x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Passing the reins

It was love at first sight for Greg Miles, the Australian head of production for a Dubai TV company, when he first came across the Mustang.

Greg Miles has been forced with a heavy heart to part with his Mustang-California Special but hopes one day to buy another 'Pony
Greg Miles has been forced with a heavy heart to part with his Mustang-California Special but hopes one day to buy another 'Pony" - with his wife's permission, of course.

It was love at first sight for Greg Miles, the Australian head of production for a Dubai TV company, when he first came across the Mustang. Even though he has had to sell it, he is just dreaming of his next Pony. "I have had a long-term passion for Mustangs," explains Greg. "It started when my dad took me motor racing at about the age of six. I thought this driver, Allan Moffat, was absolutely amazing and he drove a 1969 Fast Back Trans-Am touring car. In my six-year-old eyes it was absolutely cutting edge and the best thing I had ever seen."

From that day on Greg always dreamt of owning his very own Mustang, and this yearning was intensified by the one that got away. "Six or seven years ago, when I was still in Australia, I saw a car advertised which was like the one they drove in Bullitt. I drove over to take a look and was totally smitten with the car." An attack of responsibility hit Greg and he decided to think about the purchase on the drive home. "By the time I had reached my house I had decided it was the car I really wanted and got straight on the phone to the guy," he recalls.

"Someone else had seen the car no less than an hour ago and paid the deposit - needless to say I was gutted." The Mustang still held a special place in his heart and when he moved to the UAE three years ago he promised himself a fun car. "The decision was obvious," Greg beams, "so I headed straight to the Ford dealership to see what was on offer. I chose the 2007 Ford Mustang California Special with the 4.6 litre V8 - it just had to be a V8. It was the best I could get from the showroom floor without going silly and buying something like a Shelby."

Finally Greg had his dream car, and enjoyed the drive until one day when the dream nearly turned sour. "I had only had the car about a month and I nearly had a really nasty smash when someone pulled over in front of me with out indicating. I realised it was just far too dangerous to drive a lovely car like this every day on the roads here, so I covered it up and just used it for Friday driving." Greg had decided when he bought the car that his long-term plans were to look after the car and eventually ship it home to Australia for use there.

"I did already have two other cars, an R6 Golf which is just a pocket rocket, and a Dodge Durango which is a great work horse. The third just seemed a little excessive, but the Pony had an amazing ability to make me feel great. "If I had a particularly busy or difficult day at work, I would get in the car and within 20 minutes I would have a smile on my face and be in a much better mood for my wife and kids."

He decided after owning it for three years the time was right to ship the car home. "It was my understanding that if I had owned the car for three years, I wouldn't have to pay import tax on the vehicle," Greg explained. "However they must have changed the rules, as when I got a quote to ship the car, they explained it was classed as a luxury car and I was quoted a figure of $60,000 Australian to import it (Dh165,000). It was just madness to do this as I only paid about this much to buy the thing in the first place."

Greg decided it was time to part with his dream car and found the perfect buyer in the shape of Joule Sullivan, who fell in love with it at first sight, just like he had done. "He is also an Aussie," explains Greg. "So he has agreed to keep the 'Boxing Kangaroo' sticker on the back of it. "Selling it was the responsible thing to do," says Greg with an air of resignation. "My wife has promised me I can have another one, one day. In the meantime the therapy is helping."

motoring@thenational.ae