Are you hiding this street freak in your garage?
Now obviously a 1969 high-compression big block machine is not our normal bailiwick. Sometimes something comes across your desk you gotta share. Ford built a running mid-engine Mustang research vehicle that unfortunately didn't deliver any meaningful performance results. Before scrapping the program they should have tried out a small-block. This car was destined for the crusher, as the story goes it may have gotten away. Is it hiding in your Hazel Park, MI garage?
Anyway I suggest you read all about here: A Mid-Engine Boss 429 Mustang? Yes, It’s True (mustangandfords.com)
...what might have been.
The new year starts March 21st!
Happy New Year! We're all thrilled to put 2020 behind us, amirite? Let's get real for a moment. The next two months are going to feel like month 13 & 14 of 2020. I'm fine with that. Spend the next two month of winter hunkered down in safety. When spring comes mid-March with the thaw of winter that's when the new year begins. A year of promise. Exciting things to come. We'll still cover auction results from the big houses. We'll still highlight the great deals and the ridiculous on eBay. What will be different and the most interesting is getting out meeting you, covering those great disco era rides you wrench on and enjoy. What won't change is carrying the flag for those unloved, misunderstood faux muscle cars of the malaise era.
The big coming out party for the Fox body.
Ford had a lot riding on the new Fox architecture. While the Mustang II was the right car at the right time it was a victim of compromises. The new generation Mustang was to be the exciting symbol of the new and modern Ford. The hype machine in Dearborn was given the green light to recapture the pony car market. A big splash would be the official pace car of the Indianapolis 500. With the street edition pace car representing Ford’s vision of a modern sporty car. A Mustang steeped in tradition yet also carrying European sophistication.
First, let’s talk about the actual pace cars. Three cars were commissioned to pull duty at the Brickyard. The 5.0 V8 engines were prepped and modified by Roush, using 351 Windsor heads, 1970 Boss 302 solid lift cam. A modified C-4 automatic was the transmission in all three cars. The track duty editions were T-top cars an option that wouldn’t appear on street Mustangs till 1981. Racing legend Jackie Stewart who ran many a Ford to victory piloted the car to open the race.
When discussing the exterior appearance there isn’t much to differentiate the pace car from the street version pace car. Good job, Ford! Pewter is the main body color, flat black below the beltline and on the full-length hood scoop, tasteful orange and red accent stripes. Of course, no pace car package is complete without OFFICIAL PACE CAR decals emblazoned on the doors, orange is the hue. While T-tops were still a few years away for the Mustang all pace cars came with a pop-up/removable sunroof panel.
The 1979 pace car would start a Ford/Recaro relationship that would last decades. Pace cars came with Recaro bucket seats standard, the major auto magazines were pleased. Between the buckets was the console shift for the C-4 automatic or 4 speed-manual.
Unlike the actual pace car doing track duty the street version got an engine choice. The 2.3 liter turbo four-cylinder good for 130 bhp/142 ft-lbs, 4 speed manual transmission only. You could also get the 5.0 V8 just like the one in the track car, just kidding. You didn’t get the specially prepped Roush V8 without a care for emissions. You got the smog-choked V8 that last did duty in the Mustang II, good for a 140 bhp/250 ft-lbs. Choosing the eight also allowed one the option of an automatic. Despite the power deficit some 1,400 more customers left the dealer lot with the 2.3 liter turbo four-banger.
All pace cars came with a TRX performance suspension package. HD front and rear sway bar diameters and shock valving specs were engine choice dependent. All came with 390mm aluminum wheels which is just a tad over 15” for us red-blooded American types, shod with 190/65R Michelin tires. Discs up front, drums in the rear.
When searching for an authentic pace car look for 48 after the fifth character in the VIN. Speaking of there is a pace car available now on eBay.
Interesting that the owner seems to raise the price every 48 hours. This pace car was listed at $18K and now after a few re-listings is priced at $23K. What the seller seems to be going for is more of a survivor, mentioning things like original paint and stripes, original interior. Fading and wear can be seen inside and out. The seller mentions new reproduction 16 inch TRX wheels, new exhaust and a 5 speed manual which is great if you're really going to drive the car. According to the Hagerty value guide that current price is a #2 condition car. That is not what I see, more like a nice #3 driver. Get it at $18K then maybe you have a sweet deal.
