Wild West Hero

We encounter a visitor a long way from the prairie.

All images: DTW. Apologies for the poor lighting conditions.

There’s a commonly employed saying which goes along the lines of, ‘if you’re going to be a bear, be a grizzly’. The notion being, I suppose, that the apogee of ursine ambition is to be as large, hairy and fearsome as possible. It’s also another way of suggesting that one ought not settle for second-best in life. All in all, as a statement by which to live, it’s very post-millennial.

In Ponycar terms, whether Ford’s Mustang or Chevrolet’s Camaro represents the living embodiment of the musclecar breed probably hinges upon where one stands in the whole Ford versus GM debate, and represents a fray I’m really not prepared to join from my position of relative ignorance and relative ambivalence.

The Ford Motor Company, in their post-Unlearning phase of market strategy appears to have concluded that what the European customer wants is more emotional product. I’m not entirely sure if that is true, but what can be said is that there is a palpable sense that Ford’s European customers have been a little underwhelmed by Uncle Henry’s offerings of late.

Hence the advent in right-hand-drive of hitherto US-centric models. Perhaps the thinking in Dearborn was that there remains a nostalgic gap in the market for the Mustang’s erstwhile European equivalent, and since Ford has no plans to sanction a modern version of the ‘car you always promised yourself’, customers could sublimate any latent desire with the real thing, rather than its flouncy second-best Euro-facsimile.

The entry point to European Mustang ownership is represented by the 2.3 litre EcoBoost turbocharged four, which develops a lusty 310 bhp and is where the bulk of RHD demand might be thought to reside. Certainly so in the Republic of Ireland, where its output (and likely emissions) would make for an ambitious ownership proposition before one even approaches the question of its physical size on rural Irish roads.

It’s unlikely that many Mustangs of any stripe have issued forth from Ford’s Marina-based Irish importers, so the sighting of this 2017 example during my recent sojourn in the Munster region proved something of a surprise. But what we have here my friends is no Shetland pony-car. Behold the Grizzly of Mustangs (apologies for the mixed metaphors but it’s been a long week), being nothing short of the fully-loaded 5.0 litre V8, developing a mighty 435 bhp. Gulp!

No Regrets, Coyote

I must say that the sighting of a locally-registered modern-era Mustang in my adoptive Lilliputian town felt surreal enough, but the realisation that it carried the fire-breathing V8 beneath its immodest power bulge lent it an entirely otherworldly feeling. As did the earth trembling sound of its Coyote V8 reverberating through the subterranean car park as it rumbled out into the evening gloom.

As it did so, it occurred to me that its owner has not only taken the whole ‘be a Grizzly’ adage to heart, but is clearly in possession of sufficiently deep pockets to live out his Wild West dreams on the Wild Atlantic Way.

Author: Eóin Doyle

Co-Founder. Editor. Content Provider.

15 thoughts on “Wild West Hero”

  1. it’s 40 years since I bicycled around Dublin and some
    of Galway, and perversely pleasing to think of a Mustang
    shambling around there. this latest manifestation is very
    popular here in Australia, partly I guess because of the demise
    of home-grown V8 Falcons and Commodores. and the Mustang
    does look good on the road, maybe more so in our country town
    which has some of the very first model in daily use.

  2. Surprisingly, there are a few Mustangs in my rural backwater and I have yet to see one that isn’t a 5.0L GT coupé variant; no 2.3L ecoboost or convertible versions. I suppose if you’re going to buy something so ill-suited the local driving environment, you might as well go the whole hog and properly realise your Steve McQueen fantasy.

  3. Today’s teaser:

    What connects the Ford Galaxie 500 and Ferrari 308 GTS with a 1970’s Vauxhall?

    1. While the 7 litre Galaxie and the 308 were transitionally this year’s models, ephemeral designations for a furlough furnishing famous fodder for school age fantasy, we were simultaneously singing along to the beat of Declan MacManus’ singular reference to the most mundane milquetoast car model imaginable of its time, one which was paradoxically named Viva.

    2. Brilliant!…but not right, sadly.

      Wrong Vauxhall, if that helps at all.

    3. If you squint really hard it looks like maybe a Lotus. Could it be round tail lights then?

      No, that is not even from the 1970’s. I kid, no serious offense meant to lovers of Luton’s legacy.

    4. One more try. Just change one or two characters and you get a properly spelled* car made by the same corporation.

      *Given that a Ferrari ought to be relatively fast.

    5. Ok, time for a big clue: the Vauxhall in question is the Magnum.

  4. I also recently spotted 2 of these full fat Mustangs here in Dublin. Both were black and sounded great. One had the chrome 5.0 badge on the side painted black, maybe to try and give if that stealth bomber look. With the ridiculous motor tax regime here it costs over €2300 annually just to tax! I don’t think there is anywhere else (maybe excepting Denmark) where it costs so much to run such a car.

  5. “In Ponycar terms, whether Ford’s Mustang or Chevrolet’s Camaro represents the living embodiment of the musclecar breed …”

    797 horsepower Dodge Challenger Hellcat Redeye FTW.

    1. “797 horsepower Dodge Challenger Hellcat Redeye FTW”

      Well, that’s easy for you to say…

    2. I just think it illustrates how absurd the power levels are getting on some of these cars.

      Even at 4200 pounds, actual engine output must be limited by the traction control until the car is well above 100 mph.

      In that case, is there any detectable difference between 597 hp, 697 hp 797 hp, 897 hp ?

      The width of these heaps has grown with everything else, I guess.

      (the Fox Mustang was less than 70 inches wide.)

  6. On our last trip to Croatia we saw a German registered full fat Mustang a couple of times.
    We once had the dubious honour to follow it along Jadranska Magistrala from Ploce to Makarska and then up to Imotski through the Croatian mountains. Except for the ubiquitous campmobiles there was no other car so unsuitable for the job (and aren’t campmobiles fundamentally unsuitable for anything but camping…) on roads barely wide enough for our rental Golf MkVII. The result was a travelling speed barely above snail’s pace and nowhere to overtake…

  7. As an American Baby Boomer, I feel very fortunate that we can live out our dream and buy the car that we promised ourselves. While the Mustang and it’s brothers may not fit in some parts of Europe, they are well suited to their home country. I’ve owned the original ’66 design as well as recently, a 1970 model. Neither were as good a car as my 2007 coupe. I currently also own a ’96 model. It is smaller than the ’07 and current models but a bit bigger than the old Fox bodied cars. Unlike the change that occurred in 1971 the increase in size has made them better and more flexible cars, especially for rear seat passengers and luggage storage. I think that the current models have not only replaced the earlier compact pony car models but also the personal luxury coupes such as the Thunderbird, Cougar and Chevy Monte Carlo.

  8. I see them often here in Sweden, where the roads is well suited for them. Time will most likely make it the EV version in the future, but for now they are all V8´s, either the ordinary one or the GT¨s with the Ferrari-inspired crackshaft.

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