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Mythbusting Part 2: The death of performance in the 1970s.

Old 06-21-2007, 06:38 PM
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Originally Posted by ProudPony View Post
We, here, like nice, fast, cool cars. They are expensive, and they are getting more so every day. The costs of buying and operating these cars is growing at a rate faster than our average salaries are, so they are becoming more difficult for us average Joes to afford.
Tell me about, in 1991 I went looking at a loaded LX 5.0, it was barely 14k (a few years later I bought a use loaded LX 5.0 for less than 10k actually), In novmber 2001 I bought a loaded GT for 24k and in december 2006 I bought a loaded GT for 31k

Even the hobby stuff is getting pricey, 2 years ago I bought a set of Bassani 1-3/4 to 1-7/8 LTs for that old 1991 LX and paid about 700.00 for the set (nothing fancy, just the usual industrial chrome plated stuff) now they are 900.00 for the same set.

Last edited by bossco; 06-22-2007 at 08:24 AM.
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Old 06-22-2007, 05:50 AM
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Hopefully you guys see my point - the price of playing in this hobby is going up... fast. Faster than our income levels are, which means that there are fewer people able/willing to participate. THIS is the slowing of the market right in front of you... it's happening NOW.

It's not like you wake up one morning and all of a sudden there are no musclecars on the street anywhere. It's slow to take place, but just like in the 70's and 80's, it will happen again - I personally feel sure of it.

One last thought... Just like the folks who were teenagers during the 60's are driving the current musclecar frenzy... so will the folks who were teenagers in the late 80's and 90's when the 5.0s, IROC's, 5.0 T-birds, GN's, and MC/SS's were hot on the street. There will be another wave of collectors and/or buyers for hot rods in 15-20 more years just like the craze now. And yet again, the folks who are teenagers now, seeing Terminator Cobras, GT500s, SRT Chargers and the likes but can't afford them... these kids will be seeking these cars in 30-40 years when they have retirement funds to blow too (if we still have gas and a free lifestyle available to us).

The thing to remember is that it will only be the ones who can afford them that will pay for them. And THERE-IN lies the $64 question....
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Old 06-22-2007, 08:25 AM
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When the MARKET for a musclecar goes away, so will the musclecar.

That is in essence what happened in the 1970's and early 80's - there was no single dagger that did it, it was the overall summation of all the factors at play. Bottom line is, the common ponycar/musclecar was simply impractical and too expensive to own and operate under the economic conditions of that day. Some people could afford them, so they lived on - even if in limited numbers.
But, the Camaro sales record was set in 1979, with the surrounding years also quite high- certainly higher than the late 60s/early 70s.

Wasn't there a giant strike in late '69/early '70 that accounted for a bunch of the lost sales of F bodies that year?
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Old 06-22-2007, 08:36 AM
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Originally Posted by ProudPony View Post
One last thought... Just like the folks who were teenagers during the 60's are driving the current musclecar frenzy... so will the folks who were teenagers in the late 80's and 90's when the 5.0s, IROC's, 5.0 T-birds, GN's, and MC/SS's were hot on the street.
That market is here to some degree, 5.0's can fetch a pretty good price despite not being considered a true classic. I used to argue this very point with a buddy of mine who swore up and down that the only cars that would be worth something were the classic muscle cars, for some reason he couldn't wrap his mind around the fact that people like to fondly remember thier youth and thats what actually drives the "classic car" market.
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Old 06-22-2007, 08:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Todd80Z28 View Post
Wasn't there a giant strike in late '69/early '70 that accounted for a bunch of the lost sales of F bodies that year?
The 1969 model year was extended due to some problems in the changeover to the 1970 models, but it was the 1972 strike at Norwood that crippled Camaro and Firebird production. That strike was 174 days long, the longest ever against GM. And when the workers returned to work, over 1,000 cars on the line had to be scrapped because they didn't meet the 1973 safety regulations.
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Old 06-22-2007, 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Todd80Z28 View Post
But, the Camaro sales record was set in 1979, with the surrounding years also quite high- certainly higher than the late 60s/early 70s.

