Posts Tagged ‘Mustang’

Bloated or “Chubby”?

December 29, 2015

1969 Camaro SS not avail 454When the final year for the “original style Camaro came around the model year was 1969, and despite the “454” emblems on the pictured car it was not a “factory choice” back then.  The cubic inch limit remained the 396 for big blocks other than a handful of “COPO vehicles” that snuck through.

1971 Camaro split bumperFor the redesign in 1970 (technically known as 1970 1/2 for collectors) not everyone liked the new style.  Production had been 230,799 Camaros for 1969 and fell to 117,604 for 1970.  Collectors all try to explain the big drop to a limited production run due to a labor strike, but facts are that the 1971 production fell to 107,496 and then in 1972 it went even lower to 68,656.   So no matter if you are a fan of the redesign or not- most buyers at that time were not.

The reason I bring any of this up is due to the age old argument about the “fat Mustang years”.  The redesign of the Camaro added 2 inches to the overall length yet people say the Camaro got much bigger.  Maybe they were referring to the .4 (less than 1/2 an inch) increase in width.  The one loss with the changeover was that Camaro no longer came in a convertible style.

1970 Mustang Fastback

For the Mustang its final year for the “Original style” (yes, technically there had been redesigns before) was 1970.  The designers needed a larger engine compartment for the available engine choices and decided to make the car seem larger to compete with the true “Muscle Cars”.  Basically it was time for the Mustang to grow up.

1971 Mustang Sportroof Mach 1Their new design was this.  1 inch more in wheelbase; it was now 109 instead of 108.  (The Camaro did not change their wheelbase from the 108 in 1969.)  Where it grew ever slightly was also the overall length- from 187.4 inches to 190 even.  The biggest gain was the width from 71.7 to 75.  All that rear sheetmetal also raised the base weight almost 180 pounds.  The look made the Mustang seem much larger than it really was.  To buyers or those who test drove it there were glaring deficiencies with the design.

You sat down much lower it seemed in the seat and the dash was higher and with the taller roofline and those huge rear quarters there was a severe blindspot.  Add the angle of the rear window and the rear view through the mirror was as if you were looking through a gun slot in a tank.

The redesign for the Mustang also saw production fall from 1970 (197,046) to 1971 (149,628) to 1972 (125,093).  Despite what many “Collectors” consider ugly years for the Mustang it still outsold everything in its class (Pony Cars) just as it had since the model was introduced halfway through 1964.  And it did so by impressive margins.  Today because of those production numbers you can buy a Mustang for about half of what a Camaro goes for.  And that will continue to earn the Mustang “collector status”.

Davey Boy

Where I Have Been And Why I Am Back

December 26, 2013

1970-Ford-Mustang convertAs an “Internet Journalist” I have the opinion that people want to hear what I have to say. Now that does not mean you have to agree with me.  And it certainly does not mean you need to hang on every word I say or follow along with any of my business practices.  What it does mean is that I feel there is something I have to share and to enrich you or the automotive community as a whole.

This being said, the internet is full of companies claiming to give a journalist the platform to share his or her opinions with the promise of actually getting paid for it.  The problem is those companies all seem to be blowing smoke when they make their claims. They want you to be a member for months and months before you qualify for payment then they give mere pennies while they rake in dollars.  Typical B.S. for today’s society yet sooner or later it all comes to light and those Multi-Million or Multi-Billion Dollar companies end up being worth the mere pennies they pay out and the only person who makes money is the guy who started the business and then sold out to “Investors” who now own “Toilet Paper”.  The actual “authors” move on to the next new deal and keep plugging away.  To them it is the words that drive them not the profit.  In the collector vehicle business the money is in the cars and the concepts behind buying and selling and even restoring them, not in writing about how it was done.

Enough of my rants and ramblings and onto the subject of discussion.  The New Year is almost upon us and January means the “Auction Season” is here.  As I have stated in the past… to most it means Arizona but to me it means Florida.  The hype and “show biz types” tend to go local and stay in Arizona since it is in their area of the country.  That is fine with me because there are more cars and more bargains in Florida at the Mecum Auction.  This has grown to become the “Largest Auction” of the year with around 3000 cars crossing the auction floor.  And that number is still climbing every year.  The 1970 Mustang Convertible shown is up for sale this year.  Even with its 302 V8, it makes a nice summer driver.

