Mustangs – Old and New

OK – I grew up in the age of the monster cars, coming out of the box with 400 and even 500 horsepower under the hood. My first Japanese built pocket rocket firmly convinced me that cubic inches was not necessarily the sole solution to going fast.

To anyone who has been asleep the last several years, the “Pony” wars are back. American steel on American streets – Mustang, Camaro, and Challenger duking it out for local bragging rights. Like most marketing epiphanies to the American car manufacturers – mindlessly undeterred by the burgeoning market in souped up VTEC Hondas, Subaru WRX’s, and other venerable street warriors, after years of trashing their marquee name – Ford fell into this one by accident. Hoping to capitalize on nostalgia for everyone’s first sporty car – they quit screwing around and actually produced a Mustang which looked like a sporty car – a MUSTANG.

Back to the future, indeed.

And just in case you think the success of the Mustang might have provided a 60″ LCD GPS Map for American Car Manufacturers – a group never bent on allowing success to smack them in the face… There was the Pontiac GTO. Note to GM – “I don’t care if it runs like a bat out of hell. It’s MY nostalgia – and it don’t look like a Goat!”

So – looking at the specs for the 2011 Mustang, I was interested in how close they were to the 1969 Boss 302 Mustang. Imagine my surprise when I found the new Mustangs are actually 200 lbs heavier than their venerable counterparts! And, for this old engineer who has always equated weight with fuel consumption…

Check out those mileage numbers.

2011 Ford Mustang... 6 Cylinder

Specs for 2011 3.7 Liter 6 Cylinder Mustang

TOP SPEED –                                 130 mph
0-60 mph (0-96 KM/H)         5.2  sec (est)
ENGINE TYPE                            V6
DISPLACEMENT                       225 ci (3,700 cc)
TRANSMISSION                       6-speed auto/manual
MAXIMUM POWER                 305 bhp @ 7,000 rpm
MAXIMUM TORQUE               280 lb ft @ 3,500 rpm
WEIGHT                                       3,454 lb
ECONOMY                                  19/30 mpg

1969 Boss 302

Specs for a 1969/70 FORD MUSTANG BOSS 302

TOP SPEED –                                 128 mph
0-60 mph (0-96 KM/H)         6.5 sec
ENGINE TYPE                            V8
DISPLACEMENT                       302 ci (4,948 cc)
TRANSMISSION                       4-speed manual
MAXIMUM POWER                 290 bhp (216 kW) @ 5,800 rpm (actually 350-380hp)
MAXIMUM TORQUE               290 lb ft (393 Nm) @ 4,300 rpm
WEIGHT                                       3,227 lb (1,466 kg)
ECONOMY                                  14 mpg

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4 Responses

  1. ABILITY TO REPAIR IT YOURSELF:
    1969 – 100%
    2011 – 0%

    • True, Big Don! I had a 1966, and then a 1968 Mustang. The small block 8’s were a dream with a fair amount of room to work on the engine without major surgery (no so for the 429 – which I got to see one of, since they were very rare). Most parts, whether brake shoes and drums – or exhaust manifolds were readily available at any auto parts store.

  2. We drove a ’67 Chev 427 for 30 years and 350,000 miles with only brakes and front end work done professionally, all other mechanical work was at home. Still had original trans and short block when sold it to a collector…

    Can’t do that anymore :(

    • Damn! That is incredible, Don! As I recall, working on the big blocks in the Impalas or even Chevelles was fairly straighforward, as you had a fair amount of room. New cars they pack stuff in so tight you can’t get a feeler gauge in between the sidewall and the block.

      First big boat I had had twin 400 HP Crusaders with big twin Holly 4 barrels. You could just about see the boat mechanic break down and cry the day I figured out those bad boys were really 454 Caddy engines, and the only “Marine” stuff you needed to be concerned with was the special cooling system which replaced the radiator, and the exhaust manifold!

      My daughter had 185k on her 2000 Honda (no she doesn’t sit still much) which was still running strong until she skidded on some ice and totaled it.

      Of course, the only mechanical work I did on that…

      Was to reach for my wallet.

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