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A Big "What If?"


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How do you think the Mustang would have fared in the pony car wars of the mid to late 70s? Now the big if here is; what if Ford had continued the '71-'73 body style right through to 1980 or 1981 as GM did with their "F" body.

 

Pontiac led the way through most of it with the Trans Am and Formula, even when Chevrolet put the Z-28 on haitus at the end of the '74 model year. From 1971 to 1976, Pontiac had a 455 available at some point in each model year. Chevrolet dropped the big block option from the Camaro after 1972, but the L-82 350 kept performance alive in the Z-28 until the end of the '74 model year. Even with the introduction of catalytic convertors, the L-82 continued on in the Corvette for several more years.

 

How do you envision Ford would have handled the situation? They dropped their big block option after '71, making them the first to abandon the 400+ cid arena. Could the Cleveland headed engines have kept the Mustang on par with the 400 and 455 cid Trans Am?

 

The second generation Trans Am, and Z28 developed quite a reputation for handling which only got better with the introduction of radial tires and wider rims. The addition of rear disc brakes to the Firebird line in '79 stepped thing up even more.

 

If you had been in charge of Mustang and Cougar from '71, and you were to take it through to 1980-'81, how would you have kept up with Pontiac and Chevrolet? Keep it real and bear in mind things like emissions, and the engineering limits for the day.

 

Hope this becomes a very lively and interesting discission

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The "Big" 71-73's might have been sales compettive with the F-Birds. However with out the 74-78 pinto based stangs there prolly wouldent have been a Fox series of Mustang.

Now, had I been incharge at the time there would have been a downsizing to a Maverick sized Mustang, after the 71-73's. With a eye to keeping the 71-73 ride quality. However that would be, a whole different set of Iffa-wouldda-coulda-shoudda's.

Miss May, 65 2+2 EFI 331 4R70W 3.55 trac-loc Not much origional remaining

Robert's 73 Vert 308 4R70W 3.25 trac-loc. EFI conversion & 8.8 Trac-Loc 3.31 started.

 

 

If it ain't broke, I haven't modified it yet.

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I am not sure the Cleveland architecture would have been able to survive the ever tightening post 73 emissions requirements. However, the 400 and the 460 did in passenger car applications and we all know that these engines are capable performance platforms. A resurgence of the 351W in a Mustang/Cougar may have been a viable option as well.

 

A 460 SCJ would have been an interesting exercise.

73 conv. 460, D0VE large valve heads, Performer RPM manifold, Voodoo 227/233 cam, Holley 950 HP carb, C6 trans, 3.25 trak-loc.

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I don't know that Ford would've carried the chassis all the way through '80-'81 with just nose & tail treatments (like GM was able to do with Camaros and Firebirds/Trans Ams). I'm thinking there would've been a subtle change to sheet metal (if not overall size) around '75 (since Ford is so fond of odd-year new design releases). There's no obvious transition from the '73 to Fox-body platforms, but maybe something like a Maverick-sized/styled transition model could've happened, and possibly morphed into a slightly less-boxy Fox-body.

 

Can you imagine a majorly massaged Maverick-sized 'fastback' with a '71-'73 styled nose and tail light panel (with Shelby-like tail lights), having a similarly styled Ram Air hood as well? I'm thinking that would've been pretty dang cool!

Eric

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Guest Kit Sullivan

If Ford would have kept the Mustang big, as in 71-73, it would have quickly died a slow and inglorious death, and would have been out of production by 76.

The insurance regs &safety concerns had basically killed the super-car and pony car market by late 1970. No pony car was selling well enough to warrant continued production. The Camaro and Firebird hung on barely through tough and dedicated fans within GM, but even that was not enough to keep "muscle" alive. The Z28 was killed after 74, the Trans Am was soon to follow. The Cuda and Challenger were laid to rest, the Javelin dissappared and the Mustang was now a Pinto-Stang.

The first Arab oil-embargo accidentally made the Mustsng II ( and any other small-ish car that smelled of economy) overnight sensations. Tbis was the final nail in the "pony car" coffin. They were all gone, save for the Camaro/Firebird, which was scheduled to go out in 79.