An interesting side-note. One of the original 3 track-spec pace cars is housed in Indianapolis at the speedway museum. The other two were repainted white and repurposed for the 1979 Detroit Grand Prix, those cars sit in the Roush collection.
Questions, comments or like this below, thanks for reading.
No freaking way $90,000, you're drunk.
If we were sitting around with cigars and bourbon talking Fiero prices and someone mentioned a 1988 Fiero GT being worth $90K I'd laugh.
"No way, not even if it's the last one off the assembly line with 2 miles on the odometer, even if formerly owned by Tom Selleck"
Tom Selleck is not involved, it has 582 miles on the clock, pre-delivery protective plastic wrap still adorns the interior. The very last Fiero, the very last Pontiac built in Pontiac Michigan did sell for $90K at auction. The only owner of the car was a plant employee.
Read about the car, see more pics including cool plant photos, here:
Read about the auction results here:
Comment and like below.
I came across a pic of Catherine O'Hara with what I'm guessing was her Lincoln Continental. I was inspired to use some creative license and create a mock 1977 Lincoln Continental ad.
Classic car dealers aren't actually crackheads but sometimes you have to wonder.
For the classic car hobby especially the popular muscle cars there is plenty of market data. Car asking prices, check. Car selling prices, you know the actual value, check. For many segments of the malaise muscle car era that data doesn’t exist. That is true of the small yet passionate F-body cadre. No, not Camaro and Firebird. The Mopar guys into Aspens and the Volaré. The Mopar F-body covers everything from mild mundane transportation to wild…okay wildish. Aspen R/T and Volaré Road Runner carry the big price tags, along with limited edition types like Petty Kit Car and Super Coupes. As wagons have become popular so too are the F-body wagons. Some folks, the owners. They like seeing the prices of these cars going up. Some folks, like the ones who let one getaway but want another don’t like seeing prices rise. They quip how that clean, rust-free Aspen R/T with the modified 360 V8 isn’t worth the asking price. Because they bought one for $1,500 during Y2K. The truth is we don’t really know, there just aren’t that many bought and sold. Yet each time one gets listed we get a gleam on where the market is for these cars.
They are still a RWD Mopar bargain. Many already small-block equipped or ready to receive that 440 you built last winter. Still some are starting to cross into A-body money, the much more popular Duster and Dart Sport. A choice can come down to a really sweet and well sorted out Volaré Road Runner vs a rougher but all there Duster 360. Cars in the $14-18K range. Now too many classic car dealers see “Mopar” and start pricing these way off the mark.
“Dude, I can buy a real muscle era Road Runner for that money”.
That is the case with this Volaré Road Runner clone, built like the factory should have done it. Never mind emissions and fuel economy, just go with me here. Up front is a proper 383 4-barrel mated to a four-speed manual, yeah pistol grip shifter too. Headers with true dual exhaust, cats are for pussies so none of that. Beefy 8 ¾ rear axle, probably a Sure Grip…that’s a posi for you GM types. Vintage Air so your wife and girlfriend will ride along. Oh yeah, painted that cool hue that chicks like, purple. Stripes, spoilers, hood scoop…yeah, a hole cut in the hood for semi-functionality. Cragars man, Cragars. MOPAR in your FACE! That will be $32,900, son.
I didn’t mention the nice custom touches to the interior. You know what else I didn’t mention? The crushed K-frame and oil pan that appeared to have bottomed out entirely too much. Never mind that no Volaré is worth thirty grand, not even a four-thousand original mile, T-top Super Coupe found hermetically sealed in Norm Kraus’ garage. This car is not going to fetch $25K. Okay, maybe that one guy. No, seriously that car will sit forever on that lot. Today at eBay the auction ended, we learned after 22 bids that $17K is the ceiling. Reserve not met of course.
