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1964 Dodge 330 HEMI Lightweight?

A B&W image from Stellantis PR archives of the production line for “Historical Mopar 1964 Package Car Production.”

“Historical Mopar 1964 Package Car Production,” from the Stellantis PR archives.

BY MARK MAYNARD

This photo from the Stellantis PR vehicle archives shows “Historical Mopar 1964 Package Car Production.” The car being assembled is not identified in the caption, but it appears to be a 1964 Dodge 330 HEMI Lightweight. Built for speed, it was a privateer’s super stock drag car.

Note the skinny front tires with magnesium wheels (not steelies with dog-dish nut covers). Also unique are the hood pins and the grille with single headlights because we don’t need no turn signals on a race track.

A car similar to this factory image sold at Bonham’s 2021 Amelia Island Auction. According to the auction report, the 1964 Dodge 330 Hemi Lightweight on offer was “One of 55 A864 lightweight cars for the model year.” And it was built with aluminum and magnesium parts from the factory.

How Much?

There is a fine example for sale now through Hemmings. Asking price: $159,000.

According to a report in ConceptCarz.com, the Dodge 330 Lightweight was identified by the Hemi engine code A864. The engine denoted the cross-ram-equipped race Hemi drag engine.

“For 1964, the Hemi package had an aluminum intake, offset dual Holley carburetors, 12.5:1 compression, and chrome valve covers,” according to the ConceptCarz report.

“The exhaust system used factory cutouts, one transverse-mounted muffler, and a single exhaust exit.

“The Hemi models used light aluminum components wherever possible, including the fenders, hood, scoop, front bumper, and doors.

“The battery was moved to the trunk and the rear seat was deleted. The engines were backed by the A727 TorqueFlite transmission operated by pushbuttons in the dash.

“Interiors included factory lightweight A100 bucket seats with lightweight brackets, red carpeting, and radio- and heater-delete plates.

“The side windows were made from thin plastic and the rear window was from lightweight Plexiglas. Magnesium wheels were at the front.”

Bonham’s Auction Report

In Bonham’s auction report, the red 1964 Dodge 330 HEMI Lightweight on offer was “Stored & unused from 1966 – 2006.” And its authenticity was documented by Mopar expert Galen Govier. The car was sold new at Mr. Norm’s Grand Spaulding Dodge . “Mr. Norm” was the legendary purveyor of high-performance Mopar muscle, beginning in 1962 at his Chicago dealership.

The car in the Bonham’s auction did not sell at the time, and it likely would have taken $150,000 or more.

Bonham’s car had these specs for chassis no. 6142229092:

  • 426ci Hemi V8 Engine
  • Dual Offset Holley Carburetors
  • 425bhp
  • 3-Speed 727 Torqueflite Racing Automatic Transmission
  • Independent Front with Live Rear Axle
  • 4-Wheel Hydraulic Drum Brakes
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Rolls-Royce Owners’ Club 70th Annual Meet

Rolls-Royce Owners’ Club event in San Diego gathered 130 vintage and modern Rolls-Royce and Bentley cars

A chassis of a 1921 Silver Ghost

This 1921 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost has never been fitted with a coach body. (Photo courtesy of Brad Zemcik)

BY MARK MAYNARD

More than 130 classic and modern Rolls-Royce and Bentley automobiles were on view at the 70th annual meet of the Rolls-Royce Owners’ Club, held at the Dana Resort on Mission Bay.

The Spirit of Ecstasy radiator top

The Spirit of Ecstasy.

The four-day event, held June 21-24, had registered owners from across the U.S. and enthusiasts from as far away as England, Australia, Germany, and Canada.

Throughout the week (and another three days of free time afterward), owners took advantage of backcountry tours of San Diego County, technical sessions, seminars, silent auctions, and vendor booths. There also were exclusive tours of some fabled San Diego car collections.

Event Planning

Much planning for the 70th annual meet fell to the San Diego chapter of the Rolls-Royce Owners’ Club and its members. Meet chairs Brad and Michele Zemcik and club members had much heavy lifting to do. There had not been an official Rolls-Royce Owners Club show in San Diego since 1983.

The Zemcik’s got started with the planning in 2018.

“Things were moving along, and then Covid hit in 2020,” said Brad Zemcik. “For months, nobody would talk to us, but fortunately, I had secured the hotel. At the start of 2021, we started pouring on the gas.”

Brad Zemcik has been a Rolls-Royce enthusiast for 53 years. He acquired his first Rolls-Royce, a 1939 Wraith, when he was 20. Over the years, he has owned three others including a 1920 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Tourer and a Bentley Mark VI (6). Currently, he owns a 1957 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud, which was at the show.

“Rolls-Royce owners believe their cars should be driven,” Zemcik said in a phone interview. And at least two cars in the San Diego meet were long-distance travelers. A couple from North Carolina took a few weeks to drive their Silver Ghost to San Diego after attending a five-day Silver Ghost tour event and driving hundreds of miles in Utah.

A front view of a 1950 Bentley Mark VI that was driven to San Diego from Oregon

This 1950 Bentley Mk VI SSS (standard steel production) was driven to the meet from Oregon. But along the way, the owner had to stop to have a pacemaker inserted!

An Oregon owner traveling to San Diego in his 1950 Bentley 1950 Mk VI had an unexpected stop along the way. It wasn’t a problem with his Bentley. He had a medical emergency and had a pacemaker installed, er, inserted.

Classic Rolls-Royce and Bentleys in a lineup for a photo shoot

In line for the official photo session.

