THE new Ford Mustang is sold out for 12 months — before the first one has arrived in showrooms or anyone has taken a car for a test drive.
But close to 500 fans will get an early Christmas present, with the first batch of cars due to dock in Melbourne in the early hours of today.
More than 4000 Australians have placed deposits for the latest version of the iconic American muscle car — triple the demand for the homegrown Ford Falcon V8 — despite costing between $45,000 and $65,000.
While the Falcon will reach the end of the Broadmeadows production line after 56 years in October 2016, Ford fans have embraced the new Mustang in record numbers.
Australians have ordered twice as many Mustangs as UK buyers, even though the car market and the population there is triple the size of Australia.
Ford executives in Detroit will be breathing a sigh of relief because this is the first time in the nameplate’s 50-year history a Mustang has been made in right-hand-drive on a US production line.
Previous Mustangs sold in Australia in the 1960s and early 2000s were converted to right-hand-drive locally.
Nine out of every 10 orders placed so far are for the V8 model (the remaining 10 per cent have four-cylinder power) but highway patrol police across Australia will need to wait their turn to get behind the wheel.
While the new Mustang is a favourite to replace the Ford Falcon and Holden Commodore police pursuit cars — given the similar price and performance — the boys in blue will have to wait in the queue.
The new Mustang is yet to be formally approved for police pursuit work but it is one of the limited options available to emergency services once the Ford Falcon and Holden Commodore go out of production in the next two years.
The first shipment of 173 Mustangs arrives in Melbourne in advance of three more arrivals totalling a further 300 or so vehicles before Christmas.
It takes between two and four months for the Mustangs to be shipped to Australia from Detroit; the initial batch was held up for a fortnight due to a shipping delay in the Panama Canal.
Ford Australia has imported a handful of display models over the past 12 months — including for the 2015 New Year’s Eve celebrations in Sydney, and eight promotional vehicles that arrived last Friday — but these are the first customer cars.
Meanwhile, Holden fans holding out for a right-hand-drive version of the Chevrolet Camaro will have to wait at least another five years for the Mustang’s arch rival to be sold locally.
The latest Camaro on sale in the US was not developed for right-hand-drive due to the Global Financial Crisis and General Motors’ bankruptcy.
But Holden has promised 24 other new imported models between now and 2020, once the Elizabeth production line closes in late 2017.
Originally published at www.news.com.au