America’s Original Pony Car – Ford Mustang

Ford Mustang Bullitt MP002 Experience on the Queer4Cars YouTube Channel

We got to take a 2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt on the road for a week, here is our story:

Front of Ford Mustang Bullitt MP002 at the American Muscle Mustang Show 2019

The energy and momentum are strong for the American Original Pony Car, the Ford Mustang and nowhere more pronounced than at a gathering of Mustang enthusiasts like the American Muscle 2019 Mustang Gathering held at Maple Grove Dragway in Berks County Pennsylvania.

American Muscle Mustang Man 2019This annual event has been running for a dozen years, and while it is produced by an aftermarket product supplier, American Muscle, you would think it would be all about selling stuff. While there is plenty of commerce going on, it is more of a backdrop to the role that the enthusiasts play, and it is all done with the focus on the Make A Wish Foundation. With more than three thousand Mustangs on hand, mostly late-model, but a few of the 1980’s forward. And only a handful of earlier generation models in the display parking fields, you can feel the love that each owner has in their vehicle.

Ford Mustangs at American Muscle Mustang Show 2019

American Muscle is the perfect spot to learn more about the owner culture, and Ford put me in a 2019 Mustang Bullitt to attend the event, which resulted in Specialty Parking Pass, so we were right up front and center of this festival of pony cars. Here the Dark Highland Green V8 powered muscle machine was surrounded by thirty or so highly vetted Mustangs each selected because of their outstanding features, that only true aficionados recognized. We were parked in the middle of the carnival mid-way between the Dyno Runs, and the drag strip, and just down from the vendor booths and on the way to the food lane.

Something that was not surprising is that Mustang owners are very particular who works on their car. Ford Motor Company shared with us that it is very hard to get owners to even bring their Mustang in for the airbag recall as they are concerned about damage to their car.

Front of Ford Mustang Bullitt MP002 at the American Muscle Mustang Show 2019

I found that the owners of these vehicles are friendly and willing to share tips and show off their modifications, some vendor purchased, some like the GT350 next to me, whose bearded owner was so concerned that his air filter would get debris in the creases, he carefully planned and quite professionally fitted pantyhose around it. I kidded him throughout the day about his Pantyhose Performance Upgrade.  He admitted he was to shy to buy the nylons himself, so he sent his girlfriend to Walmart with very specific instructions on brand and color to buy.  After that, I saw other applications of air filter covers that were nowhere near as neat and clean. And it prompted me to look at the filter on MP002; it was a good thing I did not open the hood at the show, it would have been embarrassing as its filter was not debris free.

Justin Dugan from American Muscle with Mustang Owners

Who are the owners of Mustangs?

Well, they are as American as the original pony car itself.  Being summer, this event was not any different than being at the local sandlot baseball diamond or neighborhood park for basketball. Mustang Owners are as American as they come, Canadian too. They traveled from all over for this single model gathering, just to be with each other. While the auto enthusiast community tends toward the male, there was no shortage of women in attendance, and with their cars — all age groups, just about as much of the melting pot that is the USA.

Ford Mustangs of every color at American Muscle Mustang Show 2019

Mustangs of Every color, and trim level.

Special award opportunities with several judged classes, as well as the chance to put private vehicles on the Dyno to see if the work over the winter and those mods had increased horsepower.  The drag strip where both parade laps and hot laps were a part of the scene. Event non-Mustang, Jet Engine dragsters loudly blew down the strip at great speed.

American Muscle Mustang Show 2019 had an amazing amount of bargains

Shopping, Shopping, Shopping

Vendors of every kind that cater to enthusiasts of the Mustang, from wheels, and suspension to exhaust and other specialty parts. Tee-shirts to tires. American Muscle had a huge tent that featured its scratch and dent, or one of a kind items in classic flea market setting. Piled high on tables for people to paw through looking for that special bargain. A buddy of the owner of the GT500 parked next to me came back announcing a great deal on tires and wheels, and they debated if indeed he should spend for a set when he had the stock set in his garage.  I still have my eye on an American Muscle Stick Shift T-Shirt, that I should have bought while there, as the price was better than it is to be bought online and shipped.

 

 

 

Why Ford Mustang?

The Mustang was a major twentieth-century turning point from a post-war automotive world. That sent those who bought one headed into what would become the space age. Back then, the young demographic coming of age was looking for their car, not one with fins or holes in its side, like their parents. They were looking for a sportiness that provided them seating four with enough room to carry something in the trunk.  Ford had eked out an unattractive low-end uninspired compact car for the masses as the decade began, with a slightly more modern chassis and power plant. Simple and cheap to operate this became the base on which those first Mustangs were built on.