Wasn't there a giant strike in late '69/early '70 that accounted for a bunch of the lost sales of F bodies that year?
With regards to a strike... I think there was a complete UAW strike in 78 but I don't know about '79. In '78, the strike affected the DAP where Mustangs were made in April/May of 1978. I have a King Cobra that was made in that month, and it has a special sticker on the door tag over the manufacturing date - it was corrected from 4/78 to 5/78. My car sat on the line for almost 2 weeks during the strike, and they had to correct the manufacture date on the door tag prior to it's completion. There are numerous Mustangs with this correction tag around serial 237000 and 238000 - they are documented and quite unique!

So... Sales were at a high, but what was the competition? What was the "performance" level? What was the styling? What was the quality?

Smokey and the Bandit came out in late '78 right? I'd say that movie alone sparked more sales of F-cars than any commercial or mag-ad ever could. And honestly, that was the best performance bang for the buck in that day and time too. The '78 Mustang only had 135hp from the incredibly detuned 302 - hardly a match for the badazz T/A of the day. So I can see why a spike hit for Fcars in '79, but I can't say the market was "perfect", or even growing.

Even though I agree that Camaro and Mustang sales were both good for a few years around their bodychanges of 1979 and 80, I would hardly say those were "musclecars"... ponycars for sure but there were many full-sized sedans that would outperform either one and had 4-doors and a huge trunk to boot.

I will go on record and say that the 1979 to 1981 Mustang was the epitomy of low-quality crap - despite what sales figures say. There was the queer 255ci V8 offered for 1 year that fit nothing and had no *****. Hard crappy plastic everywhere that squeaked until it simply broke. Cheap vinyl seats that cracked 2 hours after the warranty expired. Cracked steering wheels, dashes. TSBs for floorpans that stress-cracked where the seats mounted. 1/2" gaps between the doors and A-pillars. Aluminum window molding that looked like a limp noodle as it waved above and below body steel. Paint fell off the black painted moldings... polished aluminum ones faired OK. I can go on and on. It's really the red-headed step child of Mustang history. In 1982 when the GT was reintroduced, they started making things a little better. By 1985/86, they had a fox-body that was 3-times the car the first 1979 fox-body was.

So I'd hardly say that 1979 was a benchmark for either brand despite their sales. ALL cars were kinda crappy through those years though, not just ponycars.
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Old 06-22-2007, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by ProudPony View Post
Hopefully you guys see my point - the price of playing in this hobby is going up... fast. Faster than our income levels are, which means that there are fewer people able/willing to participate. THIS is the slowing of the market right in front of you... it's happening NOW.

It's not like you wake up one morning and all of a sudden there are no musclecars on the street anywhere. It's slow to take place, but just like in the 70's and 80's, it will happen again - I personally feel sure of it.

One last thought... Just like the folks who were teenagers during the 60's are driving the current musclecar frenzy... so will the folks who were teenagers in the late 80's and 90's when the 5.0s, IROC's, 5.0 T-birds, GN's, and MC/SS's were hot on the street. There will be another wave of collectors and/or buyers for hot rods in 15-20 more years just like the craze now. And yet again, the folks who are teenagers now, seeing Terminator Cobras, GT500s, SRT Chargers and the likes but can't afford them... these kids will be seeking these cars in 30-40 years when they have retirement funds to blow too (if we still have gas and a free lifestyle available to us).

The thing to remember is that it will only be the ones who can afford them that will pay for them. And THERE-IN lies the $64 question....
I see so much truth in your post, Proud. There was a time when a teenager - 18 or 19 years old - could afford a NEW top tier performance car like a Z/28, Trans Am or Mustang. Perhaps not easily, but doable nontheless. They could also afford to drive a modify them. Those days are gone for any number of reasons.

Perhaps manufacturers have purposely shifted these niches to target much more affluent consumers. I don't know. Certainly, what people are paying for GT500's and ShelbyGT's is simply ridiculous, IMO.

In the old days, if you had that much money you were driving a Corvette or Porsche. Of course, they used to be FAR more affordable as well.
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Old 06-22-2007, 02:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Z284ever View Post
I see so much truth in your post, Proud. There was a time when a teenager - 18 or 19 years old - could afford a NEW top tier performance car like a Z/28, Trans Am or Mustang. Perhaps not easily, but doable nontheless. They could also afford to drive a modify them. Those days are gone for any number of reasons.

Perhaps manufacturers have purposely shifted these niches to target much more affluent consumers. I don't know. Certainly, what people are paying for GT500's and ShelbyGT's is simply ridiculous, IMO.

