Ask any longtime Jeep fan when the company started to lose its way, and the answers will vary. It could be 1979, when Renault gained a controlling interest in AMC; 1987, when Chrysler bought the brand and when the square-headlamp YJ Wrangler debuted; 2002, when the KJ Liberty replaced the XJ Cherokee and the 4.0L six-cylinder went away; 2007, when the transverse-engine MK Compass and Patriot debuted; or the early 2010s, when the Cherokee nameplate returned on a Fiat chassis and the brand once again fell under the control of a European carmaker.
Or, if things had gone a little differently, it could have been 1966 with the introduction of the Model H, a proposed vehicle that would have beat every other carmaker to the crossover segment by decades.
Nowadays, crossovers – sometimes called CUVs, sometimes called cute-utes, sometimes called soft-roaders – dominate dealership lots. Depending on how one defines a crossover, Toyota has as many as five in its current U.S. market lineup, Chevrolet as many as six. For some automakers, crossovers have entirely supplanted the conventional sedan and station wagon
How one defines a crossover and what models one considers to fall under that definition also provides a basis for when the crossover debuted. Using the generally accepted definition – a four-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive vehicle built on a car platform rather than a truck platform – some have suggested the 1996 Toyota RAV4 as the first while others have pointed to the 1980 AMC Eagle or the 1972 Subaru Leone. Other likely candidates include the 1995 Honda CR-V and the 1995 Suzuki X-90. Which is all to say that Kaiser Jeep’s mid-Sixties collaboration with Renault on the Model H would have handily taken the title had it come to market.
For almost as long as raw, utilitarian Jeeps have been around, somebody has been trying to civilize them with fancy trim, plush upholstery, and automotive-style bodies. Plenty of servicemen during World War II tried their hands at it, Wally Cohn refined their attempts just after the war, an entire cottage industry dedicated to coachbuilt Jeeps sprung up in postwar Europe, and the likes of Raymond Ring and Brooks Stevens proposed postwar automobile designs using the Willys MB chassis. Kaiser even started to investigate softer Jeep SUVs as early as the late 1950s with its Malibu and Berkeley concept vehicles that tilted more toward station wagon than truck-based SUV.
While the Malibu went on to influence the 1963 Wagoneer and the full-size Jeep lineup, Kaiser still wanted a compact SUV better suited to take on the International Harvester Scout. Specifically, as Pat Foster wrote in “Jeep: The History of America’s Greatest Vehicle,” Kaiser wanted something that would appeal to customers used to buying cars, not trucks. “Factory air conditioning… arrived because Jeep’s customers were asking for it,” he wrote. “They considered the Wagoneer a passenger car replacement, not a work vehicle, and they wanted the sort of comfort and convenience features found in regular passenger cars.”
While at least one four-door compact SUV on the CJ platform was proposed in house, Kaiser also looked outside of Detroit for something that would fit the bill. Specifically, the company turned to Argentina, where it had partnered with Renault for its subsidiary, Industrias Kaiser Argentina, starting in 1959. IKA assembled and sold Argentinized versions of existing Renault, Kaiser, Alfa Romeo, and AMC models under license along with the IKA Torino, which blended parts of the Rambler American and Rambler Classic with the Willys overhead-camshaft six-cylinder and new front sheetmetal.
There hasn’t been a new Fox Body Mustang in a Ford showroom for almost 30 years, but this third-generation pony car remains popular with enthusiasts and tuners for several reasons. The Fox Body Mustang runs from 1979-1993 model years. And, Mustang lovers appreciate that the Fox Body is:
With this in mind, let’s look at the history of the Fox Body Mustang and its origins. We’ll answer your “what is a Fox Body” questions on Ford’s longest-running generation of Mustang.
1976 Mustang Fox Body Concept Car
Let’s head back to the mid-1970s when the U.S. had just come off the first oil embargo that caused oil prices to increase by 300%. At the same time, the effects of the federal Clean Air Act were imposing stricter emission standards and limiting engine performance. The initial waves of the Japanese auto invasion also gained strength as consumers could choose from import sports cars like the Datsun 240Z.
Add in that the Pinto-based second-generation Mustang II was underwhelming consumers, and Ford executives were undoubtedly enjoying heartburn and sleepless nights. So, the need for a re-invigorated Mustang was paramount for the automaker to stay competitive. The race was on to develop the third-generation Mustang.