GM engineer Herb Adams fought tooth and nail to keep the Trans Am dream alive, and at seemingly the very last minute before cancellation, along came first-time movie director and former stuntman Hal Needham with his little low-budget car-crash movie, looking for some cars to be donated for his upcoming movie. Turned down by Ford, GM. and Chrysler, he was having lunch one day with Pontiac's marketing manager and singing the blues about no one supplying any cars. He was offered 6 cobbled-up test-mule/ prototypes of the new 77 TrsnsAm ( made from 75 and 76 models) along with 6 LeMans'.with the agreement that none of them were to survive beyond filming...since they were due to be crushed anyway.

As we all know "Smokey and the Bandit" was the surprise monster hit of 77 ( surpassed ONLY by Star Wars!) and was basically a 90-minute commercial for Trans Ams. GM could not have bought that kind of good advertising for $10 million if they even wanted to.

The success of that movie rejuvinated and re-invigorated the love of "yesterdays" muscle cars, and GM was conveniantly poised to ride the wave.

Sales of GM F-bodjes skyrocketed, to the tune of about 500,000 a year from 78 through 80. Quality was dismal as they could barely screw them together fast enough to keep up with demand.

All things with even an appearance of performance was popular again, and decal-based hot-rods were offered in nearly every product line...even full size cars! Most of them were atrocious as all the "Big Three" were trying to grab whatever sales they could , but a few were OK.

 

I truly belive that "Smokey" is the impetus for what kept the genre alive when it was dying on life support.

 

The Mustang II was a turd, but if Mustang had stayed big, it would have died altogether.

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The Z/28 performance package wasn't actually "killed," any more than the Formula Firebird - it's numbers simply dwindled after '71 until they eventually discontinued offering it. It was brought back in '77 as a trim/performance package (albeit as the Z-28... see what I did there? ;) )

 

"Smokey and the Bandit" definitely was a shot in the arm for the Trans Am... just like Dukes of Hazzard and Knight Rider made everybody want '69 Chargers and '82 Trans Ams, as well as Transformers helped the current-gen Camaros surge in sales (along with absence from the market). I guess the magic formula is to get the cars on-screen flying through the air, and you'll sell more of them.

 

I just wish the original "Gone in 60 Seconds" would've had a bigger fan base.

Eric

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The Arab oil-embargo, EPA and Safety requirements in a perfect storm came all came together in 1973 that created real panic, speed limits were lowered, gas prices tripled and in many areas was rationed. Where I lived we had rolling power outages for months, everyone was forced to conserve. Car lots couldn't keep small cars on the car lot, large cars remained on the sales lots.

 

I remember that period, very few people would have been interested in a 74 Mustang the size of our cars, many thought the oil shortage was there to stay.

Jim

 

M code 71 Mach 1, 351 4V Cleveland, Ram Air (not factory), C6 Trans, 3.5 rear

 

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What an interesting thread. I was a young kid through the seventies. My dad bought a 74 Mustang II Ghia. The main muscle car that I remembered seeing was my much older cousin's grabber blue Mach 1. Come to think about this he didn't drive it much when I was a kid in the 70s. He still has that car but I haven't seen it in many years.

 

I think Kit and others are right on the money with the answers. It would have been interesting to see a Mach 1 Maverick sized Mustang instead of the Mustang II Mach 1.

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My father was a true entrepeneur. He liked to work hard and then invest his money. (We played hard too...) He sold cars as a side/second job and finally purchased a small car lot back around 1973. He was buying cars wholesale; mainly dealer trade-ins, to place on the lot for sale. Almost every small car lot back then had muscle cars for sale. Ours was no different. But the little economy cars were selling the best. Datsuns and Subarus were our favorites but they were tough to buy. Hondas were just getting established but also desirable. Muscle cars, station wagons and pickups were everywhere and easy to get.

 

I have to agree with many on this thread - the 71-3 Mustangs would have died soon after 73 if that platform was allowed to continue. Even in 1973 power was WAY down in all cars, including the Mustangs. So high-performance demands were fading fast, replaced by consumers calling for economy. Insurance companies and special interest groups were pressuring for better safety (remember Ralph Nader?).