21 Judged Classes

There were 21 judged classes, including Senior and Preservation.

In all, the meet had “130 cars plus or minus,” Zemcik said, ranging in age from 1909 to 2017. “Some who registered did not show up, or others came just for the day.” And there were many local cars on view.

A 1952 Silver Wraith saloon in the Preservation group still wore its original dark Velvet Green paint. It still shined but was showing a gentle patina. The Silver Wraith owner from Long Beach, Calif., said the car was originally purchased by the Viscountess of Shropshire County, England. It was for chauffeured drives to and from the House of Lords in London and her local rounds as the Member of Parliament for the district she represented.

A dark green 1952 Silver Wraith sedan

Upright and bold front styling for the 1952 Silver Wraith.

Side doors open on 1952 Silver Wraith

This 1952 Silver Wraith was originally purchased by the Viscountess of Shropshire, England. Note the Mulliner plate at the driver seat.

Because the Wraith was a personal vehicle, there is no partition between the front and back seat, the owner explained. The only built-in cabinetry is the fold-out tray tables, and a lot of legroom, he said. The stately Silver Wraith, with a beige leather interior, was chauffeur-maintained by the Viscountess until 1977. The owner now drives the car at least twice a month.

The highly patinated 1921 Silver ghost tourer

The highly patinated 1921 Silver Ghost tourer.

A 1921 Silver Ghost tourer looked like a barn find, showing its heavily patinated red paint. Its aluminum fenders were scoured of paint, and a heavily crinkled red color still showed through other body parts. The car is actually well preserved, Zemcik said, and first saw duty as a fire truck in Sweden, noted by the heraldry on the door.

Hooper body Rolls Royce

The Hooper bodied 1921 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud.

The red, crusty hood of the 1921 Silver CloudWhat might be called a unicorn was a 1921 Silver Ghost that had never been bodied. It was just the chassis and driveline, as it was when it left the factory. It has had several owners, Zemcik said, but was never bodied.

Friday was the concours show and judging, with class categories organized among the hotel parking areas. Later, awards were presented on the flight deck of the USS Midway aircraft carrier museum at Navy Pier along San Diego Bay.

Next year’s 71st annual meet for the RROC will be in Gettysburg, Pa., in mid to late June, 2023.

Here’s a sampling of cars at the 70th annual meet of the Rolls-Royce Owners Club:

1909 Silver Ghost, Roi des Beiges body style (“King of the Belgians”).

A 1909 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost

A mirror image of the 1909 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost.

A scrub brush footstep on the 1909 Rolls-Royce

Clean shoes only, please.

1913-Silver Ghost Cann Torpedo, Side

1913 Silver Ghost Cann Torpedo. Locally owned.

The wood and metal trimmed side board of the 1913 Silver Ghost

Meticulous details on the 1913 Silver Ghost Cann Torpedo.

Driver area in the 1913 Rolls

Blue on blue 1913 Silver Ghost Cann Torpedo.

A tire on the 1913 Silver Ghost Cann.

A front view of a 1921 Springfield (Mass.) Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost; locally owned.

A locally owned 1921 Springfield (Mass.) Silver Ghost.

The tool roll for the 1921 Silver Ghost Springfield

Never leave home without the tool roll.

The back seat area of the 1921 Springfield (Mass.) Silver Ghost

Lots of legroom in this Silver Ghost, built in Springfield, Mass.

1922 Silver Ghost Skiff;

A most unusual 1922 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Skiff.

The wooden sides of the 1922 Silver Ghost Skiff

Skiff body by Olin J. Stephens and Co. LTD.

Driver area of the 1922 Skiff with much wood inlays

Wooden bodied, inside and out.

A front mug of a red 1924 Bentley.

A 1924 Bentley 3-liter tourer, with coachwork by Vanden Plas.

A front mug of a 1926 Bentley.

Ready for endurance racing at Le Mans.

A front three-quarter view of this 1926 Bentley in British Racing Green.

A locally owned 1929 Bentley 6 ½ liter Speed Six Le Mans-style tourer.

Red tape marks top-center of the steering wheel on this '26 Bentley Le Mans-styl

Red tape marks top-center in this ’26 Bentley Le Mans-style tourer.

The "B" fold-down foot step on this 1926 Bentley

Bentley branding.

The front mug of a A 1929 Springfield (Mass.) Silver Ghost Pall Mall.

A 1929 Springfield (Mass.) Silver Ghost Pall Mall. Coachwork by Merrimac, below.

The tire-mounted side mirror on the 1929 Springfield Silver Ghost.

A 1933 Rolls-Royce 1933 Carlton roadster.

A 1933 Rolls-Royce 20/25 Carlton roadster. Below, note the distinct wheel weights used on all 1930’s era 20/25 Rolls-Royce and Bentley cars.

Spare tire on the 1933 Rolls-Royce Carlton

A mid-blue and silver 1933 Rolls-Royce Thrupp and Maberly limousine.

1933 Rolls-Royce Thrupp and Maberly limousine. And below, aero disc wheel covers.

Aero disc wheel covers on this '33 Rolls-Royce limousine.

934 Phantom II Hooper-bodied limousine

A 1934 Phantom II Hooper-bodied limousine.

The '34 Phantom's 7.7-liter straight-six engine.

The ’34 Phantom’s 7.7-liter straight-six engine.

Front seat area of the 1934 Phantom II

Nicely broken-in leather of this 1934 Phantom II Hooper-bodied limousine.

The royal blue front view of the 1935 Bentley 3 ½ liter saloon, body by Park Ward.

