Mustang fleet arrives in Australia
When the giant Tirranna tied up at Appleton Dock in Melbourne in the last days of November it was a momentous moment. The Tirranna is not a show-pony cruise ship like the five floating palaces that sailed into Sydney in the same week, but a working-class, 72,000-tonne, roll-on, roll-off car carrier that sails the high seas to service the world’s carmakers and their customers.
This time she was not carrying Korean consumer cars or Thai-built price-fighter pickups, but the first shipment of born-again Ford Mustangs. As they were driven back onto dry land for the first time since leaving their home port of Baltimore in the USA, they opened a pipeline that will eventually satisfy the 4000 people waiting patiently – and some impatiently – in Australia for the first official right-hand drive ’Stangs in 50 years.
The Tirranna was quickly followed by the Titania, then Pasifal (pictured), Fidelio and Aniara in a five-strong fleet of car carriers from America that will be followed by dozens of others in coming years. Each was carrying Mustangs, around 400 in total, although still not nearly enough to satisfy the pent-up demand or the future needs of people who have been craving the pony carsince the mid 1960s.
The first fleet is overdue and only the very first arrivals will be with their new owners in time for Christmas, as Ford Australia pushes its press preview – and the all-important Australia Muscle Car test drive – back into January from the late November date it originally had in the diary.
“We’re expecting about 400 cars to be delivered in December,” confirms company spokesman Neil McDonald, without going into any more detail on destinations or owners.
But he has more information on the top choices with buyers.
“Most of the initial orders are for GT V8 Fastbacks. Red is the overwhelming colour preference, followed by Absolute Black and Magnetic,” he says.