It began in 1975 when Ford veteran Jack Telnack was tasked to be the chief designer of the third-gen Mustang. Fresh from his company assignments in Europe and Australia, Telnack had visions of a completely new Mustang with design influences from the Old Continent. At the same time, company honcho Henry Ford II mandated specific body characteristics like a blunt front end from earlier Mustangs.
Fox Body Designs Conflict With Henry Ford II’s Instructions
“Thou shalt never do a slantback front end. Henry Ford II only wants vertical front end, and he’ll show us the door if we ever try anything like it.” Ford vice president of design Gene Bordinat was quoted saying in a 2013 Road & Track article. Further complicating Telnack’s task was the requirement that his new creation uses the new Fox Body platform that would first appear in 1978 with the Ford Fairmont and Mercury Zephyr.
Three separate design teams were formed to develop new looks for the Mustang. This included one group based out of the company’s Ghia design studios in Italy, which Ford had acquired in 1970. Design concepts ranged from a fastback coupe to a Mustang station wagon with “woody” body panels. Yes, there could have been a Mustang wagon.
In a HowStuffWorks story, Telnack recounts how he had to convince Henry Ford II of the proposed Mustang’s aero looks as a better choice than the boxy designs of old Mustangs. “I consider the ’79 Mustang a breakthrough car. It was the first project I worked on when I returned from Europe. It was such a departure from anything we were doing here.” Telnack would later go on to design the groundbreaking 1986 Ford Taurus and its jelly-bean body style.
Fox Body Mustang: Through The Years
The 1979 Mustang launched the Fox Body era for Ford’s pony car. We’ll take a year-by-year stroll through history as we explore Fox Body Mustang specs and other essential details. We’ll also point out many of the horsepower and torque numbers, but if you’re looking for more detail, check out our full breakdown of Fox Body Horsepower & Torque Numbers.
1979 Mustang: Details
Ford opened the third generation of the Mustang for the 1979 model year with a dizzying array of engine choices and a completely new car inside and out. Top power comes from the venerable Windsor 4.9L V-8, making 139 hp and 250 lb-ft of torque with a reported 8.3 second time for a 0-60 run. At launch, other powerplant choices include the Cologne 2.8L V-6 with 104 hp and 150 lb-ft of torque and a 2.3L I-4 with 89 hp and 120 lb-ft of torque. A turbo version of the four-banger was offered, which produced 130 hp and 165 lb-ft of torque.
Midway through 1979, the Cologne V-6 was swapped for a 3.3L straight-six with 89 hp and 143 lb-ft of torque. The Mustang was offered in both notchback and fastback body styles. Be sure to check out the Steeda article revolving around the Notchback vs Hatchback when it comes to Fox Body Mustangs.
Special editions for 1979 include the hatchback-only Cobra, which had the turbo-four under the hood, and the Indianapolis 500 Pace Car replica. The first Mustang Indy pace car since 1964, buyers could choose from the V-8 or turbo-four.
1980 Mustang: Details
The second year of the Fox Body Mustang saw no significant changes other than saying goodbye to the Windsor V-8. This powerplant was replaced with a small-block 4.2L V-8 (a neutered version of the Windsor) that offered only 119 hp and 194 lb-ft of torque.
Special editions for 1980 included a tweaked Cobra that had elements from the ’79 Indy pace car: modified grille, hood treatment, and rear spoiler. Thanks to a $25,000 price tag, only five copies of the M81 MacLaren Mustang were sold. However, the M81 did serve as the foundation for Ford’s special vehicle options (SVO) unit
1981 Mustang: Details
For 1981, Mustang carried with no virtually unchanged other than the addition of a t-top roof option and that the turbo-four was entirely dropped from the engine lineup. Cobra power now comes only from the 4.2L V-8. Interestingly, hatchback sales have now exceeded notchback sales for the first time. The trend will continue for the remainder of the Fox Body generation.
