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Modern Muscle with Classic Names

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  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,067
    image

    Looks like image??????
  • Muscle car buyers will laugh off a 'retro' muscle car with a 2.0 vvt turbo engine! :)

    Can you imagine GM rolling out a new camaro, and saying things like, it will incorporate the very latest in hybrid engine technology, and be mated with our most advanced CVT. We feel strongly that it will get 40 miles to the gallon on the highway. :P

    The reason these cars existed, and return is that they represented an image of irrepressable protest. They were loud, they were fast, quit often uncomfortable, and some had some to the worst road manners ever. But they were fun, you could work on them without a computer engineering degree and at least early on, you could almost build a unique model with all the various options.

    As posted the reason they went away is due to insurance and fuel costs. Fuel costs are not a deterent anymore (as evidenced by all the Hummers, etc running to the mall and to soccer practice everyday). So all that remains is insurance.

    Can someone tell me if insurance has increased for Civics lately? With all the modifications done to these cars they should be seeing an increase in rates due to the way kids drive them.

    American manufacturers put a big 'jack up my rate' sign on cars when the do a performance version. The Neon SRT is a good example. Rather than make that an aftermarket performance oriented vehicle, ala the Civic, its right up there in front and you know insurers are charging increased rates.

    A long time ago (86) a girl I dated bought a mustang, 4 cyl. She wanted the hatchback rather than the coupe body but because the hatch back had a spoiler on it her insurance company wanted and extra $600 per year. The car was a slow 4, it was not going to get faster with the extra weight of the hatchback, but the spoiler was considered sporty and somehow that meant that it would be more expensive to insure. Huh?

    In the meantime, GM had produced a really good car in the Camaro/Firebird of the 90's. It was faster than just about anything on the american roadways with the exception of the Corvette and the Viper, they consistantly offered better performance than the Mustang GT and even in some years the SVT cobra. They were lightyears better than anything manufactured in Japan at the time, especially where it really mattered down low in the rev band. Its great that all these little engines can generate good horsepower and torque at high rpm, but how often do you run your car at 5000+ RPM? Traffic is to heavy to be buzzing around like that. The advantage of that old tech, overhead valve, design is gobs of low end torque. Thats what makes a car go, not the 250 hp at 7000 rpm. People are amoured with hp numbers but you thats not what kicks you in the seat when you press the go pedal.

    Yes there will always be a market for 'low tech' performance cars. The real sales issue will be if they are affordable enough to lure a buyer in the door. Not everyone has 30 to 40 k or 500 to 700 a month to throw at a less functional car to use as a second or third vehicle.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,897
    that the 300C most resembles is this!!

    And I don't mean that to be a slam, as I had an '89 Gran Fury, and it was a pretty good car. Well, except for the gas mileage. Oh, and it kept eating the little lightweight Honda-style starters that they were using by then. Oh, and the GM carburetor gave me fits! :mad: Remember the old Goodrench slogan? Keep that genuine GM feeling, with genuine GM parts? Or something like that? Too bad Mopar didn't feel the same way when they built my Gran Fury! :sick:

    The front-end of the 300 also bears a strong resemblance to a 1979 Newport, although IMO the Newport actually looks sleeker! And the high beltline and smallish windows, and thick C-pillar do recall the 1963-64 Chryslers.

    I think really, this all ties back to what I said earlier. Everything's been done, and there's just not that much out there that hasn't been done, stylewise. So as time goes by, we're only going to see more and more designs that remind us of something that's come before.
  • Dude, I owned a 72 Plymouth GTX with the 440 six pack. This car would do 135 in THIRD gear, at 3500rpm with 3000 left in 3rd and another gear to go. The only thing that kept me from finding out how fast was the friendly, profession Connecticut state police and the fact that I ran it on true bias plys to keep it stock. At the time there was nothing outside of Ferrari, Lamborghini, or Porsche that could keep up.

    Now granted it didn't handle worth a darn, but it was the flower of 1972 technology and could beat brand new 1990's cars. I also owned a 67 GTO, 65, 66, 67 and 73 Mustangs, 69 Firebird convertable, and a 68 Camaro. Nothing made today comes close to the raw excitement these cars gave you. How exciting is a civic? Wow, my civic looks just like everybody elses on the road, how exciting for me! Gee even that grandma over there bought a red one like I did, she must be sporty :P

    I regret selling all of those cars. Had I been able to see the future I would have hung on to a couple of them.

