Curbside Musings: 2006 Ford Mustang V6 & 1993 Ford Mustang GT – Generation Gap

2006 Ford Mustang V6 & 1993 Ford Mustang GT. Edgewater, Chicago, Illinois. Sunday, February 11, 2024.

Sometimes an essay topic drops right into my lap, and this was one of those days.  This marks the third appearance of this black ’93 Mustang GT at CC, after I had first written about it in October of 2015, and more recently in March of 2021.  I’d estimate that it has been in my neighborhood for just over a decade.  The red ’06 V6 is a relative newcomer, and I had started to notice it within the past couple of years.  To see them parked nose-to-tail was a gift, especially on a day when the charge in my Canon camera’s battery had gone out.  My phone has a great camera, which I had a made a priority when purchasing it for instances just like this.  It was money well-spent.

Ten years ago, the ’93 was in amazingly pristine condition.  It looked just like the car in the print ads I remember from the Fox-platform Mustang’s final model year, and seeing it around was a factor in reigniting my interest in these cars.  When the center caps on the Pony wheels went missing, that was the first signal of trouble in paradise.  Then the paint got chalky.  The car slid rather quickly into beaterdom, then stayed in condition that has been fairly consistent over the past several years, or so.  Witnessing this car age from near perfection to what we see here was not unlike watching a really attractive person in a bad relationship become slowly dismantled.  These days, I’m just glad to see it still around, and within it still beats a five-liter V8 heart of gold.

1993 Ford Mustang GT brochure page, as sourced from

1993 Ford Mustang GT.

When I had first seen a fifth-generation Mustang in the fall of 2004, almost twenty years ago, it had been a while since I had been that excited about a new car.  Its sheetmetal heavily referenced my favorite classic Mustang design, the slightly enlarged 1967 and ’68 fastbacks, and looked like the truest, most modern interpretation of those cars as could be possible within modern parameters.  Everything about it was classic Mustang, and this stretched beyond individual styling cues like the wide-mouth grille and dummy side-scoops.  Its proportions were also spot-on.  Even the bumpers were well-integrated, which was no small feat, given the blade-like units on the models of the ’60s.  Back when I had bought my ’88 Mustang LX when it was five years old, I used to wonder how my experience of driving it compared with that of the typical six-cylinder car from twenty years prior.

2006 Ford Mustang V6 & 1993 Ford Mustang GT. Edgewater, Chicago, Illinois. Sunday, February 11, 2024.

I liked that these two cars were parked directly in front of two buildings with distinctly different architectural styles.  The ’06, with its classic Mustang look, is parked in front of a vintage, red-brick, four-story dwelling.  By contrast, the ’93 is in front of a mid-century building that represented a new architectural style, much like the third-generation Mustang represented clean-sheet thinking at the time of its introduction in the fall of ’78.  Thirteen model years separate these two cars, which couldn’t look more different, but the thing to remember is that twenty-six years separate the introduction date of the first-year examples of each, respective example.  There’s just one generation of Mustang between them, the SN-95, which was given only one significant refresh.

2006 Ford Mustang convertible brochure photo.

2006 Ford Mustang GT convertible.

The 4.0L V6 in the ’06 was rated at 210 horsepower, which five more than the 205 hp rating of the 5.0L (actually 4.9L) V8 in the ’93 GT.  The EPA estimated the fuel economy of this V6, with the five-speed manual, was 17 mpg city / 26 highway / 20 combined.  I used to lament that my base-model ’88 had a 2.3L four-cylinder engine in it instead of a V6 (which was dropped for ’87), but my five-speed car was estimated to get marginally better fuel mileage than the ’06 V6, at 22 city / 27 highway / 24 combined.  It also took probably four times longer to get to sixty miles per hour.  As for the ’93 GT, it had estimated fuel economy of 15 mpg city / 22 highway / 17 combined.

1993 Ford Mustang GT brochure page, as sourced from

1993 Ford Mustang GT brochure page, as sourced from

I was curious as to how the performance of the newer V6 compared with that of the older GT.  To use just one metric, the ’93 would have been good for a 0-60 time in the low-to-mid six second range with a five-speed manual.  The ’06 V6 was about half a second slower, also with a five-speed.  This seems like an exceptionally small margin and like real progress from the time of the older performance model and the cheapest ’06 on the roster.  I doubt the 90-hp four-banger in my ’88 LX could have gotten to sixty in less than fourteen seconds.  It was a great car for me as young adult, but starting with the SN-95 models’ introduction for ’94, the entry-level Mustang at least had a V6 again.

2006 Ford Mustang V6 & 1993 Ford Mustang GT. Edgewater, Chicago, Illinois. Sunday, February 11, 2024.

I love all Ford Mustangs like I would my own children, but there’s no denying the size difference between these two cars.  The following table helps illustrate how the newer car’s extra height, width, and length all contribute to a more substantial, overall appearance:

WheelbaseOverall LengthWidth (Without Mirrors)HeightBase Curb Weight
1993 Mustang GT Hatchback100.5"179.6"68.3"52.1"2,996 lbs.
2006 Mustang V6 Fastback107.1"187.6"73.8"54.4"3,373 lbs.
1968 Mustang V8 Fastback108.0"183.6"70.9"51.6"2,990 lbs.

Dimensionally, the ’06 seems to share much more with a ’68 than with the ’93, yet when I look at both cars, I still immediately see “Mustang”, even though external features and details on the ’93 are more in line with the aero and high-tech image that was in vogue at the time, versus having overtly equine associations.  It often comes down to whatever Mustang was new at the time a budding enthusiast had started to pay attention.  Many iterations of the third-generation cars have strong Mustang identity to me and others in my age group.  What I loved about the gen-five model, though, was that it gave many Mustang fans a chance to own what looked basically like a classic that had been updated successfully for the new millennium.  I’d be very happy to have a nice example of either.

Edgewater, Chicago, Illinois.
Sunday, February 11, 2024.