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LTDanModerator
pic-a-nic basket cop


Reged: Jan 20 2003
Loc: Gloucester,VA STOP MOVING HERE
What Were Our Musclecars Like When They Were New?
      #691188 - Sat Feb 07 2004 06:16 PM

I was born in 1973 (Nov 6,'73 to be exact, so if I were a car I'd be a '74 )and by the time I got my license ('90) all of the '60s cars were rusty and beat to hell. So, what were they like when they were new or late-model cars? Like what problems were indigenous(sp) to what brand of cars, etc. stuff like that. I dig these stories!

--------------------
69 Charger 318
71 Road Runner 440+6
71 Satellite sedan 318
72 Fury VA State Police car 440
77 Grand Prix SJ 400
82 Delta 88 307
10 Challenger R/T 5.7/6 speed


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Jim_Lusk
Baet LA


Reged: Mar 18 2003
Loc: Fresno, CA
Re: What Were Our Musclecars Like When They Were New? [Re: LTDan]
      #691220 - Sat Feb 07 2004 06:31 PM

Fit and finish was generally poor to fair. They weren't quite as fast as people remember them. The drum brakes were scary in consecutive hard stops or water.

On the other hand they were a blast (and I was a little too young to remember them well when they were new). Even my GTS (I bought it when it was 15 years old) drove nice and stopped nice (except for in water with the drum brakes).

When the first gas crunch hit the cars got REAL CHEAP. I know of a 66 Hemi Coronet that was sold in 1975 with a spare hemi in the trunk. The price was $950 or $975.


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63CandyMatic
super gas


Reged: Jan 20 2003
Loc: Land of the Brave, Home of the...
Re: What Were Our Musclecars Like When They Were New? [Re: LTDan]
      #691222 - Sat Feb 07 2004 06:32 PM

I have had the chance to work on, drive and examine a few unrestored original mopar muscle cars.

In a word, anything that could be considered "wrong" by todays standards, often was.

Paint was usually very poor, compared to modern vehicle standards. (Lots of orange peel, and runs, etc..)
Fit and finish was usually also pretty bad. Good restorer's spend a lot of time trying to get body lines, fenders and doors to fit better than they did from the factory.

Lot's of overspray, and a lot of variation existed between cars. That's why it's funny when an "expert" claims that "THIS IS THE CORRECT WAY THIS PART-CAR-PAINT MARK, ETC.., IS SUPPOSED TO BE." Never say never with an old mopar.

Also, people need to remember that folks weren't as fussy as they are now. Wind noise, rattles, squeeks, etc.., were all just an accepted part of these cars, even when they were new.

Lastly, the crazy part is how bad they generally handled. Way overweight, noseheavy and overpowered, especially for the tires and suspensions of the time.

I think people were more responsible or at least more capable generally back then. If you sold someone a hemi car on redline non radial tires today, they'd crash leaving the dealership, and there would be a class action lawsuit against the corporation.

People today are wusses.


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Anonymous
Unregistered



Re: What Were Our Musclecars Like When They Were New? [Re: LTDan]
      #691232 - Sat Feb 07 2004 06:37 PM

I remember my uncles 70 Super Bee when it was brand new. Plum crazy, white top and int, 383 4 speed. I thought it was the greatest car ever. He said it was the biggest POS he had ever bought
In 1974 I owned a 68 Dart GTA(new for me at 17). That was the best car I ever owned. Bone stock old lady car,318.a/c, p/s,p/b green ext, black vinyl top, black bucket int w/console, sweeeeet! Drove the crap out of it and it never failed me.....til my brother side swipped oncoming traffic HI Lloyd


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amxautox
Retired. Dont Ask Me To Do Anything. Except Post on Moparts.


Reged: May 13 2003
Loc: The Dog House, Maple Valley Wa
Re: What Were Our Musclecars Like When They Were New? [Re: 63CandyMatic]
      #691241 - Sat Feb 07 2004 06:42 PM

I don't remember how they compaired to today's cars. I was having too much fun driving them to worry about quality of paint. It was good for the time. Some would rattle and some had a tinny sound when you closed the doors. But what do you expect? It was the late '60s and early '70s. My '71 Sebring sounded tight and solid compared to my friend's '72 Challenger that sounded tinny. Both cars were bought new. My '67 Mustang was a little tinny too. But they were fast for the day also. But I liked corners and never took a car to the drags. Til about '78. Didn't impress me and wasn't all that fun so never went back. Even after I pumped up the engine, set it up for corners. Still like corners.

--------------------
Tom

"Everyone should believe in something; I believe I'll go fishing."

-Henry David Thoreau



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KingMopar
top fuel


Reged: Jan 21 2003
Loc: Littleton, NC
Re: What Were Our Musclecars Like When They Were N [Re: 63CandyMatic]
      #691253 - Sat Feb 07 2004 06:45 PM

Man....do I remember when Dad brought home a 71 Duster brand new. Total price was like 2g with tax, title, free tank of gas, etc. Had rubber floor mats/no carpet, 225 slant with 3 speed on the floor, with air. Runs all in the trunk and under the hood, though had that new car smell. Exterior paint was bright red, but not the gloss we're use to now. The slant ran like a sewing machine though.....but Mom hated the thing due to the manual steering and the tranny was somewhat "clunky" to shift. It just didn't look right with those skinny tires and didn't ride all that well at all. Wandered in the corners.....and braking was darn well sluggish(compaired to today).

My sister ended up with the slant. Dad sent $ to college to get sis to change the oil. Seems it went to beer instead. Once, she came home and the darn thing was dented to hell and Dad sprung for an oil change while she was home. Slant still running like it was no tomorrow......and the mechanic remove the plug and the oil ran like goop.(Remove pan and removed sludge) Flushed/filled/ran/refilled with Kerosene and afterwards oil(man, DAD was PISSED) and the darn thing ran another 4 years till she graduated. Sold to another gent.....who ran the same engine another 8 years. When I turned 16, we found the car....dented more....the the old slant was STILL taking him to work everyday, burning a 1/2qt between changes and ran like a top. Body was toast however....but my sister did most of it. It WAS a tough old bird......somewhere in a new Honda....may she rest in peace.


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LTDanModerator
pic-a-nic basket cop


Reged: Jan 20 2003
Loc: Gloucester,VA STOP MOVING HERE
Re: What Were Our Musclecars Like When They Were New? [Re: 63CandyMatic]
      #691255 - Sat Feb 07 2004 06:46 PM

Quote:

I think people were more responsible or at least more capable generally back then. If you sold someone a hemi car on redline non radial tires today, they'd crash leaving the dealership, and there would be a class action lawsuit against the corporation.

People today are wusses.



hahaha you sure got that right!


--------------------
69 Charger 318
71 Road Runner 440+6
71 Satellite sedan 318
72 Fury VA State Police car 440
77 Grand Prix SJ 400
82 Delta 88 307
10 Challenger R/T 5.7/6 speed


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Anonymous
Unregistered



Re: What Were Our Musclecars Like When They Were New? [Re: LTDan]
      #691302 - Sat Feb 07 2004 07:12 PM

Quote:

Quote:

I think people were more responsible or at least more capable generally back then. If you sold someone a hemi car on redline non radial tires today, they'd crash leaving the dealership, and there would be a class action lawsuit against the corporation.