A 1935 Bentley 3 ½ liter saloon, body by Park Ward.

A royal blue 1935 Bentley 3 ½ liter Park Ward saloon

Sleek lines of this 1935 Bentley 3 ½ liter Park Ward saloon.

A front mug of the 1949 Silver Dawn

The 1949 license plate of this Silver Dawn was made by inmates at Folsom Prison. The left-hand driver is powered by a 4.25-liter 6-cylinder engine.

A silver colored A 1949 Silver Dawn. Claimed to be the 12th Rolls-Royce ever made; body and chassis produced by Rolls-Royce.

This 1949 Silver Dawn is claimed to be the 12th Rolls-Royce ever made. Its body and chassis were produced by Rolls-Royce.

The Silver Dawn interior

Lovely wood and hides in the 1949 Silver Dawn.

The tall chrome grille of the 1950 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith

A 1950 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith.

Bench seats in the A 1950 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith.

Bench seats in the 1950 Silver Wraith.

The red interior of a1952 Silver Dawn

The red-on-red 1952 Silver Dawn.

The purple face of a 1952 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith Limousine

A 1952 Silver Wraith Limousine, locally owned. Coach built by Freestone & Webb.

The tall chrome grill of the 1952 Silver Wraith

Bold and upright grille work of the Velvet Green 1952 Silver Wraith.

A tire on the 1952 Silver Wraith

A robust rubber of the 1952 Silver Wraith.

The handsome wood veneer on the interior of a1952 Silver Wraith saloon

Striking colors in the veneer of the 1952 Silver Wraith Saloon.

A 1953 Silver Dawn with a clever license plate "DSH SOAP"

A 1953 Silver Dawn with a clever license plate.

A keyed hood lock on the 1953 Silver Dawn.

The hood lock on the 1953 Silver dawn.

A 1957 Bentley S1 saloon.

A 1957 Bentley S1 saloon.

A frnt mug of a dark green 1965 Bentley S3 Continental.

1965 Bentley S3 Continental. (The owners also have in their collection a Bentley S1 and a Ferrari F12 Berlinetta.

The rear end of the 1965 Bentley Continental.

Sporting lines of the 1965 Bentley S3 Continental.

A 1967 Silver Shadow saloon.

A 1967 Silver Shadow saloon.

A front mug of a 969 Silver Shadow, from Canada.

The 1969 Silver Shadow, from Canada.

A tire and wheel cover of the 1969 Silver Shadow drophead coupe

Pinstriped body and wheel covers of the 1969 Silver Shadow

A side view of the blue 1971 Silver Shadow LWB saloon.

A 1971 Silver Shadow LWB saloon.

The stately chrome grille of a 1971 Silver Shadow LWB saloon.

The stately grille of the 1971 Silver Shadow LWB saloon.

A gold colored 1972 Corniche coupe; locally owned; body by Mulliner, Park Ward.

A 1972 Corniche coupe; locally owned; body by Mulliner, Park Ward.

Learn more tag for the 1972 Corniche

Learn more about this 1972 Corniche.

 

1972 Rolls-Royce Corniche front seats.

Burl veneer in the ’72 Corniche.

A dark green 1976 Silver Shadow saloon

1976 Silver Shadow saloon.

A 1976 Silver Shadow LWB saloon

A 1976 Silver Shadow LWB saloon; locally owned. Scots Pine paint with a beige Everflex coach top and tan Connelly leather. The car’s sticker price in 1976 was $44,225, while the average price of a single-family home in San Diego was $38,000.

Door handle and pinstriping

Complementing pinstriping to the paint color.

The matching pinstripes on the wheel and front fender of the 1976 Silver Shadow

Such delicate and tasteful pinstriping on this 1976 Silver Shadow.

A frone view of a 1991 Bentley Continental drophead coupe

1991 Bentley Continental drophead coupe.

The bold face of a 1991 Bentley Continental drophead coupe, with a red leather coach top and cream body color

A 1991 Bentley Continental drophead coupe. Body by Mulliner, Park Ward.

A locally owned 1991 Silver Spur II long wheelbase saloon.

A locally owned 1991 Silver Spur II long-wheelbase saloon.

A steel blue 2002 Rolls-Royce Silver Seraph

A 2002 Silver Seraph saloon from Las Vegas.

Tan front seats of the 2002 Rolls-Royce Silver Seraph

Sumptuous leather.

luxe back seat accommodations in the 2002 Silver Seraph

A well-padded back seat in the 2002 Silver Seraph.

back seat liquor bottles in the Rolls-Royce

And with crystal glassware.

The big front tire of a silver-blue 2002 Rolls-Royce Silver Seraph saloon

Robust rubber for a heavyweight Silver Seraph saloon.

A black 2010 Bentley Azure T drophead coupe

2010 Bentley Azure T drophead coupe.

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Ford Mustangs That Never Were

16 concepts and design sketches of proposed Ford Mustang variants

16 concepts and design sketches of proposed Ford Mustang variants.

The first-generation Ford Mustang in Wimbledon White. (Ford PR archives)

BY MARK MAYNARD

It was 58 years ago on April 17, 1964, that the Ford Mustang debuted at the World’s Fair in Flushing Meadows, New York. It was an immediate sales success — but there were many concepts, design studies, and prototypes that were considered along the way. Some of those were codenamed the “Bruce Jenner” and the “Rambo” and there was a station wagon, a four-door and two-seater body styles.

Ford Motor announced today, April 14, that for the seventh year in a row, the Mustang is the world’s best-selling sports coupe, according to Ford analysis of registration data from S&P Global Mobility.