As the decade marched on, and the modern war in Viet Nam became its signature, the Mustang became an escape for many who wanted something with power and sport styling. By the end of the decade, Mustang muscles bulged in size and horsepower. With the early 70’s they were large and all-powerful competing with the Camaro, AMX Javelin, and numerous Dodge and Plymouth muscle cars. Peculiar foreign cars were now starting to take the eye to get a strong foothold on US shores. What grew more than anything else was the car culture, with cars, were becoming stars in their own right. And on the big screen, they played a role equal to that of the male star. Men found that being identified with certain cars defined who they were, with that product placement became a Madison Avenue man’s marketing dream.  Racing movies and stars like Paul Newman and others were billboard legends. From a little VW beetle to the roaring Ford Mustang in Bullitt. Woody wagon beach buggies and

Then in the 1970s, the US was hit hard with gas rationing and sky-rocking prices. Drivers saw dollar signs on a gallon of gas when just months before a dollar would increase by several gallons, looked too small econoboxes and Japanese cars ruled the roads. Ford quickly downsized the Mustang, and by the 1980s it had right-sized with the debut of the long-lived Fox-body Mustang. As the 1990s loomed, US automotive companies partnered with foreign ones. Ford and Mazda began the process of a joint build in the same American factory.  The mere idea of this travesty whipped Mustang owners and enthusiasts into a frenzy, sending hate mail to Dearborn.  Ford quickly realized that Mustang was not to be toyed with, and with Mustang owners revolting at the thought of a Mazda shared platform for their beloved car quickly brought forth a new model, the Ford Probe.

2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt MP002

Bullitt MP002

Our 2019 test vehicle was an early prototype dark highland green production number MP002 (Bullitt’s are numbered, and owners are very aware of that.) It only had two options a $2,100 Bullitt Electronics Package, and the $1,695 MagneRide dampening system, bringing the $46,595 price up to $51,485 with the $1095 destination and delivery fee. The other option would have been the RECARO® Leather-trimmed Front Sport Seats a $1595 option. Not a great option for a touring car, but if you spent a lot of time at the track with it, a great choice.

2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt MP002This is not a car that you just get in and drive. You are in the know of what is going on at all times, not just because the 5.0 L TI-VCT V8 engine and 6-Speed Manual transmission with the white cue ball shift knob, gave the car a lot of heft and power.  Which was apparent in low-speed situations, not an easy car to drive in the city as you never could unleash it, and this car wants to run. The shifting was surprisingly easy, even with the very strong clutch. The Bullitt was a blast on the highway, but where it was the most fun is the twisty back roads.

Outside the Bullitt is not blingy at all, if you did not know what it was, you might just think it was another Mustang. No question on the line, but no pony insignia (except on the projection puddle light at night that puts a Mustang on the ground by your door. Only the Bullitt button in the center of the rear, where at one time would have been a gas cap. The other add on was the hood Louvers, which looked good, but did nothing to enhance air into the engine.

No Way To Be  A Quiet PlayBoy

2019 Mustang Bullitt MP002 RearOf course, it’s classic fastback design is recognizably mustang.  Where the attention comes is when you fire it up, with the gurgle and growl of the engine, which brought out every male within range. Supposedly there is a quiet setting in the active valve exhaust, though I never found it. And I heard from my neighbors they or their dogs, knew when it was coming or going.  And the rumble of the five-liter engine is as much a part of the Mustang Lifestyle as anything. Not a loud, obnoxious blast, but a very seductive growl is pure Ford Mustang.

Ride and Drive Experience

2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt MP002 InteriorInside it seats four in comfortable dark highland green leather-trimmed with accent stitching, heated and cooled front bucket seats. A 6-way power driver’s seat with power lumbar control, and a 6-way power front-passenger seat and two tightly in the 50/50 split-bench folding rear seat. The ride was strong, smooth, and balanced with the available MagneRide® Damping System which responds one thousand times per second. MagneRide® is a trademarked technology of BWI Group. Between the seats and the BULLITT Electronics Package that includes: B&O Play™ Premium Audio System by HARMAN  which is a 12Speakers with a trunk-mounted subwoofer system that includes a CD Player, HD Radio™ and includes a five (5)-year prepaid subscription to SiriusXM, it was great for long drives.