People today are wusses.



hahaha you sure got that right!





I know sombody that won't drive their Camaro because it has a V8. Owned it for 8 years, never driven it once.
________________________________________

My uncle was telling me that he had a friend that had a HEMI 'Cuda, he said that it felt like it was gonna fall apart beneath you when it drove, but when he laid down the pedel, it WENT!


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poorboy
super gas


Reged: Jan 19 2003
Loc: Freeport IL USA
Re: What Were Our Musclecars Like When They Were New? [Re: Jim_Lusk]
      #691360 - Sat Feb 07 2004 07:39 PM

I got out of high school in 74, I worked at the best auto repair service station in town back when new car dealers were for buying new cars, not for fixing them. Things I observed from working at that station from 72 through 78 were, cars with any ware near 100,000 miles was almost unheard of, most died around 80-90K. But, you could find more Mopars that survived 100K, next were Fords, then way off in the distance was GM.

Mopars had squeaks and rattles, fit and finish sucked, Mopar starters sucked. Mopar drum brakes weren't any worse then anyone elses drum brakes, but most GM had disc on front by 74 and they were way better. Mopar seemed to package their cars for performance better then the rest, if you bought a Mopar(new) with a high performance motor, brakes, suspension, transmission, and rear end were upgraded as well, I think that's why they seemed to live longer. Reguardless of what anyone said, Mopar performance was carried on the back of the 383 maginum. Only rich guys had 440s or Hemis and the Hemis were poor street motors, had to be rebuilt at 50k miles.

GM electronic ingnition had problems when it was new (74), timing chains on many GM went bad around 60-70K (Pontiac seemed the worst, then Chev). Chevy motor mounts were junk, any abuse almost guarenteed motor mount replacement. 396 was the GM preformance motor, followed by the 427 (for those that could afford one). The 389 Pontiac wasn't bad for the first 50K before the timing chain crapped out.

Ford had a horrable upper controle arm set up. There were grease fittings that were a real pain on the Mustangs and Torinos that if not taken care of would devolope a nasty squeak. Ford changed their electronic ignition every year for the first 3-4 years they had it. The biggest problem with Ford was inconsistantly. You could never count on getting two of the same line of cars, or parts, that were the same quality, one Mustang might be great, but the next 5 might be junk, then there might be 5 great ones in a row. The problem ran in all of Fords car lines. Add to that Ford stuffed some really big motore in really small cars that were a real PITA to work on. Motors were pretty much the same deal. The 390 carried most of the performance load, but like everything else Ford, some were strong and some were not so strong. Most of the 427s were great, if you could afford on when you found one. The 428 were so-so, and the 429s were a joke. BTW the 302 was too small to compete with all the monsters.

By mid 74 the gas chrises hit with times when no gas available (for a day or two) at any price for a peroid of about 6 months. When it became available again, the price had gone from $.36/gal up to $.60/gal. Most people pannacked and anything with a big motor could be had dirt cheap (just what any 18 YO dreams about) It was a fun time to be a teenager. Gene


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Anonymous
Unregistered



Re: What Were Our Musclecars Like When They Were New? [Re: LTDan]
      #691410 - Sat Feb 07 2004 08:07 PM

RangerDan, They were fun to drive and for me, it was just another new car crusing down the boulavard. Not many thumbs up routines to experience. The thing couldn't get a wheel if it was sitting on a stick of butter, and it was a 383 4BBL engine. All of that has changed now that I found a good Mopar mechanic and with Herb McCandless's assistance. Ole Red runs better now than it ever did back in 67. Comp Cam and freshly blueprinted 383 4BBL engine with the same Carter AFB carb and the 727 trannie that has had the hands of a Mopar guru in it leaves plenty of black marks with the sure grip when it is punched. Ole Red gets thumbs up all the time now and it is a real blast to drive now.

~ Don ~


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A12
A12 Staff Photographer


Reged: Jan 20 2003
Loc: N.E. OHIO, USA
Re: What Were Our Musclecars Like When They Were New? [Re: LTDan]
      #691423 - Sat Feb 07 2004 08:13 PM Attachment (795 downloads)

THE COOLEST!

(Attached photo of my first car with my sister, ordered in the spring of 1969, I was 19, 383, 3:91 Suregrip, Air Grabber, Hardtop, Troqureflite, buckets, console, black interior, light package, power steering, 14:07 ET (once) 14:20's most of the time, Hooker's and the Mopar cool exhaust sound out the chrome tips, yeah too cool for a teen and into his 20's )


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Just Cameron
Matte Average


Reged: Jan 22 2003
Loc: Sebastopol, NOR*CAL.
Re: What Were Our Musclecars Like When They Were New? [Re: ]
      #691424 - Sat Feb 07 2004 08:13 PM

Being born in '76, I wasn't around when they were brand new either.

One thing I do know is they sure weren't spray painted.

--------------------
"When applied at precisely the right time ignorance in a powerful tool. Usually surpassing even knowledge." EJ "Michigan Madman" Potter

VP At Large, MPM C/C.


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LTDanModerator
pic-a-nic basket cop


Reged: Jan 20 2003
Loc: Gloucester,VA STOP MOVING HERE
Re: What Were Our Musclecars Like When They Were New? [Re: Just Cameron]
      #691462 - Sat Feb 07 2004 08:25 PM

Cool stories! Keep 'em coming!
It seems to me that if the cars were only good for about 80-90K miles back then, why does everyone b$tch and moan if their new <insert late-model car here> can't get 150,000??? (It seems that guys especially like to complain about late model Mopars here, too)
Anyway, how about car crashes? How did real metal cars fare against each other? It seems that maybe insurance companies may not have been so quick to total out a car back then.
Were warranty claims as red-tape laden as they are now?

--------------------
69 Charger 318
71 Road Runner 440+6
71 Satellite sedan 318
72 Fury VA State Police car 440
77 Grand Prix SJ 400
82 Delta 88 307
10 Challenger R/T 5.7/6 speed


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Anonymous
Unregistered



Re: What Were Our Musclecars Like When They Were N [Re: LTDan]
      #691484 - Sat Feb 07 2004 08:40 PM

People complain about the quality of modern cars because most of the old ones left have huge mileage! So if I get a Dodge Dart used with 80,000 miles, and it goes to 150,000, then I think that all cars should! Of course, no mention is made of the cars that died and went to junk yards.

The reality is that modern cars go longer before they begin having problems, but once the problems start it is difficult to fix them.


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NAS Backyard
I smell a rat


Reged: Jan 21 2003
Loc: Woodbridge,CA
Re: What Were Our Musclecars Like When They Were New? [Re: LTDan]
      #691517 - Sat Feb 07 2004 08:51 PM

I rode in many Mopars in the mid 70's an a young kid. The ones that standout were the 70 Purple R/T Charger 440 auto, a real dog , My neighbors 69RR 4 speed, went through 6 clutchs, probebly his fault. 70 blue Superbee 4 speed ran really strong, 70 Chally pumped up 383 4 speed , one BMF! My favorite was a 72 Chally 340 auto blue/silver with the strobe stripe, that was a tight car. He let that one go back to the bank when he went in the army. There were also 2 68 RT Coronets , but I never rode in them. One of the guys said he was doing 140 taking his little brother to the hospital. I remember another guy buying a 70 Charger with a 440 6 pac from a used car lot in about 74 for 1800.00 He compained about the gas milage alot.