1982 Mustang: Details
To the relief of enthusiasts, 1982 Mustang specs include the return of the Windsor V-8, now called the 5.0 H.O. (high output) engine. At the same time, the Mustang GT is relaunched. This legendary combination is one of the hallmarks of the Fox Body Mustang, although the 5.0 could be ordered as a stand-alone option. All things seemed right with the world as the new engine was rated for 157 hp and 240 lb-ft of torque. Ford reworked the Mustang’s trim levels with the base L available only in the notchback, while the upscale G.L. and GLX could be ordered in either body style. The 2.3L four-cylinder and the 3.3L straight-six carried on unchanged.
1983 Mustang: Details
1983 marks important updates to America’s favorite sports car. After a decade-long absence, a Mustang convertible is returned to the lineup, while a mid-cycle refresh included a new front end and updated taillights. Improvements continue for the Fox Body Mustang as the 5.0 engine now makes 175 hp and 245 lb-ft of torque. The Essex 3.8L V-6, with 112 hp and 175 lb-ft of torque, becomes the sole six-cylinder engine for the Mustang.
Special editions include the Turbo GT, which saw the return of a boosted four-cylinder engine making 145 hp and 180 lb-ft of torque. Thanks to less power and a higher price than the 5.0, the Turbo GT never took off.
1984 Mustang: Details
There were no significant changes for 1984 among standard Mustangs. The base L model could now be ordered in either notchback or hatchback body style and the mid-tier G.L. and GLX models were blended into a single LX trim. In addition, the Essex V-6 became standard equipment for the convertible.
1984 is perhaps most memorable for special-edition Mustangs. Beyond the carryover Turbo GT, buyers could choose the memorable SVO Mustang (with a turbo four-cylinder making 175 hp and 210 lb-ft of torque) or the 20th Anniversary GT (with a choice of non-SVO turbo four or the 5.0L V-8).
The Single-Rail Overdrive, otherwise known as the SROD, is considered a “wide-ratio” 4-speed gearbox and features a smooth aluminum case with fully synchronized forward gears. The reverse was left unsynchronized. The input shaft is a 10-spline while the output shaft is a 28-spline. On the VIN Door Tag, the Transmission Code is the number 6. Because the SROD is unable to handle the increased horsepower, they are rarely seen being used in anything other than in a restored Ford Mustang.
Gear ratios for the SROD Mustang Manual Transmission are:
SROD GEAR RATIOS
1979 To Early 1983
The SROD can be found behind:
1979 Ford Mustang GT 5.0L V8
1982 to early 1983 Ford Mustang GT 5.0L V8
BORG WARNER/TREMEC T5
The venerable T5 Transmission is the longest-running transmission style used in the late model Mustang. The heavily ribbed cast aluminum case serves as the home for fully synchronized 5 forward gears and reverse and features a 10-spline input shaft with a 28-spline output shaft. There were many variations over the years, so stick with me here. 1983 1/2 to 1984 Mustang T5 manual transmission is called a Non-World Class, or NWC. They are the least desirable of the V8 T5 manual transmissions as the gear metallurgy, synchronizer design, and bearing arrangement were based on old technology.
In the 1985 Mustang model year, the T5 was “upgraded” to a World-Class, or WC unit. This added a much better synchronizer design, wide-ratio gearset, needle bearings for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd speed gears, and improved metallurgy throughout. In 1989, the metallurgy was once again improved on the 2nd Speed Gear, 3rd Speed Gear, and Countershaft Cluster Gear. The tooth pitch of 2nd and 3rd was revised for strength and the gear ratios were slightly altered. 1992 brought about a welcome upgrade in synchronizer facing material from organic to carbon fiber. The reverse synchronizer assembly was also revised for better engagement.