    Tell me that in 40 years a Civic Si is going to be worth 50k. If you go to a dealers lot for a used car and you not 17 to 25, you do not want an electric blue, neon'd 4 foot tall rear winged honda, that at best was raced all over the place and is likely worn out. You would have to invest 10k just to get it back to looking like a car not a video game. Eventually you have to put down the Xbox controller and actually buy a car. Which do you think would have better resale? A stock, retro muscle car, will appeal to a wider range of buyer, you and old, than a hyper civic. A friends father (70's) buys a new mustang GT convertable every three years. There is a market at every age group for these cars.
  • How is bad, to take body designs that have presence and mate them with a more reliable set of mechanicals. Who wouldn't have driven a big three car if it had and exciting body and good mechanicals in the 80's and 90's.

    :D
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,897
    Let me guess...was the friendly Connecticut state police officer driving a Chrysler product when he caught you? There's an old saying that it takes a Mopar to catch a Mopar! :shades:

    Supposedly some of those old Polara interceptors from around 1969 or so could top out at around 147 mph. When you figure my '89 Gran Fury could top out around 126, and was a wuss compared to most of those old "real" police cars, 147 doesn't seem too far of a stretch.
  • socala4socala4 Posts: 2,427
    How is bad, to take body designs that have presence and mate them with a more reliable set of mechanicals.

    I never said that it was -- obviously, a more reliable car is better than a less reliable car.

    My point is that over the long run, Ford needs to create a brand image for its nameplate that will sell all sorts of cars. At this stage of the game, in the US, it is thought of more as a seller of full-size trucks and pony cars than the bread-and-butter sedans that many people need to buy.

    One purpose of the Mustang is (or at least, should be) to sell non-Mustang Fords to would-be Ford customers. You want the guy who lusts for a Mustang but who has practical needs that prevent him from owning one to project his lust onto another Ford product, instead.

    If Ford and GM just become truck sellers that happen to sell a nostalgia car, they will continue to lose market share in the passenger car categories to their competitors. While the Mustang doesn't need to be a showcase for technology, it should be modern enough that consumers can see the tie-in to other Ford passenger cars. VW succeeded in using the New Beetle to do this, and Nissan got similar benefits by reviving the Z.

    I could be wrong, but at this point, the Mustang seems to be a speciality product that doesn't help create buzz for the other models. I don't bet that too many people are going to want to buy a Five Hundred to ease their hunger pangs for a Mustang.
  • "Let me guess...was the friendly Connecticut state police officer driving a Chrysler product when he caught you? There's an old saying that it takes a Mopar to catch a Mopar!"

    Nah, it was a grand national, and I was slowing down at the time or he would have locked me up. As it was he clocked me at over 90 and didn't light me up until he was right behind me.

    After he wrote me the ticket, we talked about the car for about 20 minutes, he had me open the hood, looked inside (pistol grip shifter rock), and then followed me for 5 miles until I got off my exit at 55 mph. Even with the ticket he was cool, he got it.
  • My point is that over the long run, Ford needs to create a brand image for its nameplate that will sell all sorts of cars. At this stage of the game, in the US, it is thought of more as a seller of full-size trucks and pony cars than the bread-and-butter sedans that many people need to buy.

    I agree, but were is the sedan that pulls you in? If you were the driver of a Stealth :P , or for that matter an avenger :blush: then you would likely at least take a 300 for a test drive. It does say performance with the chopped look, even with the 6. It does give a sort of logical prgression from a 2 door coupe to a 'family' sedan.

    Ford does not have that vehicle. You are not likely to find buyers jumping from a Mustang to a 500. First the current 500 has a very underwhelming engine. Second it is styled more like the art deco look of south beach. All the mercury and ford products are starting to look this way. Kind of a chrome soft art science caddy look. I do not think we need to bring back fins and all but don't you think ford could make a more masculine sedan with the 4.6l in it?

    In some respects the 500 does have a shape resemblence to the 63 Galaxy. But it is not a muscular vehicle, and I agree I do not think you average mustang buyer is going there for the family sedan.
  • socala4socala4 Posts: 2,427
    You are not likely to find buyers jumping from a Mustang to a 500.

    I agree, but the point is somewhat different than that.

    You are going to have a class of buyers who would love to buy a pony car or sporty car of some sort, but won't buy one because it can't hold enough kids, strollers, groceries, etc. to justify the purchase.

    The idea here is to get that warm, fuzzy feeling generated by the Mustang to stick to other Ford products. For VW, the main benefit of the New Beetle was that it sold more Jettas -- it got many people who had ignored the VW lineup but who liked the Beetle to look at the rest of the VW line, even though they would have never actually bought a Beetle for themselves.