According to Ford internal data, the United States remains home to the strongest demand for Mustang representing 76 percent of global sales. Other markets that saw growth in Mustang sales in 2021 include New Zealand, up 54.3 percent, Brazil, up 37.3 percent, and South Korea, up 16.6 percent. 

Here are some images and captions from the Ford Motor archives that show some of the ideas that were considered. Most were wisely resisted.

1965 Mustang Four-Door

Two doors too many.

While Mustang used the platform of the compact Falcon as its starting point, the four-door Mustang could have brought the idea full circle by adding two doors to the pony car. Fortunately for Mustang fans, cooler heads prevailed.

1966 Mustang Station Wagon

In the mid-1960s, Ford designers considered at least a couple of different concepts for a Mustang station wagon, with at least one running prototype based on a 1966 coupe getting built. Another design study included elements for refreshed models that were coming later that decade. All of the known Mustang wagons were three-doors that were closer to a European “shooting brake” than a traditional American family station wagon.

1961 Avventura, Avanti, Allegro Concepts

From late 1961 into mid-1962, Ford designers tried out a wide range of themes for a sporty coupe based on the platform of the new Falcon compact. Each design was given an internal name for the purpose of discussion. One fastback design actually went through at least three different names starting with Avventura before moving on to Avanti and finally Allegro. The fastback design was originally sketched with a hatchback and rear-facing second-row seat. While this car never made it to production, a variation of the fastback profile was eventually adopted as the third body style for Mustang.

Avanti/Allegro Concept

As Avventura moved from sketch to physical design model, the hatch was replaced with a trunk and the rear seat was switched to a more conventional forward-facing orientation. Originally shown internally as Avanti, the name was eventually changed to Allegro, likely because Studebaker had introduced its own production Avanti coupe around the same time.

1962 Allegro Design Study

In 1962, the design team, led by Gene Bordinat, worked on several iterations of another design called Allegro. While the production 1965 Mustang was a very different car in almost every visual detail from Allegro, the design study established the basic proportions that would define most Mustangs for the next five decades. The notchback coupe had the same long-hood, short-deck layout with a compact greenhouse that would roll out of the Rouge factory two years later.

The Millionth Mustang

For the 1966 celebration of the millionth Mustang produced: Airline pilot Capt. Stanley Tucker, the owner of the first ordered Mustang, with Ford design chief Gene Bordinat (left), Ford President Lee Iacocca, product manager Donald Frey and an unnamed Ford exec.

1967 Allegro II Concept

The 1967 Allegro II Concept for Mustang

In 1967, Ford designers decided to reprise one of the original Mustang design concepts from 1962 with a new form and repurposed name. Starting with the Avanti/Allegro fastback coupe, the greenhouse was removed and replaced with a low-cut speedster-style windshield, roll bar, flying buttresses on the rear deck, and a new rear end. The reworked concept was dubbed Allegro II.

1967 Mach 2 Concept

1967 Mustang Mach 2 Concept

With the Mustang having already set sales records following its launch in 1964, Ford design chief Gene Bordinat and the Special Vehicles Group decided to try rearranging the pieces for the Mach 2 concept. The 289 Hi-Po V-8 was shifted from the front to behind the two seats to evaluate the layout as a possible successor to the Shelby Cobra. Despite its midengine layout, the Mach 2 retained the long-hood, short-deck proportions of a Mustang. Unfortunately, the Mach 2 never went much beyond the auto-show circuit.

1966 Mustang Mach I Concept

1966 Mustang Mach I Concept
Pantera-esqe?

The two-position hatchback was intended to accommodate longer objects in a near-horizontal position or open wider for cargo loading.

1969 Ford Mustang Boss 302 Engine

1969 Ford Mustang Boss 302 Engine

The high-performance 302-cubic-inch V8 used in the 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 302.

1966 Mach 1 Concept

1966 Ford Mustang Mach 1 Concept

As the first-generation model transitioned from a pony car to a larger and heavier big-block muscle car, the Mach 1 concept was created as a preview of the 1968 model. The original nose of the concept drew inspiration from the 1963 Mustang II concept.

1970 Mustang Milano

1970 Ford Mustang Milano in purple

First shown publicly at the February 1970, Chicago Auto Show, the Mustang Milano concept previewed the nearly horizontal rear deck and sharp, extended nose that would be seen on the production 1971 model. However, aside from those two elements, the Milano didn’t really bear much resemblance to any production Mustang. In fact, the car that probably drew most heavily on the Milano profile was the Australian-market Falcon XB coupe of the mid-1970s.

1970 Mustang Milano front
Would this become the Torino?

‘Bruce Jenner’ design study

Bruce Jenner Mustang design concept

Too soft?

In 1990, Ford designers evaluated a number of themes to replace the long-running third-generation Mustang. The notchback and hatchback body styles would be replaced with a single fastback coupe format. After departing from many of the original design cues on the third-generation models, the upcoming fourth-generation would return elements like the galloping pony in the grille, the side scoops and the tri-bar taillamps. This softer concept, known as “Bruce Jenner” wasn’t considered aggressive enough to be a Mustang.

‘Rambo’ Design Study

The Mustang 'Rambo' Design Study

Too extreme?

This alternative proposal dubbed, “Rambo,” was deemed too extreme for production.

1980 Mustang RSX Concept

1980 Mustang RSX Concept

Created at the Italian Ghia design studio, the RSX was conceived as a rally special based on the new Fox-body third-generation Mustang that debuted for the 1979 model year. With a 1-inch-wider track and 5.6-inch-shorter wheelbase than the road-going Mustang, the RSX had extra ride height that would be needed for dealing with the off-tarmac stages of European rallies.