--------------------
1970 Challenger Ragtop 426 4 speed
1961 Olds 88 2 dr Sedan
1968 Pontiac Firebird
2000 Ford F-150
2002 HD Roadking
1995 Buick Roadmaster
www.nogreenautolaws.com


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Anonymous
Unregistered



Re: What Were Our Musclecars Like When They Were New? [Re: NAS Backyard]
      #691531 - Sat Feb 07 2004 08:59 PM

I wasn't born until 1970. I'm assuming they were like virgins on prom night. The chances of going home innocent were very slim.

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Anonymous
Unregistered



Re: What Were Our Musclecars Like When They Were New? [Re: LTDan]
      #691538 - Sat Feb 07 2004 09:01 PM

Quote:


Anyway, how about car crashes? How did real metal cars fare against each other?




When I was really young, I saw a fulled size '70 Mercury station wagon t-bone a parked Volare wagon and pin it to a steel Burger-Chef sign like a giant butterfly. The Mercury was still drivable and the Volare was about 2 feet wide afterward.


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RUNCHARGER
I Live Here


Reged: Jan 20 2003
Loc: Kelowna B.C. Canada
Re: What Were Our Musclecars Like When They Were New? [Re: LTDan]
      #691567 - Sat Feb 07 2004 09:11 PM

My brother hired on a Chrysler dealership in 1964 and took his apprenticeship there, I hung around there a bit. My Father bought a new Mopar every three years and I vividly remember them as they came from the factory.
The cars came off the truck needing the windows adjusted, the engines tuned up and generally a bit of care on the predelivery, not like now when they basically have to be cleaned up. If you bought from a good dealer you usually got a good car. The paint was okay, certainly they didn't have todays technology. The upholstery on the stripper versions didn't last long, and the popular vinyl upholstery was not so good in winter or summer. If the dealer PDI'ed the car properly the windows wouldn't leak, the doors would close just fine and there would be no rattles.
You had to change plugs and points and take a screwdriver to the carb once in awhile but it was easy and anyone could do it with good chances of success.
My Dad worked out of town and it was not uncommon for him to drive 4 or 5 hours at speeds in the triple digit zone, he changed oil at regular intervals and never had a mechanical problem of any sort except for a bum carb on his 65 Fury and leaky rad seam on his 71 Chrysler. Brakes were not as good as discs but no one followed with their bumper up someones tailpipe like they do now. On Highway trips if you seen a moose on the road you drove around it in those days, unlike today where most drivers jam the brakes to the floor and let the airbag do it's thing.
My Dad worked in logging in the winter and would drive bushroads with a car, hauling a toolbox full of tools in the trunk, try that with your new Mercedes for a few winters and tell me about what quality means to you, remember the speed factor too. Dad did add an extra main leaf to each rear spring to haul the tools. A pickup truck didn't haul a family very well and in those days you couldn't afford more than one vehicle.
Mopars did not squeek and rattle (other than E-bodies rattling), GM's did especially the front end. Mopar balljoints lasted about 80,000 miles with gravel and highway miles if greased, the T-Bar front end was very trouble free.
Mopars were very reliable in street racing as well, Ford's Drivetrains were good but their engines weren't as tough as Mopars, Chevy had a pretty good engine other than rocker arms and timing chains, the rest of their powertrain was second rate. Many a GM musclecar was towed home after an attempted acceleration run. GM Clutches, transmissions, rear ends all were weak compared to Ford and Mopar.

Sheldon

--------------------
Generation nothing, it's a 426 Hemi, a real one.


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Anonymous
Unregistered



Re: What Were Our Musclecars Like When They Were New? [Re: RUNCHARGER]
      #691581 - Sat Feb 07 2004 09:16 PM

12in rear ends w/ a posi aren't too bad.

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poorboy
super gas


Reged: Jan 19 2003
Loc: Freeport IL USA
Re: What Were Our Musclecars Like When They Were New? [Re: LTDan]
      #691653 - Sat Feb 07 2004 09:40 PM

Anybody that owned and really drove the late 60s and early 70s cars on a daily bases says the new cars are not as good as those were has a short memory. I have owned a lot of Mopars, both cars and trucks since 72 that had over 100K. Without any doubt, the newer cars are much better. The older cars were simpler to work on, although easier to work on is still in question. The cars back in the day could be repaired at home with simple tools, if you knew what you were doing, the newer cars require more special tools and repair information in harder to come by and more complicated, but if you know what your doing they are still repairable. The older cars seemed to have parts go bad at certain intervals, exhaust, brakes, shocks, and things like that were wore out about every 30-35K. Many people would trade in their cars at 35K, or around 60K, once the miles passed 70-75K used car dealers wouldn't give you anything for a trade. The conception was that by then the car was wore out, and they were hard to sell (except to teenagers.) Ever hear of the stories of "bought this car from the back row of the dealership for little or nothing" those were the 6-7 year old cars with 70-80k. I bought a 70 Road Runner from the back row in 75 with 60K, had a 383, 727, and a Air Grabber for $600.00.

Most of the new cars back then had 12 month/ 12,000 mile warentee. It pretty well had to be a real heap to have anything done under warentee.

As far as crashes, often the cars held up better, but the passengers came out on the short end of things. Some of the cars were poorly designed and a 5mph bump could cause $500 damage! Remember, new cars could be bought for $4,000. Insurance would fix just about anything if the estamate came in under 1/2 the cars value. Most people didn't want a car fixed, they would fight to get it replaced.

It was a different world back then. Sometimes change is good, sometimes it isn't. The older we get, the less we like things to change. But I'd bet for most of us, if we could jump into that time machine and go back to those "good times", we probably wouldn't want to stay there. Gene


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Fasbird
Horndog..


Reged: Sep 07 2003
Loc: The Dark Side
Re: What Were Our Musclecars Like When They Were New? [Re: LTDan]
      #691718 - Sat Feb 07 2004 10:09 PM

My first new car (I was 17yrs.) is the '73 Sebring in the photo. There was about 10-12 of us in High School that were the Mopar Guys. I remember the cars weren't too bad. The biggest improvement on our muscle cars today, is we mostly all run on radials. If you drove on the bias tires long enough, you'd know what I mean. I hated the way the '71 and up b-body doors sounded when you closed them. Always gave that hollow sound. Not solid like the '70 and older b-bodies. Come to think of it, my '71 still makes that sound. But I woundn't trade those days of working on my car, even when I just drove it out of the dealer. Very little quality control. OH YA, as stated above, the starters sucked.


