• Jun 5th 2007 at 2:53PM
  • 16
2007 Ford Mustang GT - Click above for high-res image gallery

Sometimes, things just work out. The Memorial Day weekend weather forecast called for hot, sunny conditions -- perfect for the unofficial official kickoff to summer. Backyard parties would be devoid of no-shows and parade routes were assured to be standing-room-only. It was going to be a good weekend anyway, and Ford made it even better by entrusting yours truly with keys to an '07 Mustang GT for the duration. The big holiday weekend would be spent with a big, brassy muscle car sitting outside as driveway candy. And oh, what sweet, sweet candy... nostalgic styling covered in a Grabber Orange finish, a thundering V8, and a top that tucks behind the back seats, all to better appreciate the wicked roar coming from the stainless steel pipes in back. The whole thing is glorious Americana.

For Memorial Day weekend, one couldn't ask for anything better.

2007 Mustang GTThis isn't the first Mustang GT we've reviewed here, so I'll keep the impressions short and to the point. The retro styling is great. It pushes emotional buttons and it fits this car perfectly. The interior works well, too, with a throwback look that's in keeping with the exterior, and the unique-to-Mustang steering wheel that helps tie it all together. Yes, there are some chintzy plastics in play here, but they're generally out of sight or otherwise unobtrusive (lower door panels, speaker grills that would look more at home in a Jeep Wrangler, etc). The loaner's premium package that adds stitching to the dash hood in a stitched hide and the contrasting, metal-look trim is patterned to simulate either turned aluminum or carbon fiber (flip a coin). The booming audio system uses basic, straightforward controls, but keeping it off may be a better bet anyhow. That makes it easier to enjoy the Mustang's exhaust note. Underpasses beg for a blip of the throttle, and parking garages are instantly transformed into a Carnegie Hall of V8 clamor.

2007 Mustang GTThe 300-horsepower 4.6L V8 offers excellent, immediate power, is seamlessly channeled rearward via the car's 5-speed manual. The live rear axle isn't an issue. It's like anything else, respect the car, learn it, and it won't give you any fuss. Highway merging and passing are mere afterthoughts, as the 'Stang's got more than ample juice on tap, and the car will cruise at highway speed while pulling down around 20 mpg. Not bad. There's no wind deflector, but buffeting seems fairly manageable. (Then again, my short hair isn't easily mussed.) Local, low-speed driving's a blast too, as even the most mundane tasks (a trip to the supermarket, for example) are transformed to impromptu cruise nights.

2007 Ford Mustang GT

I'd have been content to simply enjoy a weekend of open-air motoring with the Mustang, but the town of Trumbull, CT issued a call for convertibles to participate in its annual Memorial Day parade. I volunteered the Mustang and was told where and when to be. When Monday arrived, I jumped in the car and motored on over to the parade's staging area. Being new to this kind of thing, I wasn't quite sure what to expect, though the mob scene I came upon wasn't exactly surprising, either. A parade looks very organized when the participants are lined up and marching/driving by. Until folks start heading onto the route, however, it's a portrait of organized chaos.

2007 Mustang GTThe parking lot was jammed with people, and an eclectic bunch of vehicles that would be driving in the parade. On one side, a semi trailer was loaded with with hay bales and several local little league teams. There was also the obligatory contingent of Shriners, little red replicars at the ready. Their "staff car," a VW Thing done up in red, white and blue, sat idling nearby. Everywhere you looked, there some vehicle was taking on passengers. Fire/Emergency trucks lined a nearby side street, and a pair of Humvees ducked in and out, looking for a place to park and waiting for the festivities to kick off.

A brace of convertibles had shown up ready to take part in the parade. In addition to "my" GT, I counted a pair of classic Mustangs, a pair of Eldorados, a K-car LeBaron, a VW Bug, a big Ford LTD, a Cutlass, and a beautiful flag-festooned Model A, among others. The idea was for us to all line up, take on vets, and hit the route. We were split into two groups in the staging area, and after a short wait, the first set of cars and passengers rolled out.

2007 Mustang GTMeanwhile, the group I was in waited. Our cars were still empty. After asking one of the vets helping get things organized what to do, we were told to pull into the parade line, as we'd be able to take on passengers at one of the first corners along the route. I jogged back to the Mustang and eased it behind the local American Legion marchers. One of them ambled over to check out the 'Stang, complimenting its looks and giving the car an approving smile before he walked back to the fellas from the post. In the meantime, the aforementioned Model A had taken up position behind me. Being a Ford guy (obviously), its owner was also interested in the GT, and we chewed the fat about our two cars for a couple of minutes until one of the men from the Legion gave a wave. Time to go.

I fired up the 'Stang, and other marchers walking to their places smiled or gave the 'thumbs up" sign as it roared to life. Behind me, the Model A's owner responded by giving his car a rev and blasting its old-fashioned ''aaah-OOH-gah!" horn. Rumbling along, the orange Mustang was grabbing all kinds of attention. Even the district's State Senator smiled and waved his approval as it eased by. As we passed through the first intersection, one thing became obvious: no passengers were waiting to jump into my car or the one behind me. We were now just part of the parade.