And while Ford and others still had big blocks - they were terribly choked of power. I drove a bunch of them. And in my personal experience/opinion, all cars in the late 70's and early 80's were embarrasing on power. The goofy bodykits, wings and graphics just couldn't make-up for the earlier raw power of the mid-late 60's and early 70's vehicles. Even Camaros were dogs. Sure you could hop them up and swap motors but I'm talking as originally equipped. Dodge/Chrysler's 1978 "Little Red Truck" was a glim attempt at some respectable power - it could do the 1/4 mile in the mid 14's. When 82 HO Mustangs appeared, it began to look more promising. Jump to today - now we have new 6 cyl cars with 300 plus HP. Impressive to say the least.

 

Ray

1971 Boss 351  

1972 Q code 4 speed convertible 

1971 Mustang Sportsroof  351-2V FMX 

1971 Hardtop (parts car)

1973 Mach 1 (parts car)

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Guest Kit Sullivan

I dont see the dinstiction between "killed" and "discontinued". I simply meant the z-28 package was discontinued due to dwindling sales. Purely a business decision. The Trans Am held on because of a passionate few executives within Pontiac fought hard to keep it in the mix. These guys were responsible for the 290 hp ( some say 310 horse...never actually made) 455 SD Trans Am that was arguably the absolute last gasp and last true muscle car out of Detroit. The 455 HO that followed it wasn't even close...it was a real yawner.

The 2 1/2 year hiatus before the Z-28 returned was actually good for it in the long run. What ceased production as the last of a "muscle car" was somewhat reimagined and brought back as more of an all-around refined sports-handler as opposed to track-bred racer. The 77.5 Z-28 surprised me that it sold so well, considering what the previous Z-28s were.

Years later I had a 79 4-speed Z-28 that was one of the best and most fun cars I ever had. All I did was replace the weezing and worn-out LM4 160-horse 350 with a simple ZZ+4 crate motor...and that car came to life!

 

The Maverick was Iaccoca's effort to rekindle a fever with a car inspired by previous Mustangs, and it was a quick, although short-lived success.

I too think the Maverick was very Mustang-like, but the market just wasn't hot for a car like that.

 

Our big Mustangs are beloved by many today, much more than when they were "current". I remember having many heated discussions with guys back then who thought the new ( in 71) Mustangs were a joke: big, ugly, cumbersome and out-of-touch.

I always loved the style, and now feel vindicated that I recognized its greatness from the start.

 

Several have made mention of a "Mach 1"-style version of a Maverick would have been nice. They did sell the Maverick "Grabber" a somewhat pretentious sporty version of the Maverick: scooped hood, bold decals, Magnum 500s, and a mild 302 2V. Not a true "Mach 1" level performer, but then again...every Mach 1 was not CJ-fortified barnburner either.

The Grabber was only mildly succesful, and it soon faded away.

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"Killed" = Grande. When was the last Grande package offered?

 

"Discontinued because of dwindling numbers, but later re-instated" is what happened to the Z28 package - hardly "killed," since it was reinstated in '77.

 

"Killed" just sounds so much more permanent. Like Edsel, LTD, Ranchero, Bronco, Gran Torino, Country Squire, Vega, Monza, Chevette, El Camino, et al... ;)

 

A little bit of a difference in terminology... but not enough to really argue about. :D

Eric

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LOL..... IF

 

IF had been born wealthy I could have bought all of you 71 429 4spds Mach I's !!! and IF i was born wealthy I would have ordered them in matching number sequence specific for this 71-73 Mustangs group.

 

Let's face it the LIBERALS whinned that muscle cars were using up all the gas because Jimmy Carter promoted the mantra that THE WORLD WAS RUNNING OUT OF GAS!!! Therefore Ford dropped our cars...went with the wind of public believe and supplied us with the Mustang II POS! here we are 40 years later with EVERY manufacture making 500 plus horse power cars.... and what if's are as easy to create as a 3 year olds idea of what to do with an easy bake oven.

 

67 Diamond Blue Vert

 

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LOL..... IF

 

 

...Let's face it the LIBERALS whinned that muscle cars were using up all the gas because Jimmy Carter promoted the mantra that THE WORLD WAS RUNNING OUT OF GAS!!! Therefore Ford dropped our cars...