1961-62 Two-Seater Studies

A two-seat Mustang study.

The two-seater concept.

Early in the gestation of the original Mustang, Ford designers considered a number of two-seater studies. These were seen as a more affordable return to the roots of Thunderbird, which by this time had grown into a much larger four-seater. The idea of a two-seat Mustang was something designers returned to frequently in the period between the original Mustang 1 concept and the 1992 Mach III. Aside from some track-oriented Mustangs that had the rear seats removed to save weight, there has never been a strictly two-seat production Mustang.

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Happy 58th Birthday To the Ford Mustang

Photos and history of the six generations of Ford Mustang from its debut in 1964 to 2022

The Ford Pavilion at the 1964 New York Worlds' Fair

The Ford Pavilion for the debut of the Ford Mustang at the 1964 New York Worlds’ Fair. (Ford archive photos)

Table of Contents

First Generation
2nd Generation
3rd Generation
4th Generation
5th Generation
6th Generation

BY MARK MAYNARD

It began 58 years ago this Sunday, April 17, 2022. More than 51 million people from around the world packed into Flushing Meadows Park in Queens for the debut of the Ford Mustang at the New York World’s Fair. It was 1964 and just 16 days after the debut of the Plymouth Barracuda. But the 1965 model-year Mustang would prove to be Ford’s most successful launch since the Model A.

It was a media-rich event, including a test drive for journalists. The so-called Mustang Road Rally traveled from the World’s Fair to Dearborn, via Niagara Falls.

Journalists prepare to head out for the first Ford Mustang Road Rally from Westchester Country Club in New York to Dearborn, Mich., in April 1964.

Journalists prepare to head out for the first Ford Mustang Road Rally. The route went from Westchester Country Club in New York to Dearborn, Mich.

Journalists make a  fuel stop along the way to Dearborn.

Journalists make a fuel stop along the way to Dearborn.

A stop at Niagara Falls on the way to Dearborn.

A stop at Niagara Falls on the way to Dearborn.

The “1964½” Mustang

Enthusiasts dubbed the first-year car as the “1964½” Mustang. But all Mustangs were advertised, VIN coded and titled by Ford as 1965 models. Production began in Dearborn, Mich., on March 9, 1964.

Original sales forecasts projected fewer than 100,000 units for the first year, however, the mark was surpassed in three months from rollout.  Another 318,000 cars would be sold during the model year (a record). And in its first 18 months on sale, more than 1 million Mustangs were built.

Henry Ford II poses with the all-new Mustang at the Ford Pavilion during the World’s Fair debut.

Henry Ford II poses with the all-new Mustang at the Ford Pavilion during the World’s Fair debut.  The sporty four-seater is named after the legendary P-51 Mustang fighter plane from World War II. The price at launch: $2,368.

In August 2018, Ford produced the 10 millionth Mustang. It was a 2019 Wimbledon White convertible with a V-8 engine, which matched the first 1965 Mustang.

First Generation Mustang: 1965–1973

An early 1965 Mustang hardtop.

An early 1965 Mustang hardtop.

To meet its advertised list price of $2,368, the Mustang was based heavily on components that were already in production for other Ford models. This was the same business plan that Ford used for the first-gen 1955-1957 Thunderbirds. Many if not most of the interior, chassis, suspension and drivetrain components came from the Falcon and Fairlane.

1965 Ford Mustang T5 prototype

1965 Ford Mustang T5 prototype.

The Big Block Mustang

From 1967 until 1973, the Mustang got bigger, allowing a big block engine to be offered for the first time. Front and rear end styling was more pronounced, and the “twin cove” instrument panel offered a thicker crash pad and larger gauges.

The 1964 Dearborn, Mich., assembly plant.

The 1964 Dearborn, Mich., assembly plant.

Hardtop, fastback, and convertible body styles continued as before.

Around this time, the Mustang was paired with a Mercury variant, called the Cougar, which used its own styling cues, such as a “prowling cat” logo and hidden quad headlamps.

A 1965 advertisement.

New safety regulations by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration had to be applied for 1967. The added feature included an energy-absorbing steering column, four-way emergency flashers, a dual-circuit hydraulic braking system, and softer interior knobs.

Mustang sales pass the 1 million mark in March 1966.

1965 Ford Mustang Fastback.

1965 Ford Mustang Fastback.

1968 Pony Car Refresh

The 1968 models received revised side scoops, steering wheel, and gasoline caps. Side marker lights were also added that year, and cars built after Jan. 1, 1968, included shoulder belts for both front seats on coupes. The 1968 models also introduced a new 302-cubic-inch (4.9-liter) V-8 engine that would meet new federal emissions regulations.

1965 Mustang interior.

The 1965 Mustang interior.

A 1966 Mustang GT fastback.

A 1966 Mustang GT fastback.

The 1966 Shelby

The 1966 Shelby Mustang GT-350H, the so-called rent-a-racer.

The 1967 instrument panel.

The 1967 instrument panel.

1969 Mustang Grows In Size

The restyling for 1969 added more heft to the body as width and length again increased. The curb weight went up markedly, too. V-8 power returns to Mustang with the 302 cubic-inch small-block.

Due to the larger body and revised front-end styling, the 1969 models (but less so in 1970) had a notable aggressive stance.

The 1968.

The 1968.

The 1969 Boss 302.

The 1969 Boss 302.

A rear view of the 1969 Boss 302.

