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Were Old Cars more Fun Than Modern Ones?

hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
edited November 2011 in General
Of the cars you've owned or known, which one(s) gave you the most pleasure? If it was an older model, was it because it wasn't so perfect? As odd as it may seem, for me if a car is too predictably perfect, as many modern ones are, they're not much fun.

Unfortunately, I didn't have the pleasure of owning a sports car in my youth, but I had a friend with an Austin Healey 3000 and another with a '61 Corvette. While these cars had unique quirks and drawbacks, they were blasts to drive. Another acquaintance had a '30s Ford with a hopped up Olds Rocket engine in it; dangerous, but a blast.

Modern cars, even budget models, tend to accelerate faster, and corner and stop better than yesteryear's models, but are less thrilling to drive. Sometimes they don't even feel faster, in part because they're quieter, vibrate less, and don't squat, dive and lean as much.

What are your thoughts on this?

Of the cars I've owned, a '65 Mustang V8 with 4-speed, heavy duty suspension and posi-traction was the most fun. Apparently someone else liked it too because it got stolen.
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Comments

  • bryanbryan Northern VAPosts: 231
    Nice topic to reminscence about. Maybe because I was younger and everything was "more fun"? I don't know. I've had a number of cars over the past 40 years; I'm sure I did and didn't enjoy something about each; I'll have to think more about that.

    I do remember always liking convertibles, so I've owned a few. I wouldn't mind a '12 Camaro convertible.

    I do like all the improvements that we see in today's cars. So,if I could have today's modern car features on say, a 1972 Cutlass convertible--I wonder what color???
  • texasestexases Posts: 9,431
    Good question. My cars peaked with my '83 GTI. The earlier ones ('65 Mustang 170 cid and '72 Duster 198 cid) obviously weren't 'overpowered', and neither were they fun to drive. The GTI was a blast because I could drive it hard just about all the time and not get a ticket. Do that in a modern GTI and you'd be going 100 mph, easy.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 52,592
    I have to say my fintail is more fun to drive than my E55 - but I think some of that isn't because of its abilities , but because it is old, unusual, and gets some attention, while the E55, which can destroy most cars on the road in performance, never has to work hard and blends into the background.
  • berriberri Posts: 10,165
    I think the old cars were more fun, but not just because of nostalgia. You had different designs and model changes every year so you had Ford guys, Chevy guys, Mopar guys (and of course there are a few Studebaker guys still hanging around!). You'd recognize people on the road by their car. The old V8 babies would spin out and had that great engine rumble, maybe even almost kill yourself pushin' it (the thrill and drama of cheating death)! No computer controls inhibiting laying rubber either. VW Beetles were good for donuts in the snow. Cars were relatively cheap and easy to work on, so you could mod them or mess around trying to fine tune them. You could get a convertible in anything from a cheap compact Rambler American to a huge land yacht Caddy or Imperial. Having said all that, for a cross country trip I appreciate today's cars handling, quiet, reliability and economy - but its fun to think back to the days of Route 66 - oh, and don't forget the music!
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
    edited November 2011
    I think a Duster with the 340 would be fun.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
    All true.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
    edited November 2011
    I once drove a fintail from near Chicago to Madison, WI. Can't remember much about the experience.
  • berriberri Posts: 10,165
    I once drove a fintail from near Chicago to Madison, WI.

    Had to be some beer involved in that trip - right?
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
    edited November 2011
    Well, probably not on that trip. However, you probably know that beer drinking is a popular elective at the U of WI, my alma mater.
  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAPosts: 15,306
    ...a very interesting topic in the Classic Cars forum called "Old Cars: What Were They REALLY Like?" back in the day.
  • texasestexases Posts: 9,431
    edited November 2011
    "I think a Duster with the 340 would be fun. "

    Absolutely, a friend had a Dart 340, lots of fun. My 198 didn't have much power, but it did pull a small uhaul from Houston to the west coast!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    I like older cars because they *sound* and *smell* so mechanical. The driver is very involved in the process (for better or worse). Also, an old car NEEDS YOU---it relies on you, like a dog waiting to be fed. New cars are like cats--if you don't feed them on time, they don't care--they'll go to the neighbors or eat a bird.

