Forced-Induction Foxes

When the Fox-body Ford Mustang arrived for 1979, Ford had to deal with a market that favored economy more than performance.

The OPEC oil crisis had unfolded just as the Mustang II was introduced for 1974. While that car sold well, it was lambasted for lackluster performance. The lukewarm 302-ci V8 just wasn’t endearing to those who recalled Mustangs with Ram Air 429s under the hood.

A new governmental mandate called CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) was also in the Read More

Fine-Tuning ACC

Everything seemed fine when I hit the key on the ACC Mustang. It had been sitting for months — a victim of deadlines, other projects and commitments that kept it parked in its stall after ACC installed Classic Auto Air a/c on the original 289. But that’s part of what I love about the Mustang. It’s an American car, and it just tends to work.

Even after months of sitting, it cranked like I’d driven it yesterday, but it wouldn’t Read More

500 Miles of Glory

The crowd forming for our Friday afternoon flight was growing impatient. Families with small children, the elderly, and veterans had already disappeared down the jetway, and the rest of us began pushing forward with expectation. I looked down at my phone and checked the weather in Indianapolis again as Group A began boarding. “Not looking good for Sunday,” I heard someone say. “Yeah, might be in store for the first rainout since ’97,” another quipped. I almost checked another weather Read More

Great First Classic: Basic Plymouth Valiant

1966 Plymouth Valiant Signet convertible
Sold at $8,960
Bonhams, Greenwich, CT, June 3, 2018, Lot 213
VIN: VH27B62594626

A few years back, the classic car world fired up with excitement over a brand-new 1957 Plymouth that had been buried in a concrete vault in Tulsa, OK. Opened in 2007, a time-capsule finned wonder was to emerge, educate the future on the past, and be handed over to one lucky drawing winner.

Hindsight may Read More

Appreciating Asset: 1974 Ford LTD Wagon?

1974 Ford LTD Country Squire wagon
Sold at $45,920
Gooding & Company, Amelia Island. FL, Mar. 8, 2019, Lot 85
VIN: 4J76S162122

Utility was the strength of a 1970s wagon. Beautiful? No. Fast? No. Good at hauling the family around town? Now we’re talking.

At just under 19 feet long, over 6.5 feet wide and weighing 5,004 pounds, the Country Squire was like a 2001 Ford Excursion SUV before its time. Instead of a 7.3-L Power Stroke Read More

Pick Your Stick: Automatic or Manual?

Will automatic-transmission cars eventually be worth more than the manually shifted ones?

It’s a sort of bigger-picture question that needs to look at shifting demographics and project them into the future.

How many of us have a teenager or 20-something who can shift? How common is the joke that a manual is the new theft-prevention device? Let’s also account for how few manually shifted cars are rolling out of factories around the world, and Read More

The Euro Pontiac

Pontiac tried to re-establish itself as GM’s performance brand in the 1980s. To help it steer that course, they built the 1984–88 Fiero. Yet there was one model that had all the buzz before and during the era of the Fiero and today is all but forgotten — the 6000 STE.

For American automakers, it was a new era: Quarter-mile times were irrelevant — the new goal was balanced power and handling like the Europeans.

So began the American auto Read More

A Modern Classic

Values and trends have always been the heart of ACC, but “value” is a loaded concept.

Dollars and cents may run the market, but owning classic cars and trucks is supposed to be fun, and a lot of that fun comes from actually getting out and using the cars we covet. In that sense, value is more than just a number. That factor has been a major theme of ACC since the beginning, from our “Snapshots” features through our “Wrenching” Read More

Counting in Car Years

I shared a house with three friends during my last couple years of college. One day I managed to push one of them too far. Maybe I left my dishes in the sink or hadn’t mowed the grass when it was my turn. My friend, who liked to consider himself the house dad, decided it was his place to lecture me about whatever it was I hadn’t done.

I wasn’t the easiest 20-year-old on the planet to live with, but I Read More

The Hot Dakota

The Dakota was Chrysler’s reaction to the Ford Ranger and Chevy S-10. It was introduced for the 1987 model year and lasted until 2011, produced through three generations.

Generally a well-selling worker bee, the Dakota did make a splash with a convertible Sport version in 1989–91. In addition, since Carroll Shelby was working at Chrysler at the time, a Shelby Dakota hit the streets in 1989 with a 318 parked under the hood. Both the soft-top Sport and the Read More