This year, an icon of American cruising revs back into action in a major way. We're talking about the FORD MUSTANG CONVERTIBLE GT, a retro-styled muscle car that feels like freedom even when it's just sitting in the garage. Drop the top with the push of a button, slap on some SPF 30, and turn the ignition. The 300-horsepower V-8 doesn't simply roll over; it rumbles, and its giddyup will fairly launch you out on the summer highway. That much is to be expected. What's new is the tight handling: Just think about changing lanes or charging into a tight corner and the Mustang seems to do it for you. The easy maneuvering's a nice feature for the curves of California's Highway 1, but keep your eyes on the road when you pass a congregation of head-turning bodies at the beach or you might tug yourself off course. Better to save your people watching for a stoplight—all the better, of course, for people to watch you. Models with V-8 engines from $29,995; www.ford.com
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