In the old days, if you had that much money you were driving a Corvette or Porsche. Of course, they used to be FAR more affordable as well.
I have many car friends that tell stories about coming home from Vietnam and using their combat pay to go buy a new Mustang or Camaro.
Today, guys coming back from Iraq are simply trying to keep their houses paid for while they are gone, and are coming home to lost jobs, and boxes of bills. The government recently stepped in and gave waiver to those unable to pay mortgages while deployed. What else can be said?

A close buddy of mine bought a 2003 Cobra - used - for $25k. Had 16k miles on it - mint shape with all records and papers. The insurance is steep compared to his restored 93 SSP and 94 GT 5.0, but he can choke it down - like $100/month full coverage. He drove it to work and back a few times a week after he got it, but really doesn't drive it at all anymore - it sits in the garage for months at a time without taking the cover off. WHY?
It HAS to drink premium fuel.
It gets about 15-17mpg around town.
Tires are soft and they run about $800-1000/set.
Oil and filter changes, brake pads (OMG!!! the brakes are outrageous) etc, etc, etc.

He has realized that the operating costs of the car are as bad or worse than the buying price, and they live on for years and years. He loves the car and plans to keep it forever, but he is now not concerned with driving it so much as preserving it. It got about 240 miles put on it last year.
About 2 months ago, he bought an '89 GT for $2200, and he is making it into what he wants to drive. He's hit me up for parts and we talk about it all the time - he is after the "cheap thrill" factor now. With a Volvo S70, an 03 Cobra, a restored NC highway patrol Mustang, a spotless 94 GT, and a 98 Cobra in the wings, this guy is not hurting for the money, but he is after the fun factor without the high expenses. He and I are both contemplating the Shelby SuperSnake, and we would both be doing paperwork tomorrow if we could get the Super or the KR for what Shelby and Ford want them to sell for, but neither of us is going to pay $40-50k in dealer rape to get one - simple as that.

Again, the money is getting unreal for the nicer stuff - disproportionately so.

On the other hand, I know a guy with 2 buildings full of old Mach 1's, Cobra Jet cars, Convertibles with big blocks, 5 King Cobras, and about 10 stock Foxbody 5.0s in coupe and hatch bodystyles... and this guy is just all smiles every time he watches Barrett-Jackson auctions on Speed.

Boils down to "How do you play the game"...
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Old 07-03-2007, 05:45 PM
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Originally Posted by HuJass View Post
From what I've read, '60 and early '70s musclecars were a dime a dozen in the late '70s. Nobody wanted the things. I think I remember reading an article in HPP or PE about Judges going for around $800 in the late '70s.
It probably wasn't until around 1984 that people became interested in restoring old muscle cars. And of course the dream of making huge piles of cash then entered the arena.
HuJass, you are right on all counts.

A combination of lead being removed from gasoline (requiring buying fuel additives to add to each tank of gas), the high price of fuel in the late 70s, and most of all, the killer insurence rates made these cars kryptonite to buyers. I recall a guy at college back around 1980 who had a Plymouth Superbird. He picked up up for a couple thousand (about 1/4 the price of a new Mustang V8 at the time) and swapped the engine with a 383 because of the premium fuel the "bird required. Another guy down the street from me had a Torino Cobra rotting in his yard because he couldn't sell it.

I myself passed up a '70 GTO back then in favor of a '75 Malibu Classic although both were within a couple hundred dollars of each other. One had the original high compression engine and an insurece rate that would have been nearly 4 times the other. Guess what I bought.

Muscle cars were dead well before fuel crisis and emissions killed them. But it was fuel costs, no-lead gasoline, and insurence that killed them as 2nd hand cars. No doubt, many either rotted away in yards, were sent to the crusher, or lived out the remainder of their days with transplanted weaker engines.

As you mentioned, collector's intrest started in them in the mid-late 1980s. I guess by that time, all there were so few of the original real ones left they had no choice but to go up.
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Old 07-03-2007, 06:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Z284ever View Post
I see so much truth in your post, Proud. There was a time when a teenager - 18 or 19 years old - could afford a NEW top tier performance car like a Z/28, Trans Am or Mustang. Perhaps not easily, but doable nontheless. They could also afford to drive a modify them. Those days are gone for any number of reasons.

