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S550 The best and worst decision of my life Build Thread Profile - S550 Mustangs

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Ha!

Best because of the driving experience, and being able to actually experience that type of thing (and capture it for myself) before the market makes it impossible or difficult to with the apparent collective transition towards a completely different vehicle design direction. There were many design elements that drew me to this chassis that are rare or impossible to find in new cars: manual transmission, rear wheel drive, naturally aspirated engine, V8 engine,.... Even the fact it uses round needle gauges rather than a flatscreen display. Either of these things is hard to find individually, let alone as a collective.

In my mind I saw this car as the most recent and new combination of new technology with old design.. When kicking tires before purchase I was torn between this, the 20-22 GT500, and the BMW M2/3/4 competition series. In the end I went with the GT350 for a number of reasons, but in the context of current conversation I thought moving forward it wouldn't be hard to find another vehicle with a flat panel display or paddle shift or forced induction; but to find the contrary on the other hand... ... ... I also went with GT350 because the sound of the engine/exhaust combo is tied for my all time favourite with that of the 6.2L V12's; particularly the newer implementations in the F12 and La Ferrari. Unfortunately, the thought of owning even the fender badge from either of those is laughable, let alone reality. It's pretty sad they're so expensive where you could give me either of those cars for free, and I couldn't afford to own and operate them. One can see how the decision became pretty easy from there.

I find it very profound how the experience of driving this car makes me interested in driving again... ... ... Like I was a teenager just getting my license. On paper it's no different than the countless cars I've driven over the past decades that make me want to take a taxi. It's got seats and a steering wheel and will get you from point A to B just got same. But, things certainly don't work that way in reality. Things can be more than just numbers on a piece of paper or a screen. Then, throw in having to learn how to rev match. I've been driving stick my whole life,.. When was the last time a car asked you to revisit or relearn how to drive!?!?!? Magnificent!!!

Worst decision because it's a bloody money pit. God, horrible. Because of the timing of all of the factors involved - finances, interest and awareness, market research, chassis availability, I ended up buying a used car at the current inflated market prices. Something I'm not happy about, but then again I don't have a car factory in my back yard, and as I mentioned earlier, the type of car I'm interested in is already being phased out and of course I wanted the heritage trim and they're even rarer. So, the idea of waiting out the market didn't really apply. I figured I'd simply end up waiting my way to a chassis I didn't want or simply had higher mileage. The cliche "pay to play" resonated in the back of my mind.

From there, before purchase, I became aware of the above average operating costs - 10 liters of synthetic oil for every oil change; with only two manufacturers of oil to choose from, along with the insane high price of brake pads, rotors, and tires compared to GT/PP trim.

Then, after purchase there's been the nickel and dime costs mounting way into the five figures: transport costs from where the car was for sale (East coast) to where I live (West coast), the replacement cost insurance policy, the Ford protect extended warranty (by design I'm NOT a used car kind of guy), buying a quickjack and accessories, buying the specialty tools for maintenance (oil filter duct, thread in oil funnel, wheel stud extenders, brake caliper studs) and I haven't even got to the accessories list I want for it yet. I don't have a long list, but there certainly is one: replacing the OEM striped car cover that the car shipped with but was somehow lost by the previous owner, Ford performance licence plate holder, Ford performance floor mats, both FP oil air separators, no drill hydraulic hood struts, gurney flap, MGW shifter, radar detector & blendmount, lithium battery, and I'm not 100%, but certainly living I the tires on a carbon fiber driveshaft and lighter forged wheels in a squared setup..

All of these thoughts get piled on top of the backburner surface doubt of the reliability of the very thing that drew me to the car: the engine. There certainly was/is no shortage of negative user experiences in forums pertaining to this topic. Certainly ironic as what makes the car so special not only to drive, but to even be a passenger in, is also such a dam liability. I do have the warranty for another 5 years, but my concern is parts cost to keep it going after that.

So, as you can see, the title is very appropriate.
 
321
267
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
3-5 Years
25 min. to 1½ hrs. from Sonoma (ugh... traffic!)
Ha!

Best because of the driving experience, and being able to actually experience that type of thing (and capture it for myself) before the market makes it impossible or difficult to with the apparent collective transition towards a completely different vehicle design direction. There were many design elements that drew me to this chassis that are rare or impossible to find in new cars: manual transmission, rear wheel drive, naturally aspirated engine, V8 engine,.... Even the fact it uses round needle gauges rather than a flatscreen display. Either of these things is hard to find individually, let alone as a collective.

