Event: Mustang Bucket List Tour

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Ford’s Mustang Bucket List tour gives fans a chance to drive the 2015 Mustang

By Steve Turner

If driving the new Mustang was on your bucket list, Ford did its best to make your dream come true by hauling several Mustangs across this great nation, setting up autocross courses, and letting lucky people ride and drive in both EcoBoost and GT variants. The tour stopped in your scribe’s town, so I showed up to ride, drive, and take a few photos.

If you are in Los Angeles this weekend and you see this trailer, follow it. You won’t want to miss a shot at this Mustang Bucket List experience.
If you are in Los Angeles this weekend and you see this trailer, follow it. You won’t want to miss a shot at this Mustang Bucket List experience.

The tour began in Chicago, Illinois, and worked its way down to Florida, where I got my shot to live the dream. Arriving early while the crew was still setting up, I was able to get a few shots of the cars and displays before the crowds lined up. Later in the day, it was definitely busier, as people stopped by after work.

Since I have driven and ridden in more than my fair share of 2015 Mustangs, I was able to participate guilt-free in the morning because there was no line. I completed the registration process at the provide iPad kiosk, then headed over to the cars.

I was able to ride in both the EcoBoost and Mustang GT, and then I afforded the opportunity to drive the EcoBoost Mustang around the autocross.

There was trail of cars and signs that lead your author to the Mustang Bucket List stop. After parking, this white EcoBoost ’Stang greeted me. Check it off my bucket list? Don’t mind if I do.
There was trail of cars and signs that lead your author to the Mustang Bucket List stop. After parking, this white EcoBoost ’Stang greeted me. Check it off my bucket list? Don’t mind if I do.

First up was a ride in the EcoBoost Mustang. Then it was my turn to drive. Doing so was quite fun. I got to play with the paddle shifters, and I flashed back to my first ride in the EcoBoost Mustang at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The car felt great, but the ride was over way too soon, and there was no second lap to take advantage of learning the course. The EcoBoost did seem more at home on the autocross than it felt on the curvy California roads I first drove it on.

For those who have not had the opportunity to see the cars before—much less drive them—this experience had to be an eye-opener.

You definitely want to buckle up when you go around the course, especially in this Performance Pack-equipped Mustang GT!
You definitely want to buckle up when you go around the course, especially in this Performance Pack-equipped Mustang GT!

However, the most fun of the day came when I rode with one of the Ford drivers named Jeff. He clearly knew the car and the course quite well. He was practically drifting the Mustang GT through the cones, and that sort of ride put a huge smile on my face. This sort of grassroots experience surely left a lot of people with a positive opinion of Ford and the Mustang.

After you complete your time in the car, you were free to chat up the product specialists on hand with any questions you might have about the new cars. Once you were all done with the experience, you had to take a brief exit survey. For your troubles you were awarded with a T-shirt or a sampling of OPI’s Mustang-themed nail polishes.

Our driver Jeff definitely checked a fun autocross ride off my list. He basically drifted around the course in the PP GT. It was so much fun, I brought my son back to check it off his list too.
Our driver Jeff definitely checked a fun autocross ride off my list. He basically drifted around the course in the PP GT. It was so much fun, I brought my son back to check it off his list too.

I enjoyed the experience so much, I decided to bring my son back in the afternoon so he could ride with Jeff. Not knowing what to expect, he was a little antsy waiting in the line. However, we he buckled up, I asked Jeff to give him the full experience.

After he slid around the autcross course, I held my iPhone—like any modern parent—in his face to capture the moment.

As it recorded, I asked: “How was it?”

“Awesome!” he responded.

I’m pretty sure that’s just the kind of reaction Ford was hoping for.

For most of the country, your opportunity to check this experience off your list has already passed. However, if you live near Los Angeles or Phoenix, the tour wraps up out West from now through December 14. Even if you can’t make it out, it’s not too late to register on the Web site for the chance to win $10,000 to help your bucket-list dreams come true.

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