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Old 09/28/2004, 08:57 PM   #1

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Why 1968 is better than 2005

Yesterday was the kick-off day for the 2005 Mustang. 25,000 pre-orders have already been made. I know that there are a lot of people that will either love or hate this new Mustang. This isn't about that, because in the coming months (and years) whatever it is, or will be, has yet to prove itself.

There is something that needs to be said about why your 1968 1/2 Mustang GT/California Special is truly "special". What you have is a solid piece of Detriot iron assembled in San Jose, California, with Shelby fiberglass, created by the great minds of Ford and Shelby engineering and marketing... There is so much value in having something as real, and with as much heritage and race history as your Mustang. It's the son of the GT-40 that won Le Mans in 1966 (1,2,3,5), and a limited edition the of the 1964-68 Mustang first generation marque-- the REAL Mustangs.

Your Mustang could have had a 325hp 390, , or a 400+ hp 428CJ--a FE big block that you'll never see produced again. Your Mustang is easier to repair, and you can determine what to fix--easily. No on-board computers, no layers of plastic, nor complicated electronics to wade through. Note that the '05 chose to "copy" the '67-68 bodylines, and that even the '68 Bullitt Mustang became a limited edition this past year. Those are marketing ideas, and they all harken back to what we already have--and have known for so long--the absolute original.

Look at what has happened to everything "Mustang" from 1974-1990+. Where are they now? The attrition rate for late model Mustangs is a lot higher than the '64-73 rate. That is because cars today are marketed to be replaced in 2-3 years. The auto industry doesn't want you to hold on to anything for too long, much less 35 years! (which is strange, because they like to fall back on that heritage to sell you a new car).

Yes, we have upper control bushing problems, and some people DO get fuel cells. But there is something about the "older" Mustangs that can't be duplicated. You can power-slide your Mustang--"steer with your gas pedal" (you know what I mean). The older Mustang suspension and steering is second nature to you by now. There is a brute sense of power that is strong, and you can feel--and hear--the simplicity and direct nature of the old mare! You can slam down to third, and hear that rumble against the median wall as you bring up the rpm's up and fly from 55 to 70.

It's these things that I want to remind you of. Detroit wants you to get what's new, just as they want you to forget the past. They want you to savor those things from the past in their new car. But--why? You already own the past. Don't lose your sense of the original heritage, the original designers of 1965 that made your '68 look so great (your car is what they wanted for '65, but couldn't make). Remember all those great folks at Shelby that made cool cars like Little Red, or the Green Hornet. Remember how the Tasca Ford '68 Mustang 428CJ put fear into Chevy! Don't forget how the car culture back then in California was all about looks and power.

Remember where you came from. The next time you turn the key, know that you are driving a living history.

You own a true classic. An original. You have what late model Mustangers may not admit, but know in their heart, wish was the real thing. It's just a matter of looking at it in perspective. Nothing is lost, and nothing can overshadow 1968. It was those early, GREAT years that set the pace since April '64.

They say that you can't go home again.
2005 isn't going home, it's just an MTV version of 1968.
Remember this in about 5-10 years when the these late model cars have moved on, and our '68's are celebrating 45 years.

Paul M. Newitt
GT/CS Registrar.

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Old 09/28/2004, 09:38 PM   #2

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Re:Why 1968 is better than 2005

Very nicely said Paul (2 thumbs up) ;D

As they say "They don't build them like they use to"

To much about marketing nowa days, i would love to see them bring back the way it was. You can build the car the way you wanted to, pick out the paint colors(not being limited to just 3-5 colors to choose from and depending on what model you choose also). being able to choose from 3-4 different axle ratios, so you people can choose if they want 3:88 for racing there car or 2:73 for good gas mileage for the freeway. Anyways you can get my drif here of what im saying.

But as Paul said "That is because cars today are marketed to be replaced in 2-3 years. The auto industry doesn't want you to hold on to anything for too long, much less 35 years! (which is strange, because they like to fall back on that heritage to sell you a new car)".