    Favorite experiences with old cars:

    1. '68 Morgan -- what a wonderful primitive rattle-trap of a car. You could be doing 45 and it felt like 145. As the joke went, in a Morgan you could run over a dime and tell if it was heads or tails!

    2. '66 Toronado -- blasting through snow drifts in Colorado with 4 studded snow tires. The car was virtually unstoppable.

    3. Jaguar XK140 -- the engine note was wonderful

    4. Mercedes 220 Sb -- compared to domestic cars of that day, it had a feeling of clockwork precision about it--an almost feminine car in the controls, yet looking out over the rounded hood and the gunsight, you got a sense of solidity and determination. Great old car with the best windshield view I ever had.

    5. Mini Cooper S -- engine is on cam, on boost, and you floor it---the supercharger wails like a siren and you're pushed back in the seat. Way fun.

    6. '63 Buick Riviera -- cockpit of a spaceship...floaty boaty in outer space, the world outside a mere noiseless distraction. Big leather buckets coddling you. Hood rising up when you floor it. Massive feeling, as in "get out of my way peasant".

    7. Porsche 928 -- a German Corvette, with all that implies. Go as fast as you dare, it doesn't mind.

    8. Honda 600 coupe -- a motorcycle with a roof...tinny, noisy, tiny...the ladies just loved it.

    9. Triumph TR250 --- a man's sports car through and through. The good looks of the TR4 body mated to the big 6 engine of the TR 250. I miss that car still.

    10. Volvo 544 Sport -- Sweden's idea of a '48 Ford...that long gearshift lever, peppy little 1.8L engine. Fun to drive, good heater, vent windows...ah. The car was indestructible and dead reliable, and so easy to work on. I miss that car a lot, too.
  • au1994au1994 GAPosts: 1,877
    edited November 2011
    Good anecdotes!

    My experience was with my 66 Mustang convertible.

    Pros:

    I mentioned it was a convertible, right?

    289 V-8 checked the box on the butt o meter, even if it really wasn't that fast.

    Driving it was a visceral experience, yet it was tame compared to some of the other brute muscle cars or imports of the same vintage.

    Minor foibles taught a young, poor driver to turn a wrench or 2.

    Lord was it pretty. (in my mind at least, truthfully it was a 'driver')

    Cons:

    Sometimes there, sometimes not feeling from the 4 drum brakes.

    Minor foibles mentioned above kept me from keeping it as my college car. 250 miles from door step to campus and mom said no way was her precious little boy driving that 'death trap'

    Wallowy steering that I never could quite solve despite new shocks and bushings.

    Useless heater and the cold naturedness of Fords. I placed a pizza box over my radiator from about November to March to heat the engine up quicker.

    So, was it more fun than anything 'modern' I have had since? Probably, although I had a Wrangler for a while that scratched the convertible itch and was pretty fun as well. Ladies were pretty fond of it as well. ;)

    Would I like to drive it every day? No, don't think so.

    2008 Toyota Land Cruiser White over Tan
    2017 BMW X1 Jet Black over Mocha

  • fintailfintail Posts: 52,592
    I like your reasoning and your anecdotes - whenever the fintail acts a little temperamental, I tell it (not a good sign) something alone the lines of "you'd probably be in a junkyard right now if not for me, so don't be so pissy".