The 1969 models featured “quad headlamps” which disappeared to make way for a wider grille and a return to standard headlamps in the 1970 models.

Ford designer Larry Shinoda in the design studio courtyard with the 1969 Mustang Boss.

Ford designer Larry Shinoda in the design studio courtyard with the 1969 Mustang Boss.

This switch back to standard headlamps was an attempt to tame the aggressive styling of the 1969 model, which some felt was too extreme and hurt sales, but 1969 production exceeded the 1970 total.

Prototype testing of the Boss 302.

Prototype testing of the Boss 302.

The 1970 Fastback.

The 1970 Fastback.

The 1971 Mustang Mach 1

The 1971 Mustang Mach 1.

The 1971 model was the biggest Mustang to date. It was nearly a foot longer and some 600 pounds heavier than the originals.

The Boss 351, with its “Cleveland” block and Cobra Jet heads, debuts. The Mach 1 comes with a variety of powertrains, topped by the 429 Super Cobra Jet (SCJ).

A 1972 hardtop Mustang

A 1972 hardtop.

The 1972 Mustang

For 1972, styling is unchanged from 1971, and the only new model offering is the Sprint – a special red, white, and blue exterior paint-and-tape package.

2nd Generation: 1974–1978

The 1974 Mustang II hatchback

The 1974 Mustang II hatchback, the first application of a liftback body style.

The Pinto years

Lee Iacocca, who had been one of the forces behind the original Mustang, became president of Ford Motor Co in 1970 and ordered a smaller, more fuel-efficient Mustang for 1974. Initially, it was to be based on the Ford Maverick but ultimately was based on the Ford Pinto subcompact.

The 1975 Mustang II Ghia.

The 1975 Mustang II Ghia.

Workers perform quality control checks at the Dearborn Assembly in 1975.

Workers perform quality control checks at the Dearborn Assembly in 1975.

The new model called the “Mustang II,” was introduced on Sept. 21, 1973, two months before the first 1973 oil crisis. Its reduced size allowed it to compete against successful imported sports coupés such as the Datsun 240Z, Toyota Celica, and the European Ford Capri. (The Capri was Ford-built in Germany and Britain, but sold in the U.S. by Mercury).

The 1978 Mustang II King Cobra.

The 1978 Mustang II King Cobra.

First-year sales were 385,993 cars, compared with the original Mustang’s 12-month sales record of 418,812. Ultimately, the Mustang II would be an early example of downsizing that would take place among Detroit’s Big Three later in the decade.

3rd Generation: 1979–1993

The redesigned 1979 Mustang

The redesigned 1979 Mustang was moved to the larger Fox platform, initially developed for the 1978 Ford Fairmont and Mercury Zephyr.

 

With the introduction of the Fox Body Mustang in 1979, more European design language was adopted inside and out. The two-spoke wheel from Mustang II was replaced with a four-spoke wheel, which was later shared with other Ford products.

The updated four-spoke steering wheel

The updated four-spoke wheel.

A larger body

The 1979 Mustang was based on the larger Fox platform (initially developed for the 1978 Ford Fairmont and Mercury Zephyr). The larger body with an increased wheelbase yielded more interior space for four passengers, especially in the back seat, as well as a larger capacity trunk and a bigger engine bay.

The 1980 Mustang

For 1980, the 302-cubic-inch V-8 engine is dropped and replaced by an economical 119-hp, 255-cubic-inch derivative of the “Windsor” small-block V-8.

From 1981.

From 1981.

The 1982 Mustang GT.

The 1982 Mustang GT.

Body styles included a coupé (or notchback), hatchback and convertible.

The GT-350 20th Anniversary Edition was added in 1984, and the high-performance SVO model ran from 1984–1986 followed by the Cobra R in 1993.

The 1993 Mustang convertible.

After 10 years, Mustang again has a convertible model for 1983. It featured a power top and a tempered glass back window.

The third-generation Mustang had two different front-end styles. From 1979 to 1986, the front end was angled back using four rectangular headlights, known by enthusiasts as “Four Eyes.” The front end was restyled for the 1987 to 1993 model years to reflect the contemporary, rounded-off “aero” style of the Ford Taurus using flush-composite headlamps and a smooth grille-less nose.

The 1986 Mustang SVO.

The 1986 Mustang SVO.

The Mustang was selected as the 1979 Official Indianapolis 500 Pace Car with replicas sold to the public. Its special body-appearance parts were adapted by the Cobra package for 1980-81.

The Mustang received a major restyling for 1987, including the interior, which carried it through the end of the 1993 model year.

The 1987 GT convertible.

The 1987 GT convertible.

Under the newly-established Ford SVT division, the 1993 Ford Mustang SVT Cobra and Cobra R were added. These special, high-performance models closed out the third generation of the Mustang.

4th Generation: 1994–2004

The fourth-generation Mustang

The launch of the fourth-generation Mustang included a nod to the original 1964 pony car. The new model had a twin cockpit layout and sculpted modern styling for the steering wheel and air bag.

Looking down on a top-down Mustang convertible

The interior redesign made the various buttons easier to use, while allowing for the driver to keep eyes on the road and hands on the wheel. Horn buttons were replaced with a hinged air-bag cover, acting as horn control at the wheel’s center.

The Notchback Coupe

In November 1993, the Mustang debuted its first major redesign in 15 years. Code-named “SN-95” by the automaker, it was based on an updated version of the rear-wheel-drive Fox platform called “Fox-4.” The new styling by Patrick Schiavone incorporated several styling cues from earlier Mustangs. For the first time since its introduction 1964, a notchback coupe model was unavailable.