 

Well there was the global cooling going on at the same time, we were warned that if we didn't "conform" with the EPA requirements and reduce carbon output our planet would be one frozen mass by 2000, wacko times. Lots of people got rich.

Jim

 

M code 71 Mach 1, 351 4V Cleveland, Ram Air (not factory), C6 Trans, 3.5 rear

 

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LOL..... IF

 

 

...Let's face it the LIBERALS whinned that muscle cars were using up all the gas because Jimmy Carter promoted the mantra that THE WORLD WAS RUNNING OUT OF GAS!!! Therefore Ford dropped our cars...

 

Well there was the global cooling going on at the same time, we were warned that if we didn't "conform" with the EPA requirements and reduce carbon output our planet would be one frozen mass by 2000, wacko times. Lots of people got rich.

 

LMAO Jim!!!!!!!!! so true!!!

 

67 Diamond Blue Vert

 

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LOL even my sig line offended somebody!

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Okay!! My apologies for not making myself clear. My intent wasn't to drag up all the political drama, nor the economic woes from the 1970s. My intent was: if Ford had kept the '71 to '73 body style until 1980 or '81, what would likely have appeared to compete with the GM "F" bodies? Pontiac had the 455SD; an amazing engine with nice manners and killer performance. When the 455 engine was retired, the Pontiac engineers stepped up with the W72 400. Performance increased every year until 1979. Pontiac also worked wonders with suspension and brakes. Over at Chevrolet, when the Z28 was brought back in mid '77, it had a much improved suspension, and good 4 speed teamed with a 3.73 rear axle ratio, then in 1980, cold air induction made a comeback. The 350 engine in the Z28 was only the LM1, not the L82 option from the Corvette, not even the L48 standard Corvette engine.

 

How do you think Ford would have responded, or even better, led? Example; Granada/Monarch/Versailles could be had with rear disc brakes, before the option was available on a GM car. Don't see why the Mustang couldn't have had them in 1975. Ford had better catalytic convertors than GM, (And eventually in 1986 came out with the first true dual exhaust system equipped with convertors. This may only have been possible due to the use of EFI, but you get the picture).

 

How would the Mustang suspension have evolved to compete with the Trans Am and Z28? Perhaps an Export brace for our cars may have been developed. The rear steer set-up would have been a limiting factor, yes, but who says they couldn't change that?

 

How do you think engine options would have played out? Hopefully not a 351W unless the GT40 heads were brought forward 15 years. (Not as much of a stretch as you may think.) The 335 series engines would actually run cleaner with their flat poly-angle valve combustion chamber than a wedge engine. The low block 351 was discontinued after 1974 in an effort to consolidate. When Ford abandoned the 400cid class, the 351M naturally went with it. However, the low deck 351 continued in production in Australia until 1982. Could Ford have made a 460 that would have been competitive with Pontiac's 455SD? How would Jack Rousch have faired compared to Herb Adams?

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I think in true ford fashion, it would have been equipped with a smaller, less powerful engine than their competitors. 302 2v, 351M 2v, with the "top dog" being the wheezing 150hp 2v 400. Would have been single exhaust too, to deal with the 1st gen cat converter.

 

Improved handling...? Pfft. Maybe an optional monroe gas shock package....

1973 Mach 1 Q code 351 4V, 9A paint, standard interior, 3.50 rear, C6 trans.

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Guest Kit Sullivan

OK, your time-line is only slightly screwed up: The 71-73 Mustangs were already "lame ducks" and scheduled for discontinuation before the 71 model year was hardly even underway. The Mustang II was well into development by then, and it was definitely the plan.

Jimmy Carter (POTUS #39) did not become Prez until 1977...well after the saga of the 71-73 Mustangs had been written into the history books.

 

Many stories over the years have been written as to how the government safety regs and the supposed oil-shortages and Arab oil embargo(s) caused the death of the Super Car (Muscle Car).

But that is simply not the case: The demise of the original Super car era came about because of expensive insurance premiums, causing young people not to be able to insure the vehicles, therefore not able to purchase them.

This was coupled with the ever-tightening demands of emissions equipment, which tended to rob the engines of thier performance.