1986-Pontiac-Trans-Am 305 ttop Also crossing the block will be this 1986 Pontiac Trans Am with its 305 “tuned port” V8.  These vehicles and ones from its era are gaining traction as “Collector Cars” due to the fact that in most states they are now “emission-exempt”.  That means you are now able to retune or replace the engine without needing to install catalytic converters or smog devices.  Despite the 200 to 300 horsepower available from “factory versions” of these, you can now legally get 400 plus from the GM small block V8’s without spending more than the value of the car.  The added benefit of using this car over its 1960’s or 1970’s counterpart is that you gain better handling for the street or the track in stock form.  You also get vastly improved brakes with discs VS. drums (for earlier versions).  Third reason and most importantly for “new” collectors is that this car can be bought for around $10,000 in most parts of the country versus $20-30,000 for a “Bandit Trans Am” or even $50-60,000 for a first generation T/A.

1971-Dodge-Demon-GSS 340 tripower Then for the “hard-core gearheads” we get to a vehicle that probably represents a “Last Hurrah” for the Muscle Car Era.  This is a 1971 Dodge Dart Demon GSS.  The GSS designation is due to it being sold and equipped through “Grand Spaulding Dodge” which was better known as “Mr. Norms” dealership.  Mr. Norm was a “Muscle Car Icon” during the time of the Muscle Car Era and vehicles left his dealership with certified “dynamometer” papers to show what they were putting out in the power department.  He was the driving force behind several of Mopars “enhanced” models.  Because of the fact his dealership would drop a bigger V8 into your new car even if the factory didn’t offer it, he was also a driving force behind the “Horsepower Wars” of the 1960-70’s.  This particular car has the “Six-Pack” setup on its 340 cid engine.  And because it is a Mopar with “history” it will probably sell for serious cash and deservedly so.

70 Torino 351 4v convertible Final car for this post is this 1970 Ford Torino Convertible.  It retains its 351 Cleveland engine and 4 barrel carburation just as it left the factory with.  The Torino does not get the following of the Mustang but it was Fords true “Muscle Car” representative.  It was a midsize vehicle and every power option was available for it that Ford offered up to and including the 428 and 429 Cobra Jet engines.  Add a top that comes down and for around half of what a Oldsmobile 442 hardtop or Buick GS 455 hardtop will cost you.

So while these are only 4 of the 3000+ cars waiting to run through Mecums January Auction, they represent a wide range of what is out there.  Happy bidding.

Davey Boy

Again With The Auctions

December 9, 2013

ImageThose who have read posts from me before know I am a fan of Mecum Auctions.  Their just completed Kansas City Auction sent many reasonably priced vehicles to new homes.  Those who have read my posts also know I prefer to deal more with “fringe” vehicles rather than “popular” Muscle Cars.  The reason is simple.  Instead of forking out $50,000 or more for a single car, I can find 3 or 4 to buy with that amount of money.  And to be honest, a 1971 Mercury Cyclone Spoiler with a 429 CJ is as quick as a Chevelle SS 454 from the same year with the average driver behind the wheel.

The 1969 Dodge “flat-nose” pickup shown is not close to being a “Muscle Car” but is still a very good “Collector Vehicle” with a large following and for the mere $5750 spent for its bid price, the new buyer should have enough cash left to repair or replace it’s needed interior.  It did have a 318 V8 engine with a 3 speed manual transmission for some pep…. most common for the vans and the van/trucks during this era were straight 6 cylinder motors.

1972 ford econoline 100 super van- $ 4250Another “flat nose” would be this 1972 Ford Econoline 100 Super Van.  It had the aforementioned 6 cylinder with a 3 speed manual transmission and for the $4250 winning bid its new owner can afford to get a nice “Hippie Van Mural” paint job done on it as well as the shag carpeting and 12 volt mini-fridge.  You simply do not find a lot of older vans still running around even at “Car Shows” anymore.  Somewhere there needs to be a “Restorer Shop” that still cranks out “Hippie Van Conversions” for those of us who still appreciate them.  Maybe there still is on the West Coast.