In 1993, for the Cobra and Cobra R Mustang, the countershaft cluster gear received a special coating and the input bearing was upgraded from a Torrington style to a tapered roller bearing. 1994-1995 Mustang T5’s shared the same features as the Fox last variants, but the input shaft and input bearing retainer were a longer length. 1994-95 T5 will not fit Fox Mustang and 1983-93 T5 will not fit 1994-95 Mustangs without extensive modification. 1983-1989 Mustang T5 was equipped with a yellow 7-tooth speedometer drive gear and 1990-1995 Mustang T5 was equipped with a light green 8-tooth drive gear. Gear ratios over the years for the Ford Mustang T5 are:
BORG WARNER/TREMEC T5 GEAR RATIOS
The T5 can be found behind:
1983 to 1993 Ford Mustang LX and Mustang GT 5.0L V8
1993 Ford Mustang Cobra and Cobra R 5.0L V8
1994 to 1995 Ford Mustang GT and Cobra 5.0L V8
FORD RACING/TREMEC SUPER DUTY T5
This Mustang transmission justified its own mention due to its significance in the aftermarket as both a restoration and a performance part. Basically, the T5 “Z” spec takes all the good updates and rolls them into one transmission. The aluminum case is the latest revision and is the strongest offered on a production T5. Second, Third, and countershaft gears are all double moly. All of the synchronizers are the latest revisions, with the 3rd and 4th featuring a carbon fiber facing. It has the 93 Cobra-style input pocket bearing and is already equipped with a steel input bearing retainer. It has the standard-issue 10-spline 1-1/16 input shaft and 28-spline output shaft. The speedometer drive gear is the desirable 7-tooth. Gear ratios for the LRS-7003A Heavy Duty T5 Manual Transmission are:
FORD RACING/TREMEC SUPER DUTY T5 GEAR RATIOS
The Ford Racing M-7003-Z T5 is a direct bolt-in for:
Tire chains can be a driver’s best friend when it comes to handling snowy and icy conditions, but decades ago, General Motors offered something quite novel—even if we don’t know if it actually worked as intended.
What GM called “liquid tire chains” was an option across the entire 1969 Chevrolet lineup of cars, save for the El Camino and station wagons.
Hagerty discovered the unique option of yore and published the corresponding video, which details many other creature comforts available with the 1969 Chevrolet Caprice. As the ad told consumers, the Caprice could apply liquid tire chains to the rear wheels “so it won’t keep sitting there” in snowy weather. Drivers simply pressed a button on the instrument panel and a space-age polymer coated the rear wheels to provide traction.
It’s unclear just how effective this was, but probably not well, judging by the take rate. Chevrolet only sold about 2,600 cars equipped with the option and it was quickly discontinued after the 1969 model year. Still, it’s a pretty neat idea. It also goes to show how awful tire technology was almost 50 years ago.
Although the liquid tire chains weren’t long for this world, plenty of other options found on the 1969 Caprice still exist today. A rear-window defogger, engine block heater, and headlight washers are still common—if not standard—among today’s modern cars.
MAX-TRAC was a traction control system that was way ahead of its time. It measured the speed of the left front wheel and compared it with the output on the transmission. If there was a difference, the ignition would short-circuit so the power on the rear wheels went down. Because the system had lots of maintenance-problems and emission-control regulations would not allow to keep the system as unsophisticated as it was, it was dropped at all for 73.
Below you find a description from the 71 Buick brochure and from a 72 manual. The text in the brochure is nice: “…..a miniature transistorized computer actually compares the speed of the front and rear wheels…”
For years, AMC Pacers have suffered the brickbats and ignominy that only come with being a little too different, the marketplace having long ago decided which side of the intersection of daring and dopey the Pacer parked on. The airy greenhouse, the long doors, the last-minute change from GM’s aborted rotary engine to an inline-six out of the Rambler parts bin… it wasn’t an easy birth for the Pacer, and it wasn’t an easy life, either.
Time heals all wounds, it seems. Yesterday’s wackadoo freakshow is today’s individualistic outlier. The ’70s weirdo is the ’20s’ brave choice. For the second time in just two years, Hemmings Auctions has set a world-record sale price for a non-Wayne’s-World Pacer: a stunning $37,275 inclusive of buyer’s fees (a modest 5 percent, it’s worth noting). Showing less than 27,000 miles on its odometer, this first-year Pacer X spent its first dozen years as a showroom attraction in Pennsylvania and has a complete history from new. The result was only $125 shy of the movie car’s 2016 sale price, but well shy of the Mirthmobile’s most recent result of $71,500 at the 2022 Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale auction.
Even though Cadillac’s lineup was all new for 1971, it remained distinctively Cadillac. The generous proportions, the toothy grille, the clean flanks, the subtle fins —you could never mistake it for anything else. The Calais (available as a two-door or four-door hardtop) was the entry-level ’71 Cadillac; from there you stepped up to the de Ville (Coupe or hardtop Sedan, depending on the number of doors you choose). The two-door Calais had a unique roofline but both Calais and De Ville rode a 130-inch wheelbase. The Fleetwood Sixty Special Brougham, at 133 inches between the wheel centers, was a pillared-sedan-only proposition. The Fleetwood 75, with its 151.5-inch wheelbase, was a full-on limousine, with strictly limited production. The lineup held until 1975, when the Fleetwood Sixty Special was renamed the Fleetwood Brougham, and the Fleetwood 75 limousine became, simply, Fleetwood.