    Likewise, I have little doubt that the 350Z has helped to sell more Altimas -- indirectly, it makes the entire Nissan line more interesting, even though a Z car otherwise has very little in common with the Altima itself. As Nissan stood at the abyss before the Renault buyout, the management figured out that it was essential to have a Z car available, even if few people actually bought one, in order to get people excited about the other cars. (As it turns out, the Z was successful in its own right, which was even better for the company.)
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,897
    is retro, in a way. It's tall, and while it's a fairly large car, it's stubby. It gets most of its interior volume from height, not stretch-out room. Up front, you have a high-up seating position, which is trying to be SUV/truck-ish, but that's also how cars used to be back in the 40's and early-mid 50's. High-up seating position, but really not a whole lot of stretch-out room for taller drivers. And a very generous back seat. The trunk of the car is huge, but again, most of that is because of the height of the car. Taller car, higher decklid. Really not that unlike your typical car of the 40's, or early 50's.

    I dunno though, if the 500 has enough flash to snag those who are lured in with the Mustang. At least with the Jetta, it's not that big of a jump from a New Beetle. And the Altima is one of the sportier midsized family-type cars out there, so it ties in well with the Z. IMO though, the 500 just doesn't have that pizzaz. Now the Fusion does, IMO. I could see someone getting lured in by the Mustang, and driving home with a Fusion. Or maybe a Focus.
  • So if I understand correctly, you are agreeing that a retro styled model will help drive up foot traffic at a dealership? If so I agree.

    While I am not in the market for a new car right now, I would look at a Mustang to see how it invokes the memories of cars I have owned. Would it be enough to make me pull the trigger? Now no, but if I were looking, yes. Will the charger/challenger 2 door put more people in the showroom for Chrysler group, yes. A retro Camaro? Yes.

    I agree with the previous poster about the tbird. If the angles were right and the hood and trunk fixed you would be a sweet ride. But ford could sell a lot of them at 30k. It is a cruiser not a performance car. If it were priced to compete with the Solara in price and even the SLK/Crossfire group, I think the market would see a few more on the road. The other option is the give it the squarebird treatment, extend the wheelbase and give it 4 seats. Volvo and Saab, Mercedes, Chrysler and Toyota all have fair to good selling 4 seat convertables. There is a market there, I think.
  • socala4socala4 Posts: 2,427
    So if I understand correctly, you are agreeing that a retro styled model will help drive up foot traffic at a dealership?

    Depends. For Ford, the track record is 50-50 -- worked for the Mustang, failed miserably for the T-Bird. The Beetle was definitely retro (had to be, by definition), but the Z was certainly not, just a sharp evolution of the last design based upon the essential concept common to all Z's (six-cylinder two-seater on a RWD platform.)

    The Mustang has obviously sold a lot of Mustangs -- in that sense, it is an unqualified success -- but I doubt if it helps to sell any of the other Ford cars. The ideal Mustang would do both.
  • Since we are talking and Ford does own them, I think the next vehicle in the Jaguar product line should be based on the XK 120 - 150 model line. A purpose built convertable / or retractable hardtop (ala 500 sl), with either the 4 liter supercharged or 4.2 liter 8 used now. Put a 6 speed manual in the car and you would have a tight 2 seater based on one of the most beautiful cars ever on the road. :blush:

    I would love to also see an update on the early 60's Lincoln continental convertables with the suicide doors. My father had 2 he restored and the were just a blast to drive. Nothing like the 460 lincoln engine for effortless crusin' :)
  • I think one of the reasons that the big 3 are going back to, if not the roots, then certainly older branches is that there is a history there. For the most part cars made in Asia did not really hit these shores until the 70's with any impact. They were small, more efficient and ran well, but style wise they left alot to be desired. I really do not want to see a retro B210. British culture seems to appreciate style that add's a classic touch, see Jaguar, Morgan, and the Mini (I know not all British, but every manufacturer is in bed with at least one other, no monogamy in autos :surprise: ) The main european manufacturers that sell cars in the US, primarily German and Sweden have given us evolutionary styling, and have not really evoked classic lines from the past. A sporty update of the old P1800 would be kinda neat. Americans are a people who look forward to the future but are particularly mindful of the past. Due to our particular lifestyle, the automobile has played a large part in our lives. For a lot of us it was our first bedroom ;), it brought us to the birth of our children, to our proms, weddings, funerals. The car is almost a family member of its own. Retro will always work for that reason. There is an emotional tug, when you see these cars.

    The family had the good fortune of owning a 65 e type. Bad condition and all, we sold it during restoration, we were able to drive it a few times before really taking it apart. When I saw the new XK8 for the first time, my eyes kind of unfocused and I was back in the garage with my father, using old tools and muscle power to carefully remove parts from an old jag. I swear I could still smell the leather, the oil... It was fantastic. That is the emotional response I think a retro car envisions.