 

"Safety Regs" were there, and were increasing all the time but were not all that responsible for slow sales. The big cow-catcher 5-mph bumpers may have been ugly, but it didn't prevent them from selling the cars.

The gas shortages and oil embargos came later (in 74 and 77), and if anything, were directly responsible for the instant success of the Mustang II in mid-74...along with all other eco-minded cars avaialable then.

 

Imagine if the Mustang had retained its size from 71-73 well into 74 and 75...the craze for fuel efficient small cars surely would have sent that old nag to the glue factory for sure. That would have been terrible for the history of our beloved Mustang.

Very coincidentally, the Mustang II was EXACTLY the right car at the right time for Ford and for Mustang history. Not a great car, but the RIGHT car.

 

Just like the Omni/ Horizon K-car crap-mobiles from the "New Chrysler" in '84...not great cars, not even good cars...but the right car for Chrysler at the time.

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The demise of the original Super car era came about because of expensive insurance premiums' date=' causing young people not to be able to insure the vehicles, therefore not able to purchase them.[/quote']

 

I was in my early - mid twenties in 1974-76 and I recall (because of my devotion to the 71-73 styling) being offered a 68 Shelby GT-350 convertible for $2K, A 70 Boss 9 for $2K and several other similar deals.

 

The problem was the annual insurance ranged from $2K - $3K. I had several 71 M-code Mach 1's whose insurance was ranged from $800 - $1,000. I recall the base answer to insurance agent's question: "What engine does it have?" was usually: "I think it's a V-8, but I'm not sure...."

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+1 to everyone that mentioned the oil embargo and safety regs. I remember that I could only buy gas every other day. And being limited to something like ten gallons. Had my 73 SR then. Bought a 65 6cyl to drive to work just to save money. They were selling used Cuda's with big blocks and 6packs for $1,500 and having trouble selling them. Now they sell at BJ for 100k easy. Dad bought a new Pinto then later a Mustang ll both for better fuel mileage. The Mustang ll went twice as far as my 73 on the dollar. Still paying for the car, I would have lost money had I sold it. It was cheaper to keep her.

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Okay!! My apologies for not making myself clear. My intent wasn't to drag up all the political drama, nor the economic woes from the 1970s. My intent was: if Ford had kept the '71 to '73 body style until 1980 or '81, what would likely have appeared to compete with the GM "F" bodies? Pontiac had the 455SD; an amazing engine with nice manners and killer performance. When the 455 engine was retired, the Pontiac engineers stepped up with the W72 400. Performance increased every year until 1979. Pontiac also worked wonders with suspension and brakes. Over at Chevrolet, when the Z28 was brought back in mid '77, it had a much improved suspension, and good 4 speed teamed with a 3.73 rear axle ratio, then in 1980, cold air induction made a comeback. The 350 engine in the Z28 was only the LM1, not the L82 option from the Corvette, not even the L48 standard Corvette engine.

 

How do you think Ford would have responded, or even better, led? Example; Granada/Monarch/Versailles could be had with rear disc brakes, before the option was available on a GM car. Don't see why the Mustang couldn't have had them in 1975. Ford had better catalytic convertors than GM, (And eventually in 1986 came out with the first true dual exhaust system equipped with convertors. This may only have been possible due to the use of EFI, but you get the picture).

 

How would the Mustang suspension have evolved to compete with the Trans Am and Z28? Perhaps an Export brace for our cars may have been developed. The rear steer set-up would have been a limiting factor, yes, but who says they couldn't change that?

 

How do you think engine options would have played out? Hopefully not a 351W unless the GT40 heads were brought forward 15 years. (Not as much of a stretch as you may think.) The 335 series engines would actually run cleaner with their flat poly-angle valve combustion chamber than a wedge engine. The low block 351 was discontinued after 1974 in an effort to consolidate. When Ford abandoned the 400cid class, the 351M naturally went with it. However, the low deck 351 continued in production in Australia until 1982. Could Ford have made a 460 that would have been competitive with Pontiac's 455SD? How would Jack Rousch have faired compared to Herb Adams?

