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I get to drive a lot of different cars. Whatever Hertz has to offer for zillion-mile Gold or whatever my status is called. These are typically nicer in Zurich than they are in Munich. Mercedes, Rover, BMW (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7 – no 6 as yet), Audi, Jaguar, vs. Peugeot, Skoda, Citroen, etc. But not the super-high premium Jags, Maseratis, Porsches, high-end Mercs that I gaze lustfully at 1.

Last time I got called away from vacation on short notice, Hertz Munich offered me the powder blue 435 HP 5.0 Mustang. Even though I had the airline-max 32 kg TNF rolling duffle full of climbing gear, I said yes. How could I not?! I was going to leave the bag in left luggage if it didn’t fit.

After I John Candied the bags into the trunk (not easy!), I took off down the autobahn. Well, after I sat in airport construction for the best part of an hour. “Autobahn” is German for “construction.”

Six manual speeds. Tons of horses. Even though it was 0 C and drizzling, I got it up to 240 kph on the bahn. No problem. It’s a nice enough car. I was amused at the sticker saying that I was not to take this to the Nurburgring.

But what the heck is up with that hood? I’ve driven 4WDs with more visibility. Certainly a lot of the cars listed above have similar performance specs, and I had no problem driving them down the autobahn. But the Mustang has such a prominent hood, it’s like looking over a truck hood topping a hill – no idea what’s on the other side. If it had quad Holleys under the scoop, that would be one thing. But I don’t think there’s any reason for the limited visibility low-rider driving position of this car, given the performance. Especially compared to say, a Porsche. Or an M3. Or any Merc.

Seriously – it was seriously bad. Not suitable for 200 kph autobahn driving at all, even though it could do it in fourth gear (it goes up to 6!) without breaking a sweat.


  1. I did get a Corvette once, then spent the whole trip both ways in San Jose traffic.