“The Mustang defines a cultural phenomenon that has lasted through the decades, and continues to inspire drivers globally.”

2016 Ford Mustang GT Equipped with the Black Accent Package
2016 Ford Mustang GT Equipped with the Black Accent Package
2016 Ford Mustang GT Equipped with the Black Accent Package

It’s always nice when people think you look younger than you really are.

Like when a store clerk asks you for your ID. Or you play the “guess my age” game with a stranger and the number guessed is a few years off. In the right direction, of course.

When looking at the 2015 Ford Mustang, it’s hard to believe it’s just over fifty years young.

The first iteration of pony car came to fruition in 1964. While it’s not a volume selling vehicle for Ford – the F-150 takes care of that – it is, however, a staple product in the North American brand’s repertoire. The Mustang defines a cultural phenomenon that has lasted through the decades, and continues to inspire drivers globally.

Through the various nips, tucks, lifts and shapely reconstructions, the current Mustang has even more road presence than before.

Not to mention it comes with an available, all-new 2.3L, 4-cylinder EcoBoost engine, a 3.7L, V6, or the five point-oh-so-lovely (5.0L), V8 with a dashing 435 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque.

Having had the opportunity to drive both the 2.3L and 5.0L back-to-back is a testament to the range of power Mustang lovers and potential Mustang wranglers will have at their fingertips.

Furthermore, both vehicles tested came with the six-speed manual transmissions.

Even though the bulk of cars in North America (around 90 percent) are sold with automatic transmissions, there’s still no replacing that third pedal. Or the ability to connect with a car on a more personal level.

While the automatic transmissions in Fords have come a long way, I will, nine point nine times out of 10 pick a manual. The gearboxes are certainly great and linked with the engines is an overall stellar combination.

With the 2.3L EcoBoost, it’s pretty amazing what this four-cylinder engine can do. It puts out 310 horsepower and 320 lb-ft of torque (but take into consideration that you need premium fuel to get the most out of it.) And speaking of fuel, don’t let the engine size fool you. It’s not stellar when it comes to real world results.

Estimated figures come in at 10.6L/100km in the city. I was averaging over 13.0L. I mean, I didn’t expect it to be amazing. And with all the stop-and-go driving that we shared, it’s not ideal. Then again, that’s not why one would consider the Mustang.

It gets a little worse with the 5.0L GT. It’s to be expected though.

On the flip side, the GT is, not surprisingly, my favourite of the bunch. Not only because it has the most power, but because of the way it sounds and drives. To add even more sweetness onto the pile, the 5.0 was a convertible.

Clad in a Ruby Red Metallic exterior coat and Redline leather inside, it was a feast for the eyes.

With the top down, you can further appreciate the audible glory of its rumbling engine and exhaust. With the top up though, visibility is not nearly as good. Blind spots abound so be extra careful when navigating around the city.

Regardless of engine size you have under the Mustang’s shapely hood, this rear-wheel drive coupe aka Fastback is a very agreeable car to drive. The cabin is quiet and welcoming. There’s room for four inside, but the rear seats should be reserved for those who are not as long-limbed. It can get pretty cozy back there, especially if you’re tall and push the seat all the way back.

You could argue that any spot in the Mustang is a “good” seat. Top up or down.

Whether it’s the roar of the V8 or the polite grunting of the 2.3L EcoBoost, Ford’s iconic coupe/convertible can be compared with wine. It continues to get better with age.

The starting MSRP of the 2.3L EcoBoost Premium is $33,849.

The starting MSRP of the Mustang GT Convertible Premium is $48,399.

Visit www.ford.ca for more information

Contact the writer at alexandra [dot] straub [at] drivewaybc [dot] ca

“As cool as the Chev Chaparral concept is, I am not sure I’d really love to drive a car that I sit head first in – think of the Olympic sport – the skeleton!”

Chaparral Gran Turismo
Chaparral Gran Turismo
Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Concept
Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Concept
Ford Explorer
Ford Explorer
Ford Mustang Shelby

Los Angeles, California.

The 2014 Los Angeles International Auto Show debuted some brilliant vehicles that will (and won’t) be coming to the streets near you.

