WHY? are 71-73 stangs so big?

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1971 Ranchero
This makes much more sense than the idea that the 71-73's are 150-200 lbs heavier than the 69-70's. The story is that the 429/460 big blocks weigh about 140-170 lbs more than the 351 C. So, if you car had the 429/460 it would have weighed probably 35-65 pounds more than your friends 69-70, which is not a big deal, and the 429/460 engines are heavier than the FE. I would be willing to bet that that if you took 2 empty shells, one of a 71 and one of a 70, the weight difference would be less than 100 pounds, would not be surprised if it ended up less than 50 pounds.
Here is some engine size info from an old article I clipped back in the late 80's/early 90's. Agrees with your estimated difference between a 351c and 429/460.1650206163295.png
 

detritusmaximus

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1973 Grande #1 looong time ago
1970 Sportsroof #2 almost as long
1971 Sportsroof M-code #3 needs money
2008 GT #4 where the money went
Hi Rod,

Had to jump in on this one and have a rant. Thanks for putting this one up for attention. It's been kicked around the Forum over the years from time to time, and always gets a reaction.

Speaking for my self, i have had a gut full of negative critisism that has come from many different quarters of society over the years (especially from the 1965 to 1970 brigade), regarding the oversized, bloated, large dimension 1971 1973 Mustangs. Enough is enough!
Having had a 73 Grande in '89 and a 70 fastback in '90, I can say without a doubt, 71-73s did not get any respect, but I can also say that at that time the 64-68 crowd didn't respect the 69/70.

I'll throw this little handgrenade into the conversation....I think the 71-73 fastback body with ramair hood and front spoiler is the most aggressive looking factory Mustang of that time (64-73, not counting Shelby's of any sort). But I also think the 70 fastback is overall a cleaner, nicer design.
 

rodgeydodge

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Restored 1973 Mach 1 351C auto converted to RHD (Australlia). Pretty much in stock condition.
I love statistics. Here are the basic dimensions for all Mustangs. I have tried to get the weight of the standard coupe where possible.
So, since the first Mustang, the 1972 model has grown 9" longer (5%); 7" wider (10%); has much the same wheelbase (so you can see where the extra length came from); is about 1/2" shorter and is 348lbs heavier (about 14%). So, it is not as much as appearances suggest. If it weren't for the front end 5mph bumper bar on the later 73 models, the car could actually be as short as the original.
Hasn't the latest model pigged out though? it is 37% heavier than the 71 - 73 models. Electronics must weigh a lot.
There you go.
Roger
YEARLENGTHWIDTHWHEELBASEHEIGHTWEIGHT
1965181.6” / 4613mm68.2” / 1732mm108” / 2743mm51,2” / 1300mm2,562lb / 1165kg
1968183.6” / 4663mm70.9” / 1801mm108” / 2743mm51.6” / 1311mm2985lb / 1354kg
1969187.4” / 4760mm71.7” / 1821mm108” / 2743mm50.5” / 1283mm2688lb / 1219kg
1972189.5” / 4813mm75.0” / 1905mm109” / 2769mm50.8” / 1290mm2910lb / 1320kg
2022188.5” / 4789mm75.4” / 1916mm107” / 2720mm54.6” / 1387mm3964lb / 1802kg
 

Letsrock

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1971 Mach 1 351 4V M code. C6 auto, Raven black exterior, power windows, lamp group, tilt wheel, air conditioning, black deluxe interior, gauge package.

1978 King Cobra II 73 302, holley 4bbl, edelbrock performer intake, t5 conversion
That is what I have always heard, they had to get wider to get the 385 series big block in there. These cars were just 2 inches longer and 2 inches wider than the 69/70 cars, and they were actually lower, it was not a big difference. If you put them side by side, it is very hard to tell that the 71 is actually bigger. The issue is that the body proportions of the 71-73 make them look bigger than they actually are, I can't really explain why, but they just look a lot bigger than what they really are.
I read that the design was to make it seem larger than it was, personal luxury coupes were a big deal back then. Look where Mercury took the Cougar starting in 71.
 

Letsrock

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1978 King Cobra II 73 302, holley 4bbl, edelbrock performer intake, t5 conversion
Another weight addition to these cars was the addition of the door side impact beams I believe.
 

AcesArneson

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I really could care less what generation they are considered, but since they have always been called first generation, I'm fine with that even though to me they have always been somewhat different like the 74-78 Mustang II's are different from ours. And being the 74-78 are called Mustang II's that means ours might have to be considered 1 1/2 generation if we want to differentiate. Yes people have hated the 71-73's, but the 74-78 Mustang II's have had far more haters. How many of you hate them? Haters have kept our cars more affordable in the past and still more affordable than the "actual" first generation cars. We all see cars we hate somewhat. I hate all four door look alike cars you see everywhere. Let them hate all they want. I miss my 74 Mustang 4cyl. Loaded Ghia with sunroof and would like to find one some day, but are harder to find than our cars nowadays because I believe they were hated all the way to the crusher.
So funny you bring this up, the two Mustangs I have owned are a 77 Cobra II and a 73 vert. The vert drove like a boat from the factory but I have been working on it and can't wait to get behind the wheel. The 77 Cobra was my favorite car out of all the vehicles I have owned. I wish I had never sold it.
 
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