The 1995 Cobra coupe.

The 1995 Cobra coupe.

For 1999, the Mustang was reskinned with Ford’s New Edge styling theme with sharper contours, larger wheel arches, and creases in its bodywork, but its basic proportions, interior design, and chassis remained the same as the previous model.

A rear view of a 1998 Mustang GT convertible

“New Edge” styling.

There were also three alternate models offered in this generation: the 2001 Bullitt, the 2003 and 2004 Mach 1 and the 320-hp 1999 and 2001,  and 390-hp 2003 and 2004 Cobra.

Three Mustang convertibles on a test track.

Convertibles from 1999, 1994, and 1965.

The 2000 SVT Mustang Cobra.

The 2000 SVT Mustang Cobra.

The 2001 Mustang Bullitt GT, in the likeness of the 1968 from the movie.

The 2001 Mustang Bullitt GT, in the likeness of the 1968 from the movie.

The 2003 Mach 1.

The 2003 Mach 1.

The 300 millionth Mustang rolls off the factory line with Bill Ford leading the way

Bill Ford presents the 300 millionth Ford vehicle, a 2004 Mustang GT convertible 40th-anniversary edition. The 2004 Mustangs are the last cars built at Ford’s Dearborn Assembly Plant, which had produced every model Mustang year since the car’s inception.

5th Generation: 2005–2014

The redesigned model for 2005.

The redesigned model for 2005.

Retro Futurism

The redesigned 2005 Mustang recalls the fastback Mustangs of the late-1960s. Ford’s senior vice president of design, J Mays, called it “retro-futurism.” The fifth-generation Mustang was manufactured at the Flat Rock Assembly Plant in Flat Rock, Mich.

A 2005 GT convertible instrument panel.

A 2005 GT convertible instrument panel.

The refreshed 2010 Mustang was released in the spring of 2009 with a redesigned exterior — which included sequential LED taillights.

2007 Mustang Shelby introduces a 500-horsepower supercharged version of the 5.4-liter V-8.

2007 Mustang Shelby introduces a 500-hp supercharged 5.4-liter V-8.

For 2012, a new Mustang Boss 302 version was introduced. And in the second quarter of 2012, Ford launched an update to the Mustang line as an early 2013 model.

The 2012 Mustang Boss 302 Laguna Seca.

The 2012 Mustang Boss 302 Laguna Seca.

The 2013 U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds Edition Mustang.

The 2013 U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds Edition Mustang.

6th Generation: 2015 to present

The sixth-generation redesign added a wider and lower body

The sixth-generation redesign added a wider and lower body and, for the first time, a fully independent rear suspension. A 2015 Mustang GT is shown.

The sixth-generation Mustang was unveiled on Dec. 5, 2013, in Dearborn, Mich., New York City, Los Angeles, Barcelona (Spain), Shanghai (China), and Sydney, Australia. The internal project code name is S-550.

The 2017 Mustang convertible

The 2017 Mustang adds a 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine.

 

Changes include a body widened by 1.5 inches and lowered 1.4 inches, a trapezoidal grille, and a 2.75-inch lower decklid.  A new independent rear suspension (IRS) system was developed specifically for the new model.
The 10 millionth Mustang sold was a 2019 Wimbledon White GT

The 10 millionth Mustang sold was a 2019 Wimbledon White GT convertible with a 460-hp, V-8 and six-speed manual.

The 2018 model year Mustang featured a minor exterior redesign and the debut of a 310-hp, 2.4-liter turbocharged (Ecoboost) four-cylinder. The 3.0-liter V-6 was dropped.

The 5.0-liter  V-8 got a power boost to 460 hp and 420 lb-ft torque. The automatic transmission for all models was upgraded to a 10-speed.

A grouping of 2020 Mustangs

The 2020 Mustang GT500, the most powerful street-legal Ford to date. Its supercharged 5.2-liter V-8 producing more than 700 hp.

2022 Mustang Shelby GT500 Heritage Edition

The 2022 the limited run of 2022 Mustang Shelby GT500 Heritage Edition

The limited run of 2022 Mustang Shelby GT500 Heritage Edition fastbacks will be finished in Brittany Blue, inspired by the original hue.

The 760-horsepower Shelby GT500 Heritage Edition will also have a choice of two stripe options:

  • Painted over-the-top racing stripes with GT500 logo (available in Wimbledon White or Absolute Black);
  •  Vinyl over-the-top racing stripes with unique vinyl side stripe featuring GT500 logo (in Wimbledon White).

Carroll Shelby took his legendary Mustang GT350 model further in 1967 to craft the first-generation Shelby GT500. It was modified with a 428-cubic-inch V-8 inspired by his team’s 1-2-3 finish at Le Mans.

Shelby called the original Shelby GT500 “the first real car I’m really proud of.” 

The 2022 Mustang Shelby GT500 has a starting U.S. Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price of $73,465 — not including the $1,195 freight charge and $2,600 Gas Guzzler Tax.

The Shelby GT500 Heritage Edition package would add $2,140. And the GT500 Heritage Edition package with hand-painted stripes adds $12,140 to the Shelby GT500’s U.S. MSRP.

Check here for 2022 Ford Mustang pricing.

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Maserati Boomerang Turns 50

Maser Boomerang concept

The 1972 Maserati Boomerang concept conveyed an image of penetration, power and speed. (Photos courtesy of Maserati)

The Maserati Boomerang concept defined Maserati as a brand of iconic and avant-garde cars that  pioneered technology and style

BY MARK MAYNARD

A half century has passed since the Maserati Boomerang debuted at the Geneva Motor Show on March 9, 1972. It was a one-off concept created by the renowned Giorgetto Giugiaro and produced by Italdesign. Only one car was ever produced.

