My brother is considering buying my Buick. I told him:

I’d be trading it in when taking delivery on the Mustang, which would be February to April best guess. As I said, later means easier winter driving until the following winter to give me time to pony up for winter tires. Driving that car in a blizzard with the standard pontoon tires and rear wheel drive would be a trip even if only going to work! Of course I could do it, just not nearly as easy as with the right tires, or using front wheel drive with one of the heaviest front wheel drive cars ever made (my Buick and my previous Olds, which are actually the same car, really). What I’d really like to do is get winter tires and wheels from Grappone from the start to make it part of my car loan! In which case an earlier purchase might be feasible for winter driving, yet the money part of it would be better the later I waited.



I did some research for winter tires. If I got the same size everything including decent sipe tires, compatibility with the brakes,  nice looking wheels only $5 more than the cheapest alloys, tire pressure monitors, mounted, balanced and shipped from Tirerack.com, it’s about $1500. What I’d like to do is go minus 1 or minus 2 on the sizes for a narrower tire and if such a thing exists for compatibility, cheap steel wheels, though I suspect that might not be the case. But I’d really like to have Grappone do it all so I can make it part of the car loan. Also have to decide on a car cover which is an option for the car.

It’s gonna be impossible for me to keep my Buick for the winter, I have to trade it in. I hate that thought, but it’s that or no Mustang. Maybe in a year I could get a crappy very old used Jeep Liberty cheap for the winters.  To keep the Buick I would’ve had to start saving one or two years ago.

Including trade in value and cash saved, I have to come up with $8100 to keep the monthly payments around $400, which I can do. But that does NOT include snow wheels/tires or cover. What this means is I have to save $600 a month for the rest of the year. Tough, but theoretically possible. By December my Buick will be paid off anyway, so that’s done with before I trade it.

Last year I called Allstate to find out how much my insurance would go up with a 2012 and it’s not too bad at all, really. I think I might’ve called city hall to find out about the first year of registration cost and it was manageable.

I’m likely to get Kona Blue. I wish they still offered Lava Red, which is kinda the red version of Kona Blue as far as darkness and classiness. But at least this year they brought back Sterling Silver which is the darker silver that I like. They also have a new tri-coat green called Gotta Have It Green, which is pretty cool, does nice things with light hitting it. All the other colors don’t interest me so much. Black is cool, especially on a Super Snake because the whole car is blacked out and the style is super tough and I saw one in person. But black and regular silver and red are so freaking common.  I read somewhere that nowadays something like half of all cars sold in the U.S. are white, silver or black.

I really like the styling of the 2013, more ballsy than the 2012. The 2012 standard headlights were optimum for getting the max retro look, though. But I have nothing against the 2013 headlights, plus the 2013 taillights are better than the 2012.

I know it would be a challenge driving with the standard tires in heavy snow, would really try to get narrower tires for winter. But I successfully drove winters in the 442. Part of that time was skinny tires on steel rims, later was BF Goodrich all seasons the first year they came on the market. They weren’t as “all season” as tires are today, but I made it work okay, and they were fairly wide, about as wide or nearly as wide as the Mustang tires.

I grew up in the ’60’s so winter driving is not such a big deal.

I could probably get away with no winter tires the first year if I couldn’t make it happen while buying the car, especially if I was taking delivery in March or later.

With the Mustang I would not be able to drive to the Worcester in a slushy blizzard to see the Trans-Siberian Orchestra like I did the night my brother and his family blew off their tickets because of stormy slush concerns. It was work at times with the Buick, but I could make pretty decent time.  With the Mustang I would likely have turned back after 30 miles that night. The 442 would be after 40 miles, 50 miles with skinny tires. The Buick is front wheel drive and heavy, though it has only one real drive wheel. Not as heavy as the original Olds Toronado with front wheel drive, but still heavy by today’s standards.


I gotta plan carefully and watch myself to get up the down payment with not an awful lot of time remaining.
It takes about 6 weeks to get a car after ordering. So I wouldn’t have to drive it in snow or salt as I wouldn’t have it until almost April.
I would then have 6 months to prepare for the following winter.


