Let’s talk cars!

As teenage boys at boarding school on Sunday mornings when walking from school to the local Anglican Church for matins we would regularly challenge one another to name the make of the cars we saw as they passed on the road. Admittedly at the time (1963) it was a less than taxing obstacle given the limitation of manufacturers to the “Big Three” Ford, GM and Chrysler. Yonge Street was then but a 2-lane highway which naturally extended from Toronto beyond the residential limits of North York through the quaint Thornhill and Richmond Hill to Aurora. Along with the residents of nearby King, Ontario we were among the local rural inhabitants. Our closest village was Newmarket where Sir William Mulock (a former Postmaster General of Canada among other winning credentials) once resided and whose ancient descendent and classmate of mine Bill Mulock was driven by chauffeur each day to school from his ancestral home.

During my entire time at school the only occasions on which I rode in a passenger motor vehicle were when visiting parents of my colleagues. My parents lived in Stockholm, Sweden and I was therefore restricted to private conveyance with them at Christmas and in the summer. My first roommate at St. Andrew’s College was Keith Forsythe.  His father collected us one day for a ride in his new red convertible Ford Mustang. Reportedly it was among the first Mustangs to hit the local market. I recall the thrill of streaming with the top down along the winding roading from school out between the front gate posts onto Yonge Street to windswept liberty!

The Ford Mustang is a series of American automobiles manufactured by Ford. In continuous production since 1964, the Mustang is currently the longest-produced Ford car nameplate. Currently in its sixth generation, it is the fifth-best selling Ford car nameplate. The namesake of the “pony car” automobile segment, the Mustang was developed as a highly styled line of sporty coupes and convertibles derived from existing model lines, initially distinguished by “long hood, short deck” proportions.

After boarding school my acquaintance with the private motor vehicle was further prolonged by years of study and the customary student beggary. It wasn’t until years later (after undergraduate studies, law school and articles) when I was attending the bar admission course at Osgoode Hall that my father bought me my first vehicle, a Ford Mustang. Since then I’ve had a total of 24 new cars including for purposes of this narrative 13 Ford products; viz., 2 Mustangs and 11 Lincolns. The acme for me is presently the Lincoln Aviator of which I have had two, one each year of its manufacture. It is this vehicle which compels me to write at the moment.

As I drove about the countryside today – with the windows down and the landau roof open – I was in heaven!  Granted I am not here talking about race-car measurements; mine is strictly an old fogey assessment  – with, not inappropriately, a bit of wind! In a nutshell, and without the necessity of technical advice, I can say that the Aviator is my all-time favourite! Again and again I catch myself exhaling the word “Wow!” upon yet another manoeuvre. Nor is my affection for this particular automobile entirely without authenticity. Indeed I flatter myself to have the best of all automotive legitimacy; namely, the opinion of the consumer. I strengthen this qualification by noting that I average 4,000 Kms per month on the open road.