Perhaps manufacturers have purposely shifted these niches to target much more affluent consumers. I don't know. Certainly, what people are paying for GT500's and ShelbyGT's is simply ridiculous, IMO.

In the old days, if you had that much money you were driving a Corvette or Porsche. Of course, they used to be FAR more affordable as well.
I think we're pretty close to the same age, and I'd have to disagree to an extent on this one. I don't think things are much different today, and I'd say insurence and intrest have a far larger effect than car prices (which actually are pretty close to where they were in the late 70s accounting for cost of living and inflation).

I grew up in a pretty decent suburb and the only sub 20 year-old I knew with a new car was a guy on the next block a few years older than me who managed to get assistant manager of the local Kentucky Fried Chicken and had his parents cosign for a '78 Trans Am. Bright metalic blue.

There was another guy I knew who I used to see at the bowling alley. Got an apprenticeship at a machine shop coming out of High School. Again, he was a few years older than me. Bought a new '79 Mustang pace car with the V8.

Both instances they lived at home.

In college, a guy down the hall was getting survivor benefits from his dad's death in Vietnam one day went and got himself a new '81 Grand Prix.

Just about everyone in the military knows of people still fairly new, single, and around 20 who buy themselves a new ride.

More modern example, my son (just a month out of highschool) lives with my sister in Arizona. Pays minimal rent. Just ended up with a job at a dealership. 2 grand per month plus comission as long as he meets minimal targets. He could easily afford to buy himself something new (and even pay it off early).

Then, like now, it depends on what you do when you get out of high school, what your priorities are, whose paying your rent and how much.


Originally Posted by ProudPony View Post
I have many car friends that tell stories about coming home from Vietnam and using their combat pay to go buy a new Mustang or Camaro.
Today, guys coming back from Iraq are simply trying to keep their houses paid for while they are gone, and are coming home to lost jobs, and boxes of bills. The government recently stepped in and gave waiver to those unable to pay mortgages while deployed. What else can be said?
I came back from Iraq part 1 and redid my '85 Mustang. Most of the people in my unit who were single and came back from Iraq part 2 came back and bought new cars, including one who bought a very nice 2003 Mustang Cobra.

Just like Vietnam, if you leave and you're paying on a house, it's a struggle to keep up payments, although now there are some protections.
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Old 07-10-2007, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by guionM View Post
I think we're pretty close to the same age, and I'd have to disagree to an extent on this one. I don't think things are much different today, and I'd say insurence and intrest have a far larger effect than car prices (which actually are pretty close to where they were in the late 70s accounting for cost of living and inflation).

There was another guy I knew who I used to see at the bowling alley. Got an apprenticeship at a machine shop coming out of High School. Again, he was a few years older than me. Bought a new '79 Mustang pace car with the V8.
With the utmost of respect - I think you are missing the point Charlie and I were hitting on.
It's not buying a new car, it's the special editions, niche-type units that every hot-blooded American boy dreams about that are out of the stratosphere. I know several people who have swung deals for new cars on marginal jobs - me being one. I bought my 86 Bronco II in November of 86 while in college. $287.33/month for 60 months. Worked at a ski lodge during the winter months, and worked construction during summer months to pay for it. And in 1986 (pre-Explorer years) the Eddie Bauer Bronco II was the top-dog in Ford's SUV camp, so it was "expensive".

The Pace car you mentioned above - the guy probably paid $5800 or so for a loaded pace car with V8 option over the turbo 4. A substantial increase over the base price units of the day that were running $4300-$4900. But a pace car was TOTALLY radical, with gaudy graphics, spoilers all over, Recaro seats, special fabrics and interior appointments, etc. In other words, you did not mistake one on the streets for a regular car.

Today, we would have to jump from a base GT to a GT500 to get a step-up from Ford directly. That's a jump from $26k to $60k for the average Joe. If we step outside to a tuner, we see the Shelby GT fetching $40 or more routinely.
Roush and Saleens are all deep into the $40s for the dress kit versions, and busting the $50k mark for ones with more ponies under the hood.
I have an image of the window sticker on the Saleen/PJ Boss cars that shows $60,651 on the sticker and that is before any dealer fees are added.

Hopefully you see my point here. It's about the specialty cars - the ones that RUN, the ones that have the LOOK, the desireable, unusual, different ones that collectors and/or racers are after. And there is NO WAY that the average salary and adjusted cost of living have kept up with the prices of these cars in the last 5 years. No way. $27k Mach 1s, and $32k Terminator Cobras are now $60K GT500s and $45k Shelbys.