1965-Plymouth-Sport-Fury- $ 12000 1966 Mustang conv. floodcar-$ 13500 1966-Ford-Mustang-$ 9750Then we have a trio of interesting vehicles.  The red Plymouth Sport Fury with a V8 engine went for $12,000 despite being a convertible and also being a Mopar.  They tend to go for twice that amount and that is when they are in a lot worse condition as well.  This one with its decent paint and new convertible top should be valued in the $30,000 neighborhood.

The “Powder Blue” 1966 Mustang Convertible had a 289 under the hood and went for $13,500 which was not a bad price even for a car that had been in a flood.  The 1966 models did not have the extensive electronics we have today so minimal damage should have occurred to the vehicle.  Early Mustang convertibles usually run in the low $20,000 range due to the fact there are so many still around.  During the 1965-1966 model years the Mustang was the best-selling convertible in America in fact.

The red 1966 Mustang went for $9750 with its 289 V8 and automatic transmission which is about $6000 less than its value in most areas of the United States.  Again this is because they built 607,568 total 1966 model Mustangs.  First thing to change on this one would be to return to the stock 14 inch tires and rims and get rid of those 17 inch ones.

1991-Cadillac-AllanteThe final entry for this post would be this 1991 Cadillac Allante which sold for $4750.  Even missing its hardtop this car values in the $12,000-16,000 range and with a hardtop can fetch close to $20,000.  Hardtops can be found for around $2000 and paint it for another $600.

So basically for the price of that $60,000 big block Chevelle, here are  6 vehicles with potential to double your money on and that is something the Chevelle will take years to do.  But none of these can outrun the Chevelle…… even with a bad driver.

Davey Boy

Absent and Off The Rails

December 1, 2013

1971 Mustang Mach 1 Limegreen

Despite the larger size in appearance, the 1971 Mustang only gained 1 inch in it’s wheelbase.  While looking much bulkier than it’s previous incarnation, it was Ford’s attempt to bring the Mustang into the actual “Muscle” class and out of the “Pony Car” class that was named for it.  Length went up slightly more than 2 and a half inches as well and width gained just over 3 inches.  All this added 50 pounds of weight as well compared to the 1970 version.  Base price went up only $4.  The catch was that the 351 Windsor with it’s 2 barrel carb as the base engine was now replaced by the 302 with a 2 barrel.  This meant a loss of 40 horsepower in base model configuration.  Horsepower was down slightly on most engine options but the former Boss 429 engine with its 375 horsepower was now an engine option instead of a special model vehicle.  While not named as a “Boss 429” it still carried the formers 375 horsepower when optioned with the Ram Air option.  The base 429 without Ram Air chimed in at 370 horsepower as well.  The trick model for 1971 was the Boss 351 which due to gearing changes and lower weight was actually the quickest Mustang to date….with only a claimed 330 hp.  The Boss 351 was a much better handling car for the street as well without all the added weight over the front wheels creating push when attempting to turn around corners.

1971 Torino Mediumgreen

The other “news” for Ford for 1971 was the Falcon/Fairlane/Torino conglomeration was now cleaned up into the Torino model.  Sales dropped to only a few hundred less than the Chevrolet Chevelle model but would rebound for 1972 and outsell the Chevelle by over 100,000 units.  The Torino offered most of the Mustangs engine choices and with it’s longer wheelbase was a true midsize vehicle at the time and therefore a full fledged “Muscle Car” when properly equipped.

I realize it has been a while since writing for the blog here but time has been scarce for me and other business ventures have taken priority.  I hope to get things sorted out and return to more timely contributions in the future.  In the meantime, keep the faith and most of all…. enjoy life.

daveyboy

1967 – Ford Makes a Statement

October 9, 2012

 When Ford created the 1965 Mustang, they were building a car to compete with the emerging import market.  It was to be a compact vehicle with seating for 4 or 5 people and with its 6 cylinder engine it was aimed at being an economy car as well.  The small block V8 was to make it competitive as being a sporty vehicle to appeal to the younger buyer.  What they did not count on was the fact that they created the most successful new car to come along since their own Model A in the 1920’s.  While Plymouth actually got the jump on them a few weeks earlier with the Barracuda, it was the Mustang that set the pace and the market segment now known as the “Pony Cars”.  These were vehicles smaller in size and less powerful than the midsize vehicles touted as “Muscle Cars”.

