Right now, there are few greater threats to public safety than a Ford Mustang exiting a Cars and Coffee. To combat this national crisis, I recently filmed a video that shows Mustang owners how to leave cars and coffee events in a safe, delicate manner that doesn’t cause any form of ruckus. I did this in an 850 horsepower Mustang that’s painted bright orange.

As you may have guessed, this Mustang doesn’t belong to me. It belongs to the people at American Muscle, which is a company based here in the Philadelphia area that sells parts for Mustangs and Ford F-150 pickups. And they agreed to let me come out, drive this Mustang, and have their host Justin teach me the rules for safely leaving a cars and coffee event unscathed.



But before I get to those rules, we must discuss two things. Number one: this Mustang. It has 850 HP. It is bright orange. This much you know. What you probably don’t know is that American Muscle is giving away this Mustang, along with an 2017 Ford Raptor, on their website.

Now, me personally, if I ran a business, I wouldn’t give away expensive things for free. But perhaps this is why they have hundreds of employees, and thousands of customers, and I am sitting in my house in my underwear at noon on a Tuesday trying to work the word “ruckus” into my opening paragraph.

So we’ve covered the Mustang. Now we must cover the current, um, situation with Mustang owners and cars and coffee. The situation is this: Mustang owners like to crash when they’re leaving cars and coffee. Well, they probably don’t like to. But they sure seem to do it a lot, sort of like how I don’t like to work out, but I still do it a lot, because my doctor insists Cheetos and Mr. Goodbars isn’t a healthy, well-balanced diet.


And this brings us to my video with the 850 HP Mustang. In this video, I tried my best to be your typical excited-to-leave-cars-and-coffee Mustang owner, while Justin was the calm, sensible voice that encouraged me not to do anything stupid, such as crash into a fence.

Here are the three things I learned:

1. The cars and coffee exit. When you are exiting cars and coffee, there are usually dozens of children lined up to see the cool cars on the move and hear them in action. Normally, this is where you rev your engine, or do a burnout, or generally create a ruckus. (Hah! Used it twice!) But wait! According to Justin, it turns out that you do not have to make some loud, eye-catching display with your vehicle in order to satisfy these kids.


Now, I tried to explain to Justin that these kids have YouTube channels, dammit, and they need content, and they might be on Facebook Live at that very moment, but he insisted: it is possible to just arrive at the cars and coffee exit and proceed normally, like a mother leaving daycare in a Sienna.

2. Turning. When you leave cars and coffee, you usually must turn in order to get back on the street. Surely this is the place you leave your mark on the world, right? This is where you bury the accelerator mid-corner, so everyone can see your car’s back end come out and hear your beautiful machine roar like a lion, wailing at its prey, before it crashes into a fence.


Well, according to Justin, this is not the case. It turns out you do not want to floor the accelerator mid-corner. You just want to ease into it, nice and slowly, and avoid letting the back end hang out for fear that you may become the next viral video that involves vertical filming and a bunch of people screaming “HOLY SHIT!”

3. Accelerating. So you’ve exited cars and coffee, and you’ve turned to get back on the main road. There’s no traffic around. There are three open lanes in front of you. Now’s your chance, right? Now’s the time for you to accelerate as hard as you can and leave giant marks on the road, asserting your dominance over a.) Camaros, and b.) pavement. Now you can just give it hell!

As it turns out, you shouldn’t do that, either. This is because you are now on a public road, surrounded by other vehicles, and it’s quite possible that you could lose control and smash into some innocent driver in a Prius. (Although, if they’re in a Prius, they’re at least guilty of bad taste, AMIRITE? Ba-dum tshhhh!)


In fact, according to Justin, there is no time when you should really show off while you’re leaving cars and coffee. Instead, you should keep such behavior to closed, private parking lots, like the one we had when Justin used the 850 HP Mustang to perform an enormous burnout that lasted for probably 25 seconds and left pavement marks of approximately the same length as some Mississippi River tributaries.

What a ruckus.


@DougDeMuro is the author of Bumper to Bumper and Plays With Cars, which his mother says are “fairly decent.” He worked as a manager for Porsche Cars North America before quitting to become a writer.