Fast


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cajunmopar
super street


Reged: Jan 21 2003
Loc: Houma, LA
Re: What Were Our Musclecars Like When They Were New? [Re: LTDan]
      #691720 - Sat Feb 07 2004 10:11 PM

My dad and uncle started their Dodge dealership in Oct 68 (still in business). They've both told me that the A and B bodies were pretty good, and the C and E bodies were junk. The A bodies were cheaper in price and were usually equipped with dependable /6 or 318 power. Fit and finish were poor to fair. B bodies sold well but would develop rust problems on back window shortly after purchase. C bodies were new for 69 and had serious wind/water leaks. E bodies were the worst-klunky doors, terrible fit/finish, road noise, etc. Basically Mopars were good dependable cars, but not good finished cars. My dad recently registered for this board. I'll see if he cares to add to this thread.

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Anonymous
Unregistered



Re: What Were Our Musclecars Like When They Were New? [Re: LTDan]
      #691792 - Sat Feb 07 2004 11:03 PM

basically they were very fast, the 67-71 models were pretty much K.O.S. from 67-74.
problems included:
severe tire noise and wear
induced state's of hysteria and
slight cases of neck strain - your's and gawkers
loud howling noises from back of carb/carbs
and my favorite ailment - the HEAVY foot!



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Hank
YO! GERT! Make me some key lime pie!


Reged: Jan 19 2003
Loc: the left coast
Re: What Were Our Musclecars Like When They Were New? [Re: RUNCHARGER]
      #691813 - Sat Feb 07 2004 11:09 PM

Great thread, great post RUNCHARGER.

My one question would be on the paint. Sure, my car has some runs here and there, but it's wearing it's original paint, which still looks pretty good after 38 years--better than a lot of newer cars I see on the road.

--------------------
Have you seen my green 1970 Fury III convertible?


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383man
493man


Reged: Jan 19 2003
Loc: Balt. Md
Re: What Were Our Musclecars Like When They Were New? [Re: Hank]
      #691831 - Sat Feb 07 2004 11:17 PM

My brother bought a 68 Dart GTS 340 4-speed car in 1972. I got to drive it in 1973 during the first gas crunch and I was working at a local gas station. I thought that Dart was very nice and man did it run hard. It also had a slightly rougher idle then most cars as it had the stick cam Mopar used in the 68 340 cars with the stick. My other brother had a 65 Monaco with a 426 wedge in it and it was a very nice riding and built car. It was also very comfortable as it had the console and factory tach. Maybe I just loved muscle cars to much to look for any bad features. There was just so many muscle cars everywhere back then that it was awesome. I would always fight with my buddies over who had the best cars as most of my buddies were Chevy heads. I always remember the guy up the street who had a 67 383 4-speed Cuda and it was black with the small red stripe. I would walk by his garage every day and it was an old garage with no doors on it so I could always get a good look at it. Man those were the days ! Ron

--------------------
My car...63 Sport Fury Max Wedge wanna be street car..with new 493 pump gas full exh eng.......10.76 @ 124.49 ! ! ! My page on the cool 62-65 Mopar site ! http://www.1962to1965mopar.ornocar.com/mmo82008.html


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Classof70Chally
super gas


Reged: Feb 03 2004
Loc: Renton, Wa.
Re: What Were Our Musclecars Like When They Were New? [Re: LTDan]
      #691834 - Sat Feb 07 2004 11:19 PM

My first car was a 1950 Plymouth Special DeLuxe 4 dr with a flathead 6 and three on the tree. It was black with a back seat you could really stretch out in (don't ask me how I know). I bought it from the original owner with 53,000 mi on the odometer for a whopping $125.00 and it was in mint condition. It had an X frame with a torque tube (enclosed driveline). It seemed to need brakes about every 6 months (I wonder why?) and I got pretty good at pulling those @#$%^!* rear tapered axle shafts.
My next ride was a 1956 dodge s/w with a v-8 and a 2 speed auto with the shift lever on the dash. It always had marginal oil pressure and one day coming off the freeway the motor spun a bearing and at 30 mph the engine locked up! I was real happy it was an automatic right about then.
In those days you actually had to DRIVE the cars, ie manual drum (which way are they going to pull this time) brakes and manual steering with the associated 2 ft diameter steering wheel.
The A M radios (F M hadn't been invented yet?) would periodically require you to take them apart and replace several of the TUBES. (Ask your father!). If you had an automatic , you quickly learned the art of "Neutral Drops" which we used to call "Dumping the Tranny". This procedure got it's name from what you had to do with the transmission after about the 6th or 7th time you performed this manuver ! Anyway for you "young guns" out there, remember that THESE are your "good ole days" !!!



--------------------

6PKTOGO


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Anonymous
Unregistered



Re: What Were Our Musclecars Like When They Were New? [Re: Hank]
      #691880 - Sat Feb 07 2004 11:50 PM

There are a few late model cars that get a HUGE amount of Miles on them be fore the croak!
I bought a '89 Chev Celebrity 4dr. that had died on the road near our house, the old fart who owned it thought he could make it to town (8 miles) after his engine over heated! And toasted the motor quite well!
It Had 512,365 KM ON IT! BONE STOCK! That one I know is rare!

The '86 Celebrity we use at the yard has 472,??? KM on it also, rusty as heck but will start ANYTIME!

My '88 Sedan DeVille has 375,650 KM on it before the head gasket went. (have to fix that too! )

My friends '85 Dodge D-150 Club Cab Tow Truck has about 800,000 KM on it and all that it has is instead of its factory 360, it has a junk yard 318 that was put in at about 600,000!
And he knows his MOPARS!


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poorboy
super gas


Reged: Jan 19 2003
Loc: Freeport IL USA
Re: What Were Our Musclecars Like When They Were New? [Re: Hank]
      #691890 - Sat Feb 07 2004 11:56 PM

The paint thing is pretty interesting. Did you know back in the 30s & 40s the paint was put on with a brush? They would line up a bunch of cars in a wharehouse, and paint all the cars with the brush strokes going the same direction. After the paint dried they would sand it smooth and give it a second coat with the brush strokes going 90* from the first coat. They then sanded it again and give it the 3rd coat, again changing the brush strokes 90*. Another sand job then the 4th coat, with the brush strokes changed 90*. After the 4th coat dried, it was samded smooth and buffed out. The paint process took a month. (I saw this on PBS) Ever wonder why color choice was so limited back then? It's amazing how many of those 30s & 40s car still have paint on them.

