First car potential ?

bigmike636

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Hi guys, I’m a new member but I’ve lurked on here for about three years. My question is, would you actually consider allowing a 16 year old have a 2001 Ford Mustang GT convertible as his first car ? Mind you, my son, Brendan is a really good kid. He’s a Boy Scout, who unfortunately had his Eagle project derailed this past Spring due to COVID-19. He’s a sophomore in high school who manages to get decent grades (A’s-B’s) who’s NEVER given us any problems. He’s definitely a gear head, who loves to wrench on all of the vehicles that my family owns.
Would you place one of those GPS devices on the vehicle ? Believe it or not, all three of my kids have an app on their phones (as well as Mom & Dad) that actually tracks where they are. And the app actually logs the top speed attained during drives. Of course the app can be turned off though. I must admit the only time that I know of the kids actually turning off the app was when they were heading to a store for a gift for their mother, or my girls were at odds with their mother about her “spying on them.” In all honesty, I’ve been blessed with truly good kids.
I’d like to know what you guys think, is a 2001 4.6 Liter Mustang GT too much car for a 16 year old boy, who’s been amazingly responsible (far more than I was back in my day [emoji13]) so far ?


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Boostr1

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Hmm, can't really say my son is 9. Is it an automatic? How good of a driver is he?
 

bigmike636

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Thanks Boost, I forgot to mention that. He is a very good driver. In Michigan we have what they call a “graduated” drivers license. New drivers have to log the amount of hours that they have driven and unless they have a certain number of hours, they can’t get take the second part of their drivers training. When he took his second half of training, he had the most hours overall of any of the trainees. After polling my friends and family none of their kids has as many hours behind the wheel. I guess the way I look at is, my kids are among my most “prized possessions”, the more experience that they have behind the wheel, the better chance they have of becoming competent, responsible, courteous drivers.
And it is an automatic.


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ttocs

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That almost sounds like me at that age except for OK grades, I am an eagle scout, bla bla bla. My parents got their GT that eventually became mine when I was 18 and I was amazed that they gave me the keys to it to drive. Of course I never went over the speed limit, kept under 2500 rpms and only one time did I let the tires slip a little on accident when my foot slipped off the clutch - NOT. With that being said at the time all there was to do in this small midwest town on weekends was cruise the strip and I know we got into much more trouble when I was driving my truck than I ever did in the stang. I drove the car like I shouldn't have from time to time but I don't think I was ever that stupid in picking when the time/place was ok to do so. I got into some good healthy trouble in it but never anything that was damaging to me, the car or others. But as I say all this I am pretty sure if I had a kid, he would have a fox body with a 4 cylinder in it............
 

bigmike636

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Ok ttocs, what about when he decides to pull the 4 banger and put in a 5.0 liter engine ? Do I squash his gear head urges ?


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white95

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Hi guys, I’m a new member but I’ve lurked on here for about three years. My question is, would you actually consider allowing a 16 year old have a 2001 Ford Mustang GT convertible as his first car ? Mind you, my son, Brendan is a really good kid. He’s a Boy Scout, who unfortunately had his Eagle project derailed this past Spring due to COVID-19. He’s a sophomore in high school who manages to get decent grades (A’s-B’s) who’s NEVER given us any problems. He’s definitely a gear head, who loves to wrench on all of the vehicles that my family owns.
Would you place one of those GPS devices on the vehicle ? Believe it or not, all three of my kids have an app on their phones (as well as Mom & Dad) that actually tracks where they are. And the app actually logs the top speed attained during drives. Of course the app can be turned off though. I must admit the only time that I know of the kids actually turning off the app was when they were heading to a store for a gift for their mother, or my girls were at odds with their mother about her “spying on them.” In all honesty, I’ve been blessed with truly good kids.
I’d like to know what you guys think, is a 2001 4.6 Liter Mustang GT too much car for a 16 year old boy, who’s been amazingly responsible (far more than I was back in my day [emoji13]) so far ?


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Trust is earned and a vehicle is essentially a guided missile. That era of Mustang was the first with traction control so, unless turned off, will offer a marginal level of driver assistance. An excellent set of tires will also help. Keep the mods to a bare minimum [exhaust, cosmetic, etc] and put very staunch guidelines in place. It'll be his choice to jeopardize losing his prized possession.
 

bigmike636

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Thanks for the responses guys. I really appreciate them. You all bring up extremely valid points.


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RAU03MACH

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Ok ttocs, what about when he decides to pull the 4 banger and put in a 5.0 liter engine ? Do I squash his gear head urges ?


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I say no way let him explore gear heads do what gear heads do best
 

RAU03MACH

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When I was in high school I had a maverick I was always working on
I miss all the weekend illegal drags
 

MustangChris

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Yes.

These cars are slow from the factory. Mine ran a [email protected] with full bolt-ons and 4.10 gears. A PI-head SN is probably a low 14 second car at sea level.

Pros:
If he takes a liking to the car as a cosmetic toy....
He'll learn about responsibility of keeping an expensive asset safe and in good condition. He'll need to wash it, maintain it, and keep a second thought in his mind as to where he parks it and who he loans it to in order to keep it nice.

If he takes a liking to idea of a performance car...
He'll learn about mechanics, cars, engines, tools, shops, transmissions.

If he takes a liking to the culture...
He'll learn about american automotive history, the rise and fall of american manufacturing, pop culture impacts of the nameplate and badge, racing, shows, late nights turning wrenches with friends, museums, concept cars, and foreign impact of american icons.

If he takes a liking to the challenge...
He'll learn about electrical engineering, he'll learn about mechanical engineering, he'll learn about fluid dynamics, he'll learn about thermodynamics, he'll learn about aerodynamics, he'll learn about computer engineering and computer programming.

