(james benedict brown) on the road

More about Tony the Mustang

Posted in Posts by James Benedict Brown on 29 September, 2007

As I hinted in an earlier post, I upgraded to the premier league of hire cars last week with a Ford Mustang convertible, seen here just before the tarmac ran out while driving through a small portion of Manitoba. The roof was up because of grey skies and occasionally heavy rain, but rest assured that I practiced my smug-git look with it down for much of the trip, and have the sunburn to prove it.

Following the tradition established with Kurt in Strasbourg, there had to be a naming ceremony, and it was decided that 918 5914 should assume the name of Tony. Kurt was called Kurt because he was so petite and feminine that he could only say good things about my masculinity. Tony was called Tony because… well, the Mustang was just a Tony. Imagine a kind of big, brash Italian fella who’s more show than substance. Those bold, muscular and vaguely retro lines might suggest that Tony’s a sports car, but don’t be fooled. This sports car has a heaving great petrol engine with a drink problem and a flabby automatic transmission that takes a second to respond to any urgent request for speed from the accelerator. It was certainly fun to cruise the highways of Minnesota, Wisconsin and Illinois with Tony, but during our (frequent) stops for petrol his shoddy build quality was hard to miss. Closing either passenger door made the rear windows rattle in their frames; the entire fascia was doused in cheap and nasty plastic and the window seals around the edge of the folding roof were already beginning to come loose and foul the doors.

Despite all those complaints, me and Tony had something special going on, and when the man from Hertz printed off the receipt after some 1,700 miles he told me that Tony’s career as a rental vehicle was over. He was leaving the Hertz fleet and returning to the lessor, perhaps to be sold in an auction or through a back page classified.

I’ll miss you Tony; here’s to all who sail in him (and trust me, you sail rather than drive in a Mustang convertible).

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One Response

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  1. Christopher Smith said, on 9 August, 2010 at 07:41

    Mustangs are called, by some Americans, “ponies”… I honestly assumed that the name Tony came from “Tony the Pony”, the Morrissey song from one of his early albums.


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