For 1967 Ford made the Mustang wider and longer than before.  This was in part to make the vehicle now capable of installing a “big-block” engine under the hood.  With the addition of the 390 cubic inch motor they had a performer capable of taking on the Muscle Cars and in a smaller package.  While Shelby was creating their “350” and “500” versions of the Mustang, these were not Factory vehicles and in fact Shelby was classified as an Automobile Manufacturer at the time.  Ford learned a trick or two on styling from the Marlin from AMC/Rambler and the Dodge Charger and made the fastback model smoother and wider to where it no longer looked like they just added a chunk of metal and glass to the coupe.

During this time Ford also grew jealous of Shelby getting all the credit for “Performance Mustangs” and was deeply involved in improving their image as such with the addition of special models.  There was the “High Country”, “California Special” and “Hertz” Mustangs plus now the GT and GTA factory models.  Various trim pieces and engine choices designated the respective packages but the top factory option for 1967 was the GT and GTA- both carried the 390 with the later being an automatic transmission hence the “A”.

  The Fairlane continued with minor revisions for 1967 and the GT and GTA versions as well.  Ford was going to change its look to separate it from the full size Fords but that was due for 1968, so 1967 saw minor change.

  The Ranchero was now solidly based on the Fairlane for both its sheet metal and engine choices.  While few people saw the Ranchero or its rival the Chevrolet El Camino as real trucks, they did appeal to the market for people who wanted a vehicle capable of hauling things but without the harsh ride of pickup trucks from the era.  The added benefit was they had a vehicle with some style and with the right equipment checked on the order form – a vehicle capable of serious performance as well.

  Mercury still had its Comet based Cyclone model and the 427 was available as an option although the main engine choice was now the 390.  Some Fairlane GT and GTA models also left the factory with the 427.

 But the big news was that Mercury finally got into the “Pony Car” market with the introduction of the Cougar.  Once again it was Lee Iacocca behind another hit for the Ford Corporation.  Based on the Mustang with a stretched frame and sharing no sheet metal similarity it was to be Mercury’s shot at the market.  The downside was the bigger vehicle meant it needed more power than the Mustang to achieve the same performance and all motors used for the Cougar could be also had in the smaller and more nimble Mustang.  Mercury instead figured their market was a more upscale buyer and while offering “Dan Guerney Specials” they instead went to the luxury models for their focus.

Ground Zero and Time To Start Back Over

October 3, 2012

Greetings and salutations to all who may stumble upon this blog.  I realize I have been absent from this for a rather extended time.  The short explanation is that my business venture has taken all my free time that I formerly used for this endeavor and left me no time for research and trying to keep this going.  That may seem like a “cop-out” to some if not most of you, but this blog actually requires major investment of time and research.  I know you thought it was easy being me, but in fact it is major work and commitment to be this disorganized and confused.  The “Detail Shop” I opened in April 2011, sad to say is no more.  The economy is simply no longer there to make a living washing and waxing cars.  This is my astute observation only after wasting $65,000 of my money trying to prove otherwise.  Back to the drawing board.  Or, rather….. Ground Zero.

Every year on my birthday, I evaluate where I am at and what goals can be set for the following year.  This year is no exception to that routine.  Having been born in 1957 means I have hit the age of 55 now.  Time is running out to get where I want to be.  Should anyone reading this be interested in contacting me involving a business endeavor involving “Muscle Cars”, please do so.

Hopefully someone has the needed funds and lacks the expertise to make a financial business out of what is undoubtably my strongest asset.  That being my knowledge of where the market is and anticipating where it is headed.  My knowledge of the vehicles is also a plus.

While almost everyone knows a 1957 Chevrolet when they see one, there are many details to know if you want to make money on one.  Things such as is it a Bel Air or a 210….. 2 door or 4 door…..original engine or not….all things that greatly vary the value of the car in question.  Is it worth $20,000 or in excess of $100,000 ?

While there are literally thousands of serious “Car Collectors” out there making money on this so-called hobby, there are hundreds of thousands of people doing it as a hobby.  While this blog lends itself towards the actual hobby, the goal I have is to be one of the minority who actually make a living doing it.