Despite power and torque numbers dropping, and a fuel crisis that made single-digit thirst resolutely unfashionable, Cadillac had some record-breaking sales years in the first half of the ’70s. For 1971, sales were down 21 percent overall from ’70, and Cadillac sat in 11th place in Detroit’s annual tally of who sold what. Non-Eldorado Cadillacs accounted for 159,155 copies. But a year later, customers returned in droves: Cadillac shot up 42 percent and straight into 9th place with 225,291 rear-drivers sold that year, with hardly a change made to the cars themselves. Sales jumped again for ’73, with Cadillac topping 300,000 units, 251,103 of which were rear-drivers. Alas, it was a strong year for Detroit overall, so despite its favorable sales performance, Cadillac slipped into 10th place.
You might imagine the fuel crisis, arriving in late ’73 as it did, would pummel Cadillac for 1974, but the division still sold 199,543 Calais, De Ville, and Fleetwood models, and remained in 10th place. Cadillac sold 218,651 full-size rear-drivers in ’75 and remained 10th during a strong bounce-back year for the industry. Finally, Cadillac stormed into 9th place for 1976, with 274,801 Calais, Deville, and Fleetwood models sold (and a healthy 3.74 percent of the overall market).What all this means is that there are plenty of these big C bodies available. Consider: More than 611,000 Coupe de Villes were sold from ’71 to ’76. But how can you tell if you’re getting a good one? We spoke to Mike Steiner of Palm Springs, California; we feel that the two-dozen-plus ’71-’76 rear-drive Caddys he’s owned and restored over time, including the dozen currently with his name on the title, qualify him as an expert worth talking to.
Lower fenders, front and rear, as well as rockers, and what lies beneath the vinyl top are all places to look for rot. Front fenders can be swapped out, and quarters can be patched, but it’s what’s lurking beneath the elk-grain roof cover that’s the scariest. “Rainwater and dirt seep in under the chrome molding at the edge of the vinyl covering,” Mike says. “The dirt that gets in there stays —and stays wet. By the time you see a hint of it beneath the roof on the rear quarters, it’s a huge issue.
“”If the car spent any time in snow country, check beneath the doors, where the outer skin folds over the inner stamping; if there’s any rust, you can’t fix that. The metal is thin and if you try to take the doors apart you won’t get them back together.” Speaking of doors: “Door strikers had a plastic sleeve starting in 1973; if these break, the door won’t close properly, and you have to slam it.” The sleeves are not reproduced, but Mike has a solution: “The sleeve is the same size as a half-inch copper pipe coupling. Cut some to the appropriate length, remove the bolt from the door, wrap electrical tape four times around the bolt, then slide the copper sleeve over and you’re done.
“But the toughest part of making the body look right? “The ’74-’76 back bumper fillers are the worst! GM used a rubber that disintegrated in the atmosphere. Something about the formulation just saw them dissolve over about a dozen years. Olds and Buick had the same issue. Several aftermarket companies make replacements but none of them fit well. With originals, you could make them fit; the aftermarket ones are fiberglass or hard plastic and will shatter on impact.”
Cadillac’s 472-cubic-inch V-8 lasted through 1974. It was rated at 345 gross horsepower in 1971 and 220 net horsepower in 1972, with 8.5:1 compression both years. By 1974, the 472 was rated at 205 horsepower. Starting in 1975, Cadillac pivoted to its 8.2-liter (500-cu.in.) V-8, essentially a stroked 472, for all of its C-body models. Power dropped to 190 horsepower, while torque stayed the same as the previous few seasons, 360 lb-ft at just 2,000 rpm. Electronic fuel injection became optional in 1975, while new open-chamber heads were standard.”That Cadillac V-8 is indestructible if you don’t run it out of oil or water,” Mike reports. “I’ve pulled desert parts cars out of the yard, thrown a battery and gas in, and had them start up and drive.” Occasionally, “the diaphragm in the fuel pump can go bad.” Carburetors are GM Quadrajets and are infinitely rebuildable. Ignitions ran breaker points until GM’s popular and durable HEI ignition, with its integral coil, arrived on some models for 1974; all Cadillacs had HEI for 1975. “I’ve seen coils burn up on HEI ignitions,” Mike reports, “but it’s not a normal occurrence.”