    I've only had a lot of personal experience with 2 old cars - my first car, a 66 Galaxie 2 door HT, 390 4bbl, and the fintail. The first car had pinkie finger power steering, drank gas like Niagara Falls drinks water, could burn rubber for an entire block, and generally didn't like corners or braking. Where the fintail has an engine like an electric sewing machine, loads of body lean but actually some handling at the same time, and as you mention, it is as precisely built as a Swiss watch. There have been other old cars in the family, including an unpleasant to drive stripped down 68 Fairlane, a fun barge of a 60 Ford Country Sedan, and my dad's tin can Datsun 710 bought out of an estate for $100 about 7 years ago that for some reason he liked, but the first two will always be in my head.
  • berriberri Posts: 10,165
    I like the roof line on the 66 big Ford's. Didn't realize they were still making them as Galaxie's back them. I guess I thought the hardtops were all LTD's by then.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    People never believe me when I tell them the amount of gasoline a 390 V8 could gobble. Maybe the one I briefly owned wasn't in the best of tune, but I swear it got like 6 mpg. It ran well, though. It was a '64 Galaxie 500XL convertible...a very nice out of control ride.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 52,592
    Sounds right. I remember my car averaged around 8 city/12 highway....driving with a slightly heavy foot but not usually too bad. Just a pig. I always thought my parents were crazy for letting a 16 year old have such a beast, now I understand their strategy - drinks so much gas you can never afford to drive very far :shades:
  • fintailfintail Posts: 52,592
    I think the Galaxie 2 door HT lived through 68 or 69 as a fastback.
  • fezofezo Manahawkin, NJPosts: 10,379
    My dad had a couple of Galaxies, I think a 66 then a 70. Pinky power steering indeed. I thought I really hated that until he got a Custom with no power steering!
    2015 Mazda 6 Grand Touring, 2014 Mazda 3 Sport Hatchback, 1999 Mazda Miata 2004 Toyota Camry LE, 1999.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 52,592
    At around the same time, one of my dad's old cars was that 68 Fairlane, manual steering and brakes, and to top it off, a 3 on the tree! I thought it was unpleasant to drive, but he liked it - I think it was closer to a 1950 technology, which was good to him.
  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAPosts: 15,306
    ...I remember my 1968 Buick Special Deluxe being rather fuel-efficient. I swore it got at least 20 MPG on leaded regular. It had a 350 V-8 with a 2bbl carb.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    A considerably lighter car than a '64 Galaxie convertible I'd imagine, and with a much more efficient engine.
  • My first car when I was 16 was a '67 Camaro (and the car was already 20-ish years old). Boy does reading this thread bring back memories. Not only could you actually work on your own car back in the day, but the cars themselves had lots of character and many seemed to have personalities all their own...

    Sure it's nice having a car that pretty much never breaks down and is quiet and doesn't smell like unburnt fuel when it's sitting there idling, but where's the fun in that?
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
    It was indeed '50s technology, with a '60s body. First gear may have been synchronized, though, but I'm not sure. If it was, that would have been an improvement over what was available in the '50s.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 52,592
    I don't remember, it was a nice enough car and very well preserved, but it wasn't my driving style, I am lazy :shades: . The few times I drove it I took my dad's advice and left it in 2nd a lot - it was a V8 so it had enough torque to move itself along.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,345
    If you think that 390 Galaxie used a lot of gas, try owing a 65 Riviera Gran Sport with the 425-360 HP engine!

    Those had TWO 4bbls and if I really nursed it, it MIGHT have been good for 10 MPG.

    When that second carb opened up, I could literally watch the gas guage drop!

    And, of course, it required the super premimum 100 plus octane stuff.

    But, what a car! It could lay a two strips of rubber for as long as I wanted to hold the gas pedel down. I think I tried that trick once!

    You mentioned 544 Volvos. I owned a couple of them in my youth and I wish I could find another. They were tougher than a box of rocks and so much fun to drive. For just a few hundred dollars more than a VW beetle, they were SO MUCH more car!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    The 544 mgiht be the most indestructible automobile ever made...there were a few weaknesses, but easily overcome. Simple to work on, so you could keep them going forever; fun to drive, and yes, the heaters really worked!

    Were it not for the lack of AC, I am often tempted to ditch all my modern cars and just drive one of those (restored, of course).
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,345
    edited November 2011
    Some of my former classmates got together last summer and we had a great time telling tales of our mispent youth.

    " Do you remember the time we....?"

    We once spotted a much despised math teacher at a bus stop huddled in the rain as he waited for a bus. I forget which of my beaters I was driving at the time but as soon as I spotted him I
    switched off my ignition.

    When we were right along side of him, I turned it back on.

    Of course, this resulted in a LOUD explosion! He jumped and screamed like a woman!

    We were all laughing so hard I nearly ran into a parked car.

    Can't do that with a modern, fuel injected car!

    So, yeah...old cars could certainly be more fun even if we did have to replace a muffler now and then!
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,345
    The one I should have kept was a black 1962 with the B-18 engine. I loved that car!

    I was working in a gas station and I bought it from a customer cheap because it had a bad clutch.

    Replacing the clutch was a simple job. I did that, and waxed it up and it was like a new car!

    Two weeks later I guy pulled me over while was driving it and offered to buy it.

    I really was becoming attached to it but when he offered me twice what I had in it, I jumped at it.