Look, I make GOOD money. I will outright tell you that I put back over $130k in the last 7 years in my 401K alone, and that does not include my personal investments and my car hobby. Point is, I am not anywhere near broke, and I have cash flow, but I can not justify (in my good conscience) going out and paying $80-120k for a Shelby GT500KR that I would basically drive once a month to the local ice cream shop on a Saturday afternoon, or to an occasional car show. I have always wanted a KR, but they were always just out of my reach. Well, lately, they have gone MUCH more than just beyond my reach. Original verts are fetching $200k at auctions, fastbacks are fetching $120-$150k. Even my gazillionaire buddy that plays with $500k Ferraris refuses to try to get one of the KRs from a Ford dealer, and he lights cigars with $100-bills (I have asked him if he was going after one since they will be collectibles - hoping to get it from him once he actually saw another one and decided to sell his. This guy does this... he imports an exotic like the Carrera GT and drives it until he sees another one, then sells his. His thrill is getting the "first" one of anything rare and showing off his ability to get things that nobody else can get. He paid $90k for one of the first Ford GT lottery tickets so he could order his GT the way he wanted it - red, no stripes, and audio upgrade package. He then paid the $143k sticker price. He sold it 4 months after he bought it because 2 more GTs showed up in North Carolina.)
So how the hell am I supposed to have a chance at getting one, when guys that have $410-million in the bank are not wanting to go after one because of the hassle and rape fees? So here I am, a very well-off person who is an "insider", a well-paid engineer, and knows his "junk" about the Mustang hobby, but I still can't swing a GT500KR. Those cars are being put in the league of buyers like Jay Leno, Chip Foose, Steve Saleen, Jack Roush, etc., not the common man.

Hell, we haven't even STARTED to talk about insurance, property taxes, registration and annual fees, and operating costs.

If this example and explanation doesn't help you understand my comments about the "price of the hobby going ballistic" and taking the hobby out of the reach of common people, I am not a very poignient writer, and I have failed miserably at my task.
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Old 07-15-2007, 12:37 AM
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As late as 1974, you could still buy the SD455 Pontiac Trans Am, which had 290 net hp and would probably do a 1/4 stock in the mid 14s (the only tests I've seen were of the preproduction model that had 20 more hp, and which was pulled due to not meeting emission standards. That one was 13.8 if memory serves).

But in 1975 with pellet cats, you were down to a max of around 200hp. They probably could have built more power into a car, but what was the point? It would have been expensive to engineer more power, as you would have had to do something about the restrictive exhaust.

The other problem was they had to meet tightening NOx standards without a NOx catalyst and without computer engine controls. To do that meant low compression, to reduce combustion temperatures. Also low overlap cams that ran out of breath at 4000RPM.

Perhaps emission controls weren't the sole cause of the end of musclecars (insurance rates and the gas crisis played a part), but they certainly made the cars of the era far less powerful and muscular than they would have been without the controls.
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Old 07-28-2007, 07:31 AM
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All I know is the Clean Air Act of 1970 changed the focus of automotive manufacturers from performance to clean air and engines, in general, required lower compression and unleaded gasoline. Catalytic converters became standard equipment and the public was so outraged that the size of the gas nozzles for unleaded were made smaller than regular and traps were installed in gas tank openings to prevent people from putting "regular" (leaded) gasoline into the new cars.

The 426 hemi ceased existence in 1971 which really signalled the death knell of performance automobiles.

The performance car died when automotive manufacturers had to focus their R&D on cleaner emissions.

I have an Uncle who worked for the NRC in the 1960s and 1970s and he had a car that ran on unleaded gasoline before it was mandated and I recall having to fuel up at Amoco stations as they were the only company selling unleaded gas at the time.

I also recall, in my redneck youth, reaming out the gas tank baskets so we could run "regular" gas in newer cars as regular gas was cheaper than unleaded.

A car I really wish I had back was a 1976 Plymouth Fury Sport Coupe. It only had a 318 but the engine bay was could have accomodated a big block but it rode like a Lincoln, had only two doors, and great body lines (not unlike the Charger or Cordoba).