I'm not sure, but by the late 60s I think they were dipping the cars in paint vats. When they started using the clearcoat,(mid 70s?) most of the paint problems were related to the wax available that was taking off the clear coat. The problem now is they don't have the water base paint down quite yet. You can probably thank the EPA for all or most of the changes in the painting processes (and the changes in the actual paint itself) since the mid 70s. The reason the paint still looks good on your 38 yo car is because it was still real paint. LOL Gene


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Anonymous
Unregistered



Re: What Were Our Musclecars Like When They Were New? [Re: poorboy]
      #691931 - Sun Feb 08 2004 01:18 AM

I bought a 69 Hemi GTX new.I guess looking back the paint wasn't as nice as cars now.Fit & finish were nothing to write home about.But it was very comfortable and rode very smooth on the hiway.Of course with the puny bias ply tires you couldn't punch it without going sideways for a couple blocks.Somehow that never seemed to be a problem.LOL.The first time I ever tried to burn rubber,I pulled away from a stop sign turning right & stood on it.The next thing I knew I was facing the way I had come & my heart was beating so hard I thought I was gonna die!It spun completly around & scared the beejazus out of me.From then on I made sure I was pointed straight,had lots of room & a firm grip on the wheel before I hammered it.
The first modification I did was stuff some L50's under the rear to give it a little more bite.Then came headers.Finally I slipped a Racer Brown cam in it.There was nothing that could touch that car.They didn't even make bikes that fast then.Say what you will about new cars,That GTX was the only new car I've ever owned.I currently have 4 vehicles and the newest one is my daily driver 76 Dodge Warlock.Cookiecutter cars don't interest me in the least.These cars are rolling works of art.and as far as lasting is concerned I had a 68 /6 Valiant that had 460,000 miles on it when I sold it to a buddy.The front end had been rebuilt several times,the tranny twice,but the motor never had the head off.The original owner I bought it from was an accoutant who kept records of everything he did to the car.He was a oil change fanatic.It had 265,000 when I got it & I drove it for better than ten yrs.I called it the U/68 the MissUsed.I also called it Prince Valiant Cuz it was a Prince of a car


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BobC
top fuel


Reged: Apr 08 2003
Loc: Long Island, NY
Re: What Were Our Musclecars Like When They Were New? [Re: 63CandyMatic]
      #691983 - Sun Feb 08 2004 03:41 AM

From 63CandyMatic....
Quote:

Lastly, the crazy part is how bad they generally handled. Way overweight, noseheavy and overpowered, especially for the tires and suspensions of the time.

I think people were more responsible or at least more capable generally back then. If you sold someone a hemi car on redline non radial tires today, they'd crash leaving the dealership, and there would be a class action lawsuit against the corporation.

People today are wusses.






--------------------
Bob
Challenger 340


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Anonymous
Unregistered



Re: What Were Our Musclecars Like When They Were New? [Re: BobC]
      #692024 - Sun Feb 08 2004 06:01 AM

First story: Bought a new Charger R/T new in 1971. Red, black top and interior, 440 Mag, Torqueflite, 3.55 sure grip.I really liked the machine gun exhaust tips! Sticker was A little over $4300, which was a lot of $$$$ then. I was working at the GM assembly plant in Framingham, Mass. Making almost $8 an hour. That was primo money back then. I had 2 cars and a new motorcycle, and lots of gas money. Good gas was less than .40 per gallon.....

The pluses: Sharp car! The color combo and Magnum 500 wheels made it stand out. Driveline was bullet proof. And the car was very fast! My fiancee' (now wife) had it up to 140 MPH!!!

The minuses: paint job was mediocre, lots of drips and minor imperfections. The stripes were crooked. The interior was cheap - the drivers seat split after the first year. Really liked gas, only got about 12 MPG on Sunoco 260.

Traded it in on a 1974 Camaro Z28 in 1974......Bad move.

Never saw another on the road. To this day, my wife says it was sharpest car we ever had....

Second Story: My best friend Rick got a brand new 1969 RoadRunner for his high school graduation present. Red, white interior, 383 Magnum, 4 speed, 3.91 gears, Air Grabber, Magnum 500 wheels.
Paid a little over $3000 for it. Great cruiser, with lots of low end.

Pluses: Exhuast had a real nice sound to it. 4 speed and Air Grabber - Does it get any better?

Minuses: Same as above. Mopars had great drivetrains and cheap interiors. The build quality on the RR was a little better than the Charger. Gas mileage was not good either, but at .40 per gallon, who cared?????

For all of you guys who are younger, the best part of this time period is these cars were EVERYWHERE. Walk thru a parking lot anywhere, and see all kinds of muscle machines. By the mid '70s, these cars were super cheap, due to the gas crisis. You could buy Cudas all day long for $1500.....


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gd9704
super gas


Reged: Jan 23 2003
Loc: Willoughby Hills, Ohio
Re: What Were Our Musclecars Like When They Were New? [Re: ]
      #692041 - Sun Feb 08 2004 06:28 AM

I was born in the musclecar heyday--1969. I had an older cousin who was driving when these cars were still plentiful--he always had a Camaro or Mustang--few Mopars....

I'm told by Chrysler Dealership owners, cops who drove Mopar cop cars "back in the day" and guys who bought these cars new that basically:

Mopar drivetrains were awesome.

The bodys were aweful!

Living in N.E. Ohio, Dusters tended to rust before they saw their second winter.

Dealerships had to finish the assembly of cars coming off the truck--dashes tossed onto the front seat, rear axles installed out of sqauare, etc.....Quality control was a bit, ah, lax...

But today, that isn't a problem--My Mopar rests in the garage when the salt spreader is out. The drivetrain is still awesome--You should see my GM/Ford lovers face when they see that big 8-3/4 axle under my Demon--"Is that stock???" Yep.



--------------------

1971 Dodge Demon 340
'05 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4.7


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minivan
Aging Rapidly


Reged: Jan 13 2004
Loc: Eugene, Oregon
Re: What Were Our Musclecars Like When They Were New? [Re: A12]
      #692188 - Sun Feb 08 2004 08:07 AM

Quote:

THE COOLEST!

(Attached photo of my first car with my sister, ordered in the spring of 1969, I was 19, 383, 3:91 Suregrip, Air Grabber, Hardtop, Troqureflite, buckets, console, black interior, light package, power steering, 14:07 ET (once) 14:20's most of the time, Hooker's and the Mopar cool exhaust sound out the chrome tips, yeah too cool for a teen and into his 20's )




Is your sister still single???


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IronWolf
Banned


Reged: Jan 23 2003
Loc: Buzzard County, FL
Re: What Were Our Musclecars Like When They Were N [Re: LTDan]
      #692210 - Sun Feb 08 2004 08:24 AM

OK - in my immediate neighborbood (maybe 20 blocks or so) were the following musclecars that I rode in or drove when they were new or slightly used :

64 GTO, 65 GTO covert tri-power, 68 Olds 442, 69 Coronet R/T , 70 Superbee, 69 Roadrunner, 70 Chevelle SS 454, '69 Camaro Z-28, 70 AAR Cuda, 72 Demon GSS (Mr Norm's), Firebird 400 (2), '64 Dodge 440 (383/4spd/3.91 SG - MINE) There was also a 66 or 67 Ford 500 with 7? litre badge that I never rode in.Also, a guy in a black Hemi Coronet visited his relatives in the neighborhood quite often , but was a "family man" and drove very conservatively.

Both GTOs were POSes ! I remember the shifter on the '64 detaching while the kid drove it ! The Tri-power was an absolute dog (another 4 speed).I had the misfortune of driving it home for my buddy who couldn't drive stick at the time. Are you reading this, Bear ?

The Firebirds were very quick and hairy rides (both 4-speeds), and the quality was so-so

The Olds 442 was quick and beautiful , but was a convertible, so automatically qualified the guy who drove it as a "poser". The verts were heavier and more expensive, of course. A very expensive musclecar for the day. More of a show piece in the day.