    The weak spot seems to be rust even around here where it doesn't snow much and they don't salt the streets.
  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAPosts: 15,306
    However, I bet when that second carb opened up, it threw you back into the seat! I miss that thrilling rush of power from those old cars!
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,345
    Rush of power doesn't begin to describe that Riviera.

    And it had a good sound too.

    One night a guy in a GTO decided to show me how fast his car was.

    The Riviera leaped ahead of him just before he blew his posi unit.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 13,019
    I like the roof line on the 66 big Ford's. Didn't realize they were still making them as Galaxie's back them. I guess I thought the hardtops were all LTD's by then.

    Galaxie 500's were built in sedan and hardtop guise through the '74 model year.
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 21,727
    edited November 2011
    I agree with Shifty, certain old cars had a mechanical nature that was distinctive and some like my '66 TR-4A really needed you (more than I needed it since I could get to work by subway). Each had it's own characteristics and peculiarities. German cars were unlike Italian cars which unlike British cars which weren't anything like American cars etc. etc.

    I've had some fun cars-

    '66 TR-4A perhaps even more of a man's car than Shifty's TR-250 since it rode like an oxcart (non-IRS). Not exactly the ideal car for NYC but it had great brakes, and cornering for it's day. Basically 1930s tech wrapped in nice Italian (Michelotti) coachwork. Needed lots of TLC, rust and bad electrics were real problems but it was really fun to drive and easy to park, surprisingly good in snow. No power assists whatever, comprehensive instrumentation, tonneau cover.

    '71 Fiat 124 Sport Spiderr, the opposite of the TR, : feminine and graceful, cool racing horn, wonderful convertible top, decent ride, good on gas nice seats and cool gauges with Italian lettering (Benzina, Olio Agua). Peculiarities included manual choke that would stick whenever temps dropped below freezing. Surprisingly good in snow but wouldn't start in single digit temps. Rev-happy motor and five-speed gearbox. Wish I still had it but it was as good a car as any to get through the 70s. As rust-prone as the TR.

    '70 Pontiac GTO convertible
    , bought used when 12 y/o, 400CID-4V 4-speed, power top. Handled and braked well for it's size, tons of low end grunt. Crappy seats, interior ergonomics. Poor steering feel. Used as second car but it stepped up when my regular ride got wrecked ans served as commuter/sales led for 2 months which worked except for awful mileage (14-15?). A real kick when floored in low gears.

    '83 Volkswagen GTI, great (Recaro) seats, instrumentation, and transitional handling. Great in snow and commuter traffic, crummy interior (exc. seats), good versatility thru hatch. Buzzy ride on long rides ([email protected] 70mph) Sold it to get '85 Prelude, wish I hadn't.

    '86 Ford Mustang GT conv. 5-speed. Strong acceleration, so-so mileage (18-22mpg), Good mechanical grip but too much understeer (easily overcome with throttle input). So-so build quality/reliability, crappy gearbox. Kept for 12 years but I don't think I'd buy another, even if I could find a good one.

    I need another two-seat roadster, there's nothing like them. It saddens me that kids don't go for those any more.

    2001 BMW 330ci/E46, 2008 BMW 335i conv/E93

  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 15,372
    edited November 2011
    I sold because they were too much fun.
    As I have gotten older, I'm willing to give up the fun of getting there, to tipping the balance toward getting there.
    The most fun car I ever had was an 86 Mustang GT 5 speed.
    Made me feel like I was Steve McQueen.
    I sold the car because my wife had trouble driving it, but it a good decision in the long run.
    2020 Ford Explorer XLT, 2019 Lincoln MKZ Reserve 1
  • Hi,

    The survey of 1,115 Britons aged between 18 and 39 showed that one in five (19 per cent) think older motors are more stylish than modern vehicles.

    The same percentage believe older cars are better made and last longer, while 18 per cent reckon older cars are unlikely to depreciate in value.

    Topping the list of cars that have made the transition from cringeworthy to cool is the Honda Civic 2001-2003 model.

    One in eight (13 per cent) used car dealers surveyed for the study said they had sold a Honda Civic in the past year.

    In second place is the Ford Sierra, once dismissed as a ‘jelly-mould’, followed by the classic Ford Capri, launched in 1969 but which became a staple of the 1970s and 1980s.
    link title
    Thanks
  • In the 60-70's, a stock "Fast" car using the pitiful tires would run 15 sec quarter mile times.