I do not mean to offend anyone but the guys like Jay Leno who buy cars just to have them and preserve them for future generations are very rare.  It does help when the individual has somewhere in the neighborhood of about 100 million dollars to play with.  The area where I live has a few guys who make their living buying, selling and restoring cars, and they all have their market niche’s to fill.  There is always new ways and new ideas to move into the market for more dealerships or collectors.  And as the economy turns around the market will grow massively in the future.

 Just as the 1957 Ford Fairlane was the competitor to the Chevy that year there will be different markets to fill and different needs for those markets.  I do not claim to be the expert on all cars, but I also do not shun any one model over another.  While the hobbyists prefer a Chevelle, Camaro, Mustang, Charger, or another model for whatever reason; I also know there is a market for a Maverick Grabber and Mercury Cyclone and even the Nova SS has a following.  Being limited by the Manufacturer such as Pontiac, Ford, Buick, Chevrolet, Dodge, Plymouth and Mercury means you leave out the AMC Marlins and Rebels and even the “lowly” Gremlin X.  It means you also miss out on the Studebaker Avanti, and the Oldsmobile Cutlass and 4-4-2.

There were dozens of models from every manufacturer in America during the Muscle Car years and every one of them had a following because they had a story and a legacy to tell.  Some literally sold millions over time and some sold only a few hundred copies, but every one of them deserves to be mentioned for the mere fact that someone thought they were special enough to buy when they were sold new.  Now it is time for me to get back to the blog and let you know what their story was.

Davey Boy

Auction Season Starts For 2011

January 16, 2011

 Well despite the fact that January started the new year over two weeks ago, the year officially starts this coming week for the Muscle Car crowd.  That is because the Auctions are beginning in Arizona.  You have the Barrett-Jackson begin on the 17th and then Russo and Steele on the 19th.  Then on the 20th you have Gooding and R-M startup theirs.  Arizona has a definite edge in the marketplace due to the number of auctions and the fact that they start before anyone else.  While I follow these and they do tend to set prices and trends for the coming year, they also tend to be more show than sale for guys like me.

  By that I do not mean to take anything away from them because all are great auctions; what I am attempting to say is that I am looking for bargains to resale and not looking for vehicles to add to a collection.  I do not buy cars for what they are worth, I buy them to resale and make money.  For me the auction to go to in January is in Florida in a week.  That is for those who do not follow my blog on a regular basis, the Mecum Auction in Kissimmee.

  The types of cars are “collector” vehicles at all of these auctions, but that term has become very obscured over the years.  You will find everything from a 1940 Ford Street Rod to a 1987 Chevrolet Monte Carlo.  And for me and probably 90% of the public, we wonder why a 1995 Mercedes-Benz 420 would be considered a “collector” vehicle?  Same with a 2006 Silverado, just because it has custom fiberglass panels bolted onto it with a 20,000 dollar paint job.  Custom to me would be that 1940 Ford Street Rod or the pictured 1968 Ford Mustang Station Wagon.  After all, when if ever have you seen a Mustang Station Wagon?

What you will find would be cars like this 1972 SS Chevelle with it’s 402 Factory big block.  The venerable 396 was upped in displacement, allegedly because of blocks having to be rebored during production a year or so earlier and Chevrolet kept the SS396 designation on their literature as well as labeling on the vehicles.  In 1972 the Chevelle SS396 was just called the “SS” because the package could be ordered with any engine and was considered merely a trim package.

 While the Chevelle SS396 gets most of the attention due to its popularity when it was new, the same 396 was available in the 1969 Camaro.

The SS/RS Camaro was smaller and lighter than the Chevelle so as a result was faster as well.  The main drawback was that it may have been too much power for the car.  The Chevelle could be equipped to actually put the power to the pavement which the Camaro needed someone who could actually drive the car to get the most out of it.  In 1976, I had a good friend in Kendallville, Indiana who had one of these and his was also a convertible although it was a nice “Jade Green” color with the white SS stripes up the hood and down the trunk lid.  It was an awesome performer to say the least.  Forget the factory ratings on power for any of the true Muscle Cars as the 396 had to be over 450 horsepower and the factory was claiming from 350-375.