Whether it’s an all-new sedan/coupe, a car that will take you from point A to B, or a vehicle that was designed for the virtual world, the Golden State’s auto show had all of the above and more. Here’s a look at what the North American manufacturers have been up to in the last while. (more…)

“Perhaps the most destructive force has four teeth and a naked tail – rats and mice, the same rodents that wiped out half the population of Europe by carrying Bubonic plague, can really mess with your classic car.”


Contrary to general perception, most classic cars aren’t fragile flowers.

In fact, many are anvil-tough, particularly American cars of the 1950s and 1960s, built with real Pennsylvania steel and very little plastic. But even these rolling bank vaults can be seriously screwed up by these five things: (more…)

“Ford has done a good job of ensuring the Mustang feels and looks upscale even on the basic models…” (more…)

The ’48 Cadillacs were the first all-new Caddies after the end of WWII  and they were drop-dead gorgeous.”

The big stories out the of classic car world today are the multi-million dollar rarities that will be offered for sale at the big auctions in Monterey, Ca.

With those cars making headlines, it’s easy to forget that there isn’t a millionaires-only policy when it comes to classic cars. Here are four favourite all-American classics that can still be had for less than the price of a loaded new Ford Focus:

RS 1949_Cadillac Brian Snelson

1949 Cadillac Series 61 Club Coupe (Photo courtesy of Brian Snelson)

1948-49 Cadillac Series 61 Club Coupe

The ’48 Cadillacs were the first all-new Caddies after the end of WWII (the 1946-47 cars were similar to the 1942 model), and they were drop-dead gorgeous with the first of the fighter plane-inspired tail fins that would grow to near mutant proportions by 1959. As elegant as any Bentley of the era, the ’49 model was the first with Cadillac’s modern overhead valve V-8.

RS Todd-Thunderbird-1

1962 Ford Thunderbird (Photo courtesy of Marc Urbano)

1961-63 Ford Thunderbird

The third generation T-Bird is arguably the prettiest. The epitome of jet-age, mid-century modern style, it was dubbed “the bullet bird” for its streamlined shape. Nice coupes are particularly reasonable, and with a little searching, decent convertibles can be found for $25,000 or less.

RS GAB_7333

1964-66 Ford Mustang

The first generation Mustang  which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, has clearly aged beautifully, looking just as fresh today as it did in April of 1964 at its New York World’s Fair introduction. Prices seem to be firming up, but six-cylinder coupes and convertibles are still available at a reasonable price.

RS Klinger-A


1927-31 Ford Model A

Like movie sequels, few automakers have had the ability to follow up one blockbuster with another of equal magnitude. The Model A was “The Godfather II” to the Model T’s “The Godfather.” If you look at American period photos from the 1930s-40s, it sometimes seems like there was nothing else on the road. They can still provide reliable transportation even in the 21st century. Amazingly, this piece of automotive history is still affordable. Tudor sedans range from $15,000 to $20,000 and roadsters $20,000 to $25,000.

Rob Sass is the vice-president of content for Hagerty Insurance. Hagerty is the world’s leading specialist provider of classic car and boat insurance. Learn more at hagerty.ca and you can email rsass [at] hagerty [dot] com

In the run up to the big 50th anniversary of the Mustang, prices of the classic first version of the Mustang, the 1964½ (technically a 1965 model) through 1966, have been moving up.

The best convertibles and fastbacks with the highest horsepower engines can bring well over $65,000 and there has been renewed interest in vintage Mustangs of all years but all isn’t lost for the Mustang collector on a budget. Here are five of our favorites that you can still afford:

RS 1966_Ford_Mustang_convertible

1964½-66 Convertible (six cylinder): If you simply must have the first version of the Mustang in a convertible and have $25,000 or less to spend on a nice one, well then you’re likely to have to settle for the six-cylinder model instead of the 260 or 289 V-8. And the six of the ’60s was nothing like today’s 300-plus hp base V-6. Nope, the 200-cubic-inch straight-six was good for just 120 hp, so performance was leisurely at best. No matter, the six still looked great.