    Also, you could hold the throttle full bore for a good time and not get over 120-130 or so.

    No More..
    My stock and low-horsepower 1990 Corvette gains speed in a HURRY.
    Passing a car from 45 or so, holding it till you clear the vehicle, I find it going 110mph or so.
    Much too Quick.

    The Speed Limiter is set on mine at 165 more or less, due to the limit of the tires.

    Old cars were more fun, slick tires, long acceleration times and looud.
    Today, from a rolling start, the fun is OVER in 10 sec or so, unless you're living in Montana.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    how true---400/500 HP cars are just a waste of money in our cop-laden, speed-trap infested world.

    When I started getting speeding tickets in a Subaru, I knew the end of the world was near.

    I drove 114 miles from Santa Cruz to Sonoma today. I counted 5 highway patrol cars sitting in wait, + 2 having stopped vehicles, + 2 on the road just rolling along. :(
  • I find the old cars were far less intimidating, more inviting to take apart and experiment with. My first was a 55 Chevy Bel Air Hardtop, purchased for $50.00, with the engine in the pieces. It took a Summer, but with no experience whatever, it was running. Not only did I have a great time; I inadvertently gained a career. :)
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    That reminds me of a comment overheard at an MG meet: "You can often fix these cars with things you find lying on the side of the road".

    And it's true! A coat hanger, a piece of wood. I've done this very thing, and I'm sure many of we older chaps have as well.

    I get to drive a lot of older cars, and they certainly do vary in their driving characteristics and the level of enjoyment one has with them.
  • My fav is my 1968 DeVille Convertible which I still have, followed by my 1970 Fleetwood Brougham, which i had in my college days.

    I remember separating the tread and 1st steel belt on I-395 in CT going 140MPH. That was my introduction to the need for speed rated tires!. It blew my fender skirts clear off. I never did find them - had to buy another pair at the junkyard. I had that car for 7 years.

    Cadillacs from 1968-1970 had many modern features that other cars of that era did not have, like:

    Safety:
    Power dual master cylinder so many single cylinder non powered cars back then I see them at car shows and thank heaven I'm not driving that car home.
    Front disc brakes (although they were optional on 1968 RWDs)
    Collapsible steering column unlike just a couple years earlier that basically became a pike aimed at your heart in a front end collision

    Comfort & convenience:
    Climate control - 'nuff said
    8 way power seats - dual power seats in 1970 Fleetwoods
    Twilight Sentinel auto on headlights with adjustable delay
    Auto dimming headlights
    Cornering lights
    Auto parking brake pulloff, the brake came off in gear with the engine running. Very annoying that my CTS and STS do not have this.
    Power trunk release with power pulldown
    Power windows with lockout and ignition bypass Power vents on 1968 Fleetwoods (optional on others)
    Power door locks
    Comfortable leather seats
    Limited slip differential
    Cruise Control - very finicky though
    Auto level control - also finicky mainly due the the vacuum powered pump for the shocks
    Reading lights 8-10 light came on when you opened the doors in my Fleetwood.
    Tilt & telescope steering wheel Freaked my wife out when i first showed it to her. She made some comment about my driving, and i said "you want to drive" and i unlocked the telescope and pulled the wheel up slowly. She about fainted.
    There was even an experimental ABS on a very few 1970 called Trackmaster. Without high speed computers it wasn't so great, but it did work.

    Thy got 10-12 MPG in mixed driving, better than some giant modern SUVs, but not so good when you consider they require 91 octane or better - meaning premium only.

    They were also easy to work on.

    And that 472 CI with 10.5:1 compression ratio (10:1 on 1970s with 1970 Eldorado having 500CI) made for tons of power and the Rochester QuadraJet with its 750CFM rating could actually feed it nicely. I've had my 1968 overhauled, set it up like a 1970 (no A.I.R pump) with a mild camshaft upgrade. It rocketed down the road before at 95MPH with the top down. Can't wait to get it back (almost finished with body restoration) and get it back in action.
  • I had no shortage of access to sports cars & muscle cars of the late 60s, early 70 either. I drove late 60s, early 70s corvettes, firebirds, camaros, mustangs, chargers, and even got to drive a few A ustin Healey(3000 & Sprite), triumphs, MGs, and Datsun 240 / 260Zs, and the occasianal mercedes and bmw

    And, I loved the look of Crager S/S wheels, still do.