That 442 guy "babied" his ride , as did the Chevelle (454) owner. I was in the car the first day he got it, and I was dazzled by the interior and quiet. I guess I was surprised by how un-muscular it sounded.On the other hand, the Z28 looked and sounded like a "race car". The kid's grandmother had bought it for him, and he drove the tires off of it ! It just wasn't that quick, and the quality was average for the day. The Camaros were among the worst "rusters" a little later on, BTW.

That leads me to the Mopars. The thing I remember the most about the Superbees and Roadrunners when they were new was the hairy induction roar they had when stomped. A very deep and awesome rush of air - that I haven't seen duplicated on these restos of today(yet) I believe they had special aircleaners for this effect, and you didn't hear any other mechanical noises from the engines.

The now overrated (IMHO) E-bodies weren't very popular when they came out. Everybody hated the chintzy plastic interiors and high prices. The AAR in the 'hood was "snot green", and not all that fast (sorry, AAR owners ) At this time the fit and finish were really going downhill, though the engines/trans still had good reliability .

Finally, that '69 Coronet R/T was the BEST. It had the 440 4spped (turquoise), and the build quality was great It was practically unbeatable -what a car. The GTXs were just as fine - but I never rode/drove one - just got beat by 1 or 2.

As someone else noted, NOBODY expected these cars to last more than 60K or so. Very many were abandoned (literally) during the gas crisis. And, for the purists, the majority were rather quickly "modded" with new wheels/radios/tachs/mufflers, whatever was cheap and easy and looked good. In a few years, the era was over, but I remember its demise as being more insurance-related than anything else. Whew !

--------------------

"Don't take life so serious, son... It ain't no how permanent"


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65Dart270
top fuel


Reged: May 31 2003
Loc: Amarillo, Texas
Re: What Were Our Musclecars Like When They Were New? [Re: LTDan]
      #692223 - Sun Feb 08 2004 08:32 AM

I was born in '69, 4 years after my car, so I missed out on all the good stuff. The first "factory" fast car I rode in was in the late '70s, and I LOVED the way that car rode and accelerated. It was my uncle's Mr. Norm's prepped 69 1/2 440-6 Super Bee and it was a rocketship!

--------------------
"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed."
Sir Winston Churchill


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Anonymous
Unregistered



Re: What Were Our Musclecars Like When They Were New? [Re: LTDan]
      #692269 - Sun Feb 08 2004 08:57 AM

I set out to buy my first new car in 1970. At the time, I really liked all the Mopar colors with their cute names. I looked at Dusters, RoadRunners, and 'Cudas. I skipped the Dodges because I wasn't too impressed with the dealers here in Houston. But I was so turned off by the cheap interiors, that I bought a Torino (which ran like crap).



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Anonymous
Unregistered



Re: What Were Our Musclecars Like When They Were New? [Re: ]
      #692475 - Sun Feb 08 2004 10:34 AM

Very long

My first new car was a '63 Fury w/ the 415 Horse Super Stock Motor. I had ordered the Sports Fury, but when I went to the dealer (Highland Park Motors in Illinois) They received just? a Fury.
It's my signature car.
Anyhow I remember when I got there only the showroom was open. The salesman walked me back into the shop area, and there she sat. All clean and looking good. All concerns about not having bucket seats, and the extras that came with a Sports Fury left quickly.
The salesman first opens the hood, he says &#8220;anything missing" I look around see the 2 big black air cleaners that "Orange Monster" engine, those big chunks of cast iron exhaust manifolds.
So I say "yep everything's here"
He says "where is the battery?" I guess I really looked stupid when I said "I don't know, where is the battery?".
He then opens the trunk, and botta boom, there's the biggest battery I'd even seen, sitting in the trunk on the passengers side. With all them hoses sticking down thru the trunk floor, sure looked strange. To this day I cannot remember dual Negative battery cables, as most "restorations" or clones have. I don't think my car had them.
Anyhow I get behind the wheel the salesman says pull the choke lever out, and start her up. Thought I was going to need 2 legs to push the clutch pedal in. Well I got it started, and killed it at least three times before I got it out the back door.
Other cars that I rode in back in those days were a a "58 Chewy Impala owned by a guy named "EM" w/ 348 in³ "Tri-Power" engine a 59 Chevy Impala 348 "Tri Power", a '60 Catalina 348 TriPower.
I also had the pleasure of a one time Drag race (in someone else&#8217;s car, had plenty in my car)on Eden&#8217;s Expressway (for you Chi-town fans), driving my buddies '63 Red Corvette split window coupe in a race, 60 mph punch, against a 63 Imp w/ a "409" 4 speed and 4.56 gears. Ray's Vette had 327 four speed car (I think it was rated around 330-340 horses), And a 3.08 rear gear. Gosh that Vette was long winded (I know so am I). So here we go, Ray's driving my Fury, and when the Imp and the Vette lined up at 60, Ray honks the horn.
The Impala's in second & pulled me right away, I wrapped that tach to 6500 or so in First, when I banged Second gear Ray said the Vette's wheels came off the ground, wasn't long till the Imp ran out of gear, I sailed by him, and Ray was the proud recipient of $50 for the race.
The Drive-in (Skokie Il.) we all hung out in looked like American Graffiti, cause it was. I had the only Mopar (as I recall), Rays Vette was there plus the Impala, a Furd Fairlane w/ a 406" and three deuces, A couple of Ponchos w/ the 421" Tri-Power motors. An older '56 Ford Fairlane drop top with a '59 Caddy three deuce motor owned by a guy named Beirbaum. We all had race on another and I guess you guys probably don't know which car was the lightest(except for the Vette), and fastest 2 door hardtop there.
Great times in the early 60's I'd go back right now, no question about it.
MaxWedge


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72duster318
super gas


Reged: Jan 20 2003
Loc: Streetsboro ,Ohio
Re: What Were Our Musclecars Like When They Were New? [Re: ]
      #692561 - Sun Feb 08 2004 11:26 AM

I can still remember going to Quigley Ave, the street racing mecca in Cleveland around 75 or 76. Lots of great muscle, and lots or pretenders. The Mopars pretty well held their own. The fastest car I remember was a tacky brown primer B-body owned by two brothers who looked like they just rolled of the set of Deliverance. Looked like they hadn't bathed or changed clothes in a week, but man could they make that car fly.

--------------------
If you didn't build it yourself, it's not really yours - Tim "the toolman" Taylor


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Anonymous
Unregistered



Re: What Were Our Musclecars Like When They Were N [Re: LTDan]
      #692674 - Sun Feb 08 2004 12:45 PM

I graduated high school in '69. Muscle cars where everywhere.Unless you had something special, it was no big deal!Just another car. They where everywhere! Street racing(stop light to stop light)was very commom. Even if you didn't have a true muscle car, you still raced your buddy in his Corvair or his dad's '62 chevy with 283c.i. If I'd had the money and the forsight, I would have bought a lot of different cars then I did. But again, it wasn't a big deal. all the guys had some type of muscle car.When the gas embargo came in the mid '70's I sold my '71 Charger and bought a new '74 Datsun B210, just for the gas mileage. DUMB!!Took a real beating on the Charger, Couldn't give them away!If I had the cars then, that I do now, Man the chicks I could have had, and races I could have won! Oh well enough from the old guy...