For any of my regular readers, I apologize if you came here this week expecting to see the blog about the other 1965 vehicles, I will get to that maybe next week.  For you guys, here’s a 1972 Dodge Challenger R/T with the 340.  Unlike it’s “sister-car” the ‘Cuda, the Challenger was actually 2 inches longer in wheelbase because Dodge felt the longer wheelbase gave better performance and handling.  It was a lesson that their engineers had learned from all those Coronet’s, Super Bee’s, Charger’s and models that came before.  With the “Muscle Car Era” ending with the 1971 model year, this should sell for a reasonable price, I assume.

  And since I mention the Charger, we come to the first year and indeed only year that the Super Bee was based on the Dodge Charger platform.  1971 to be exact.  Final year for the purists to consider it a Muscle Car as well.  There are collectors that consider this the best Muscle Car ever built due to all of it’s one and only circumstances.  A one year shot at immortality as it happens.  This one has the 440 engine and comes in the ultra cool Citron Yellow to attract attention.

The Charger here is a 1969 Charger 500.  This is one of the rarest models produced under the Charger name and only was made in 1969 and 1970.  The 500 model was designed to win in NASCAR and as a result the people at Dodge had to have a production model for sale.  It had a flush rear window without the normal “sail-panel” roofline extensions.  As I recall it had a slightly longer nose as well.  This particular car was once owned by none other than Galen Govier.  For those who are not into the car hobby, he is the most well-known Mopar expert that there is and he does verification certificates for the collector’s on their vehicles.  So as a result it is probably one of the most documented vehicles on the planet.

For a final photo I am trying a new concept.  To get a little more feedback from people who visit my blog I am having a “Guess-This-Car” contest.  While I would like to give “A Million Dollar Prize” for the first correct answer, I would be about $999,999 and some change short for that, so there is no prize involved.  Just the satisfaction of knowing your stuff.

Answer if you can…..what year and model is it?

Davey Boy

1964 – The Rest Of The Story…Birth Of An Era

December 18, 2010

 When General Motors banned Factory based racing starting with January 1964, they set into motion what would become the most exciting era for performance enthusiasts.  It would become the “Muscle Car Era”.

With the mission of making a more unified midlevel model line for GM vehicles the decision was made to make each divisions midsize models more uniform in size and equipment.  This was basically a cost saving move and viewed as a way for buyers to be able to compare models as being more equal to their competitors.

The up and coming younger executives at the Pontiac Division saw this as a way to draw more heavily on the “Youth” market by showing that they were more tuned to the performance end of the scale.  John DeLorean with the help of fellow engineers Bill Collins and Russ Gee basically took the 398 engine that was in the full size Catalina and Bonneville and dropped it into the newly enlarged Tempest LeMans to create the Tempest LeMans GTO.  There were other changes as well made to the vehicle to beef up suspension pieces and such, but the basic premise was to put the biggest engine possible into a lighter car and then sell it to the general public.

There were several rules in place to prevent overzealous executives from having the factory build and sell cars that were too powerful and thus unsafe.  Just like the “limited” production factory race cars made before them using loopholes in the rules, the GTO also used a loophole in the rules.  This one involved labeling the vehicle as an option package not a regular model.  In fact the GTO was an option of an option being first a Tempest with the upgraded LeMans package then adding the GTO package to that.  Options included either a 4 barrel carburetor and the top engine was a tri-power setup with 3 two barrel carburetors.  Frank Bridge was Sales Manager at the time and estimated the model would not be a big seller so he tried to limit production to 5000 units.  The GTO actually sold 10,000 before the start of the 1964 calendar year and ended its first year run at 32,450 units.

The success of the GTO had the other GM Divisions rushing to come up with their own models for the segment.  Chevrolet took the 327 from the Corvette and dropped it into the Chevelle Malibu and called it the Super Sport or SS as commonly called.  While it did not carry the horsepower rating from the Corvette, only minor changes were made to the engine to detune it for the Chevelle.

The pictures shown here show the Pontiac GTO 389 with a 4 barrel carburetor setup, then the GTO interior with its bucket seat interior and now the Chevelle Malibu 327 Super Sport.

As with the GTO the “option” loophole was used to put the SS model into production, since Chevrolet wanted no midsize model being competitive with the Corvette.

