When the conversation turns to age, the two names that usually come upare Methuselah and Mustang.

Though we never had the pleasure of meeting the biblical character, we`ve had many experiences with the automobile.

Ford`s little sports coupe has had tremendous staying power, which isespecially noteworthy because the man who claims to be its ``father`` isChrysler Corp.`s chairman, Lee Iacocca.

Regardless of the parentage, Mustang still attracts buyers, though itsteeth have grown so long they scrape the pavement. Perhaps only the venerableVolkswagen Beetle has enjoyed such loyal fans.

Patience, people. A new, high-performance Mustang comes out for 1993, and in the fall of 1994 a restyled model will appear, for the 1995 model year.Until then you`ll have to live with a car that has a few wrinkles and warts. We test-drove the 1992 Mustang convertible. That Ford offers aconvertible Mustang is one reason youth and those who`d like a shot atretaining it for a moment or two still buy the car.

The 5-liter V-8 is another attraction. It`s still quick. About the onlytime it slows is when it approaches a filling station. Let youth be (self)served.

In driving the `92 Mustang LX convertible, we found squeaks and rattlesand a suspension that seemed to want to polka when all we wanted to do waswaltz. We saw more of our local Amoco dealer in one week than we had in theprevious month-and we didn`t drive one mile more than usual.

And yet we enjoyed the time spent with the aged warrior, mostly in top-down form while cruising the roadways. Mustang makes no pretenses and noslick claims; it just offers laid-back, open-air motoring.

Base price is $19,644. A driver-side air bag is standard.