Edited by smokindemon (Sun Feb 08 2004 04:55 PM)


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Steve340
super gas


Reged: Jan 23 2003
Loc: Puyallup, Wa.
Re: What Were Our Musclecars Like When They Were N [Re: ]
      #692691 - Sun Feb 08 2004 12:52 PM

Mopar vinyl seats lasted about 50K miles before they started ripping and that was in mild climate weather. I think the hotter climates caused them to harden up and start ripping sooner.
Also carpet started getting worn about the same time seats started ripping. Back in the late 70's I got a quote to completely recover my 1971 Duster bucket seats. Try $1000 back then (1979)! They said it was because of the many pieces and that they were all double stiched. They said they were the most costly and difficult seats to redo of all the brands.

--------------------

1970 Duster 340 Auto
1971 Duster 340 4 Spd.
1971 Challenger Pace Car Conv.
1960 Metropolitan Conv.
1950 Plymouth P19 Fastback
1968 Ford F-100
1993 Grand Caravan LE
1977 Apache Ramada
1989 Honda Riding Lawnmower


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stickman
super gas


Reged: May 12 2003
Loc: imperial mo.
Re: What Were Our Musclecars Like When They Were New? [Re: Fasbird]
      #693143 - Sun Feb 08 2004 05:14 PM

Trust me you don`t want to know. They were way
too vmuch fun.....


--------------------
YOU CAN`T RUN WITH THE BIG DOGS IF YOU NEVER LEAVE THE PORCH.


EK2,70 CHALLENGER,383,AUTO CLONE


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LTDanModerator
pic-a-nic basket cop


Reged: Jan 20 2003
Loc: Gloucester,VA STOP MOVING HERE
Re: What Were Our Musclecars Like When They Were New? [Re: stickman]
      #693453 - Sun Feb 08 2004 07:08 PM

Cool stories guys! I'm gonna save these so I can keep them for future reference, just for the heck of it.
I was inspired to take my R/T out today and imagined what it must have been like to have it when it was a new car. The car has about 131,000 miles on it and has never been "restored"-it got a new paint job in 1987 and new upholstery soon thereafter, so the doors, body panels, windows, etc. are still in their original places. There are no wind leaks (and that annoys the hell out of me-my '99 Crown Vic cruiser sounds like you're driving in an infinite wind tunnel) the doors have that sweet "ka-thunk" when they close, the heater takes a while to get going, but when it does, it's like driving a sauna. That big old thin steering wheel just feels so "right" in my hands, and the 4-speed shifter is in just the right place(in 2nd and 4th, anyway)

Another thing about the old cars-I never bump my noggin on the A-pillar. They're swept back too far on new cars, and there never seems to be enough leg room in late models. Even my '68 Dart was a roomy car up front.

I guess you really had to "drive" these cars back then, to compensate for what is now referred to as their shortcomings, whereas new cars are so much more user-friendly, that I think the thrill of driving is diminished somewhat, and probably has contributed to modern drivers' being less-skilled behind the wheel.

--------------------
69 Charger 318
71 Road Runner 440+6
71 Satellite sedan 318
72 Fury VA State Police car 440
77 Grand Prix SJ 400
82 Delta 88 307
10 Challenger R/T 5.7/6 speed


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Anonymous
Unregistered



Re: What Were Our Musclecars Like When They Were New? [Re: LTDan]
      #693714 - Sun Feb 08 2004 08:32 PM

if a tree falls in the...........
we didnt know they were shortcomings.
they were the latest, greatest!
most people didnt scrutinize the paint or body that closely, we wanted power, looks and coolness; besides everyone was to stoned to notice!
this wasnt just the era of 'cars of the day'. this was also, and probably one of the best time period's ever, the era know more for sex and drugs and rock and roll as well as muscle. abundant jobs, cheap gas, woodstock, cheap horsepower, long hair, granny dresses, cheap drugs, great music, go-go boots and free love ruled the day. and then along came vietnam and carpet bombing and protests.
p.s. i dont remeber any of the above! i have it all written down!

you aint lived till your sitting in your 383 gts at big boy at 9 mile and gratiot eating a burger and shake, rocking to hendrix, joplin or led zep and the car next to ya is your buddies 69 r/t charger and on the other side is your other bud who has the 68 hemi rr. either side of them your likely to see the 70 ss camaro and a judge. either side of them and further down the row could be a hot 55 chevy with a glass front end and straight axle and a hurst 442 and a triple black 67 440 4sp gtx and a couple 396 nova's and 454 chevelles and a 69 351 stang and so on.
all of a sudden a built 455 trans am comes rumbling through and produces a few short bursts of hi glasspack rpm trying to drum up some action. lo and behold a 427 tri power vette cranks it up and follows him out. 5 or 7 seven others follow suit and the drive in rocks with thunder and vibration as the procession heads out for some action. as we head up gratiot we observe several cars full of chicks! luckily we find one with 3 and convince them to pull over so we can talk! after doing up some XXX stick we find they know where a party is so we all match up and head out. the party is cranking! schlitz, coke, reds, boonesfarm, roars, hash, speed, mesc, columbian: you name it, they got it. we are pretty mellow so we move on and head out to telegraph looking for the silver bullitt! 5 bucks fills the tank with 100+ octane and we head up to teds where we proceed to do it all over again. we were ing fools!

actually i guess its good those days are long gone.


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koak
super street


Reged: Jul 06 2003
Loc: Pa
Re: What Were Our Musclecars Like When They Were New? [Re: stickman]
      #693731 - Sun Feb 08 2004 08:39 PM

I come from a MOPAR family on both sides. All of my uncles, grandparents had MOPARS till (gasp) the mid 80's. There was always someone getting a new one and we would check it out and take it for a ride. The carbs were fussy from day one. Mis- adjusted air doors on all 4bbls meant they bog or pop when stomped on, hot or cold. Chokes out of whack meant all would stall, die, wheeze when cold. Runs and drips a plenty on the finish. The fenders would rust out before the cars were paid for- and loans were 3 years back then! Drum brakes were scarry but the bias tires werent that bad. I was more worried with my first set of those "new" radials. After all, who knew how they would handle! Dealer "back row" cars were 5-6 year old with 80k and unsellable.

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Anonymous
Unregistered



Re: What Were Our Musclecars Like When They Were New? [Re: Jim_Lusk]
      #694489 - Mon Feb 09 2004 08:42 AM

Cars I owned when new:
64 1/2 Mustang coupe (no fastback til '65), 289 4 BBl 4 speed
67 Mustange FB, 289 4 speed in "Bullitt" Green
'68 Fury II 318, certainly not a musclecar
'69 Dart Swinger 340
Fit and finish was poor, paint poor, point ignition was troublesome, lots of squeeks and rattles, not nearly as reliable as today's cars.
BUT, they had character, you could understand the technology and fix them with hand tools not $10,000 worth of diagnostic equipment.
And there were our everyday drivers.
I used my 340 Dart to go to work daily, my wife drove it with two kids in carseats in the back yelling "Go Mom go, get him". She was the stoplight racer, not me.
I remember using the Dart to go hunting thru Manitoba's interlake after upland game birds. By time I got home I needed two new mufflers and a battery. An expensive day for a few sharptails. When I complained to my neighbor about having to replace the mufflers, his response was "I didn't know that car had mufflers."