RS 1964stang

1964½-66 V-8 Coupe: If you’d really rather have a V-8, there’s still time to find one for less than $25,000. Granted, it won’t be a swoopy fastback or a drop-top, but the basic hardtop is still a pretty car. Don’t expect the highest horsepower versions of the Mustang 289-cubic-inch V-8 at this price point, but nice cars are still out there. For now anyway.

RS 1973_Mach-1

1971-1973 Mach I 302 Coupe: “Mach I” was one of the more audacious names of the Pony Car era, however in fact, its top speed was a bit shy of the speed of sound. But it had pumped up good looks and none other than Sean Connery as James Bond drove a ’71 Mach 1 in the movie “Diamonds are Forever.” As usual, the biggest engine version has sailed past affordability, but the 302 V-8 Mach I can still be had for around $25,000 if you look hard enough.

RS 1986_Mustang_SVO Jimnva

1984-86 SVO: This selection will likely get the trolls’ attention: a four-cylinder Mustang on a list of collectible Mustangs. But the SVO wasn’t a Pinto-based Mustang II or your dental hygienist’s 88 hp four-banger Fox Body Mustang; the SVO sported a turbo 2.3-litre four that made as much horsepower as the 5.0-litre V-8 of the day, a biplane rear spoiler, unique front fascia, and hood complete with a totally cool NACA duct-style air scoop. It was faster and more expensive than the V-8.  Fuel prices never climbed the way that the industry expected, and the 5.0-litre V-8 was further developed with new, more-efficient cylinder heads, and eventually fuel injection, giving it better gas mileage and much more horsepower with less complication and expense, so the sophisticated SVO disappeared after 1986.

RS 88Mustang

1987-93 GT 5.0 Convertible: We like the 1989 model because it was the 25th anniversary year of the Mustang (which Ford barely noticed). The Fox Body Mustang might not have been the most glamorous body style ever, but it was one of the cars responsible for ending the “Malaise Era” of sluggish and dull American cars. With the 5.0-litre V-8 boosted to 225 hp, in 1987, the Mustang brought cheap V-8 performance back to the masses.  Care for something a bit newer? – Love the 2008-09 Bullitt Edition Mustang and think it’s a future collectible.

Rob Sass is the vice-president of content for Hagerty Insurance. Hagerty is the world’s leading specialist provider of classic car and boat insurance. Learn more at hagerty.ca and you can email rsass [at] hagerty [dot] com

The focus of Driveway’s recent four-part collector car restoration series was unveiled this week at 360 Fabrication in Abbotsford earlier this week.

The 1967 Ford Mustang T5, owned by public relations executive Laura Ballance, will take pride of place first at an exclusive preview for the second annual Vancouver Collector Car Show & Auction. Then it will go on public display at this weekend’s event at the PNE Fairgrounds, where more than 600 vintage vehicles will be on display and nearly 150 classic rides will go on Maynard’s auction block.

Some other show highlights: a bright ‘A&W orange’ 1966 Plymouth Satellite will be auctioned off with no fees, no reserve, and 100 per cent of the proceeds going to the MS Society of Canada. The duPont Registry is bringing eight ultra-rare vehicles from across the Lower Mainland for the first ever duPont Series – including J.D. Rockefeller’s Lincoln Town Car Limo. The Vancity Stunters will be performing motorcycle stunts and Barracuda, the Heart tribute band, will be rock out on Saturday night.

Contact: keith [dot] morgan [at] drivewaybc [dot] ca


Vancouver Collector Car Show & Auction

DATES/TIMES: June 21, 10:00AM-9:00PM; June 22, 10:00AM-5:00PM

LOCATION: PNE Fairgrounds

TICKETS: Single Day Admission – $15

Weekend Admission – $25

Children 13 years and under  – Free

Bidder’s Pass : $50.00 (includes a bidder’s paddle, weekend and guest pass, colour catalogue, VIP seating, two drink tickets, and an invitation for you and a guest to the opening preview event sponsored by 360 Fabrication and hosted By Steve Magnante)

For more information, visit www.VancouverCollectorCars.com.

Our classic and collector car expert continues today with the final part of his four-part series on the restoration of public relations executive Laura Ballance’s rare 1967 Ford Mustang T5 by 360 Fabrication in Abbotsford…

The restoration story of Laura Ballance’s Mustang T5 has been an interesting to follow and one that is not typical of this kind of project.