Memorial Day 2007

If you've never participated in something like this, do so if you're given the opportunity. It's a lot of fun. The veterans marching directly in front of me were treated like rock stars, garnering loud cheers and standing ovations from the crowd as they passed. They were all smiles as they waved back and acknowledged the spectators lining the thoroughfare. The gentleman bringing up the rear seemed to know everyone in town, bantering with the folks and enthusiastically waving to everyone he made eye contact with. Not long into the parade, the American Legion marchers stopped and gathered around one of their members. The temperature was up around 90 degrees, and one of the men had apparently started to feel the heat in earnest. Someone motioned for me to pull up, and he climbed into the passenger seat for a spell. After a quick introduction, I put the car back in gear and was back underway with my new companion, a local Korean War veteran. We rode together for a bit, and he waved to the cheering crowd from the passenger seat. After a few minutes, he was reinvigorated and decided to jump out and rejoin his comrades in front of us.

Memorial Day 2007

From there on in, I rode solo, shadowing the Legion from a few feet behind. As it turns out, the Mustang itself was a big hit. "Nice car!" was a frequent refrain, and predictably, more than a few disembodied cries of "Light 'em up'" wafted over the curbside. Age seemed not to be a factor, either, as the compliments were just as likely to come from kids as they were from moms and dads. I chuckled at one point when I overheard a father explaining to his elementary-school-aged son, "See that? That's daddy's midlife crisis right there, kiddo."

A-10 flyoverThings were proceeding nicely when one of the men from the Legion again signaled for me to stop. He smiled and pointed behind me, and when I turned around, a pair of A-10 Thunderbolt IIs came streaking down the parade route, practically buzzing utility poles, waggling their wings for the delighted crowd. Goosebumps, people. The mean-looking jets circled around and back a few more times, putting on quite a show before heading off into the distance.

Shortly thereafter, we reached the end of the route, and it was over. I said goodbye to some of the folks I'd met earlier, jumped back in the car, and headed home. The parade was a wonderful experience. The veterans I met were charming, and the reaction they got from the people lining the parade route was inspiring. My daughter (she's four) came up to me afterward and said, "Daddy, when the veterans went by, I did this," and she brought her little hand up in a salute. "It's called a salute." (It came out as "sa-woot.")

"I saluted them," she said, beaming.

As did we all.

All Photos Copyright ©2007 Alex Núñez / Weblogs, Inc.

I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.

    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      Having read what seems like a bazillion reviews of the Mustang as well as having the oppurtunity to drive a buddy's, I almost skipped over this article.

      Glad I didn't; thanks for sharing.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Well, thanks for rubbing our noses in your awesome weekend, Nunez. What else happened in your perfect little world? Big bag of money fall off an armored truck right in front of you on the way home?

      Seriously, though, outstanding article. I marched in a couple of Veteran's Day parades and nearly froze my butt off both times, but they were a lot of fun. It is interesting to see a parade from the inside out.
      • 8 Years Ago
      20 mpg at highway speeds? That is pretty misserable IMO. That car is not that big. I realize this car is still brick like, but how can the 500 HP Z06 get near 30mpg and this only get 20? Is it just due to aerodynamics?
      • 8 Years Ago
      Nice article. Nice parade. Interior is not bad at all. I have an 05 and would not change a thing (except adding trunk open button). Verts are sweet, makes the 1hr plus commute very enjoyable.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Pretty fitting when you consider everyserviceman had his eye on a Mustang when he got back Stateside.
      • 8 Years Ago
      The interior on the Mustang is pretty decent compared to Ford's other vehicles.
      • 8 Years Ago
      You whining, sniviling little bastards. I would driver that car even if it had no interior. Stick to your droidlike rice mobiles and sterile german cars.

      This is a wonderful piece of Americana that you would probably never be able to appreciate.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Nice writeup Alex!

      I'm an F-body owner so I'm sworn to make fun of Fords...but I love muscle cars regardless of make.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Awsome, the most well written blog I have read on this site! Pure Americana, parades like this make you feel good. I am just waiting for the cynics to to start posting about - who knows what - but finding some fault in the whole activity.

      Overall the Mustang is great - the interior is not the best in the world but some concessions had to be made to get the whole package at the price it is sold. As a comparison - Has anyone sat in a RX-8 or 350z? The interior in those cars isnt all that great, lots of plastic. The RX-8 feels the cheapest of the three and the Nissan probably the best of the bunch with the 'stang in the middle somewhere. Use some perspective when discusing the interior, in comparison its where it needs to be.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Nice story and nice car. Plus there's nothing wrong with the interior of the Mustang. You can get a GT with a 300hp V8 new off the showroom floor for barely over $24k and you whining because the dashboard isn't as tarted up as a Lexus?
      • 8 Years Ago
      @ Adam -

      First of all, the Mustang get pretty respectable gas mileage for its class. The Nissan 350z gets 23 combined with a V6. The Mustang gets 20 (COMBINED not HWY) with the V8. The V6 stang get 25 average. The RX8 is notoriously thirsty (look up the long term test on this blog) getting anywhere from 12-20mpg and burning oil like a Diesel. (My '93 rx-7 was the same..but really fun)
      Yes, I admit the Corvette gets outstanding gas mileage and bests the Mustang by some degree. The Corvette also costs twice as much and much lighter.
    • Load More Comments
    Share This Photo X