I thought this was a sports car…. But I am becoming a fan of  Ambient Lighting Voice-Activated Touchscreen Navigation System with SiriusXM Traffic and Travel Link® not to mention the with the BLIS® (Blind Spot Information System) with Cross-Traffic Alert (CTA)

 

You Ain’t Going anywhere Quietly

2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt Center Console Switches

 

The class-exclusive* active valve performance exhaust lets you control the volume of the Mustang exhaust. I tried my best to set it for Quiet Start, needless to say, that was no fun, so setting it for normal, custom, Sport or the Track setting. Speaking of Trac, it even comes with Track Apps Even if you never take it to a racecourse.

 

 

 

Overall

Mustangs in lineup for American Muscle 2019 at Morgantown Holiday Inn HotelThis was one of my favorite press cars that I have had over the past six years getting them. It got more attention than any car except the Lexus LC500h, and that was just women. Everyone wanted to drive this pony.  Mustangs are an American institution, no matter what you get from the basic stripped-down model to the Shelby GT500 (and that is a dream come true) you will be celebrating modern American automobiles.  (as we work on this story, the Father of the Mustang Lee Ioccoca passed away. It was his vision of what consumers wanted in a fun and useable car that made this line of vehicles possible, Interesting that as Ford phases out passenger cars from the US Market, the Mustang is not going away anytime soon.

BULLITT© and all related characters and elements are done so under Copywrite © and trademark ™ Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. (s18)

Words and Images by William West Hopper

William West Hopper, VIP Tour Guide at the 2019 Washington DC Auto Show. Photo by Bonnie M. Moret
William West Hopper, VIP Tour Guide at the 2019 Washington DC Auto Show. Photo by Bonnie M. Moret

Mr. Hopper, is a life-long automobile enthusiast, growing up not far from the Maple Drove Dragway in Southeastern Pennsylvania.  This was a trip down memory lane in many ways for him. WWH is currently the President of the Washington Automotive Press Association, a 250 member strong group of automotive professionals.

AM2019 American Muscle Mustang Show Specialty Parking PassThe week-long use of the Mustang Bullitt was provided by Ford Motor Company and NAVS DC to attend the American Muscle Mustang show.  We covered our own costs for fuel, lodging (though Turn5 offered to cover that expense, it has not been reimbursed as of this writing.) Turn 5 did invite us to attend and provided us $11 in food vouchers and the Specialty Parking Pass for the Paddock area.  This report and accompanying video were not produced for payment, but for editorial purposes only.

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Look Behind You! The Flashing Lights?

What Is An Officer of the Law Driving Today?

Queer4Cars 2020 Ford Explorer Utility Police Interceptor Model YouTube Video

Cop Cars

2020 Ford Police Interceptor Explorer Utility VehicleJust when you thought you had gotten used to spotting police cruiser headlights in your rearview mirror, Ford is changing the game again! With the introduction of the completely redesigned 2020, Ford Explorer comes the police equivalent: the Explorer Utility Interceptor. Ford is stepping away from selling sedans in the USA and focusing on SUV and trucks. With this comes the SUV for police duty, which many departments have already in their fleets.

What’s New

2020 Frod Police Interceptor UtilityFord has really upped their game when it comes to the new Interceptor. One of the most significant changes, besides the entire vehicle, is the shift from front wheel to rear-wheel biased all-wheel drive. Instead of being pulled around, you now are pushed town in the 2020 Explorer. The 2020 Ford Explorers Utility Interceptor comes standard with all-wheel drive and a whole host of other goodies that the general public does not get in a regular consumer edition Ford Explorer.

The new Interceptor now comes in 3 different engine versions. The first is a regular 3.3 liter naturally aspirated V6 engine. The next step up, and the one Ford really put their heads into is a 3.3-liter non-plug-in hybrid version. The third and final option is their 3.0 liter EcoBoost engine.

2020 Ford Explorer Hybrid BatteryFord has put a lot of focus on the hybrid in a push to make not only Police Interceptors but all of its fleet Green.  The image of being more environmentally friendly is an essential part of today’s market. This new hybrid is run off a lithium-ion battery pack that is the size of a small suitcase and stored in the front half of the vehicle not reducing any interior storage space. This hybrid engine is a game changer and more so for police departments. The hybrid uses the battery pack to run the vehicle for 80% of the time. When the battery charge drops below 30%, the gas engine kicks in and takes about 2 minutes to recharge the battery to full capacity. This significantly reduces the amount of idle time for the gas engine. In turn, this reduced idle time substantially reduces the amount of fuel used and emissions from the vehicle.

Value Driven

Ford Interceptor Utility BenefitsWhat citizen wouldn’t like to see their local and state police departments saving money, thus freeing it up to focus more on training or more safety? Where hybrid vehicle technology will impact will be in municipalities fuel and vehicle maintenance budgets. While hybrids initial purchase cost is indeed higher, that can be made up in just fuel cost savings alone. Not to mention that hybrids can go longer between oil changes as the engines aren’t always running or as is often the case, idling, and between the brake pad and rotor changes due to the regenerative braking technology.

