What are your least favorite design features of the 71-73s?

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Kit Sullivan

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OK, when I say least favorite "design features", I'm not talking about about general quality or technology issues or lack thereof (like rust issues, poor wiring and electricals, etc...) Those kind of items are just typical of the auto industry in general when our cars were made.

I am talking about clear design or asthetic choices made by Ford that you would change:

To preface my list, I must first say that of the more than 50+ cars I have owned in my lifetime, this is only one of two that I have never gotten tired of looking at. (The other is a Pantera). I love just about everything about this car, so it was pretty difficult for me to come up with something I would change, but...here goes:

1) Rearward visibility...horrible blind spots and near-useless rear window. But...it looks so good I wouldn't change it! That's the price you gotta' pay to be stylish' I suppose.

2) Front seats are pretty lame. No support and they don't hold you well. Pretty standard for the era though.

3) manual rear windows should roll down on fastbacks

4) mach 1 and BOSS exterior trim should have been more exclusive to each model.

5) BOSS 351, 351 ram-air and 429 ram-air should each have had unique hood paint treatment.

and those are all a stretch for me, I really like it as is.

 

Don65Stang

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In terms of the sports roof Mach 1 body style...

When I read the thread title my first thought was rear visibility. Then I thought about it some more and have a list of minor complaints.

  • Rear visibility. Convex mirror glass would help some as would slightly larger sport mirrors.
  • Use of vinyl materials as opposed to leather.
  • Three piece seat belts.
  • More lateral supporting seats.
  • Poor seat base design and placement.
  • Non-Roll down quarter windows (manual) on the sportsroofs.
  • Choice of bright red paint mix. I like the red but it seems to have a touch of orange tint to me.
  • Sports lamps appearance is perfect but they should really be functional fog lamps.
  • Brake light design.


I have a couple of lack of design features...

  • No rear "reading light" in each sail panel area.
  • No factory provision for rear speakers.

 

Mister 4x4

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Tail lights. I'm not too keen on the shape (but I don't hate it). More annoying is the reverse light in the middle of the center reflector. This totally strays from the Mustang design cues, in that the center strip doesn't light up (making proper sequential signal lights pretty much impossible), and the reverse light is no longer on the rear valance - where it should be, in Mustang tradition. And further tradition would be to have Shelby incorporate traditional Shelby stuff... but that didn't happen, not that it would've been particularly easy anyway.

The rest of my list:

  • no remote control for passenger mirror. It was a cost-cutting, dumb-ass decision, considering how important the passenger mirror is with:
  • lack of rear visibility. Which is why I'm installing a back-up camera. A slightly greater angle for the rear glass would've been a much better design, IMHO (not that I don't love the lines or anything) - the '69-'70 just seems a little better for visibility without ruining the design.
  • the front end of the full center console. Did they really have to flare it out that far over the transmission hump? I see my feet causing damage at some point
  • - reading light in the sail panel. '69 & '70 got it right on that one
  • sport lamps should be the signal lights, and the signal lights should be proper driving/fog lights.
  • "urethane" bumper. I'm kinda losing affection for it - mostly because mine needs some repair that likely won't make it perfect... and a guy can't simply just go buy a new one. First solid bump and the paint's toast. I see a chrome front bumper in my future.


To address a few of the other things noted:

  • quarter windows can be made to roll-up/down by swapping in the hardware from a coupe - at least Ford put the structure in-place to make it happen
  • Ram-Air and Boss 351s actually DO have hood treatments unique to the respective models.
  • Mach 1 and Boss 351 trim-levels are interesting. Mach 1s having a fairly model-centric trim package. Since the Boss 351 was 'supposed' to be a "sleeper," (as if the Boss 351 stickers weren't a give-away), the car was supposed to be minimalist - built for speed - unlike the more luxurious Mach 1 (with its whole 30lbs of extra weight in plastic trim).


I guess I'm not seeing entirely what you were saying, Kit, with regards to the trim levels/hood treatments. They seem fairly 'unique to the model' if you ask me.

Interesting topic, though.

 
K

Kit Sullivan

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Yep, boss hood paint treatment is unique, but no the mach necessarily. Any model except the boss(coupe, convertible, mach or sportsroof) ordered with ram-air gets the same tutone & hood/pin treartment.

I was thinking the mach with ram-air should have its own unique design for 351s, and a different design for 429s, neither of which should have been avaialable on any other model with ram-air.

It would have been a little further exclusivity in each models' appearance. And unless it truly was a safety issue, the hood pins should have been exclusive to mach 1s/ Bosses.

And the side stripes should have remained a BOSS feature exclusively...definitely would make those easy to spot had it been so.

Although I must say I really love the hockey sticks on my car!

 
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the massive 73 front bumper and the huge supports would be my first complaint.

Sport mirrors just a little bit larger would have been a big help on the visibility issue

Hate the tailights-esp the center back up lights-yuck!

Seats look better than they feel and feel better than they perform, and perform better than. . . nothing

Dash could have been more like the 69-70 dash and would have been more to my taste

E brake location sucks

 
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I love the look of the top boot but it is a royal pain in the but to put on.

I have had both a love and hate for the rear tail lights. For a while I thought they were the ugliest thing about the car, I have grown to actually like them.

The front suspension could have been improved.