    The new crop of Asian cars do not have that connection to long ago. I had an old RX-7 with the alpha engine, when the RX 8 came out, I thought it was a good design with some bold directions. It did not take me back though to the old RX.
  • Insurance on my 2005 400hp GTO is very cheap for a 400hp performance car. It's not much more $$ to insure then a regular rental Grand Prix V6. I had the GTP supercharged Grand Prix which was only $100 a yr cheaper to insure, but, it was also 5 yrs older then GTO.

    As for low tech performance cars, my GTO was just slightly under $30k. A bargain.
  • "You are going to have a class of buyers who would love to buy a pony car or sporty car of some sort, but won't buy one because it can't hold enough kids, strollers, groceries, etc. to justify the purchase. "

    I have kids, strollers etc and bought the GTO as my 2nd car. The backseat is just as roomy as a 4 door Grand Prix or Accord etc. Just the pain of getting in and out. We get all of our stuff to fit, You have to pack smart. Many people think because they have 1 or 2 kids that they have to run out and buy a minivan or SUV. Not always.
  • Just as a question, would you have preferred a more angular body with influences from the 67, to the more aerodynamic look of the current car? For a 2 door seden the classic squared off 60's models were really sharp looking cars.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,897
    had a '67 GTO. Beautiful car, IMO. He sold it for $500 before I was old enough to remember the car, but I've seen pictures of it.

    I always thought the GTOs hit their peak, style-wise, in '66-67.
  • socala4socala4 Posts: 2,427
    I have kids, strollers etc and bought the GTO as my 2nd car. The backseat is just as roomy as a 4 door Grand Prix or Accord etc. Just the pain of getting in and out. We get all of our stuff to fit, You have to pack smart. Many people think because they have 1 or 2 kids that they have to run out and buy a minivan or SUV. Not always.

    It worked for you, but for some others, it won't (or at least they believe that it won't, which is all that counts.)

    The point is that it would be beneficial to Ford to have a performance car that helps customers to get interested in their other cars. If the Mustang is a one-trick pony that does nothing to move customers to look at other Ford cars, then that would be to the detriment of Ford.
  • The point is that it would be beneficial to Ford to have a performance car that helps customers to get interested in their other cars.

    The point of the retro is to get some blood flowing in the potential consumer, or ride the coattails of a trend started by someone else. I see a lot of families driving small 2 door civics, accords, corollas and Scions, not because its a great choice, but likely because its a cost issue. If we are discussing Muscle cars, or image cars with retro styling, the issues of utility are secondary. The prime focus is attacting attention. If you see an old GT-350 rolling down the road, you stare, you glance, but it gets your attention. For people interested in image cars thats what they want. Why else would the average person throw down 50k for an H2. Most of the ones I see on the road are single drivers commuting. Other than, say an H1 or 85 Suburban I cannot think of a vehicle that makes less sense for its use. But it pulls people into the dealership. If you have a good experience with that car you are likely to purchase another or something from within that family for your next one.

    Thats why so many people still buy from the big three, even though qualitatively they are a little behing the asian manufacturers. My mother in law owned an old chrysler something in the 70's. She and her husband had tranny problems. She will not even ride in a chrysler product now. (30 years!) She saw a 300 the other day in a parking lot and asked me what it was. I asked her if she liked it, she said yes. Then I told her it was a Chrysler and she said, oh no then I don't like it. She has had great experiences with Buicks, thats all she will drive.

    The point is if a retro mustang, or charger, or camaro gets you into a ford, chrysler or GM, and you have a good experience you will be more likely to give them a shot the second time around. With most of these retro vehicles the smile factor is higher.

    Would I buy a mustang now because it resembled some that I owned in the past. Absolutely.
  • socala4socala4 Posts: 2,427
    I don't think I've been making my point quite clearly, because it's a bit different than that.

    My message here is that part of the purpose for a car such as a Mustang is to get non-Mustang buyers into Ford showrooms -- people who would never actually buy a Mustang, but for whom the car resonates greatly enough that the s/he would be more inclined to take his or her needs for a sedan, econobox, etc. into a Ford showroom than they otherwise would.

    The car should be there to create buzz even among people who wouldn't dream of getting one, for whatever reason (but likely because they would not view it as a practical purchase). You want the magic of the car to rub off on everyone looking at Ford products, not just the would-be Mustang buyers.
  • You want the magic of the car to rub off on everyone looking at Ford products, not just the would-be Mustang buyers.

