Real quick: tl;dr (Too long, didn't read): I went out and bought a black 2011 GT
Manual. Nearly 34 and only ever driven a manual for about 4 hours of my life before today. I am reaaaallllyyy (add more letters if you like) happy I bought the manual.
Edit: I'll have pictures up tomorrow
I've been a lurker on here and a few other sites lately and today I finally took the plunge and bought my first Mustang. I had been eyeballing owning a few over the past several months, ever since the 2015s came out.
***Queue memory sequence music***
Back in 2004, I had just left the military for the first time and decided to start college. I had no real aspirations in car-life and drove whatever my cash could afford. I went through a few vehicles by the time the 2004 mustangs arrived at dealerships.
When it happened, I instantly fell in love. Since the mid-80s or so, I had a serious dislike for the majority of cars that were considered muscle cars and whatnot. They looked silly to me. Little did I know was that it was because of the 80s. The only good thing from the 80s was the Jeep Grand Wagoneer (I've owned 3 during my lifetime and they were a blast).
I went to the nearest dealership, sat down and said "I'm not leaving here with anything other than a Mustang." I had a a decent down payment, I had a co-signer if available, and I was eager. I even put on my nice shoes that day. The salesman had my credit checked and quickly returned with a carefully neutral expression on his face. "Son, you've never owned a car before, have you." "Yes... Yes I have. Three cars." "Well, your credit history is garbage. Here, lets take a walk around the dealership and I'll show you what you can drive away with today."
He marched me straight over to an Eagle something something. Or a something something Eagle, whatever the heck those things were. I looked at him with narrowed eyes. I knew I had terrible credit, but I had enough of a down payment to pay off half a fully loaded GT. He was offering me a seriously used car for $22k. "No sir, you see. I want to use this down payment as a down payment. Are you serious about offering me just this used car for this much? It's worth like 8... maybe 10." A nod from the salesman encouraged me to head back to my beat up Blazer and call it a day.
***Fast forward to Thanksgiving 2014***
My wife and I were heading out of town. There is a Ford dealership right outside of the community we live in. We'd often driven by it and I rarely even glanced at Mustangs anymore. That little spark of life was barely even a dark ember anymore. My days had been filled with (after the Wagoneers) a car-life of mediocrity. I drove an Elantra (okay, I didn't know it had more HP than an older V6, but at the time, I was sadfacing all over the place).
There she was. Cherry Red, black tires, 5.0 on the side. "OooooOoOoooh," I said aloud as my wife came to a stop at the stoplight. "Preeetttty." It was a 2015 Mustang
The next few months, including Thanksgiving with family, saw me nose deep in whatever form of electronics I could find doing research on the 2015 Mustangs. Ecoboost? That sounds cool! It has 4 cylinders? That's like my Hyundai! Cool, I guess. I'll do more research... Doesn't quite have that aggressive sound I associate with V8s or even V6 engines, but okay.
More time begins to go by and I realize that no... No, I don't like the new cars. They remind me too much of these other cars that I used to sometimes like (no, not the Fusion). I... I love the "older" Mustangs.
Okay... Long *** story short. I met my second wife (I'm still married to my first) and she is the prettiest little purring thing I've ever seen. I ended up buying a 2011 GT. It was the oldest I was willing to go. I test drove several cars today and I realized that I hate leather and don't like the leather stitched steering wheels. I lose out on the Sync from the Premium package, but eh... I didn't really use the phone while driving in my old car, either.
(So this doesn't make the story short, sorry!)
I've only ever driven a standard two or three times in my entire life. My wife tried to teach me how to drive her Honda, but we only had a couple of days to learn and I didn't have the patience back then (my wife is an amazing driver). When I went into the dealership, I figured I would end up buying an automatic.
I test drove several cars. V8s, V6s, Manuals (okay, my wife drove them, but they let just the two of us drive it down a ways and back), and Automatics. To be perfectly honest, I was completely turned off by the automatics. Maybe it is just me, but... I felt like it wasn't worth my time going from my Elantra to a Mustang if all I was doing was going from Automatic to Automatic. My wife had a little giggly smile on her face I hadn't seen since we had to give up her old Honda (250k miles in 14 years, never had to replace a clutch, gearbox... anything other than tires. I'm pretty sure she had the original timing belt). Sure, she'd driven her mom's Mini Cooper sport thing, but it wasn't the same sort of smile.
With a little nod, we went in, negotiated a price (okay, not really, I was done and I actually liked the price) and ended up walking out with my new baby. We went out to eat, took the daughter to get some yogurt (no food or drinks in the car!) and then my wife took me straight to a parking lot where she then spent a good couple of hours coaching me in the finer points of driving a stick.
Damn am I happy I bought a standard. That thing is a real joy to drive. I ended up having the confidence to drive it back to the house. Tomorrow will be a full day of getting to know my baby with the wife's watchful gaze.