I don't fancy the fake wood on the center console and doors, seems out of place, but I have yet to find anything that 'works better'.

Lack of cup holders (just kidding, cars didn't have cup holders back then)

I know it was a continuation of the model but the unibody was a bummer choice for a car this size.

 

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Oh yeah - forgot to mention the e-brake. A transmission hump mounted e-brake would've been better (especially when trying to mount up some kick-panel speakers ;) :D ).

I see what you're saying, Kit. I don't know what they could've done better than the Tutone treatment on the hood though. The Boss 351 treatment is awesome as well. Both are 'just about right,' IMHO - any more and it gets gawdy. The split NACA duct design does lend itself to splitting up the Tutone pattern right down the middle, a la the '70 Shelby hood stripes. That could be cool as well - I'd almost want to see those stripes continue up and over the top to the trailing edge of the trunk lid - there's your Mach 1 difference (top stripes means no hockey stripes though... that might be too much).

I think the hockey stripes down the side are also about as much as there needs to be - even though it makes the car look almost impossibly long. Having some kind of stripe design above the crease would be too 'Mopar-ish,' and dual hood/trunk stripes would be too 'Camaro-ish,' not that it wouldn't look good.

The biggest problem with any kind of 'special trim/appearance' package is the average Uneducated or El Cheapo consumer. It doesn't matter what you come up with, Joe Schmoe will decide to make his plain-jane Mustang at least 'look' like a Mach 1 or Boss 351, either by putting on the stickers or having his painter buddy come up with something based on a picture from a magazine. Then the Craigslist or ebay ad will tout the 'rare, original equipment' treasure he has after thoroughly thrashing it.

 

luxstang

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I don´t like the tail lights at all.

I think they should have stuck with the "classic" 3-piece red tail lights.

Then I don´t like that weird trapezoid shape they gave the tail lights.

The front bumper and vertical sport lamps on the 73. You can simply tell that it was not meant to look that way and I think it does not look in proportion with anything on the car. No offense to our fellow 73 owners but it´s just not for me.

Then there´s the ugly tail lights, did I mention that? :)

I actually dislike those taillights so much, I will say it again: TAIL LIGHTS!

:)

 

Flatback72

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Tail lights, without a doubt.

Instead of this.....

KUQYIS2.jpg


....they should have been this...

w2HkaqJ.jpg


 

Austin Vert

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What the boys have said so far marries up with me pretty well.

It would have been nice to see the Verts with a factory Mach 1 option package as well, given that when dressed up in this manner, they look very sharp indeed.

Greg.:)

 
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Kit Sullivan

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I must be the only one that likes the tail lights...updated but follows the theme. I do agred that the reverse lights should have been separate though.

 

Don65Stang

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I think the tail lights are ok, they've grown on me. I wish the reverse light was not in the middle and it was truely 3 red panels that lit up.

 

MeZapU

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I like just about everything. Style over function still prevailed in many instances.

But I hate how dim the dash lighting is. I think someone was asleep at the controls when they approved that one.

 

Duncan Mach72

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'Ergonomics' people!

Parking brake release impossible to use with stock seat bellts - major problem if you have manual 'box & stop on a steep hill. Hand brakes are so much better at this.

Lights & wiper controls at bottom of the 'slopey away' dash.

Sports mirrors could be a LOT larger & positioned further out without ruining the styling. The wheel arches are the widest part of the car, all modern cars it's the mirrors. Incidentally I have noticed a lot of current euro hatchbacks have door mounted mirrors (as opposed to window corner mounted) that nearly suit 71-73 style. I reckon they could be grafted on! See Vauxhall Corsa, Seat Leon, Ford Fiesta (if you want integrated indicators), some Renault etc. Having said that, I have a reverse camera mounted under the spoiler.

 
K

Kit Sullivan

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The dash lighting is only dim on cars that have miles and age on them. They actually worked very well when new, and looked quite modern ( for the time).

Heat fades the diffusers, age dims the bulbs and the flourescent pigments in the dial faces and the needles give out after 5 or 6 years.

Those three things conspire to blind us all from nightime information-gathering in our cars.

 

Mister 4x4

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....they should have been this...

w2HkaqJ.jpg
YES!!! Perfect!! ::thumb::

Well... except for not moving the reverse indicators to the valance. But, if they would've done what you did with the Photoshop, I would've been even happier.

 

cudak888

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My thoughts mirrored that of everyone else at first: I didn't care that much for the taillights. Then it dawned on me that they are miniature replicas of the back end's cross-section; beautifully illustrated on the Boss 351 (and perhaps why it has the most "finished" look of all the Sportsroofs, IMO):

boss351rear.jpg


Still, this conversion takes the prize for best looking '71-73 custom taillight setup. Too good:

xptzdl.gif


-Kurt

 

Don65Stang

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Then it dawned on me that they are miniature replicas of the back end's cross-section.

-Kurt
Wow Kurt! I never saw that before. Cool! I still wish they were 3 red panels that were all operational.

 
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Kit Sullivan

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I dont really care for the shelby/ cougar/ tbird lights. Thd out side edge of each light is jarringly not following the contours of the surrounding panels...giving it away as a mod.

Now, for the best custom look, the taillights from a 70 Torino GT would look phenomonal. I have zero photoshop skills, but if someone here was enterprising I bet they could cobble that up quick.

 

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