In my mind I saw this car as the most recent and new combination of new technology with old design.. When kicking tires before purchase I was torn between this, the 20-22 GT500, and the BMW M2/3/4 competition series. In the end I went with the GT350 for a number of reasons, but in the context of current conversation I thought moving forward it wouldn't be hard to find another vehicle with a flat panel display or paddle shift or forced induction; but to find the contrary on the other hand... ... ... I also went with GT350 because the sound of the engine/exhaust combo is tied for my all time favourite with that of the 6.2L V12's; particularly the newer implementations in the F12 and La Ferrari. Unfortunately, the thought of owning even the fender badge from either of those is laughable, let alone reality. It's pretty sad they're so expensive where you could give me either of those cars for free, and I couldn't afford to own and operate them. One can see how the decision became pretty easy from there.

I find it very profound how the experience of driving this car makes me interested in driving again... ... ... Like I was a teenager just getting my license. On paper it's no different than the countless cars I've driven over the past decades that make me want to take a taxi. It's got seats and a steering wheel and will get you from point A to B just got same. But, things certainly don't work that way in reality. Things can be more than just numbers on a piece of paper or a screen. Then, throw in having to learn how to rev match. I've been driving stick my whole life,.. When was the last time a car asked you to revisit or relearn how to drive!?!?!? Magnificent!!!

Worst decision because it's a bloody money pit. God, horrible. Because of the timing of all of the factors involved - finances, interest and awareness, market research, chassis availability, I ended up buying a used car at the current inflated market prices. Something I'm not happy about, but then again I don't have a car factory in my back yard, and as I mentioned earlier, the type of car I'm interested in is already being phased out and of course I wanted the heritage trim and they're even rarer. So, the idea of waiting out the market didn't really apply. I figured I'd simply end up waiting my way to a chassis I didn't want or simply had higher mileage. The cliche "pay to play" resonated in the back of my mind.

From there, before purchase, I became aware of the above average operating costs - 10 liters of synthetic oil for every oil change; with only two manufacturers of oil to choose from, along with the insane high price of brake pads, rotors, and tires compared to GT/PP trim.

Then, after purchase there's been the nickel and dime costs mounting way into the five figures: transport costs from where the car was for sale (East coast) to where I live (West coast), the replacement cost insurance policy, the Ford protect extended warranty (by design I'm NOT a used car kind of guy), buying a quickjack and accessories, buying the specialty tools for maintenance (oil filter duct, thread in oil funnel, wheel stud extenders, brake caliper studs) and I haven't even got to the accessories list I want for it yet. I don't have a long list, but there certainly is one: replacing the OEM striped car cover that the car shipped with but was somehow lost by the previous owner, Ford performance licence plate holder, Ford performance floor mats, both FP oil air separators, no drill hydraulic hood struts, gurney flap, MGW shifter, radar detector & blendmount, lithium battery, and I'm not 100%, but certainly living I the tires on a carbon fiber driveshaft and lighter forged wheels in a squared setup..

All of these thoughts get piled on top of the backburner surface doubt of the reliability of the very thing that drew me to the car: the engine. There certainly was/is no shortage of negative user experiences in forums pertaining to this topic. Certainly ironic as what makes the car so special not only to drive, but to even be a passenger in, is also such a dam liability. I do have the warranty for another 5 years, but my concern is parts cost to keep it going after that.

So, as you can see, the title is very appropriate.
Sounds like you're now about to experience some deeply gratifying driving!
If you're like me, that point at which you get the car set up as you'd like is an illusion, a carrot on a stick, never really attainable!
Enjoy the ride.
 
If you're like me, that point at which you get the car set up as you'd like is an illusion, a carrot on a stick, never really attainable!

I don't plan on tracking it - can't afford the added cost of brakes/tires/fluids/filters/fuel/transport, so I don't think it should be too difficult to get to the end game.

At this point, from the outside looking in, all of the aforementioned accessories seem obtainable, BUT, there are a few pipe dream options that seem out of reach and fall in line with your statement:

The R carbon wheels, a front & rear carbon ceramic brake setup from RB or MMR, and. complete front and rear laser jamming system.
 

Bill Pemberton

0ld Ford Automotive Racing Terror
8,526
8,587
Exp. Type
Time Attack
Exp. Level
20+ Years
Blair, Nebraska
Save your money, the Carbon Ceramic brake set up is a questionable cost even for those of us who track and if you are just going to cruise yours or maybe take a fun drive on the mountain roads of BC, your brakes are frankly superb. See, someone on TMO has already helped you save some money, ha.
 
2,205
1,069
Bay Area
Dont get the CCBs, especially for the street. Not worth the money or weigth saving IMHO. I had them on the front and while they were great I chewed one up. That was going to hurt the wallet. Instead I went back to my old Giro-Disc set up and that was only 800 USD for the replacement rings. At the end of the day I saved some money and was faster on the track.
 

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