2020 Ford Interceptor Utility BenefitsThe 2020 Explorer Utility comes standard with Bluetooth® hands-free connectivity. Which is a good idea, as we know it is illegal in many states to use a handheld device while operating a motor vehicle. And no one wants Officers’ breaking the law by using their phones while driving.

 

Only On A Cop Car

Ford Explorer Utility Police Interceptor weleded Steel Crash FrameThe Interceptor Utility is fitted with a welded steel under-carriage device giving it a 75mph rear crash test rating.  Plus a stiffer suspension, larger heavy duty brakes, cooling system, and alternator that is needed to run the gamut of electronics police use in their vehicle.

Ford Factory Installed Police Perimeter Alert for Interceptor VehiclesFord has developed and offers on its Interceptor vehicles a factory-installed Police safety perimeter alarm that uses the blind spot monitoring system and a dashboard display to detect any threats moving towards or away from the rear of the vehicle.  Alerting the officer with an audible tone, rolling up the windows, locking the doors and activating the Ford Explorer Utility Police Interceptor Bullit Proof Door Padrearview camera. Ford also has ballistic panels as on option for inserts in the front doors to further protect officers from armed assailants.

 

 

 

Overall

2020 Ford Explorer Utility Police Interceptor VehicleAfter test driving each of the 2020 Ford Explorer Utility powertrains available on a police emergency vehicles operations course, it is abundantly clear these are the smart choice for police departments. Start looking in your rearview mirror for a new police Interceptor starting later this year. And remember to pull over when you see those flashing lights. While they are not after you, they may be on the way to assist someone that is important to you or someone else who is in need.

 

Words by Corporal Matthew Rihl,
Photos by William West Hopper
Officer Matt in the Cockpit of a Connie

Corporal Matthew Rihl is a Field Training Officer and member of the Honor Guard with a local Virginia police department.

Corporal Matthew Rihl has served the public for 15-years with a local county police department in Virginia. In addition, he is also a Field Training Officer and a member of the Honor Guard. Officer Matt is a vital member of the LGBT Fallen Heroes Fund, which its sole purpose is to honor surviving partners and family members of LGBT police, fire, EMS and the military who have been killed in the line of duty during a special ceremony during National Police Memorial Week every year in Washington, DC.

 

Fifty Leagues Above A Sea Of SUV’s

Lincoln’s Mid-Size SUV the Nautilus Black Label Edition for 2019

Click here for our Queer4Cars YouTube Video Lincoln Nautilus Review

Lincoln Motor Company provided us with a 2019 Black Label Nautilus in Burgundy Velvet Metallic for a trip to New York State and the opening of the new TWA Hotel at JFK airport. This mid-sized SUV featured Gala trim, with deep colors and rich textures, inspired by the high fashion of New York’s Metropolitan Gala. This Gala theme features elegant Carmine and Onyx leather deeply hued seats, complemented by the luster of Nouveau Armor aluminum accents.

This mid-sized SUV has a base price of $59,390 adding on $7245 in options came to a final sticker price of $67,630, including the $995 delivery charge.

The Lincoln Motor Company introduces the new Lincoln Nautilus, a midsize luxury SUV delivering a powerful turbocharged engine range and a suite of advanced technologies designed to give drivers greater confidence on the road.While the Nautilus is not a new design, it has been updated from the last iteration when it was called the MKX. It fits neatly in a very competitive market segment, and being a Lincoln, has a lot to offer buyers in standard features, both luxury and safety features.  Being a Lincoln Black Label Edition means that it is only available from select Lincoln dealers and carries a host of Black Label benefits.

Lincoln Nautilus red onyx leather seats

Our 2019 model came with the Onyx Venetian Leather interior, and we very much enjoyed the 22-way power driver seat a $1500 option,  standard heated and ventilated front seats, as it was May, we did not try the heated rear seats. With Inside Ambient lighting, a real treat at night, and Dual zone electronic climate control which made for a comfortable interior experience. The available concealed wireless charging pad for compatible smartphones eliminates the hassle of tangled cords is something that is becoming more common, and we like that, though our Samsung smartphone in an Otterbox case did get hot and stopped charging, out of the case it did much better.  Having the Panorama vista roof was almost as good as having a convertible.

Safety Lincoln’s Job One

The Nautilus has plenty of standard safety features as well as optional on the various trim levels of the Nautilus. While these are becoming more common today, they do enhance the overall driving experience, as not everyone on the road is paying attention to driving.