    But eventually i decided that Cadillacs (perhaps Lincoln at one time) were my favs and it's been that way.

    Final confirmation was in 2002 when i drove our fairly new 2001 Miata from Tampa to Ft Dix NJ. My hands & arms nearly vibrated off my body from all the vibration. Fast forward a few years and driving the Eldorado Convertible a similar distance was like night and day.
  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAPosts: 15,306
    My girlfriend from back in the day had a drop-dead gorgeous white 1969 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham. This was from the early to late 1980s and it looked like it just rolled out of the factory. It was her mother's car and in her family since they purchased it new in October 1968.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 52,592
    140 in a 1970 Fleetwood?
  • steverstever Posts: 52,457
    edited January 2012
    There was a white Galaxie 500 in my family. My brother would take me out in the evening sometimes and we'd pull up behind a drunk and they'd slow down to 20. All the cop cars in our town were white Galaxies. That was the fun part.

    I borrowed it and took it to school one Thanksgiving and unseasonable weather froze it up and cracked the block.

    Funnest old car would have to be one of the 70s Beetles I drove.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 24,364
    140 in a 1970 Fleetwood?

    Hey, with a big enough odometer discrepancy, it's possible! :shades: My '67 Catalina convertible's speedometer reads about 10% fast, at least when checking it with portable GPS's. And going in the other direction, my old '79 Newport was clocked by a cop's radar gun at 88 mph, when I swear the speedometer only read 73! My '89 Gran Fury got me in trouble with the cops once too, so I took it to a specialist to get tested and re-calibrated. Turns out that 100 mph true only registered as 91 mph on the speedo.
  • omarmanomarman Posts: 2,610
    Did that Gran Fury or Newport have over sized tires? :confuse:
    A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 24,364
    Did that Gran Fury or Newport have over sized tires?

    Yeah, both of them did. I forget now what the stock tire size was, but I remember I had 235/70/R15's on the Gran Fury, and 235/75/R15's on the back of the Newport (215/75/R15 up front).

    The base tire on a '79 R-body is a wimpy 195/75/R15, but mine had bigger 15x7 wheels and deep, turbine style hubcaps. Those normally came with a larger tire, like a 215/70 or even a 225/70, but I can't remember for sure.

    I actually still have the Gran Fury's old tires and copcar wheels on the back of my 5th Ave. Dunno what they're throwing off the speedometer by, but the odometer reads about 2.3% slow, at least from using Google Maps as a reference point and checking the distance. I think I've read that whatever your odometer gets thrown off by, the speedometer is usually doubled. Something about it not being a direct connection, but magnetic, or something like that?

    Oh, now that I think about it, my other New Yorker's speedometer is off, too. I remember the day I brought it home from PA, with my buddy following me in his 2006 Xterra. He calls me on the cell and asks me why I'm doing 80 mph. I told him I'm not; I'm only running 65-70. Turns out, I wasn't! :blush:

    I had totally forgotten about that one, because I hardly ever drive it.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    edited January 2012
    You gotta have a BIG SET to go 140 mph in a '70 Fleetwood, even if you could. (probably more like 115--120 if you had the room) I guess you could get your white knuckles around the wheel, hunch down over it, hit the gas and make sure that steering wheel never deviates one fraction of an inch. Do not turn the wheel or hit the brakes. It would be like slamming the brakes on an ocean liner anyway.

    I get nervous in big older American "floaty-boaties" at about 85-90 mph.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 52,592
    edited January 2012
    I think 140 might be stretching it. I know those have a powerful and torquey engine, but at the same time, it weighs as much as a battleship, has the aerodynamics of a barn, and doesn't like to rev. I could see 120 or so. I think even a 6.3 was only good for a little over 140.

    I think 90 is kind of iffy in any 40 year old car, just due to the ravages of time. I don't get the fintail up past 80 or so anymore, and even that is maybe a twice a year occurrence at best.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    Road & Track interviewed (surveyed) a bunch of serious race car drivers (Phil Hill caliber) and asked them at what speed they "got serious" about their driving on public roads--that is, no smoking, both hands on the wheel, little or less conversation or distractions, etc.

    The averaged-out answer was 93 mph.
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