I keep doing searches on car sites and sooner or later I will find one... I had headers and the leg burner external side pipes on mine, did the dash in leopard, the headliner in maroon velour, and the door panels in brown **** "hair". The back seat area was converted into two "coolers" in the footwells, and I had a mini matress on plywood to sleep and an opening into the trunk area for storage. The uni-lug mags just topped it off and sound was by a Pioneer "Super Tuner" with four speakers and a 100w power amp.

It was lacking performance but it sounded good, roade loke a dream, and intimidated just about everyone.
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Old 07-30-2007, 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by tnthub View Post
All I know is the Clean Air Act of 1970 changed the focus of automotive manufacturers from performance to clean air and engines, in general, required lower compression and unleaded gasoline. Catalytic converters became standard equipment and the public was so outraged that the size of the gas nozzles for unleaded were made smaller than regular and traps were installed in gas tank openings to prevent people from putting "regular" (leaded) gasoline into the new cars.

The 426 hemi ceased existence in 1971 which really signalled the death knell of performance automobiles.

The performance car died when automotive manufacturers had to focus their R&D on cleaner emissions....
Yep, lots of people did actually punch out the fuel neck restrictor in order to use leaded fuel when they 1st came out. Leaded fuel was cheaper, and gas in those days was just as (and probally more) expensive as it is today when you consider what wages were back then and adjusting for inflation. If I'm not mistaken, I remember a few family members talking about having done it.



The death of the Hemi was due more to economics and streetability as it did towards emissions. The Hemi (at least the "Street Hemi" that we're talking about) was never really a volume engine. Chrysler sold about 3000 Hemi powered cars in 1966 and just 1200 in 1967. Production went back up to about 2400 in 1968, and dropped back to just over 1700 in 1969 falling to a less than 500 made in 1971. Though the Hemi is famous, the streets weren't exactly crawling with them. It was infact very rare to come across one in the late 60s (during the heart of the muscle car era).
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Old 08-01-2007, 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by guionM View Post
The death of the Hemi was due more to economics and streetability as it did towards emissions. The Hemi (at least the "Street Hemi" that we're talking about) was never really a volume engine. Chrysler sold about 3000 Hemi powered cars in 1966 and just 1200 in 1967. Production went back up to about 2400 in 1968, and dropped back to just over 1700 in 1969 falling to a less than 500 made in 1971. Though the Hemi is famous, the streets weren't exactly crawling with them. It was infact very rare to come across one in the late 60s (during the heart of the muscle car era).
I agree 100%. It seems to be some kind of folklore that there were oodles of true musclecars roaming around from '65-'70, when the fact is there were actually pretty few. 426 cars, 429 cars, 406s, 454s, 428s and the like were simply NOT prolific despite what childhood impressions and folklore stories want you to think.

If there were so blooming many of them back then, where are they all at today? Why do they fetch unreal prices? Heck, they should be a dime-a-dozen if there were 12 on each block back in 1970, right?

Honestly, the lack of high production volumes is also a substantial contributor to their demise. If there is little demand for a premium engine when gas prices are in check and insurance is OK, then just imagine how the market demand was for premium engines when gas and insurance were skyrocketing. Now, factor in the economies-of-scale that the manufacturers were working with, and it becomes VERY obvious that there was not enough volume, market, or demand to sustain such drivetrains. Big engines were the first to go - even before the cars themselves changed.

I can cite Mustang examples galore... like the 71 Mustang which was specially designed in 1969 to accomodate the BOSS 429 engine which debuted in 1969. The engine was killed by NASCAR in 1970, so the 71 Mach 1 was offered with the similar-blocked 429-Super Cobra Jet. The 429SCJ was whacked in 1971, along with the Boss 351, yet the bodystyle carried on until the intro of the Mustang II in 1974. The '73 Mustang was stuck with a 200-six, a 250-six, a 302-2v, a 351C-2v, and a 351C-4v that was not a rocketship by any means (it had lots of potential, but was de-tuned, de-cammed, EGR'ed, and choked to wheezy levels at best - certainly not the 1/4-mile record-setting 351C in the Boss 351 2 years earlier )

It kinda bleeds into the discussions we have all had about the upcoming 5th gen... we all want to see the monster-motor in it, but the fact is that the base V6 and base V8 are what will likely determine the car's success (or failure) in the market. There's simply more to a car than it's engine.
Interesting how things go full-circle sometimes, huh?
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