Like a kid in a candy store, we’re zipping our way around a vast, virtual car market that is the Hemmings Classifieds. In our latest edition of This or That, we’re circling around to a specific asking price point between $10,000 and $20,000, this time rounding up four-door hardtops and sedans from the 1970s that are currently available in the Hemmings classifieds. We’ve mentioned this plenty of times before, but for those new to this game, the good news about a $20k cap is that it offers options in good condition (even in our inflated market). So, given the money and space, which one would you take home?
1973 OLDSMOBILE NINETY-EIGHT LUXURY SEDAN
With exception of the Toronado, Oldsmobile’s Ninety-Eight (or, 98) continued its reign as the division’s top-of-the-line series for 1973, now offered in five body styles, including this four-door Ninety-Eight Luxury Sedan. Bested in fine accoutrements by only the Ninety-Eight Regency, the hardtop’s lengthy listed of standard features included – but were not limited to – a 275-hp 455-cu.in. engine, Turbo Hydra-Matic transmission, power steering, power front disc brakes, power windows, bench seats finished in “luxurious Bravo cloth with Morocceen trim” upholstery, windshield antenna, and more, all strapped to a 127-inch wheelbase chassis that cost $5,234 (or $34,335 in today’s currency). Olds built 21,896 four-door Luxury Sedans that year, making it the second most popular car within the Ninety-Eight series. From the seller’s description:
Talk about Old School Cool, once you see it, you won’t be able to walk away. Often turned into low-riders, or used for cruising or hopping, this car has the potential for it all. However, it’s perfect as is… a car that your Father drove and swore it was the best car ever. Finished in Honey Beige with Black 60/40 cloth upholstery, the looks are sure to get the town talking. Drive this one home now, it’s ready to go, in close to perfect condition. Solid body, chassis and drive train. Everything works and was a central part of an estate collection. Do you want to win car show trophies or just take the family out for an ice cream? Pile em’ and go. This car is an amazing drive that you don’t want to miss out on.
Price$18,500LocationCampbellsville, KYAvailability Available
1974 CHRYSLER NEW YORKER BROUGHAM SEDAN
Like the Olds Ninety-Eight, Chrysler’s New Yorker Brougham was bested only by the Imperial in terms of divisional luxury hierarchy by the time our featured 1974 four-door Brougham sedan was sold to its first owner. The Brougham’s mechanical DNA was identical to that of its base New Yorker sibling, meaning it was fitted with a 230-hp 440-cu.in. engine, TorqueFlite automatic transmission, torsion bar front suspension, power disc brakes, power steering, and 15-inch wheels, yet the Brougham also benefitted from the installation of power windows, plusher 50/50 front bench seat with additional arm rests, upscale trim, and a few other bits, all for a standard base price of $6,479 (or $39,099 in today’s currency). While pillared four-door sedans sold exceptionally well in the entry-level Newport and Newport Custom series, the pillared four-door New Yorker Brougham flopped: just 4,533 examples were built. From the seller’s description:
This highly desirable top of the line 1974 Chrysler New Yorker Brougham has only 50,500 miles! Highly optioned with the iconic big-block 440 four-barrel V-8, three-speed 727 TorqueFlite automatic, power steering, power disc brakes, working air conditioning, power windows, locks, tilt and telescoping steering wheel, vinyl top, factory AM/FM stereo, 50/50 power bench seat with dual armrests, etc. The body’s finished in Lucerne Blue Iridium, and is super straight rust free both top and bottom. All lights are in working order, the trunk trunk and engine compartment look like new. This car drives as good as it looks, and is guaranteed to draw attention. The 1974 models were the last full-size models Chrysler designed from the ground up, and one of the last to receive the big dog 440 V-8. Here’s your chance to own one at a very affordable price!