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Anonymous
Unregistered



Re: What Were Our Musclecars Like When They Were New? [Re: ]
      #694777 - Mon Feb 09 2004 10:41 AM

Oh, I almost forgot...The bias ply tires were really bad....scary bad!

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Anonymous
Unregistered



Re: What Were Our Musclecars Like When They Were New? [Re: LTDan]
      #694957 - Mon Feb 09 2004 12:02 PM

When I was a wee little lad of five or six, the old man bought Momma a brand new Mustang convertible, a 1973. They hadn't gone to the pony body yet and the convertibles were reinforced at the factory. This one had been ordered with the 'Cleveland' engine, that I later found out was the infamous 351 Cleveland.

Long story short: Momma was a lead-foot from way back and spun the tires more than once. On one particular day, she was mad about something before she ever picked me up from little league. Then on the way home, I was winding her up even tighter about something. I remember sitting in those white buckets with my back against the door. (no belt laws in those days) We were first in line, stopped at the crested intersection of the main drag. I was whinning, Mom was focussed, the light turned green and she dropped the hammer! The 'Stang pulled so hard across the intersection that the front wheels came off the ground at the crest and came down with a SMACK on the other side! I was pinned straight back in the seat until the scenery caught up with us. She never let off or flinched. Needless to say, I didn't have anything to whine about, my eyes must have been as big as saucers and I'm sure I begged Mom to do it again.
I still tell the story at holidays. Mom just grins a little and says, 'That was a great car.'



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Sunroofcuda
speak softly, but carry a big powerstick


Reged: Jan 20 2003
Loc: Highland, MI.
Re: What Were Our Musclecars Like When They Were New? [Re: ]
      #694967 - Mon Feb 09 2004 12:05 PM

I was a little late for the era - graduated HS in 1976. But, I sure remember the cars when I was 12 years old in 1970. Here's a few "snapshots" from my memory from when they were new here in the Motor City:

- '69 Mach 1's were all over the place & I loved them - my favorite color was the metallic turquoise green. I loved the hood blackout on them!
- Boss 429 'Stangs were like hen's teeth - if you saw one, it was like seeing a UFO. You knew when you saw one, cause it had that huge hood scoop.
- There was a guy in our neighborhood just north of Lyndon Rd. (Livonia) with a bug-juice green Hemicuda HT. I LOVED seeing that car.
- I quickly learned that SHAKER hoods on '70 Cudas & Challengers were rare to see, & if you spotted one with it, it had a special motor in it! BIG MOTOR!
- Then I started seeing '71 Cudas with shakers & 340's??? That was my turn-off about the '71 Cudas. The shaker used to mean big-block, fire-breathing engine! The '71 Cudas seemed a little "showy" to me, plus they were seldom seen - seeing a '71 Cuda was uncommon.
- I loved two things about the '70 Cudas when I was a kid: They had a distinct "whistle" when they drove by (still a mystery to me today) - an actual wind noise that came off the cars' front end, & I really liked the way the front parking lights looked in the grilles. You could always tell when a '70 Barracuda/Cuda was approaching at night.
- Cudas & Challengers sounded AWESOME! A very distinctly different sounding exhaust, plus coming through the rear valances like they did looked too cool.
- Superbirds were RARE - seldom seen. Daytonas were friggin' UFO's! When you saw one, you remembered.
- These cars were right in my neighborhood: Dark Green '68 Dart GTS 340, Light Blue metallic '67 or 8 Camaro with a 427 (that car would always go down our street slow in 1st gear with a rumble that would shake the earth), '70 Orange Boss 429 Mustang (that guy still owns it but I haven't seen it in about 22 years), an F-8 AAR, a '70 AMX 390 Big Bad Orange, the Limelight Hemicuda, and an orange '71 Challenger R/T 383 w/elastomeric F/R bumpers.
- Our family was going somewhere in the summertime & we pulled up alongside some guy in a 69-1/2 Super Bee six-pack car. We all started joking about the car: "Ha-ha, six-pack of Beer........" My parents took part in the ridicule.

My first car was an F-8 '70 Cuda 340 4-speed, 3:55 Sure-Grip, PS, PDB, Rallye Gauges, 44,000 miles. I bought it in July 1976 from the original owner, a Chrysler accountant. The car was rusty in all four corners already in only 6 winters, plus it had been rustproofed when new by Tuff-Coat. BUT, the car was in excellent condition - the original paint was super shiny & it was a VERY sharp car! The car was equipped with F/R elastomeric bumbers also, which made the dark-colored Cuda look even more sinister. I could break a new LH motor mount in one day simply by grabbing gears, not speed shifting (I never speed shifted any 4-speed cars I've owned). One day a buddy & I were on the way to work & I decided to see the top-end of the Cuda. I STOOD on it going south on I-275 from the Jeffries to the Plymouth road exit - the car would go no faster than 125. I then decelerated only to hear some pretty loud valvetrain noise! My buddy (Brad) started laughing: "You lunched the motor, ha-ha-ha." We pulled into work about 2 miles down the road after we got off the highway, & I checked the oil. Dipstick was DRY! I filled back to the top with 4 quarts of oil & the bulletproof 340 was just fine.

It was also a small back seat, but you could get the job done - JUST FINE!

--------------------
NO MAN WITH A GOOD CAR NEEDS TO BE JUSTIFIED.

For the best sounding exhaust in the world & OEM STEEL WHEELS, visit: www.classicchambered.com


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Re: What Were Our Musclecars Like When They Were New? [Re: Sunroofcuda]
      #695162 - Mon Feb 09 2004 01:41 PM

I also graduated high school in 1969.

In my area (Washington DC, DC Suburbs), muscle cars everywhere. My next door neighbor had a 1969 Dodge Dart 340 Swinger, B5 exterior, black vinyl roof, 3.23 Sure Grip, 727, dog dishes.
I loved that car!

My older brother was a car salesman for Bob Banning Chrysler-Plymouth-Dodge in Maryland, from 1968 through 1972. He sold Mopars from taxi cabs to a 1970 all black Hemi 'Cuda.

In early 1970, I factory special ordered a 1970 Plymouth Duster 340, B7 Jamaica Blue Metallic, deluxe interior with bench/center arm rest, 3.55 Sure Grip, stripe delete option, body side moldings, ralleye wheels with E70 - 14 GoodYear raised white letter tires, heavy duty cooling and electrical systems, AM MusicMaster thumbwheel radio. GREAT CAR for $2,870 delivered price!

I sold this car in 1973 to pay my college bills!
Sold for $1,450 with American Racing equipment Torque Thrust D wheels and aftermarket G60 -14 on the back!

Wish I still had the car!

The car had it's share of problems new (bent distributor shaft, rough idle, poor exterior paint) but its was a BLAST to drive!

And I Dusted all those Chevy SS 350 Novas, the 343 Javelins, and the 351 Mustangs!

--------------------
moparts member


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