Students Practice with Driving School’s Mustang

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Jamie Wheeler-Roberts

All-Star Driver, a driving school in Westport, has purchased a white 2012 Mustang to be used by students.

Amina Abdul-Kareem, Staff Writer

The engine turns. The suspenseful music intensifies. A dark garage opens as headlights flash and tires screech. A voice booms on screen: “The return of a legend. Remastered. Perfected.” It’s the 2012 Ford Mustang, and according to its commercials, it’s more than just a new engine; it’s a new way to think about engines.

You wouldn’t expect a car as distinctive—and costly—as a Mustang to be driven by teens, but don’t be surprised if you happen to spot a Staples student driving such a car around town.

Indeed, All-Star Driver, a driver’s education school in Westport, has purchased a white 2012 Mustang. This means that, yes, students with simply a learner’s permit can drive America’s “untamable horse.”

According to All-Star Driver general manager Brandon Dufour, students and instructors alike love the Mustang. In fact, he said prospective students and their parents have even contacted the school simply to confirm that All-Star is really the driving school that uses a Mustang.

Though some may be skeptical as to why All-Star Driver would even buy a Mustang in the first place, Dufour assures that the decision was made for a sound reason.

“We think it’s important that our students learn to drive a variety of different cars. Not everyone is going to drive a compact car, so we offer options,” Dufour said. “The Mustang is one example. We also have three SUVs in our fleet, as well as manual shift cars.”

Dufour added that only true difference between the Mustang and typical cars used by students is the ability for the car’s top to go down. He said that the car’s body structure and engine are virtually identical.

Chase Kelly ’13 was apprehensive: “Great. Trust an arrogant group of teenagers with a Mustang.”

Most students echoed Kelly’s hesitation. For example, Molly O’Shea ’14, a current All-Star Driver student, said she believes that high school students driving a sports car, while amusing to envision, is needlessly ostentatious.

“I feel like it would be embarrassing to drive it. But then again, it would be fun,” O’Shea said. “It’s such a flashy car, and it would look obnoxious to drive it, as well as draw attention to my driving.”

Eilene Ayala ’15 agreed: “I would feel more comfortable in an old car than in a Mustang,” she said. “I would be scared to ruin the car.”

The Mustang is available for student use from April 15 to Nov. 15. During the winter, the car is taken off the road for safety reasons.

Although the Mustang may be structurally similar to a regular driving practice car, the ability to say, “I drove a Mustang during Driver’s Ed” would likely add an interesting note to any conversation.