Jun
19
1971 Plymouth Barracuda

1971 Plymouth Barracuda

Statisticians refer to groups of similar-value data points as clusters. In fact, there is a field of study known as cluster analysis, which looks to identify common threads linking cluster elements to each other.

While we at Consumer Guide are not statisticians, we know a cluster when we see one. And one of the strangest data clusters we’ve ever come across has to do with the 0-60 mph test results recorded by our test staff way back in 1971.

Looking at the ten fastest vehicles tested that year; all reached 60 mph in between 11.3 seconds and 11.7. Stranger still, all but one vehicle did the run in either 11.5 seconds, or 11.7. That’s kind of strange, right?

Check out the numbers below and tell us what you think. All 0-60 mph times shared here are as originally reported in Consumer Guide Auto Test ’71. (We’d wager CG’s test drivers back in 1971 were a bit feather-footed–particularly the driver of the 1971 Dodge Challenger.) The asterisk above is there to remind you that this ten-best list is comprised only of vehicles tested by Consumer Guide. We know that there were plenty of faster rides available in 1971; we just didn’t have the opportunity to test them.

The 10 Fastest Cars of 1973*

 

Lincoln Continental Mark III: 11.3 Seconds

1971 Lincoln Mark III

1971 Lincoln Continental Mark III

Body Style Tested: Coupe

Curb Weight: 4856 pounds

Engine: 365-horsepower 460-cubic-inch V8

Transmission: 3-speed automatic

Axle Ratio: 2.80:1

 

Chrysler New Yorker: 11.5 Seconds

1971 Chrysler New Yorker

1971 Chrysler New Yorker

Body Style Tested: Sedan

Curb Weight: 4260 pounds

Engine: 300-horsepower 383-cubic-inch V8

Transmission: 3-speed automatic

Axle Ratio: 2.76:1

 

Mercury Comet: 11.5 Seconds

1971 Mercury Comet

1971 Mercury Comet

Body Style Tested: Sedan

Curb Weight: 2689 pounds

Engine: 220-horsepower 302-cubic-inch V8

Transmission: 3-speed automatic

Axle Ratio: 2.79:1

 

Dodge Challenger: 11.5 Seconds

1971 Dodge Challenger

1971 Dodge Challenger

Body Style Tested: Coupe

Curb Weight: 3210 pounds

Engine: 300-horsepower 383-cubic-inch V8

Transmission: 3-speed automatic

Axle Ratio: 3.23:1

 

Ford Thunderbird: 11.5 Seconds

1971 Ford Thunderbird

1971 Ford Thunderbird

Body Style Tested: Coupe

Curb Weight: 4601 pounds

Engine: 360-horsepower 429-cubic-inch V8

Transmission: 3-speed automatic

Axle Ratio: 3.00:1

The 9 Fastest Cars of 1972*

 

Plymouth Barracuda: 11.5 Seconds

1971 Plymouth Barracuda

1971 Plymouth Barracuda

Body Style Tested: Coupe

Curb Weight: 3165 pounds

Engine: 275-horsepower 340-cubic-inch V8

Transmission: 3-speed automatic

Axle Ratio: 3.23:1

 

Chevrolet Monte Carlo: 11.7 Seconds

1971 Chevrolet Monte Carlo

1971 Chevrolet Monte Carlo

Body Style Tested: Coupe

Curb Weight: 3496 pounds

Engine: 300-horsepower 402-cubic-inch V8

Transmission: 3-speed automatic

Axle Ratio: 2.73:1

 

Chrysler Newport: 11.7 Seconds

1971 Chrysler Newport

1971 Chrysler Newport

Body Style Tested: Sedan

Curb Weight: 4260 pounds

Engine: 300-horsepower 383-cubic-inch V8

Transmission: 3-speed automatic

Axle Ratio: 2.76:1

 

Dodge Polara: 11.7 Seconds

1971 Dodge Polara

1971 Dodge Polara

Body Style Tested: Sedan

Curb Weight: 4155 pounds

Engine: 275-horsepower 383-cubic-inch V8

Transmission: 3-speed automatic

Axle Ratio: 2.76:1

 

Mercury Cougar: 11.7 Seconds

1971 Mercury Cougar

1971 Mercury Cougar

Body Style Tested: Coupe

Curb Weight: 3507 pounds

Engine: 300-horsepower 351-cubic-inch V8

Transmission: 3-speed automatic

Axle Ratio: 3.00:1

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