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SPORTS CARS OF THE 60's

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Comments

  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,167
    In very different ways from the E-Type Jag, the '65 Mustang, '86 Taurus, and '84 Dodge and Plymouth minivans also delivered shock and awe. All three resonated with the buying public way beyond expectations. Like the E-Type, each had weaknesses. However, their breakthrough configurations, coupled with competitive pricing, gave each of them a strong "gotta-have-it" appeal.
  • texasestexases Posts: 5,511
    Yes it'll be a long time before we see that level of "bang for the buck" again in a hi-performance car.


    While I know you're not a fan, Shifty, the current 5.0 Mustang has gotten positive press from pretty much everyone, big power + handling for decent price.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,404
    edited May 2011
    Yeah the 5.0 is a good bang for the buck but it's a low-prestige item, a dime a dozen, and rather poorly built and its not, of course a sports car. There's some "bang" but not BANG like the E-Type.

    I couldn't even put "Taurus" or "Minivan" or Mustang in the same universe. I mean, there may be categories of "bang" called *utility* or "value* but people went NUTS when the E-Type came out. I mean, they were wild, rhapsodic, beside themselves.

    Nobody ever swooned over a Taurus that I saw....polite applause from the back of the room, maybe.

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  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,167
    edited May 2011
    Shock and awe, and swoon aren't quite the same. While I'd agree that people didn't swoon over the Taurus and Mopar minivans, I'd say they did swoon over the Mustang.

    I think the '49 Jaguar XK-120 was phenomenal in its day, in terms of styling, performance, technology and value for the money. One could argue that the XKE was the spiritual successor to the XK-120.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,404
    edited May 2011
    I just dont' recall anywhere near the level of awe of the E-Type being generated by the Mustang 5.0. The reason people liked the 5.0 so much is because of the dismal Mustang II that preceded it I think. Besides all that, the 5.0 was a low-buck, low-tech car that many car enthusiasts would take a second look at. The 5.0 was all about the 5.0, and that's about it.

    I guess I just wanted to emphasis, in my own opinion, that no car EVER, before or since the E-Type, in the history of the automobile, has ever created such a stir, such desire and such praise.

    Perhaps this has now somewhat faded a bit, but history is, after all, "in the books" and we can look it up.

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  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 27,650
    Hey....wait a minute!

    My Mustang II had a 5.0 :surprise:

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  • texasestexases Posts: 5,511
    edited May 2011
    Well....a 4.9, actually, but Ford loved calling the 302 a "5.0".

    Just to be clear, I was talking about the 2011 with the new 'full' 5.0 l engine. Shifty, you might want to take one out for a test drive, the quality is way up, as is the fun factor compared to earlier Mustangs.

    But I won't argue that any Mustang generated the impact of the E-type.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,167
    edited May 2011
    I was referring to the '65 Mustang, as a follow-up to my citing the Mustang, not the 5.0, in applying the term shock and awe. I agree with you that the 5.0 didn't qualify, for the reasons you stated.

    While the '65 Mustang didn't feature new technology, it introduced original new styling, and a wide choice of configurations for varying needs, from trendy economy to high performance, all at an affordable price. It was aspirational, yet attainable. The result was a smash hit of historical proportions. The Mustang, more than any other model, was responsible for creating the pony car segment in the market.

    The most that could be said about the Fox platform 5.0, beginning in '83/'84, was that it was a breath of fresh air, after a period of dashed hopes for performance buffs. It announced that affordable high performance could co-exist with tne tightened emissions and safety regulations. The fact that the 5.0 used massaged old technology was disappointing to some (including you and me), but it hardly mattered to pony car buffs. In fact, it may have been a plus to many, because they were familiar with it. Ford successfully appealed to the intended market with the 5.0. It should also be noted, in evaluating the 5.0, that in North America the pony car market is considerably larger than the sports car market.

    Going back 10 years, the '55 Chevy also generated shock and awe when it hit the showrooms, in my estimation. It was a game changer in the "low price field." I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that the '55 Chevy lifted spirits in America.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,404
    edited May 2011
    Yep, the original '65 Mustang generated a lot of buzz, even among the general population, and certainly with the media, but of course not among "sports car enthusiasts", who were not much interested in anything except a Corvette or a foreign sports car.

    I had no idea you were referring to the new Mustang--I read the road tests of the Laguna Seca model, and it seems like a very impressive car indeed.

    But again, there's nowhere near the excitement among the general population that the E-Type elicited--that car excited people who didn't even care about cars.

    To be fair about it, I don't think we live in an age where that level of excitement about a mere car is even possible anymore.

