The relaxed tune sounds of Ferry Corstens' Eternity sound great thanks to a sublime sound system. They melt together with the peaceful Thursday morning. The Zeeland A58 has since become a beacon of peace. I am pleased in advance about what awaits me at Guy Moerenhout's Abarth Works Museum. That anticipation appears to be fully justified later in the day. I still have a little time to go before I enter the mecca in Lier. With almost childish pleasure I master that knowledge, because I am enjoying the richly equipped Ford Mondeo to the fullest.
I am formidable, the spacious decoration of the beautifully lined Ford impresses. The Mondeo is formidable on the road. With a speed limit of 120 kilometers per hour, thanks to the flawlessly operating cruise control, I drive over Walcheren. The matured Durateq engine demonstrates the fact that it is a fine long-distance engine with appealing reserves. There is room for thought. Strangely enough, I suddenly think of the statement of a former friend who told me in the run-up to a Champions League match that he thought it was strange that a mass manufacturer such as Ford sponsored this prestigious tournament. Let me put it this way: he showed little respect for one of the most important car manufacturers in the world.
His statements caused hairline cracks in a long friendship. Hairline cracks, which in the course of the years left more and more room for streams that watered the camaraderie. I reacted calmly, and told something about the flexibility with which Ford responded to global developments. How it made the move from locally acting global player to globally operating manufacturer. I told the legendary story about how Ford pointed out the builders of the classic Mini collegially (and in vain) to gaps in the calculation. How Ford added color to illustrious manufacturers and competitors. That it only guided British noble manufacturers through tough times. Not only from their own financial interest, but also from the knowledge that these manufacturers always provided the automotive industry with exclusive sheu.
Of course, Ford is not a charitable institution. But it knew it was taking daughters to a higher level and thereby adding importance to the world in which Ford conducted its core business. Ford understood that better than anyone. Ford, the first manufacturer to mass-produce cars in a cost-efficient manner, also set new road-holding standards, certainly from the 1990s. In the field of driving dynamics. And later also in the field of engine development. Ford seems to be struggling at the moment. Despite substantial gains in the first half of 2018 (and all of 2017), it may have to cut back. That is less good news, also for some of the employees. It is troubled by the WLTP cycle and fluctuating exchange rates and increased raw material prices. But history has shown that Ford is always picking up.
Everything at home with a playful wink
I think, while the traffic signs on the A58 are definitely directing me towards Antwerp, I am driving a masterpiece. Maneuverability, a cartload of space, a fleshy steering, a phenomenal chassis, everything on board to please the passengers, and excellent mechanics. The Mondeo has everything in house and shows it with that slightly playful wink that made Ford especially so dynamic and cheerful in recent decades. This Ford Mondeo is a car that continuously makes sense to send a piece. Because it fits me like a jacket. This is not only the case on that Thursday. I experience it throughout the Zeeland-Belgian vacation. On the highway, on small dikes (around Veere!), Local roads, the motorway, in the city: everywhere the Ford makes me happy. An Alfa Romeo Giulia can do that too. It says a lot about the qualities of the Mondeo.
Freude Am Fahren
At that level, the Ford acts for two weeks. Ah….No premium You say? Ford also has a solution for this. Vignale. And then you still pay fewer Euros per square centimeter. And per pleasant kilometer. I prescribed it in my Uitgediept Columns Auto Motor Klassiek al. Ford is a global brand for all citizens. Freude Am Fahren starts with an F. Van Ford. While I re-select number 62 on the USB stick, I realize it again in the Mondeo. Ford has been making great cars for a lifetime. My respect and sympathy for Ford are nevertheless imperishable. Eternity.
With many thanks to Anja and Michel Verhaag.