A Small Issue That’s Bigger Somehow

1966 Mustang convertible. Most boring classic EVER.

1966 Mustang convertible. Most boring classic EVER.

Don’t even know where to start. My parents traded an infinitely cooler car for the first Mustang in 1965, which was a Ford Falcon with racier sheet metal and a 289 V-8. I hated it. I was 12. Old enough to know that it felt, looked, and was cheap.

Then the years rolled by, as they do, and gradually the Mustang became the indispensable accessory of every TV hero who was supposed to be seen as some kind of rebel against authority. Men and women both. If they were eccentric or down on their luck or on the side of the people against The Man, they invariably owned a clapped out 1966 Mustang convertible, always always red. The scriptwriter’s easiest exposition of character.

I can tell you my wife is sick to death of hearing me rail against this nonsensical trick. In the interest of full disclosure, I will admit I bought a five liter Mustang once, trying to replace a Chrysler 300 I’d given up for financial reasons years before. It was a joke. Where the Chrysler lived to spread its wings and run, the Mustang had to have spurs dug deep into its flanks. Oh really? You want to go fast? Oh well. I’ll try (grunting and protesting the whole way). And handling? Forget it. When the merest mist hit the pavement, the Mustang became the tail-happiest critter on earth. Simultaneous understeer and oversteer. What a treat. I got rid of it in less than two years.

I have nothing against anti-heroes. I just don’t think they should be cliches. There’s no way to stop the stream of seedy private eye shows on TV. Not even trying to do that. I’m just suggesting that some of them should drive something besides a junky 1966 Mustang convertible, red.

You’re all probably too upset about Iran and POTUS treason to think about this. Which is why I’ll end this here. But if you are interested, I’ll do a followup with nominations for replacement anti-hero cars.

Let me know if you have ideas of your own.

  1. Be’s avatar

    You’d better do a follow up. It’s one of the few things keeping the mind *off* what’s going on in the world right now.



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