Before I get carried away telling you what a T5 actually is, I have to report that with the help of the team at 360 Fabrication, suppliers White and Peters, BASF paint and the 200 plus hours of paint preparation, application, wet sanding and polishing by master painter Darren Emmerson, the car is finished!

And here is the best part, it’s on time and under budget, almost unheard of in days gone by, let alone today.

So what is so special about a T5 Mustang?

The Ford Mustang could not be sold in Germany as a ‘Mustang’ because a truck manufacturer there and later a motorcycle manufacturer owned the trademarked name. Both manufacturers offered to sell the rights to Ford for $10,000 each but Ford declined and decided the solution would be to use the initial Mustang project name T5 as the solution. With all of the changes required, they should have probably paid the $10,000. With there being so many U.S. armed forces bases in Germany, export models were highly sought after.

Laura had no idea how rare her car was until she decided to embark on this project and began doing her research.

The T5 registry has informed Laura that of the 453 Mustang Hardtop T5s built in 1967, hers is one of the few examples ordered with a vinyl roof, which is listed as an option in the V.I.N tag. There are only two T5s known to exist in Canada, hers and one in Ontario and only 45 have survived in various states of condition worldwide.

It is going to be a busy summer for Laura, her two daughters and the Mustang. I suspect her father, never in his wildest dreams would have thought the car would end up as a show car let alone become a family affair involving three generations of his family. The T5 will debut at the Vancouver Classic Car Show and Auction at the PNE on June 21 and 22. A picture of it at it’s gleaming best in next week’s Driveway preview of that show. Then it will head south in July to the Mustang Roundup in Bellevue, Washington, the world’s largest Mustang meet. The car is entered in the Concours restoration class and should place well.

Because this is the 50th anniversary of the Mustang the invitations are pouring in, the most recent one from an event in North Carolina, Laura still has a day job so unfortunately will miss that one.  She will finish the summer off at the Luxury SuperCar weekend at VanDusen Gardens in September. The car will be viewed at least 30 or 31 times in a month, gracing the walls of garages and repair shops all over North America featured in a 2015 Ford calendar.

This concludes a restoration project with a happy conclusion.

*Nigel Matthews is the director of sales and marketing for Hagerty Insurance Canada.

Contact: nmatthews [at] hagerty [dot] com


Your classic car could ‘Going once, going twice, sold!’

The 2014 Vancouver Collector Car Show & Auction, presented by the Dueck Auto Group, is now accepting consignment applications for those looking to sell their cars.

New to this year’s event, which takes take place June 21-22, at the PNE Fairgrounds, is an auction preview, open only to the auction’s registered bidders and consigners. This event will allow sellers to show off their vehicles and mingle with the bidders before the auction.

If you have an awesome car that you want to show off but don’t want to sell, they too can be displayed at the show for free. For more information on displaying or consigning your car, visit www.VancouverCollectorCars.com.

Our classic and collector car expert continues today with the third part of his four-part series on the restoration of public relations executive Laura Ballance’s rare 1967 Ford Mustang T5 by 360 Fabrication in Abbotsford…

The Mustang T5 body shell has been painted, clear coated, wet-sanded, re-cleared and finally polished to a show quality finish.

Now comes the fun part of a restoration, the reassembly, opening boxes and fitting all of those new parts. This is as close as you can get to being a car factory assembly line worker except you are doing every task instead of just one, and you have all the time that is needed and not having to work to the speed of a moving production line.

One of the upgrades that the T5 will receive is a new product designed to dampen and suppress the driveline and road noise, making the inner cabin as quiet as possible and a bit like a modern car. The foil covered pads have a peel off backing and are adhered to every inner sheet metal panel such as the roof, floor, doors and bulkhead. The next step is to install the new wiring harness; old wiring harnesses become brittle over time due to heat and corrosion at the joints and terminals, ask the owner of any British Sports Car from that era!

The interior has been completely renewed from top to bottom staring with the headliner, trim panels, carpets, dash pads and the seats have all been reupholstered.

Before the new back glass and windshield are installed (all of the other glass panels have been replaced) the new vinyl top is installed. Installing a vinyl roof is not a task that is performed very often these days but 360 have the skills to do this in-house.