Now I can regale you story about a 1975 Road Runner with a similar ending but I won’t. Not today. I will point out a sensibly priced Mopar great for getting into the hobby. From a dealership/consigner. I’m not saying it worth the $11.5K asking price but it’s at a decent starting negotiation point. It’s at eBay with the Make an Offer option. A big block Chrysler with fine Corinthian Leather and cloth insert interior also A/C equipped.
Hit us up with a like, comment or question below. Let me know if you pick up that styling Cordoba!
No high-octane trailer queens in this market report.
1986 Pontiac Grand Prix Aerocoupe 2+2 Petty Edition
You know the story. The Ford Thunderbird jellybean was kicking General ass on the NASCAR super-speedways. So, the Aerocoupes of Chevy and Pontiac were created to slip through the wind like the Ford. While the Monte Carlo SS offered an HO 350 V8 as an option the product planners at Pontiac saddled the GP 2+2 with the 160hp 305 v8 only. Strangely, the Mecum website lists the car as having a V6. Based on the pics I’m thinking that is a typo. Beneath all the hoses, wires, pumps and other emissions doo-dads appears a proper V8. Novelty aside the Pontiac looked weird while the Chevy seemed attractive. These cars are not really hot among the malaise crowd which makes the auction result puzzling. $11.5K was not enough to get this Grand Prix into a new garage or backyard to sit in.
1979 Chevrolet Camaro Z28
350 crate motor, 4 speed manual, headers, T-tops. Attractive blue paint with white stripes, holes drilled into the fake hood scoop, what’s not to like? No A/C and the firewall looks a little funky. It sold for $17.6K, seems about right if the car is really well sorted out.
1985 Pontiac Trans Am
5 speed manual, T-tops, 6,000 original miles, no reserve. Yeah, the 305 V8 won’t melt your heart, nothing a little work couldn’t solve. Sold for $17.6K not bad considering the mileage.
1986 Pontiac Trans Am
Okay, you say you want a better deal. A little rougher, more mileage, an automatic transmission. How about for $6.6K? Now that was a deal.
1978 Chevrolet Corvette
35,000 miles and a 4 speed. It appears to be a base L48 engine car without A/C. Listed as having been in a climate-controlled garage all it’s life and has a new exhaust system. Listed with no reserve and hammered for $10,460. Sounds like a bargain to me.
1985 Ford Mustang Twister II
All right I don’t care much about the whole Twister thing. It’s a Kansas Ford dealer decal package. It adds no value to me. What I see is a 1985 Mustang GT with T-tops, A/C and a 5 speed manual. The original 302, excuse me 5.0 sits in the bay, topped with dual quads, headers and 4.11 gears in the axle. Bidding topped at $10K but the car did not sell.
Let me know what your think the malaise muscle car market is looking like in the comments below.
I have an obsession with Mopar F-Body sport coupes, especially when equipped with T-tops. In the Mopar F-Body world the Mexican market Super Bee is the holy grail. This car is quite possibly my all-time favorite F-Body. It has the honor of hanging on our website splash page.
You don't know what a Mexican market 1978 Super Bee is? Enjoy this fantastic article by John Machaqueiro of Hot Rod, learn and lust. https://www.hotrod.com/articles/marco-sandin-1978-valiant-super-bee-chrysler-foreign-market-vehicle/
My only question is the driver side vents in this A/C equipped car; I still have more to learn. Maybe you know, chime in on the comments section below.
Road racing and drifting short wheelbase 318 powered Ram vans.
Looking around AllPar a link from Road & Track caught my eye. In Japan where the car culture is robust but of the type inconceivable to most Americans. Racing 1971-2003 short wheelbase Dodge vans is a thing. Bizarre? Maybe, yes-yes definitely bizarre. It is also seriously gear-head, American V8 gear-head stuff and I can always appreciate that.
LOL…No Dodge Van, No Life. http://www.dodgevanracing.com/
Let me know what you think in the comments section below.
John is a GenX car enthusiast who grew up driving classic muscle cars. He enjoys the new modern muscle cars that can out perform the classics in every way. In the sportscar world his banners are Viper and Corvette. John has a guilty pleasure. The disco era street machine. Those unloved, underpowered cars festooned with scoops, spoilers and stripes.