Throwback Thursday: 1965 Ford Mustang Convertible

The 2014 Chicago Auto Show was opened to the press today, and on Saturday will be open to the public at the impressive McCormick Place in frigid Chicago. There are tons of great new cars worth seeing, but this vintage Ford Mustang caught our attention right away. It’s billed as the first Ford Mustang Convertible ever sold. You’ll see the all-new 2015 Mustang right next to it as well.

  

Ford reveals 50th Anniversary Mustang

The wait is finally over. Ford has revealed the all-new 2015 Mustang which will celebrate the 50th anniversary of this iconic nameplate. Ford had achieved great success with the current version of the Mustang with its retro design, so the bar was set very high with this new redesign. Opinions will likely vary, especially among purists who are very hard to please. In many ways this design is more evolutionary and incremental as opposed to something radical. It looks like the current body style was simply modified to look more modern and more like the rest of the current Ford lineup. Still, it’s unmistakably a Mustang, and that should please many fans.

The front view of the vehicle offers the most noticeable design change with the more modern looking headlamps. The front facia still looks like a Mustang, but now we’re seeing something more like the uninspired looks of the car from the 1990s. Meanwhile, the fastback rear end seems like the most aggressive part of the new vehicle and may save the overall design.

Some on the fan message boards are deriding the new design as looking like an Accord Coupe, but there was no way Ford was going to get a more modern design without getting some of this negative criticism. The retro Mustang was a massive hit, but it had lost its sales lead to the new, retro Camaro. Ford had to move on and the 50th anniversary offered the ideal opportunity.

The design provides a lower, wider stance with a reduction in roof height and wider rear fender. The return of Mustang fastback with a sleeker profile enabled by more steeply sloped windshield and rear glass.

Ford sees the new Mustang as a world car, so they will be aggressive about marketing this American icon overseas. Also, there are plenty of improvements to the vehicle as well that will please consumers.

The Mustang will now be available with three engines – a more powerful 5.0-liter V8, a 3.7-liter V6 and an all-new fuel-efficient 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine. With the emphasis these days on gas mileage that should help the vehicle appeal to a broader audience. The robust 5.0-liter V8 available in the Mustang GT will feature an upgraded valvetrain and cylinder heads that yield more than 420 horsepower and 390 lb.-ft. of torque. The standard 3.7-liter V6 will have at least 300 horsepower and 270 lb.-ft. of torque. Meanwhile, the Mustang EcoBoost engine uses direct injection, variable cam timing and turbocharging to provide both power and projected segment-leading fuel efficiency. Output is projected at more than 305 horsepower and 300 lb.-ft. of torque. It will be interesting to see the sales breakdown and how these engines feel in terms of power.

Ford is emphasizing that the new Mustang will be more nimble with better handling. The goal was to surpass the handling dynamics achieved in the recent Boss 302. Ford explains that the new Mustang features all-new front and rear suspension systems. At the front, a new perimeter subframe helps to stiffen the structure while reducing mass, providing a better foundation for more predictable wheel control that benefits handling, steering and ride. At the rear is an all-new integral-link independent rear suspension which might not please some of the purists. The vihicle has been modified and tuned for this high-performance application.

This new Mustang will generate considerable buzz and we’ll see how fans react when it goes on sale next year.

  

Muscle cars are stolen most often

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The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) released statistics regarding the most stolen “sporty” cars and topping the list were the Chevy Camaro, the Ford Mustang and the Dodge Challenger in that order. Given the number of these cars of the street these numbers shouldn’t be surprising. If you have one of these muscle cars you need to make sure your car insurance is in order and covers theft along with general liability as you’d be foolish to risk losing everything.

The retro designs for these three vehicles have been huge hits over the past decade. The Mustang was the sales leader but then the retro Camaro took the top spot. Now Ford is redesigning the Mustang for the 50th anniversary in one of the most anticipated redesigns in recent memory. Let’s see if the new one generates as much passion.

  

NHSTA Launches Investigation Over Mustang Transmissions

The new 5.0 Mustang was unveiled to widespread praise and accolades. Now, the Mustang’s halo may be drooping as transmission issues come to light.

A few months ago, there were mumblings on the internet about transmission problems that included grinding gears and expensive sounding noises. Ford said everything was “ok” and recommended a fluid change. However, the problem has become large enough to attract the attention of the NHSTA.

They describe the problem as:

ODI has received 32 complaints alleging an unexpected inability to shift into gear on model year (MY)2011-2012 Ford
Mustangs equipped with manual transmissions. Some reports allege incidents occurred while merging into high
speed traffic and others allege that incidents occurred while turning left across oncoming traffic. Some complainants
allege that the erratic shifting behavior almost caused a collision with adjacent vehicles.

One rumored reason for these problems is Ford’s decision to switch production to China for the Getrag transmission.

After the NHSTA investigation is complete, they will conclude on whether this is a true problem, or just a bad batch of transmissions.

A reputation blow like this, to Ford’s flagship model, cannot happen while they are trying to show buyers that they are just as reliable as the Japanese.

Source: Detroit News, NHSTA

  

Camaro beats Mustang

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 17: The new 2011 Chevrolet Camaro convertible is revealed at the two-day media preview event for the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show on November 17, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. More than 20 North American debuts, as well as green and new alternative fuel technology vehicles, are being featured. The 10-day LA Auto Show begins November 19 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

According to AutoBlog.com, it’s been a quarter-century since the last time Chevrolet’s reborn Camaro took down the Ford Mustang in sales but it’s on the verge of doing it now.

According to AutoWeek, the Bowtie Brigade has cleared 75,685 Camaro sales through the end of November, while the Blue Oval has shifted 68,264 units. Extrapolating the monthly sales totals to the end of December, AW estimates that Chevrolet will finish 2010 with around 82,500 sales, besting the Ford’s estimate of 74,500. Trailing the muscle car pack in sales is Dodge’s Challenger lineup, trending at around 36,000 units.

There has certainly been pent-up demand for the Camaro among consumers after its prolonged absence, but what’s even more impressive about its yearly sales total is that if the lead holds, the Chevy will have outsold the Ford and the Dodge with far fewer special editions and no convertible bodystyle like the Mustang. (A droptop Camaro is slated to go on sale next year, and a high-performance Z28 variant is also expected).

Check out a photo gallery of both cars!

  

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