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  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,321
    "that no car EVER, before or since the E-Type, in the history of the automobile, has ever created such a stir, such desire and such praise. "

    I appreciate your assertion, but the fact is the '65 Mustang created more of a stir, desire & praise because it was significantly more affordable than the E type Lucas carrier.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,404
    edited May 2011
    Perhaps in some ways, but not to technical people, or to dreamers, since a '65 Mustang was about as advanced as a 1935 Buick underneath the body. It was in my opinion, praised for its "value", its affordability, its great looks, not for what it could do or how it was built (it was built rather cheesily, to say the least, but it looked *great*).

    I just don't see the two cars in the same universe much less the same showroom. It's not the same market, and lets' face it, what is less attainable is by definition more desirable to those who cannot afford a thing. The Mustang was easily bought by a secretary or the common man. So it's more Model A than E-Type.

    But yeah, people were camping out at dealerships to see the new Mustang. It certainly drummed up curiosity and a *lot* of buyers.

    But you weren't going to go 150 mph in one, get onto a race track, or go around corners really fast, and you certainly weren't going to attract a trophy wife (or husband I guess :P )

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  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,404
    We may have touched on this before, but in the 50s and 60s, the difference between a "sports car" and a regular passenger car in the USA was very dramatic, unlike today, when we have 4-door sport sedans that probably could have easily won LeMans in 1955!

    When you stepped out of dad's car into an MG or Jaguar or Alfa or ???, you stepped into an entirely different universe.....NOTHING was the same as in a regular passenger car, except a steering wheel and seats. The dash, the wheels, the engine, the body, everything was different, and solely dedicated to...well...sport.

    comfort? reliability? practicality? luggage space? BAH! simply "not the point of it all".

    The only reason it took a few years for Corvette to be called a "sports car" and why T-Bird and Mustang never were called that, was because Corvette didn't 'get it right' the first few years.

    The basics for a sports car were:

    bucket seats
    4-speed floor shift
    two seats or 2+2
    wire or fancy wheels
    light weight
    excellent performance and handling (for the time)

    So Corvette didn't sort all that out until (starting in) 1956 and gradually getting the braking and handling required to do something other than go fast in a straight line.

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  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,321
    Thus a '63 Fiat 1500 Spider would be a sports car while the 63 Fiat 1200 Spider would be an Italian T Bird?

    My '66 Ford Mustang GT Coupe devalues your opinion of 1st generation Stangs so we are not always in agreement. Shelbys?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,404
    edited May 2011
    Point taken but your very nice car is not a sports car (in stock form it would not be very happy on a race track) and a Shelby is not a '65 showroom Mustang. So really, the Mustang "buzz" wasn't about performance --it was a "bang for the buck" thing.

    I think the Shelby phenomenon edged closer to the sportscar crowd, but really the Shelby 350 was a rather brutal car---sophisticated, it was not. It's not like you put on your string gloves and leather Italian driving shoes. More like a cowboy hat and a cigar.

    Ah, the 1960s....when race drivers were fat and their tires were thin!

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  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,167
    Crackpipe or not, this overpriced, failed attempt at greatness can be added to the list for purposes of this topic. I can't imagine who would even cough up 25 large for this one, but it'll be interesting to see what it actually sells for.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,404
    The Mangusta is an odd duck in the sports car world---it has a lot of eye appeal, so a person is drawn to it. Then the idea of not having to deal with an exotic, french-poodle foreign engine of the 60s is also attractive--"gee, I could rebuild that myself with parts from Home Depot!".

    But then comes the sobering cold shower of reality. Trim pieces? Wheels? A steering wheel?----where on earth is THAT coming from and how much will I have to pay for it?

    Then there's the problem of "do I really want to drive this thing?" Here we have a honkin' 300HP in the same chassis as a Detomaso Vallelunga---be afraid, be very afraid.

    Would I like to take this car out for a straight line burn? Yes! Would I like to own it? No!

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  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,167
    edited September 2011
    In addition to the issues you mentioned, I think the other factor that makes the Mangusta virtually worthless is that very few people are aware of its existence. Whom are you going to impress with it? And let's be truthful about it, you wouldn't pay a premium price just to impress yourself.

    As for straight line acceleration, you can buy this level or performance for less elsewhere. This car does have an exotic sounding name, though.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,404
    Well it would have limited crowd appeal as in: "What IS that, anyway?" but honestly, you could get more attention with a Nash Metropolitan, and possibly better handling :P (that was a joke).

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  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,494
    It looked *great*, it went *fast*, and the rest is history, yep. I think it was the only car to ever be put in the Museum of Modern Art in NY

    There is a Studebaker Avanti in the Museum of Modern Art in Paris.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,404
    edited September 2011
    The Avanti isn't a sports car however. More typically a "GT" type of car.

    Loewy was born in Paris actually. The French are fond of him.

    Are you sure you don't mean the Industrial Design exhibit at the Louvre (temporary exhibit)?

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