LKQ stocks a huge selection of high quality muscle car sheet metal and parts. “If you are doing a premium muscle car restoration the only sheet metal you want to use is from LKQ,” asserted Rick Francoeur at 360.

The exterior panels will soon have their final fitting. They have been fitted and removed during the restoration process countless times to make sure that the panel gaps are correct. The final fitting process will involve two or three people to make sure that the paint does not get chipped or damaged.

Before the original V-8 engine was removed from the car it underwent a compression check, all of the cylinders had equal and strong readings so a complete re-build was not necessary. The carburetor has been replaced with a new two-barrel, the automatic transmission has been completely re-built as has the rear axle.

Rick talked Laura out of fitting a modern rack and pinion power steering kit or even upgrading the manual steering box to a power-assisted unit so it will be reliving the Armstrong steering experience for Laura when parking at low speeds!

One safety upgrade is the installation of original Ford front disc-brakes; these are a must in today’s traffic. Collector vehicle drivers are very cautious, invariably when accidents occur it is the drivers around you that are not paying attention or cutting you off.

360 have done their research and paid a lot of attention to detail during this rebuild, right down to avoiding the temptation of installing an exhaust system with two tailpipes.

Next week, we will explore what exactly a T5 is? How rare they are and explore some of the events that Laura and her brand new old car car will be attending in this 50th anniversary year of the Ford Mustang.

*Nigel Matthews is the director of sales and marketing for Hagerty Insurance Canada.

Contact: nmatthews [at] hagerty [dot] com

Our classic and collector car expert continues today with the second part of his four-part series on the restoration of public relations executive Laura Ballance’s rare 1967 Ford Mustang T5 by 360 Fabrication in Abbotsford…

The restoration business has changed a great deal – in the past, most auto body repair shops would only take on such work when their collision work dried up.

Now, it’s very specialist work and I’m often asked if I could recommend a restoration shop. To be honest with you, I would be hard pressed to come up with enough names to fill the fingers of one hand.

But I have no hesitation in saying that I doubt there is one in the entire country that restores and builds as many custom cars as 360 Fabrication, in Abbotsford. They control the costs and track the daily progress by using a number of management systems and a Gantt chart.

The secret to controlling the work is to perform all of the tasks in-house with perhaps the exception of chrome plating.  During my time in the trade, costs kept mounting up and either the customer or the technician, who worked on a flat rate (piecework) basis, was short changed resulting in ill feelings between the shop owner, his staff and the customer mainly caused by the lack of communication and too many assumptions!

Laura Ballance’s original plan was to have a sympathetic restoration performed, replacing only what was necessary. But cars are no different from houses, boats and planes, so when the Mustang was disassembled and stripped they discovered that probably the only thing holding the car together was Laura’s father’s DIY welding!

The Mustang is a relatively easy car to restore in terms of obtaining new parts. In this case, by the time the air chisel and plasma cutter was put away the only major sheet metal components left was the roof, “A” pillars, rocker-panels, bulkhead and the two front frame rails and the rear section of the floor. I have heard the expression “better than new” a few times over the years and have often wondered how can it be better than new? But it can.

Today’s  restorations have improved with the help of new technology such as compression fit welding equipment, seam sealers and paint products including epoxy primers, spray on polyester fillers and the waterborne color coats with a clear coat finish. These products are far superior to anything that came off the production line during the ‘60s.

Rick Francoeur and his team at 360 always allow the customer to be in control and understand customer needs and expectations, even down to the smallest sentimental detail. However, sometimes they have to advise the client for their own benefit, sometimes financial, safety related or future re-sale value. Laura wanted the Mustang refinished it its metallic blue, all the rage during the ‘60s and the car she remembers. But if the car is to retain its value and to represent how it came off the production line as a rare T5, it had to be painted its original Ford Paint Code Z, an interesting colour called Sauterne Gold Irid. This colour combined with a black interior and vinyl roof will make the car a real eye catcher.

Next week, we will look into the mechanical component restoration and exterior trim replacement.

*Nigel Matthews is the director of sales and marketing for Hagerty Insurance Canada. nmatthews [at] hagerty [dot] com

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