 

Jules.jpg

 

I'm sorry did I BREAK your concentration????? there are no what "IF's" here. Ford clearly fell for the political movement!!!! GM and Ponitac by your own admission produced low powered conservative performance autos. Some would say with good styling with great suspension and the allure of power as in the SD455 or in later years the 79 4.5 liter Trans Am. But for the record I had one of the Olds and one of the Pontiacs and for the record they were powerful in badge name ONLY!!!! ....they were WEAK. The only what if i can concede is WHAT IF Ford didnt hand us the POS Mustang II ( sorry if some of you guys consider that a MUSTANG) what would it look like other than that roller skate piece of crap? That said ....the answer to me is they wouldnt have had to invest 20-30 year reviving the Mustang against the likea of a fairly decent ascension of the Camaro and Ponitac Firebird and cousins that out performed and handled better than the FORD product hands down. Therefore forcing FORD to rely strictly on the Ford truck to salvage their reputation through a marketable product that was unnoticed by the liberals because we all know we need trucks to haul and build things and even the liberals know SamKinison.jpg 'THEY NEED STUFF BUILT" and it requires a truck so they didnt attack it.

 

So as we seek what if.... it would be proper to note that Jack Rouch had to partner with a German firm to continue his legacy or interest in auto performance for years knowing that FORD let him down ...which led to his return later to the race scene of American Performance after the "POLITICS" . Let's concede that the Chevrolet today...40 years later carries MORE VALUE than our beloved Mustangs nearly two to one, and undisputed fact. Most of us are simply hold outs to a design and a power of yesteryear that frankly was 3 rd to Chrysler and Chevrolet at its best...yet we still love them for style mostly. For me .... "WE" are the what if's!!! Recreation and improvement of a classic we loved improving it one horse power at at time......

 

67 Diamond Blue Vert

 

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LOL even my sig line offended somebody!

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Guest Kit Sullivan

Sorry, but I disagree with most of that assesment.

First of all "GM and Pontiac" are not a "couple of manufacturers", they are the same.

 

The Mustang II certainly was not a great car, but it was on par with other American cars sold during the time at that price point. Small cars in general were just pretty dismal from any American msnufacturer back then.

I sgree that the F-bodies were generally always more sophisticated and better performers than the Mustang for most years. That is not because Ford could'nt do it or GM made better cars or anything like that.

It was simple economics: Ford has ALWAYS tried to keep the price point for the Mustang where it will encourage greater sales across the board. It has worked, for the Mustang is the ONLY ONE to have had a continuous production run from then until now.

The F-bodies became so good at being a performance car during the nineties thst they encroached on Corvette performance. Thier price point moved up to where anyone considering a Zor a T/A could step into a Vette for only a few dollars more.

The F bodies left thier market, Mustang stayed there and continued to sell.

The F-bodies were cancelled due to poor sales, nothing else. The obsession and resurgance with power and performance is what made it viable to bring them back, along with the new Challenger ( which is basically just a shortened, 2 door 300/ Chatger).

Ford certainly knows how to build performance cars- the current GT 500 is proof. And Ford did not need to turn to Roush for expertise becahse they didnt know how: Jack Roush WAS a Ford performance engineer well before he struck out on his own, just as Lingenfelter was a GM engineer.

 

The Mustang has always tried to keep itself squarely in its demographic target on price, and that is why they sell so many "regular" non performance models. GM does not sell nearly as high a percentage of entry-level Camaros.

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Well certainly Kit... didnt think I needed to write a book on the fact Jack WAS a performance engineer...with his physics degree I would sure hope so. The pure nature of the thread is subjective as the gentleman stated, so really anything we post is correct. Of course with due respect to facts used. So you are not required to nor expected to agree...its my opinion. Frankly the photo below is the best we could have come up with without designing our own prints and submitting to the thread.

 

This is MY what if to answer the gentlemans point. I would imagine the 351 Windsor due to its ability to make an easy and dependable 500 hp. With the line up of decent quality Ford trucks and the 360 *a successful plant through 76, with the larger crank could have been offered as a performance off the shelf option giving Ford the ability to show their love for us and maintaining a reasonable price point.