    I hear ya. My thought though is that for retro to work well, and for it to affect an entire product line, you would need those touches on an entire product line, don't you think?

    I just think the design of almost all fords except the mustang and the GT, do not intantly evoke a connection to the past. I agree, I do not think that someone seeing a mustang drive by is going to say, wow I think I need to by a fusion because that mustangs fantastic.

    I agree with your point. But as far as nitch, retro vehicles go, I think there will always be a place for them.

    Chrysler could market a good set of cars with fondly remembered cars like the Barracude, GTX, Superbird, Demon. Ford really only had the Mustang that made people swoon, nobody really wants a torino. By the virtue of size, GM has Chevelles, Camaro's Firebirds, Nova's, Le Mans (although thats you lowpo GTO).

    Another retro themed vehicle that could make a splash would be a ram derived powerwagon. With the right stylist a retro powerwagon would sell well to the mopar truck set.
  • For me GM missed the boat with the GTO, the holden is a fine car that provides an excellent driving experience. It just do not evoke the spirit of the GTO. I think a more angular body design, as well as the Z06 engine would make a fine GTO. Any engineers out there who could comment on using the vette underpinnings for a 2 door coupe? To keep the standard bearer up you could down rate the engine 25 or 30 hp. This way the Z06 would still be performance king, but the new GTO would be an explosive car. You would not need to load it up with all the electronic nonsense found in cars these days. Tooling would be the main issue I think. Also one of the most important features was that true muscle cars were not that much more money than the more pedestrian breatheren on the assembly line. Mr. shiftright has a good post going about collector cars and makes several good points that should apply today.

    When I bought my 73 mustang, the original owners still had the window sticker in the glove box. It cost about $3400 new and I paid $3600 in 1985.

    In 73 3,400 was not cheap, but it certainly was not breaking the bank either. Today, the equivelant car would be somewhere in the low 20's.

    I do not see a retro vehicle with good performance being made at that price point. You would have to make to many, and then it just becomes another civic type vehicle.
  • rockyleerockylee Posts: 14,011
    Can you fit car seats in the back seat. The 2006 is going to be the last year right for the GTO, or do we have one more year for the best bang for the buck ????

    Rocky

    P.S. I will sure miss the GTO, and thus I'm seriously considering getting me a copy. With a good rebate and my GM discount it might be the best money one could spend for 400hp. ;)
  • Yes the car seats fit in the back. I use Britax. 2006 is the end of the road for the GTO as for now. I paid just under $30k for my 2005 with a GM discount back in March 2005. The only pain is getting in and out the back (slow seat motors) but you get used to it. Trunk is small. Otherwise I like it. As for stroller I use compact ones to save on space.
  • carfaxcarfax Posts: 43
    Most people to day check cars out on the internet before they go to the show rooms and already know what else Ford has to offer and they aren't interested enough to look at something they have no intention of buying and knowing that there isn't anything else that Ford has made lately in cars that is going to turn their heads either.

    In most cases it works the other way around with Retro's. You have the guy that just must have it and the one that is looking at the Fusion and the Stang catches his or her eye and drives it away.

    Ford has to build more then just one car of interest for the public to enter their show rooms or any other manufacture for that matter. Sedan and econobox buyers are just that and you have to talk them into buying a Mustang if you catch them looking at it.
  • "It just do not evoke the spirit of the GTO"

    This Holden-GTO definitely evokes the spirit of the GTO which is a big V8 (6.0 Liter) in a midsized 2 door car & very fast performance. This new GTO is the fastest-most powerfull GTO EVER BUILT. Unlike the original GTO's it can actually handle and brake quite nicely. Orig. GTO's were just straight line cars.

    "Today, the equivelant car would be somewhere in the low 20's. I do not see a retro vehicle with good performance being made at that price point. You would have to make to many, and then it just becomes another civic type vehicle."

    The new 2006 retro base $20k Mustang V6 with 210hp V6 does 0-60 in 6.9 seconds. 6.9 is quite fast. Which is just as fast or faster then any 1973 Mustang.
  • rockyleerockylee Posts: 14,011
    So this is the end of the line for the Grand Turismo Omlagato. :cry:

    I guess I better do some hard thinking if I want a copy.

    Rocky

    P.S. If I get one it will be a 6 speed Black ext w/Red leather int. Plus sport package ;)
  • I got the Impulse Blue outside with the Bermuda Blue leather interior 6spd. No sports package. My 2nd choice would have been the black with red interior. You will be able to buy them late into this year. The last boatload arrives here in Sept.
This discussion has been closed.