Paul has anyone reregistered this CS (8R01J158056) or is it still under Chris Mckinney? if you could please let me know on this. would be greatfull thnx ;D
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Old 09/29/2004, 04:14 AM   #3
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Re:Why 1968 is better than 2005

For the most part I agree with everything you have said. One thing about my getting older is recognizing the continuous nature of change and evolution. Sometimes this is positive sometimes negative but one thing that seems constant is one generation's view the the preceding generation. Pop culture is the best example. I am trying to keep an open mind towards the new Mustang although there is one thing about the car with which I just can't come to grips - it's size. I saw a picture in one of the Mustang magazines that showed a guy with a '67 Shelby between the two 'concept' Mustangs that preceded the 2005. As a desiger you know that sometimes you need a point of reference in a picture to fully appreciate the scale. The new cars pretty much 'dwarfed' the Shelby. I went to the Geneva auto show this year and noticed the same thing happening to just about all sports cars - a new trend. The new Ferarri Scaglietti is huge. The Masarati based on the Enzo is really huge. The beautiful Alfa 8c - giant. All of these cars including the new Mustang look proportional in the pictures because the wheels are 18, 19 and 20 inches in diameter!! The 2005 Mustang is built on a modified Lincoln platform as also used for the Jaguar S Type. I have seen a picture of the rear 3/4 view of the Mustang GTR concept where you can start to see a hint of the size as the 20" back wheels actually look small in the rear wheel wells. That being said - I kind of like the notion of bringing back the '70's TransAm look of the GTR. On another subject my 'Little Red' project is progressing - the car is in the shop and they are fitting the fiberglass front and back. It curently has a slight warmed up 289 which I will replace over time with the 428 or perhaps a Rousch 402 (351W based). My intention is that it will look (and later perform) as close as possible to the famous prototype.
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Old 09/29/2004, 07:48 AM   #4
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Re:Why 1968 is better than 2005

Great piece of writing Paul. 2 "thumbs up" from me as well. This is an era where cars are designed around safety and ergonomic correctness. Style,looks and personality are now an afterthought to todays automotive engineer.
The 68 CS and HCS Mustangs should no longer be considered cars, but rather works of art.
The new Mustang is pretty cool, but it can't make my heart race like a beautiful first generation mustang does.
In my eyes, preserving these old Mustangs should be the priority of every owner.
It breaks my heart to see some of these CS's and HCS's cut up, parted out, or bastardized into race cars.
We have to keep in mind, cars like this will never come along again. It's up to us to preserve and cherish these classic pieces of history. Just my 2 cents. Nicholas

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Old 09/29/2004, 01:03 PM   #5
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Re:Why 1968 is better than 2005

I also think that what paul said was very true, but there is nothing wrong with putting some muscle under the hood of your california special and smoking the new 2005 mustang at the race track
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Old 09/29/2004, 07:34 PM   #6

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Re:Why 1968 is better than 2005

I did notice that the new Mustang is 3300 lbs. A big block GT/CS is 3200 lbs. With all that new plastic today's cars have, there has to be something eating up all that weight. It's like 1971 all over again--that is, they thought that bigger was better.

I think that the car companies are making these huge sedans and station wagons to keep the profits up like they made on SUVs. To make a new Mustang to the size of a '68 would actually be "too small" for Ford's marketing dept. The Focus is a small car, but it's actually big. It's a family car in Germany; it's a "student car" here.

I'm all for upgrading the engines--and/or making the heads better, or stroking those 302s. Just keep all the original engine parts somewhere with the car--for historical reasons. It's really hard these days to find a real ('65-'68) 289 block. As a side note, a classic performance trick is a Paxton Supercharger. You have no engine badges (we don't need no stinkin' badges, right?), so anything could be under the hood (it keeps them guessing!!).

I want the owners of the GT/CS (HCS)--and of all original Mustangs to know that whatever hype comes out every year about new cars, that it should not affect the spirit of your ownership. It's one thing to have a vehicle to get around, etc., and quite another to own a piece of history. I know how hard you all work to upkeep and restore your GT/CS and HCS.

