Gympie reporter climbs behind the wheel of a Mustang
WINTER this year started with a soul-chilling question from acclaimed Australian architect Peter Stutchbury: When did the country lose its creativity?
He used the automobile industry as one example but it is not a problem unique to the land down under.
More and more industries are trying to achieve the same goal, and sadly they will often all use the quickest route to do it.
So it's great the Ford Mustang still exists to break the bland mould.
From the menacing design to its devilish rumble, the car is as unique as a tap-dancing giraffe.
The interior dash is stylish and the heads-up display is easy to navigate and decked out with more tools than a punk-rock band in the 1970s.
Even better, the automatic gear lever is a beautifully traditional ball shape and the handbrake is exactly that - a brake you yank by hand.
Push button and foot brakes are wonderful but there's something basic, yet magic, about a handle.
It fits the car to a T.
The car is a unique joy of motoring - so unique that Action Ford Gympie's green beast showpiece (pictured) took six months from order to when it rolled onto the showroom floor - a true one-of-a-kind.
So what about when it's on the road?
To start with, the Mustang's sound system is a crystal clear pleasure, but one that creates a conundrum.
There's no doubt music goes with driving, like Richards goes with Jagger.
Yet in this car I wanted nothing more than to stifle the tunes and revel in the engine's rumble and exhaust.
Not just its roar of acceleration, either.
Sure, everyone dreams of owning a car like this because it looks fast and, yes, goes fast.
But the Mustang's magic trick is the satisfying gurgle it churns out at 40km/h through the city; an eternal reminder that you have an engine, four wheels and an open road, a hungry lion eager to devour every kilometre it can.
Of course, not all of the news is good.
The Mustang technically has back seats but you've as much chance of actually fitting four or five full people into the car as Madonna does of becoming Pope.
Even your child's legs will likely have to come off to fit in the back seat, really.
But on the bright side you can use the excuse, "I'll just duck back home and get their legs”, as a reason to stay in the car and keep driving.
And the ride in standard mode is not the pinnacle of comfort - but it's not the worst thing in the world either.
Then there's sports mode.
It's a blast but recommended only if you also have a good chiropractor on speed dial.
But let's be honest here: you're not laying down $54,000-$80,000 to live in the lap of luxury and be bathed in the automotive equivalent of cognac and escargot on the Riviera.
You're paying for a reputation, style, and soul shaking rumble no-one else on your block has.
And with the Mustang, you get what you pay for.