When you stomp on it, Ford designed a valve to open so that the sound goes into the cabin. I found out that the way it works is that it doesn’t open until you’re in second gear or higher, and are doing at least 25 mph. This makes good sense when you think about it, and seems consistent with my test drive of the V8. There’s a YouTube vid showing how to take the foam out of the sound tubes to make the cabin noise louder. Not that I’d likely do that!

It looks to me like most dealers do what Grappone does: wait until they get only 1 or 2 on the lot, then order 4 or 5 more. They always seem to have between 0 and 6 cars on the lot, usually about 2 or 4. I had to do about 3 or 4 visits to get 2 test drives in the right car at the right time over 2 or 3 months. Though I should say one visit was just to see how a bass guitar case fit in the car. It fit amazingly well, I was surprised. I could even fit it in the trunk as well as the rear seat. Also, the rear seat flips down so the trunk space expands into the interior.


Some people wonder why I’m getting an auto and not a manual tranny. I’ve driven both. The manual is okay for shifting, not good or bad, certainly not as fast as the butter smooth Hurst I had on my ’68 Olds 442 (no notches at all). The auto also has a lower rear axle ratio and reviewers say the overall response is “muted” for the automatic.

The manual in the Shelby is an American Tremec. No significant issues.

All the other manuals in all other models of Mustang are Getrag. Getrag is a good Slovakian company that’s been around a long time and has made tranny’s for everyone, including very expensive cars. The parts are generally very rugged.

However the one for the Mustang is assembled in China. The 2011 Mustang showed problems with bolts backing out and the wrong fluid being used, plus maybe some other parts being thin and a shim being needed. It appears that the initial problems have been fixed, but it still makes me nervous because I can’t find any reports on the fixes in later years after someone has put on a lot of miles. My warranty on the powertrain is 6 years which at the rate I drive, is not a lot of miles.

I probably would be okay with the manual, but would be inclined to go with it only if it was a really fast shifter. I’m spoiled.

I’m not too concerned with the automatic getting off the line with 420 hp. It will still burn a long strip of rubber so I don’t really care if it does 0-60 one or two tenths of a second slower than the manual. The auto certainly will shift as fast or faster than the manual.

Ford says they could do as well or faintly better for acceleration times with the automatic compared to the manual.

For the year 2013, they added a switch on the shift knob so you can manually select gears, and it won’t over ride your decisions and will go nearly to full RPM.

There’s a little noise on the Net that Ford might’ve fixed the problems of the Chinese manual, but I’m sticking with an automatic anyway. I’ve read their official statement describing what they found and their solutions, and it appears reasonable overall.

Bottom line:

It will slam you in the seat as well as the manual and the top speed will be the same. It appears all regular V8’s are speed limited to 155 mph as best as I can tell.
It will be nicer to drive in Boston. The city gas mileage is slightly better than the manual.

Resale on Mustangs is average, but I’m predicting that within 10 years 2012’s and especially 2013’s will surprise people with their value once the public gets a load of the newer Evo Mustangs. Or at least the retro car enthusiasts.

I might’ve told you before that the GT can probably do 170 but is speed limited to 155. I imagine it’s the same deal with the 2013.

Premium fuel for the 2013 gets you 420 hp instead of the 2012’s 412. Apparently regular fuel for both cars is still 402 hp.
There are few reviews for automatics and this is one of the better ones:


2013 is the last year of the Mustang as we like to remember it.

I like the 2014 okay, but not as much. The 2015 seems pretty nice, but not the same as the 2013. So since I’m kinda hooked into that retro style, it’s 2013, which means I have to order a stripped automatic by about February give or take a month, according to my salesman. After that will only be 2014’s.

The 2015 is following the Ford “Evo” design trend and the 2014 is a bridge between that and the 2013. Of course the 2013 is a more muscular version of the 2012.

I’ve seen a secret photo of the rear of the 2014, doesn’t remind you an awful lot of a Mustang. All the rest for the 2014 and 2015 are artist sketches. You can pretty much figure out the trend.

The 2014 will be a little smaller than the 2013. The trend for the next 10 years appears to be making it more mainstream and less of a niche car. At some point it will be offered as both a 2 and 4 door. Kind of weird to think of a Mustang with 4 doors! But then again the Mustang II was totally bizarre, and the Fox body Mustang never really did much for me, either. It’s only the early ones from around the Bullitt era, the early Shelbys, or the ones from the past few years I like the looks of.