though some of the cost cutting is a bit beyond what is offered in the aftermarket...I think.

I've come up with my list of things I'd like to do as well:
Definites
-GT500 mufflers (this weekend, hopefully)
-LOWER IT (not sure how I'm going to address that)
-CDC lip spoiler
-Replace the horrible base steering wheel (the suede boss steering wheel is only like $150!)
-Replace horrible stock speakers with something from the aftermarket
-Snow tires/wheels (probably get those in the next 2 months)
-Lamin-X headlight film (going on this weekend)

If I own it long enough-in no particular order
-OEM HID conversion, if possible
-Full exhaust
-Forced induction
-Boss recaro seats
-add a few more suspension parts
-oil cooler

Or maybe I'll get something else completely if I start doing some extensive mods.
 

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Good to hear the car is treating you well. Why get rid of it if you were one of the lucky ones that got a good one. I say keep it. :beer:
 
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