What was your first car? What do you remember about it?
I didn’t own a car until coming here. I was 23 at the time and I got myself a second-hand 2001 model year Honda Accord. It was a great car, but just wasn’t me. I sold it within a year and managed to get back what I paid for it, which was lucky.
They’ll always have great resale value. What other cars were you considering before opting for a Ford?
The 2013 Mustang wasn’t expected to arrive here in the UAE until much later than it did. I had been monitoring the status of the car since April, and I kept visiting the dealers to try to get information on when it would be here. But in July this year, I had decided to go for the Audi A4 S Line, only to get a call from the Ford dealers to say that they were open for bookings for the 2013 Mustang and that they had two cars on display. Let’s just say that everything from there on revved up very fast and is now history.
Mustangs are great for burnouts. I hope you have a good tyre supplier…
Ha! Yes, I am making friends with all the right people. It’s a really potent unit with a 305bhp 3.7-litre V6. Even though I haven’t had the Mustang for very long, just two months in fact, I would probably need a new set of tyres sooner than expected. It’s been a real pleasure so far. I haven’t thought about the servicing and parts side of things too much, but I have a vague idea of what I’m in for.
But there is more to this car than just smoking the tyres isn’t there?
Yes, the 2013 model is a different pony. For starters, the technology upgrades have made it a driver’s delight. The new digital display between the gauges tells you everything from tyre pressure to oil temperature, all digitally displayed on the screen — it‘s a real treat. This helps to keep you informed about how the car is behaving at all times, and that’s a very important feature. There is another brilliant feature called Track Apps, which displays the car’s performance metrics, such as the G-Force, acceleration times and braking power, in real time.
Sounds like this pony has had a nifty update But did you always want a Mustang?
No, not until I actually sat in a friend’s Mustang a couple of years ago and we drove to Abu Dhabi one Friday morning. That drive gave me a fairly good idea about the car, so I started reading up to try to understand it more. That’s when the legacy of the Mustang started to kick in and take over my senses. Now that I have it, I couldn’t be happier.
It’s one of our all-time favourite cars. But how did your passion for motors begin?
It wasn’t until moving to Dubai in 2002 to be honest that I became interested in cars. Once here, my eyes were opened to everything that I had missed while growing up. All the fabulous cars that I had seen in magazines came to life on the roads here. Today, I confess that cars are a very important part of my life and my passion for them borders on an obsession. I’m also a qualified motorsport marshal and have worked on three Formula 1 and V8 Supercar races amongst others.
So what do you like best about the Mustang?
I have to say the revised front grille and the blacked-out taillights had me sold. People tend to modify these cars, since so many kits including performance upgrades are available, but I have no plans to do anything to it just yet. When I wake up in the morning, grabbing the keys puts a big smile on my face. The day it stops having this effect on me, perhaps then I’ll think about modifying it a little.
You’ll be waiting a while then. What sort of reaction does it get?
On the roads, fellow Mustang owners take notice of it for sure, and always greet it
with a thumbs-up or flashing their headlights. I’ve also had two separate instances when complete strangers have approached me to ask questions about the car, so it generates a fair amount of interest. There is one especially fabulous feature that turns a lot of heads though: the pony projection light. The legendary Mustang logo is portrayed via lenses beneath the side-view mirrors on the ground when you unlock the door. It looks very cool and is useful too, as it’s designed to help you make out where the kerb is.
Sounds flash. We’ll look out for that. What about its performance?
It isn’t just great in a straight line; it is also superb in the corners. It has brilliant balance and handles really well. That’s not really something you associate with a muscle car, but things have changed. The speed at which you are going can be quite deceptive because of all the noise-deadening materials in the cabin, but the good news is you can still hear the rumble from the exhaust when you bury the throttle. So far, I’m just enjoying the early Friday morning runs. But I am sure it’ll be fun tackling Jebel Hafeet with traction control switched off.
This one is for keeps, right?
I hope so. I’d like to think that I can take it back home with me someday, but if I could have anything, it’d be an Aston Martin Vanquish.