We were just told to just bring our passports and a change of clothes for a couple of days. We rocked up and this is what was waiting for us! What a way to start the week. Thank you @fordsouthafrica. It’s going to be a great Mustang week. @salaontop #fordsouthafrica #ford #southafrica #roadtrip #mustang #musclecar #americancar #dreams #life #live #monday #motivation #mustangroadtrip
By Sala Masindane
When it comes to cars, does “Eleanor”, ring a bell? What about the legendary 1974 film Gone in 60 Seconds? If not, let me give you a brief history. Gone in 60 Seconds is a movie originally released in 1974 and basically revolves around how to steal 50 cars in 72 hours. Included in the stolen cars, is a 1967 Ford Mustang Shelby GT 500 dubbed “Eleanor”. This movie is where my love for the Ford Mustang comes from and yes, it may be late but I have been a fan ever since. So, when the invitation to attend the Ford Mustang Road trip was sent, I had no hesitation in accepting it, and my bags were packed before I knew where the trip was headed to. The Ford PR team kept details of the trip under wraps until our departure, adding onto my excitement.
Day 1 of the road trip started at O.R Tambo Southern Sun Hotel, where the Mustangs were lined up and ready to hit the road. These included the turbocharged 2.3 litre EcoBoost and 5.0 GT V8 engines. This ensured that we got to feel the different engines across the country. We drove south of Gauteng for about 330 kilometres to a town called Rosendal in the Free State province. This charming farming town is situated between Senekal and Ficksburg, and not far from Fouriesburg and Paul Roux. If you ever wanted to get away from the bright lights of Gauteng, this is the ideal place to go to. Life is slow but this is one of the hidden treasures of the Free State. It is peaceful and quiet. Studio Ben Home Made Soaps and Dalha- Art Gallery are some of the places that are worth seeing.
After lunch, we were back in the saddle and drove to Moolmanshoek which is a 20 minutes’ drive from Rosendal. The private game reserve was fitting to the occasion as it doubles up as a horse farm – the emblem of the Mustang. A general misconception about the Ford Mustang is that it is a city car but the gravel terrain to the horse farm proved that it can take on gravel road with no fuss as its ground clearance is high enough.
Day 2 started with a drive to the Sandstone Heritage Trust Farm, which I must mention is not a museum but a preservation initiative. The farm is situated under the Maluti Mountains that sit high above the Drakensberg, along the Coledon River, which constitutes the official border between South Africa and the Kingdom of Lesotho. The farm boasts some of the world’s oldest commercial farming machinery, tractors, locomotives, classical cars and military vehicles. Most of these are still operational. For two days, we were driving the 2.3 EcoBoost and managed to maintain a fuel consumption of 7.8L/100km. It remained the same till we reached our destination for the day, Afriski Mountain Resort in Lesotho where we were greeted by freezing weather conditions. Depending on how you look at it, we were fortunate or unfortunate enough to miss the snow as it came down a mere 48 hours after our departure. The Mahlasela pass provided the Mustang with a stern challenge when it came to tight corners and steep inclines. Both the 2.3 litre Ecoboost and 5.0 V8 engines took the corners and inclines well.
It’s Day 2 of the #mustangroadtrip and we are loving every moment of it. We have a lovely country folks. Okay, back to the @fordsouthafrica Mustang, it’s quite amazing how the current generation captures the timeless beauty of all the previous generations. It’s modern but you can see certainty the classic 60s shape there. In SA, the Mustang is offered with either the 2.3 litre (233kW/430 Nm) ecoboost engine or the 5.0 V8 (306 kW/530Nm) engine. Most of you probably prefer the latter but the former is no slouch. Prices start at R720,900. @salaontop #fordsouthafrica #ford #southafrica #roadtrip #mustang #musclecar #americancar #dreams #life #live #monday #motivation #mustangroadtrip #tuesday #travel #chooseday #choosehappiness #wedotourism #photography #carphotography 📸 @brett_lefrere for @fordsouthafrica 👌🏾
Day 3 included a slow drive from Lesotho to the Golden Gate Nature Reserve Hotel. After an unwelcomed morning reminder that animals could cross the road any given moment on the Basotho roads, the group lunched in Clarens, “the Jewel of the Eastern Free State”. This is an artist haven, with many galleries around the town. The heavens opened and it cut the day short as we couldn’t explore the town further, and we retired to our rooms that that had epic views of the Maluti Mountains.
The trip back to the Gauteng was bittersweet as we would be letting go of the Mustangs and the serenity of the Free State. We drove the convertible Mustang and the cloth drop top was down all the way. We were undeterred by the unforgiving early autumn sun.
Day 3 and we are still enjoying our time with the @fordsouthafrica Mustang. Lesotho is a bit cold but beautiful and worth a visit. By the looks of it, you can even tackle it in your normal car (we are doing it comfortably in the Ford Mustang). Word of caution would be to plan your routes properly and allow yourself enough time for the drive. We are also beginning to appreciate the practicality of the Mustang as an every day car. It’s obviously it’s a driver focused car but there’s ample space and comfort for the 3 other occupants. The boot is also decent. #ford #mustang #fordmustang #mustangfans #musclecar #sportscar #americancar #icon #legend #luxury #premium #beautiful #cars
Bringing the Mustang to South Africa was a brave move by Ford and the addition of the turbocharged 2.3 litre engine was an even more daring move, but the good sales numbers of these derivatives prove that there is a local appetite. Pushing 233kW and 430Nm means it has the same power outputs as the Ford RS but the Mustang Ecoboost is aimed at a totally different crowd. On the other hand, the GT’s 5.0 Litre V8 engine has a meaty 306 kW of power and 530Nm of torque which dispels any notion that the range is soft and doesn’t have the muscle power pedigree of yesteryear.
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