Back in the spring of 2007, my very, very good friends at Ford hooked me up with a sneak peek test drive of the 2009 Mustang. I was one of the very first auto writers in the country to log seat time in Ď09 model and I shared the experience in this space.

While I was grateful for the early look, I was even more appreciative of the extended drive last week when my very, very good friends at Ford asked if I would like to spend an entire week behind the wheel.

They never got a chance to finish asking the question when I started shouting, ďyes, yes, yes!Ē into the phone.

The iconic, legendary Mustang is one of my all-time favorite cars that keep getting better with each new model year.

Not to give too much away, but thereís a brand new 2010 Mustang coming out soon that will really knock your socks off.

But letís just keep that under our hats, for now at least.

Back to the 2009 Mustang.

The only thing I didnít like about this weekís test drive was the weather.

When they told me they were bringing me a Mustang GT convertible, my exact words were, ďIf Iím getting a convertible, itís going to snow.Ē Apparently Iíve hacked off the weatherman somewhere along the way because every time Iím scheduled to test drive a hot convertible it is sure to mean the worst weather of the season is headed our way.

While it didnít snow last week, it was far too cold for my liking to put the top down and feel the wind rushing over the place where my hair used to be.

Thatís not to say I didnít enjoy the drive. I most certainly did.

Perhaps my very, very good friends at Ford wouldnít mind hooking me up again when the temperature starts climbing. Maybe I can even get a sneak peek at the 2010 Mustang. Hint, hint.

If you havenít driven a Mustang in a few years, you really havenít driven a Mustang.

The new models are absolutely outstanding and I am constantly amazed at how each year Ford is able to integrate new features and technology into an award-winning and top-selling platform.

Take Sync, for example. With a push of a button, you can tell the car to place a call from the directory in your cell phone. Using the carís speaker system and microphone near the driver-side sun visor, you can talk and listen without ever taking your hands off the steering wheel. Push the button again and tell the car to change the radio station, or play a specific sound from your iPod or MP3 player thatís connected to the car through an auxiliary jack. You can even receive and send text messages through Sync.

It is definitely worth visiting your nearest Ford dealer for an in-person demonstration. Sync is available on most Ford, Lincoln and Mercury models.

Another neat Mustang feature is the interior lighting, which you can select from six available color options. Itís not only functional, but itís extremely classy.

But what I like most is the big, powerful V-8 engine that literally roars when you turn the key. That, along with the smooth-shifting five-speed manual transmission makes for a super fun-to-drive car. While there is an automatic available, the manual is just too much fun to pass up.

For those in the market for a car with muscles, the Ford Mustang GT is an absolute must for the test drive list.

Neal White has been covering the automotive industry for more than 15 years.

†and is affiliated with the Texas Auto Writers Association and the Midwest Automotive Media Association. Comments may be sent to Neal at neal.white@waxahachiedailylight.com.

THE NUTS AND BOLTS

MODEL:

2009 Ford Mustang

4-seat coupe, convertible†

Rear-wheel drive

Trim packages:

Base, GT, (Bullitt, Shelby GT500, Shelby GT500KR also available but not covered in this review)

PRICE RANGE:

$20,000-$36,000

ENGINE:

4.0-L V-6 (210 horsepower/240 lbs.-ft. torque)

4.6-L V-8 (300 horsepower/320 lbs.-ft. torque)

TRANSMISSION:

5-speed automatic

5-speed manual

EPA: 17/15 mpg city, 26/23 mpg highway (V-6/ V-8)

FUEL: Regular unleaded gasoline

BRAKES: ABS optional

LENGTH: 187.6/188 inches *(coupe/convertible)

WHEELBASE: 107.1 inches

WIDTH: 73.9 inches

HEIGHT: 55.4/55.7* in.

WEIGHT: 3,352-3,540 lbs.

TRACK: 62.4/63 - 63/62.5* (front/rear)

FUEL TANK: 16 gallons

TIRES: 16- 17-, or 18-in.