Bottom line: these "pros" open a massive amount of doors for a young adult. It opens paths to their future both academically (engineering school), financially (trade school), and cultural (next Mario Andretti). It will teach him to socialize with people with similar interests; it will teach him to learn responsibility; it will teach him to take pride in what he owns and maintains.

Cons:
If he races that car..... And that race ignites a passion in him... He will likely spend the rest of his life financially ruined trying to claw every last horsepower out of his car until he dies a withered old man. Horsepower is an addiction that makes meth look like a craving for something salty.


Keep us posted!
 

bigmike636

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MustangChris thanks for your in depth outlook. I definitely agree with you, wholeheartedly. But I think it’s already too late. He loves just about everything that you’ve listed in regards to mechanical and electrical things.

Exhibit A
26ad9edf1656a06117158613f3b89cb4.jpg

Even though he couldn’t quite reach it without help, here he is replacing the water pump on Mom’s Yukon XL at age 12.

Exhibit B
4d8cb2e2b0a09c4ac967bdef4b8b77ba.jpg

Age 13, changing oil on my old Chevy Silverado.

Exhibit C
93eeaeb98739f290b35d027e3a58b44c.jpg

Fixing a furnace at a Boy Scout camp.

Exhibit D
6f786715fcbc6b06f7983d3c4c7c79a2.jpg

Replacing a broken spring on his sister’s Mercury Mariner.

Exhibit E
524fea24528ca77993b0b9c74fa1d32f.jpg

Soldering the output on his guitar.

Exhibit F
cdd29958d05c4dc488f972526d07a885.jpg

Meeting one of his inspirations at Autorama in Detroit, this year.

I don’t think we could keep him from wrenching/fixing things, if we tried ! Plus, he was accepted into a early college program recently. So this year he will be taking 3-4 classes at high school and 3-4 at a local college. His first choice of classes at college ? Exploration of engineering... I can’t say that I was surprised ! [emoji1787]


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Boostr1

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Nooice! I'm giving my kid another year then we can start working on our vehicles. He wants to now, but he's only nine and my garage is only so big. Probably start small... gokart.
 

MustangChris

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Nooice! I'm giving my kid another year then we can start working on our vehicles. He wants to now, but he's only nine and my garage is only so big. Probably start small... gokart.
nice dude. I was always jealous of kids who had go-karts. Awesome way to get them into the scene.
 

doggiedoc

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I’ll offer my input but it’s hard to add much to MustangChris’s post - that was pretty spot on in my opinion.

My whole rebuild started because it was for my 17 year old son to drive. He asked about helping finish the long block but NA so he could have the car. My initial response was that if we put a naturally aspirated intake on a long block with low static compression that was built for a big blower, that it would not make much power. Doh! That actually made me realize a low powered V8 would be fine for a responsible 17 year old. So that’s what we did.

As it turns out to keep to keep cost down, we use the ported heads and blower cams I already had and the stage 3 clutch - so learning to drive it was a steeper curve than we hoped. Ultimately he decided he wasn’t comfortable driving it in traffic so it’s mine again and back headed towards being a blower car!



Cons:
If he races that car..... And that race ignites a passion in him... He will likely spend the rest of his life financially ruined trying to claw every last horsepower out of his car until he dies a withered old man. Horsepower is an addiction that makes meth look like a craving for something salty.
Keep us posted!
So true!!
 

MyLittlePony

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I got my mustang when I was 16. Of course, it was a 145HP V6 automatic. However, no ABS or traction control. I’ve been involved in a few collisions here and there, but first one was when I was still 16. Torrential downpour. Couldn’t stop in time. Of course front end collisions are common in these. Despite being slow, I would still somehow manage to spin out even in dry weather. I wasn’t flooring it or anything. Just inexperienced at right hand turns I guess. Definitely a learning curve. But it does at least have airbags.

Times have changed, but in my day, driving was a right, not a privilege. You turn 16? Just prove you’re currently enrolled in school, took drivers ed, a legal citizen, get more than half of your written test right (which is mostly on things you’ll never see, like hand signals), and you’re given a license. You could have any amount of minors as passengers you wanted so long as they had seatbelts. And you could freely talk on your cell phone while driving at that age as well, though I never did. An actual physical driving test wouldn’t happen until many many years later. Can’t believe they actually wanted to prove we could drive. How crazy?!

Things my parents did to keep track of me, since GPS tracking wasn’t a thing:

Cell phone/pager - If I wasn’t driving to/from school or work, I needed to call them, even if I was going to be late. I didn’t lie about where I was until I was 18 and in college, because **** that! I’m an adult!

Vanity plate with my name on it - the idea was that SOMEONE would know where I was. I never left town. My work was technically just outside the border. Considering how many people had Rio Red Mustang convertibles back then, it definitely set you apart.

Security system - This was technically added when I turned 18. The idea was so I could set off the car in panic mode if needed

Registration - In my parents name. They later revealed that if you are a missing person, you have to be missing for at least 2 days before police will investigate. But if you report the car as stolen, they’ll immediately start looking. And ****! That shit has a vanity plate!

If I had a smart phone, and my parents did not trust me, you betcha they would have installed GPS tracking devices on the car itself if the technology were as accessible as it is today
 
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DropTopPony

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These are great first cars.
They are economical now that they are older.
Parts can be had at most junk yards and plenty of online help to fix things.

They are slow and underpowered by todays standards... My Minivan makes more HP.

They can be dangerous so make sure you teach him how to control the rear end slide. Traction control helps but can be turned off.
Show him how easy the rear can slide out when its wet and how to handle the car when it does.

Good luck!

My daughter wants one for her first car, but only if it has a blower.
 

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