  • Blind spot detection
  • pedestrian detection
  • Auto Emergency Braking
  • Pre-collision Assist
  • Lincoln’s Copilot 360
  • Blind Spot Information System
  • Rearview Camera with a wash function
  • Auto High Beams
  • Pre-collision assist with pedestrian detection
  • Adaptative Cruise Control with Stop and Go Technology
  • Evasive Steering Assist

Nautilus’s Tech Package includes the 360-degree camera, and the active parking assist as well as front park aid sensors are $1720. Driver Assistance option for $1590, includes Lane Keeping system Active cruise control with traffic jam assist and adaptive steering.

 

Turbo Powered Engine

Powered by a 2.7 GTDI V6 engine (a $2070 option) and an 8-speed select shift automatic transmission that gave us the stated fuel economy of 21 overall 19 city and 26 highway.  Our experience was that it provided plenty of power delivered through the advanced technology of turbocharging, direct injection, and twin independent variable camshaft timing. All of which made our mix of urban and highway driving comfortable and worry-free.

 

Technology, More Important Than Ever


Today’s vehicles rely on a lot of technology, cameras, radar, and more to enhance the driver’s capability. Lincoln Co-Pilot360 is much like it sounds; you have a Co-Pilot with you watching your blind spots, alerting you to vehicles and pedestrians as well as things that the driver may miss.

2019 Lincoln Natiulus GrillPre-collision assist with automatic emergency braking is surprising that first time it engages when you are not aware it will. And thankfully it does, as it has a faster reaction time than you might have, helping to prevent an accident. Evasive steer assist is now available on the Nautilus, providing drivers with steering support to help avoid collisions that might happen as you come upon a slow-moving or stopped vehicle if it can’t be mitigated by braking alone.

We experimented with the optional lane-centering technology, which detects lane markings on the road to help keep the vehicle centered. Finding it as good as the road markings that it is monitoring, if the white line on the right follows over to a turn lane, the car can steer to the right when you want to stay in the travel lane.

Adaptive cruise control with stop and go allows drivers to set a desired speed and distance between themselves and the vehicle ahead and is a valuable item on today’s crowded highways.

 

 

Drivers Will Appreciate All The Nautilus Has To Offer.

The large center touch screen serves as a portal to standard SYNC® 3 with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, enabling management of audio, phone, and navigation. Steering wheel-mounted controls are also available for some functions helping keep eyes on the road.

2019 Lincoln Nautilus dashboard and center console

As the weather turns colder drivers will appreciate the heated side view mirrors and a windshield wiper de-icer. When day turns into night having the full LED lighting and headlamps with adaptive LED, Lincoln signature lighting makes a difference.

Ford is making all of their new cars connected, and this Nautilus came with the standard embedded Lincoln Connect 4G modem with Wi-Fi hotspot capability. While we think of this as for our own personal use, it makes the vehicle prepared for the world of autonomous mobility allowing for the vehicle to vehicle and vehicle to infrastructure communication. While self-driving cars are a way off, the technology that it brings to us today adds a layer of safety on today’s roadways.

Warranty

2019 Lincoln Natiulus Window StickerThis vehicle comes with a solid 4-year 50K mile warranty and six-year 70K power train Warranty. Being a Black Label model, only sold by those Lincoln dealers that are qualified to offer Black Label models, the convenience of having the vehicle pick up when it needs service and having four years of premium maintenance included is just one more reason to purchase or lease a Lincoln.

Overall

Black Label from LincolnYou may not have considered a Lincoln as you search for upscale vehicles; this is an excellent time to think about one of America’s premier luxury brands.  Lincoln has quietly stepped ahead of its competitors, and as consumers experience the brand, they will be pleasantly surprised about what they get for their dollar.  Stop by a Lincoln dealer and look at what the brand has to offer.

 

Words and Images by William West Hopper

William West Hopper, VIP Tour Guide at the 2019 Washington DC Auto Show. Photo by Bonnie M. Moret
William West Hopper, VIP Tour Guide at the 2019 Washington DC Auto Show. Photo by Bonnie M. Moret

Mr. Hopper is a life-long automotive enthusiast who has lead enthusiast organizations like the Mercedes-Benz Club of America and the Segway Enthusiast Group of America. He currently serves as the President of the Washington Automotive Press Association in Washington DC.  He can be reached on Twitter and Instagram.

The Lincoln Motor Company provided us this vehicle free of charge for a week, we were not compensated to review this vehicle. Our review is our own personal opinion and has not been influenced by anyone but our own experiences.