 

IMG_6083-Small.jpg

 

 

That good ole effort to maintain a cheap price point ruined any chance to save the Mustang as we knew it and they are STILL THIRD in performance even beat out by KIA in the top 10 fastest cars under 30,000.00 oh and where is Ford dong their best to maintain a price point for us hold outs??? 63000.00 for a performance car!!!


mustang_milano_concept.jpg


tell me would THIS have put Chebbie in the back seat???

 

1969-ford-mustang-mach-40-rear-view.jpg

 

67 Diamond Blue Vert

 

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LOL even my sig line offended somebody!

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Guest Kit Sullivan

I didn't intend my post to come across as harshly ss it may have...sorry about that. Of course this all just supposition, so no opinion is correct above all others, mine included.

I was only referencing the attitude that many GM,-guys and other non-Mustangers have that FORD couldn't compete with GM when it came to pony-csr performance.

The fact that the F-twins typically outperformed most iterations of Mustang is not from a lack of engineering skill, expertise of knowledge on Ford's part...as lots of anti-Ford guys love to bandy about...but simply a market-driven choice to keep the product at a specific price point.

 

Years and years ago, the difference between GM's and Ford's marketing strategies were taught in beginning business classes.

Supposedly, GM would design a vehicle to fit a certain market, and price accordingly.

Ford, on the other hand would indentify a pfice point within a specific segment of the market, and then design a car to that price.

 

I never really saw the distinction there, but that was taught for years.

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No worries Kit.... we're all friends here and different ideas on our big body cars. For me, our cars that people like to call BIG are the last of the awesome Mustang history. After that.... pretty much the end for some of us.

 

To your point on the business class.... I personally didnt see academia leaders as "car people" however the class did point out the competitive nature of the former leaders of the industry. Today that class would point out they were either lacking foresight or victims of world economics evolving and the governments role in pandering to the Asian marketplace and the lack of balance.

 

67 Diamond Blue Vert

 

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There's no way the body style would have survived more than a few more years more even if, and that's a big if the world hadn't changed the way it did. Sure it is the longest hood/ shortest deck and to most the meanest looking mustang produced. That being said we all how it is a hulking beast. Sure suspension changes would it make it handle better, but the lack of real power after 73 would have made it a serious dog. In reading this thread it seems that most people either don't know, or clearly had forgotten that performance was dead until 1982 period! Ford had the world firmly in it's hand and just let it go away. Bending to the insurance industry, and general blasé of the populous. Muscle cars were dead, people quickly forgot about that until Ford revived that feeling in Americans in 82, but that didn't really take hold until 20 years later across the board. I laugh when I pass car lots with all the rice cars and things like a Chevy Malibu with there hoods up. What are you looking at? A great big piece of plastic, a turbo? Funny that that car dealer trick to sell a car survived, and the reason behind almost didn't. The biggest thing about being a "Ford Guy" is the lack of support, not only from the company, but the owners. We could really take a play from the Aussie's on that front. You have to know what you are doing with a Ford, tons of interchange etc. , but you need to know how things work. One of the things I love about Ford, the way and quality of how it is designed. sure Chevy has always posted higher horsepower numbers, but in reality it was a false lead. Ford downplayed that part, rather annoyingly at times. People readily jump on that Chevy bandwagon. Driven mostly by the industry. Chevy is cheaper to build because lack of ingenuity across the board. Their basic premise between a Caprice and a Corvette was slap a better cam, intake, and headers. Oh can we get a 4 barrel and air shocks with that! But because of that 20 cars 5 brand mentality fuelled the love of them over us. I see ASE mechanics trying to treat everything like a Chevy everyday. Whatever isn't they shun. Why not it's their bread and butter of grocery getters. As to mII's being "turds" and foxes being "ugly" To each their own. Good thing we are not basing a success on production numbers. That point speaks to itself. I would suppose that those individuals never owned a nice example of either that wasn't beat to death before they got it. Yeah fought that battle most of my life. Horsepower aside my 74 coupe handled better than any other mustang I ever owned until I got my 93. Sure smaller and way lighter, but I used to make many a v8 guy embarrassed by losing to my 2.3 light to light. They share many design elements of the originals, 71-73's do not. After all Mustangs became performance cars as an after thought, in spite of what we may chose to believe. A look at the last couple of decades easily proves that. Not for me, but there is something said to getting better than 9 mpg! No where near as much fun though :)

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