Even if some late model Mustang blows you off at the light, just remember that your car is a survivor. Where will that late model be in 35 years? 10 years?

Be safe out you and your GT/CS are around forever!

p.s. did Mustang Monthly print any letters commenting on the 2005? I sent them one; Donald Farr liked it, but I haven't seen it in the mag. Anyone out there get MM, and saw it?
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Old 09/29/2004, 09:20 PM   #7

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Re:Why 1968 is better than 2005

In response -

Well, I'm one of those 1968 GT/CS owners who will be purchasing a 2005 this year. Let me tell you why..

I own a legend, a marker stone in Mustang history. It is a classic, a beauty, and a rarity. I drive it every day. The wear and tear I put on my vehicle is more than necessary. I often times find myself in a jam, late b/c of over-heating, a broken this, a missing that. It's a project, always.

I want my 1968 GT/CS to deserve a resting place, in the garage. Able to come out freely on the weekends, visit the shows, and get people to learn about it. I dont want it to keep getting the wear and tear. I want to keep it until I'm older, another 50 years! This car has to run!

It's time to add a new car. And the new mustang is a turning point in vehicle design and function. Have you seen the specs? It's not just the 300 HP, it's a completely re-engineered vehicle that has 30,000 dollars worth of car, in a 25,000 dollar package.

Check out ford's website on all the specifications. Sure, it will become old, outdated. But Mustang's are a legend! It's new car reliablity will allow me a good 10 years to spend with it - without the excessive mechanics bills - and I'll still be able to do the brakes and such on my own. (American Cars)

Mustangs are the American Classic. Just because we own the old, doesn't mean we have to bash the new. Remember...50 years from know, the 2005 will reserve its right to be called a "classic".

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Old 09/29/2004, 11:36 PM   #8

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Re:Why 1968 is better than 2005

I really didn't intend to take issue with anyone thinking of, or willing to buy a 2005 Mustang.
For a new car to drive and enjoy, go for it! You'll love it!

My point was to let everyone know that whether it's a 2005 or 2006, etc., that the 1968 they own is an original. It's the body style that has "inspired" the designers for this new Mustang.

I personally don't think that anyone will be restoring a 2005 many years from now. When I worked for Sacramento Mustang, the owner tried a resto catalog for 1990 and up, and it never caught on. All everyone wanted were those mass air thingys. There are so many plastic and unique parts on the new cars, it's impossible to do a ground-up on anything since '73.

The heritage is strong with this marque. I just wish that Ford would remember that when they want car clubs to show up at dealers to promote something "new" for Mustang--and then Ford cuts about 80% of the parts from the service dept. (since 1989).

Here are a few quotes from my letter to Mustang Monthly (6/04):

Since you invited comments about the new 2005 Mustang, I wish to begin with an ironic quote from the book: "Mustang! The Complete History of America's Pioneer Ponycar", by Gary L Witzenburg. They quote Ford's light car design manager, Fritz Mayhew, in 1976 stating:

"We had done as much as we could with those original design cues from 1964".

...Curious. Twenty-Eight years later, "we're back to where we once belonged". Case in point for subjective automotive design.

As an expert on the 1968 Mustang (GT/CS, HCS), I've known this vehicle like the back of my hand, so to have these classic design cues rise from the ashes of the Fox bodied 'stang is a welcome sight. I realize that no particular car is designed by a single person, although I wish that this project was headed by the Ford GT designer/artist Camilo Pardo. Since the Mustang has always been the proud child of the legendary GT-40, It's a shame that the 2005 Mustang's design wasn't as closely translated from the new Ford GT, as the '65 Mustang was from the original GT-40.

The original 1964 ('65) Mustang was awarded the Tiffany Award for excellence, and the style and branding was considered very high class. Too bad that as recently as three years ago, it was promoted "for the beer crowd". I think in it's overzealousness in being a musclecar from the "Fast and Furious School of Car Design" ; it's lost the same type of class that the new T-Bird has. Remember--the baby boomers will want this car, probably more than the under 25 crowd.


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