By: TED MACAULEY
A decade or four ago, one of my very best pals, the soccer legend Sir Bobby Charlton, was handed a sponsored Ford Mustang.
Jaguar E-type owner me, a racer in my dreams, revelled in the speed Bobby hated, except when he was bursting clear of defenders while playing for Manchester United.
So occasionally he preferred to let me drive the American flyer, especially on the narrow and treacherously twisty roads from Manchester to his holiday home in Anglesey, an island off the northwest coast of Wales.
That is still a joy of a memory now revitalised by Ford’s launch of its sixth-generation Pony-badged Mustang, a real beauty.
Flick through the gallery above for sexy snaps of the Mustang, plus see more of my supercar reviews here…
We motor reviewers were treated to its debut at the New York motor show a couple of months back with the gimmick of gimmicks: a replay of Ford’s publicity stunt of 1964 when a Mustang was unveiled on floor 86 of the Empire State Building.
I must say, staged as an eye-catcher of quality, the high-level launch was a needless attention-grabber to what I firmly forecast will be a winner on its own merits and looks.
It has been whispered to me, though I have not been trusted with a precise date or price, the handsome newcomer will be on sale in Singapore before the year’s end.
And if the orders are not quickly placed with the nearest Ford dealer as an outcome of genuine appreciation and promise that this stunner will be the best Ford has ever produced I shall be very, very surprised.
In fact, it will come in two forms – both equally desirable – as a convertible with a fabric hood that folds away in seven seconds, and as a fastback to rival any currently on the market price and performance-wise.
Over the past half-century, the Mustang has topped the 6-million sales figure.
Okay, iconic as it may be, it has not always hit the high spots of satisfaction, but this bigger but lighter, brasher, fast, fun motor looks to me like a surefire success.
Just to explode a widely held myth that it is a car made for Americans, Ford is making a breakthrough to grab a wider market with a right-hand drive version.
If Trophy Wife would let me – but I have already been downed with a stern NO! – I’d give serious thought to swapping our Porsche Cayman for the upcoming bargain buy, the new kid on the cylinder block; especially the top-of-the-range Coyote.
I wonder if Sir Bobby will be offered the latest model? If so, I’m on standby.
Three engines: 2.3, 3.7 V6 and 5-0 V8 all with eco-boost
Gears: six-speed manual with paddle shifters or automatic
Performance: top speed around 160mph
Fuel: between 15-25 mpg