The Oldsmobile division also came up with a version of a Muscle Car.  They took the F-85 Cutlass and created the 442 option for it.  This involved putting their Rocket 330 into it from the larger “88” model.  Again it was an option for an option of an existing model.  Loophole exploited.  The Buick Division was the holdout for the 1964 year.  They offered a 300 CID engine in the Skylark but did not create a special package vehicle for the model year.

Ford was also looking at the sales success of the GTO and got into the Muscle Car game.  They had the Ford Fairlane with a 289 HO and then since General Motors had pulled out of the Factory Race Game they had only Chrysler as direct competitors in Drag Racing.  They fired the shot heard “round the world” with the Fairlane Thunderbolt.

This was a factory Drag Race car with its newly developed 427 cubic inch big block and fiberglass front end, doors and totally stripped of unneeded weight like sound insulation and seam filler and such.  The inboard headlights were removed as that was the intake hoses to feed fresh air into the engine.  Record keeping was not a strong suit and exact count for how many were made is in debate as to whether it was 111 or 127 but there were also 50 Mercury Cyclones produced by that division as well and some were modified to look like the Thunderbolt by either the factory or dealers.  Even the windshield was a custom lightweight piece to save weight and so were the window roll down mechanisms as they were eliminated altogether.

As you can see the Thunderbolt left very little room under the hood for anything but the massive engine and those huge air intake hoses to the dual carburetors.

As the Fairlane with its 289 did not translate into the Street Wars that were starting to take shape, Ford was counting on its new Mustang model to appeal to the market.  While it was technically a 1965 model the early models are considered 1964 1/2 since they had the 260 engine and generators instead of the 289 engine and alternator used for vehicles made when the true 1965 model production began.  While the Mustang is credited with the creation of the Pony Car segment; hence the name Pony Car; it was actually beat to market by its competitor over at Plymouth by 2 weeks.

The Plymouth Barracuda was introduced on April 1, 1964 while the Mustang came out on April 17.  Somehow I do not think the nickname of “Fish Coupes” would have endured as well as the term “Pony Cars”.  The Barracuda had the 273 CID engine and at the time had the largest rear window ever made, when measured as square inches of glass area.

Well, this ties up the “Factory” models for 1964….although there were so many behind the scenes prototypes being tried and developed, I have probably left someone out of the mix here.  If anyone knows about any let me know.  Maybe I can amend this in future blogs.

Later all,

Davey Boy

Another Auction Over With

June 22, 2010

Well, the little Nash Ambassador sold for $14,000 which is a little low for usual pricing, but not too bad.  Nice addition for somebody.  These are usually under the $20,000 range so they are comparable with the BMW Isetta from the same era and are similar in that they are ultra small and quirky cars.  Check past blogs of mine for a photo of an Isetta.

There was also a 1960 model that sold for an even lower $9100.  This was that car.  Must be something in the water in Minnesota, or maybe there is something in the water everywhere else.  Either way people in Minnesota seem to have kept these little jewels in pretty good shape and then spent money to restore them.

Then we get to an actual Muscle Car.  This is a 1966 Pontiac GTO with it’s original numbers matching 389 big block engine.  The owner had upgraded the engine with a tri-power setup.  To top it off it is a red convertible and it sold for a measly $30,000.  Nice addition for someone since it should sell at a dealer for somewhere in the $45,000 neighborhood. 

Then we come to what may have been the best purchase of the entire Auction.  This white beast is an actual 1971 Mustang Boss 351.  While only possessing a small block V8 engine, most people would assume that the Mach I from 1971 with the 429 big block would be preferred over the lowly 351 Cleveland.  Most people would be wrong.  This is no ordinary 351.  The Boss engines were hand assembled with very special parts and were actually factory built race engines.  Part of the reason for their low production was that since Ford lost money on every one they built, the factory did not promote the cars in their advertising very much.  The Boss 351 Mustang actually beat the 429 Mach I in a quarter mile drag strip comparison run by a car magazine at the time.  Maybe similar to the comparison of the 440 from Dodge beating a Hemi 426 at the strip.  The 440 holds it’s own and can win a quarter mile run but when you get past the slower start the 440 will NEVER catch a Hemi 426 once she catches her breath and starts into it’s horsepower curve.

I have seen Boss 351 Mustangs selling for 40 to 50 thousand dollars.  This one went SOLD for the sum of $22,500.  NICE DEAL.

davey boy