The Maserati Boomerang concept made an appearance at the 1971 Turin Motor Show.  And it was presented at the Geneva motor show in 1972 as a registered vehicle that ran perfectly, Maserati said in a release.

Italdesign started with the Maserati Bora for the Boomerang’s chassis and mechanics. The powertrain was a rear-mounted, 90-degree 4.7-liter V-8 engine. Channeled through a five-speed ZF manual gearbox, the 310-hp Bora would have a top speed of almost 186 mph (300 km/h).

A red Maserati Bora

The Maserati Bora.

The two-seat Maserati Boomerang sports coupé never went into production. But its stylistic legacy continued Giugiaro’s later creations. And it was inspiration for other automakers in Europe and the United States.

The influence of the Boomerang’s wedge shape can be seen in the 1973 Audi Asso di Picche concept, 1973 VW Passat Mk1, 1974 VW Golf Mk1, 1976 Lotus Esprit and Medici II show car, 1979 Lancia Delta and Maserati Quattroporte III, and 1976 designed and 1981 launched DeLorean.

Maserati Boomerang side view

The Maserati Bora was used for the Boomerang’s foundation.

Design Elements

The originality of the Maserati Boomerang was in its wedge shape and bold lines. The stance conveyed an image of penetration, power, and speed.

Stylistically, a horizontal line divided the Boomerang in two with a sloping windscreen and a panoramic sunroof. The original windows of the doors were divided by a metal strip. And the retractable square headlamps stood out, with horizontal lights in the rear.

A head-on view of the Boomerage

The Boomerang’s dashboard instruments were built into the spokeless steering wheel and the wheel rotated around the stationary gauges.

The interior was extremely modern and introduced fresh ideas. For example, the dashboard instruments were built into the spokeless steering wheel, and the seats were positioned very low.

The one production version of the Boomerang made other appearances in international competitions. It would change hands between various owners, and ended up as the feature car in a number of auctions; it was even used in commercials.

Considered by many to be a work of art, the Maserati Boomerang was revolutionary and influenced the designs of successive cars. It continued to define Maserati as a brand capable of creating unique automotive concepts, iconic and avant-garde cars that acted as pioneers of technology and style.

The Maserati MC20 supercar.

The Maserati MC20 supercar.

The Future for Maserati

Now more than ever, Maserati is unique for its design and innovation. It is moving forward with the new Grecale SUV and the 621-hp, MC20 super sports car. The 2022 MC20 debuts Maserati’s in-house designed new 3.0-liter V-6 Nettuno engine  that applies F1 technology for a road car. MC20 pricing starts at $212,000.

The Maserati Grecale prototype in camouflage.

Details for the Maserati Grecale small SUV will be released March 22.

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1958 Chevrolet Bel Air Impala Sport Coupe

1958 Chevrolet Bel Air Impala Sport Coupe.

The 1958 Impala was the top model for the Chevrolet Bel Air line of hardtops and convertibles.

BY MARK MAYNARD

In the recession year of 1958, GM promoted its 50th year of production. In tribute, the company introduced anniversary models for each brand: Cadillac, Buick, Oldsmobile, Pontiac, and Chevrolet.

According to the Impala’s Wikipedia page, the 1958 models shared a common appearance on the top models for each brand: the Cadillac Eldorado Seville, Buick Limited Riviera, Oldsmobile Starfire 98, Pontiac Bonneville Catalina, and the Chevrolet Bel Air Impala.

“The 1958 Impala was the top model for the Bel Air line of hardtops and convertibles.

“From the windshield pillars rearward, the 1958 Bel Air Impala differed structurally from the lower-priced Chevrolet models. Hardtops had a slightly shorter greenhouse and a longer rear deck.

“The wheelbase of the Impala was longer than the lower-priced models, although the overall length was identical. Interiors held a two-spoke steering wheel and color-keyed door panels with brushed aluminum trim. No other series included a convertible.

The 1958 Chevrolet Bel Air Impala

The 1958 Chevrolet Bel Air Impala helped Chevrolet regain the number-one production spot in this recession year.

“The 1958 Chevrolet models were longer, lower, and wider than their predecessors. And this was the first model year for dual headlamps.

“Deeply sculptured rear fenders replaced the tailfins of the 1957. In addition, impalas had three taillights on each side, while lesser models had two and wagons just one.

Impalas included crossed-flag insignias above the side moldings, bright rocker moldings, and dummy rear-fender scoops.

The 1959 Chevrolet Impala logo and nameplate

The Chevrolet Impala was identified by the image of a leaping African antelope in some form or another since its debut in 1958. On the first Impalas built between 1958 and 1961, the leaping impala was located on the rear quarter panel and had no circle or oval surrounding it.

Chevrolet Impala Powertrains

A 283 cubic-inch V-8 was standard. Its power ratings ranged from 185 to 230 horsepower. When upgraded with Rochester Ramjet fuel injection, power output increased to 250 hp.

Two versions of Chevrolet’s first big-block 348-cubic-inch (5.7-liter) V-8 were optional:
• A single four-barrel carburetor, producing 250, or;
• Three two-barrel carburetors, 280 hp.

55,989 Impala convertibles and 125,480 coupes were built, representing 15 percent of Chevrolet production. In addition, the 1958 Chevrolet Bel Air Impala helped Chevrolet regain the number-one production spot in this recession year.

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