Thursday, March 10, 2011

Car Of The Day: March 10, 2011

Today's car of the day is Johnny Lightning's 2005 Ford Mustang (preproduction White Lightning).

The fifth-generation Ford Mustang began with the 2005 models and received a facelift for the 2010 model year. It is manufactured at the AutoAlliance International plant in Flat Rock, Michigan.

For more information and pictures of the real car please visit: Ford Mustang

A big thank you to daniel60 (on JL Talk) for the RAOK!  This arrived in my mailbox today and I must say I am a very happy camper right now!  I had always sworn I wouldn't run my car for Car Of The Day (hey, it's been more than three years, and over 1,000 cars at this point so I didn pretty well with that) but I think this is a special occasion and is worth running.

The 2005-2009 base Mustang is powered by Ford's cast iron block 4.0 L Cologne SOHC V6, replacing the 3.8 L Essex OHV V6 used in 2004 and older models. It produces 210 hp (157 kW) at 5300 rpm and 240 lb·ft (325 N·m) of torque at 3500 rpm and is mated to a standard Tremec T-5 5-speed manual transmission with Ford's 5R55S 5-speed automatic transmission available as an option. A 3.31:1 final drive ratio is standard with either transmission. Though criticized for a lack of refinement, the standard V6 powertrain is capable of delivering competitive performance. In a comparison test with a Pontiac G6 Convertible conducted by Motor Trend magazine, a Mustang V6 Convertible equipped with an automatic transmission was able to accelerate from zero to 60 miles per hour (97 km/h) in 7.3 seconds; 1.4 seconds better than its competitor.

All models of the current Mustang make use of an independent MacPherson-strut front suspension with reverse "L" lower control arms. The rear suspension utilizes a new three-link system with a Panhard Rod which controls the vertical and lateral movements of the axle. This live axle rear suspension provides the benefits of reduced cost and weight over heavier, more expensive independent rear suspensions. In spite of this, Ford has drawn heavy criticism from the automotive journalism community for the decision to equip the current Mustang with the live axle system. At a press conference, Ford stated that to include an independent rear suspension would have added $5,000 to the showroom price of the car.

Some of the standard features that the 2005 Mustang launched with include power windows, dual power mirrors, power door locks with remote keyless entry, front air bags, AM/FM stereo with CD player, 16-inch painted aluminum wheels, and larger brake discs than the previous generation Mustang with twin-piston calipers in the front. Some of the options available included Ford's MyColor (a color-configurable instrument cluster available as part of the Interior Upgrade Package), brushed aluminum panels (also part of the Interior Upgrade Package), Ford's Shaker 500 (500 watt peak output) or Shaker 1000 (1000 watt peak output) premium audio system with a 6-disc MP3-compatible CD changer, leather seating surfaces, a six-way power adjustable driver seat, and a four-channel anti-lock brake system with traction control (standard on GT models).

As of 2008, all Mustangs have seats containing material derived from soy beans, harking back to some of Henry Ford's ideals.

Ford Sync was available on the 2009 model only as a dealer-installed kit.

Several new options and standard features were introduced in the following years, including the Pony Package (2006; see below), a DVD-based GPS navigation system made by Pioneer (2007, late availability), a power passenger seat (2007), heated seats (2007), Sirius Satellite Radio (2007), standard side airbags (2008), HID headlamps (2008), and ambient interior lighting (2008), in addition to a variety of new wheel styles and exterior paint colors.

For 2009, Ford introduced a new option called the glass roof. This option ($1,995 at introduction) is in effect a full roof sunroof that splits the difference in price and purpose of the coupe and convertible models.

As most of you know, this is based on my real car (hence the "Swifty" license plate).  My car is Windveil Blue as is the JL release, but the White Lightnings for this release were in gold as the car shown here.  Now, what makes this a very interesting preproduction piece is the passenger side has a white stripe that none of the production versions had.  That's because at the time this car was made I had the V6 Mustang (not the GT), and Mac Ragan at JL was trying to replicate that.  The stripes had already shown up on an example of this casting in a ten pack so no one expected Ford to deny the paint scheme on the basis that it was a V6 only stripe on a GT casting.  But that is what ultimately ended up happening, and it was actually a blessing in disguise.  Not long after these cars hit the pegs my real one got rear-ended by a distracted mother in a minivan.  While the car was repaired, it really wasn't the same afterwards and I traded it in on a brand new 2008 Mustang the same color.  So the JL went from not quite matching my real car to becoming an accurate representation after it was released.  A big thanks to Mac Ragan for making my car in the first place, and another big thank you to Daniel for RAOKing this one to me!

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