Price$12,950LocationMaple Lake, MNAvailability Available
In our latest edition of This or That, we’re continuing our recent theme of cars with an asking price between $5,000 and $10,000, this time rounding up examples from the 1970s that are currently available in the Hemmings classifieds. As has been the case with previous installments having a $10k cap, moving up in price comes with a commensurate increase in condition, meaning these dream-garage opportunities need far less attention than our past $5,000 surveys. Will one of these varied gems tug at your heart strings?
1974 CHRYSLER NEWPORT SEDAN
As the Seventies marched on, the Newport continued its long tradition of capturing the majority of Chrysler’s divisional sales. In 1974, for example, Chrysler built a combined total of 8,194 Town & Country wagons, 25,678 New Yorker Broughams, and 6,138 base-series New Yorkers. Newport’s combined output numbered 49,696 units, which was complemented by another 27,667 upscale Newport Customs. The best-selling car of the entire panoply: our featured base Newport four-door sedan, at 26,944 examples. When new, they cost $5,225 each (or $29,458 in today’s currency) and were furnished with a 400-cu.in. V-8 and automatic transmission standard, along with power front disc brakes, electronic ignition, and more. The Newport had also been subtly redesigned in that it sat one inch lower and was five inches shorter than the ’73 version. From the seller’s description:
This beautiful 1974 Chrysler Newport is painted in Chrysler burnished red iridescent with a complementing full vinyl roof. Under the hood is a powerful 400 cubic inch V-8 attached to a three-speed automatic transmission. Odometer shows 63K; that?s less than 1200 miles a year ! The Light Gold geometric patterned cloth interior looks like new, and is the highlight of this Newport. The trunk is overly large and fully carpeted. Comfort features include power steering, power brakes, working air conditioning, cruise, and the original radio. This is a factory original zero rust car. All lights are in working order. At 226.6 inches long, this 1974 Chrysler Newport will certainly turn heads wherever it goes!
1977 AMC PACER STATION WAGON
The Seventies encompassed a staggering number of market shifts from what was once the norm for Detroit. Some were expected, others were not, and a few – like AMC’s subcompact Pacer – were, well, simply surprising. The rolling fish bowl snagged many a buyer in its first year and a half of production, fulfilling the expectations of the AMC board but perhaps surprising a few automotive executives in Detroit. Shockingly roomy, certainly economical to operate, and stylistically unlike anything else on the road, AMC followed up on the Pacer’s early success by adding a station wagon version for 1977, such as this one we found for sale. With just a skosh more cargo room, the wagon outsold the hatch sedan 37,999 to 20,265 during the year, despite its modestly loftier $3,799 price tag (or $17,002 in today’s currency). From the seller’s description:
Rare find, well kept original car, nice freshened up interior, factory roof rack and original wheels covers, 6-cylinder engine, automatic transmission, power steering, cool car, runs and drives
In This ArticleCategory: Hemmings Classic CarDuring the 2018 AACA Fall Meet, I had the unexpected pleasure of spending some time with retired Ford stylist Gale Halderman, who has since sadly passed away. If you’re not familiar with the name, Gale began his employment at Ford Motor Company in 1954, but within a decade the otherwise unassuming employee was thrust into a path of what would prove to be automotive greatness, at least in the eyes of today’s classic car enthusiasts. It started when Gale submitted his early sports car concept sketch — one of what turned out to be a field of 24 such renderings — to project planners for review. Gale’s drawing struck a chord, and he was subsequently selected by Lee Iacocca, special projects manager Hal Sperlich, and Ford studio chief Joe Oros to oversee the design of a new car that was eventually named Mustang.
Gale’s time with the Mustang didn’t stop with the smashing success of its first year on the market. He was destined to serve as the car’s design chief for another eight years, and his advances led to the development of the 1965 2+2 fastback and 1967 SportsRoof. In 1968, Gale was promoted to director of the Lincoln-Mercury design studio, a stint in the luxury divisions that lasted less than a decade. Why? Who better to oversee the development of the Fox-platform Mustang — introduced in 1979 — than the designer responsible for “the original” pony car?
Despite creating a legacy of automotive design that should register with old car enthusiasts as easily as Darrin, Earl, and a host of others, Gale, it seemed to me, hovered below the radar and remained a humble Ford employee who was simply proud of being in the right place at the right time, throughout his career. You could hear it in his voice that fall afternoon, as he thoughtfully reflected on his time at Ford