Where The Wild Things Roam

The gleaming silver convertible V8 Mustang was undoubtedly a head-turner but was shown up by a classic, a Shelby Mustang GT350H, before both cars were outplayed by the real deal… the resident “Mustang” wild horses, one of which was bold enough to take a look inside our test car.

By

It takes a certain level of toughness to survive out here.

Abandoned buildings, decaying infrastructure and the carcasses of road kill dominate our journey through the wilds of South Australia’s north and lead us to one of the world’s most recognised wastelands.

Over the 300km from Terowie to Silverton, beyond the Oodla Wirra checkpoint, through Yunta and past Mannahill, there was little change to the story. Life is limited, time stands still.

Terowie – offering a sweet serving of shut down servos with a side of nostalgia.

Yunta – For much needed cracking steak sandwiches and fuel.

Once a booming silver mining site, the dot on the map just over the border a short drive from Broken Hill is more likely to these days be seen as a town in its final throes of death.

Silverton seems to have become the very place George Miller’s Mad Max 2 painted it to be in the 1981 cult movie, just without the whole post-apocalyptic battle for survival.

But on this day, there is life in Silverton. It is new life, it is wild, tough, simply stunning and, bizarrely, fits right in here.

But on this day, there is life in Silverton. It is new life, it is wild, tough, simply stunning and, bizarrely, fits right in here.

The convertible 5.0L V8 Ford Mustang belongs here in Mad Max country, at least that’s what the curators of the museum dedicated to the box office hit which made Mel Gibson one of our hottest exports ever think.

“You can come in for free if you let us make a few modifications to that beast,’’ one said.

The Mad Max 2 Museum, Silverton, is the mecca for lovers of the cult films.

It was worth paying the $7 entry given the display of Mad Max machines, movie props and stories from days of action-packed filming in the area kept me occupied for what would have been long enough to take an angle grinder to the Mustang to create something to rival the Interceptor.

The assortment of modified machines, some original and some perfect copies of those which raced across the desert sands, were blown-up or rolled in some of the most death-defying stunts in cinematic history are only part of the drawcard for muscle car enthusiasts.

The 26km narrow bitumen strip cutting through the barren land, on which the legend of the Road Warrior was born, proved ideal to put the Mustang through its paces, while respecting the road rules and speed limits.

Perfectly planted, the Mustang cruised through the countless corners, dips and crests on the Sunday cruise from Broken Hill to Silverton pre the St Pat’s Day Races recovery event which promised to send the town’s population racing past its typical 40 people.

The day not only drew a crowd but also a pack of wild horses – four-wheeled and four-legged among them.

The gleaming silver convertible V8 Mustang was undoubtedly a head-turner but was shown up by a classic, a Shelby Mustang GT350H, before both cars were outplayed by the real deal… the resident “Mustang” wild horses, one of which was bold enough to take a look inside our test car.

I figure it was as impressed as I was with the stylish leather trim – heated or cooled for your comfort – rapid retractable roof and very function dash and control set up.

The horse might well be equally impressed by the 306kW of power and 530Nm of torque from the beast by the “same” brand as it. Or the very satisfying fuel sipping rate of 11.6L per 100km for our 1000km round trip, which dropped from more than 16L/100km being consumed in the mainly city and suburban driving over more than a week before its outback dash.

There’s no doubt, though, the Mustang is a head turner. It’s a delight to drive and this muscle car is definitely a survivor with what’s sure to be a long lasting life in Australia now that it is finally here.

Hot News