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Classic Firebird Ads

1980 Pontiac Firebird

Most pony car fans fall squarely into one of two camps: Chevrolet Camaro or Ford Mustang. Yes, there are plenty of Dodge Challenger and Plymouth Barracuda loyalists out there, and a few seriously devoted AMC Javelin guys, but the Camaro and Mustang take the biggest piece of the fan pie.

1975 Ford Mustang II Mach 1, Classic Mustang Ads

1975 Ford Mustang II Mach 1

If you give the Ford Mustang credit for anything, it should be resiliency. Introduced in 1964 as a ’65 model, the Mustang has been in continuous production ever since.

1971 Plymouth Barracuda, Fastest Cars of 1971

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.

Ford Mustang Grandé, The Sporty Compacts of 1973

1973 Ford Mustang Grandé

This quote from Consumer Guide’s ’73 Auto Test magazine says almost everything you need to know about the performance potential of the vehicles discussed below:

1970 Plymouth Barracuda, green, 1970 Sporty Compacts

1970 Plymouth Barracuda

In a recent blog post titled The Luxury Standards of 1970, we discussed the now-arcane language once used to parse the new-vehicle market. You can see all the segments into which Consumer Guide slotted the 1970 class of vehicles here.

1970 Buick Electra 225

1970 Buick Electra 225

We can talk all day about how much cars have changed over the past four decades. It’s easy to point at the demise of large sedans, the ever-growing popularity of SUVs and crossovers, and the rise of import brands. But, one of the most telling indicators of how much things have changed is the language we use to describe vehicles.

2016 Ford Explorer

The new-for-2016 Platinum edition of the Ford Explorer comes just about fully loaded at its $53,915 starting price (including destination), with the only options being the 2nd-row bucket seats and console fitted to our $54,760 test vehicle.

2016 Ford Explorer Platinum 4×4   2015 Audi Q5

Class: Midsize Crossover

Dates tested: 1/25/2016 – 2/01/2016

Miles Driven: 307

Fuel Used: 19.6 gallons

Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals, 2015 Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals

Here’s about one half of the 1970-’71 Hemi ‘Cudas and Challengers that were on display at the 2015 Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals. These are the rarest, most desirable, and most valuable regular-production muscle cars in existence.

The Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals rolled through Chicago last weekend, taking over the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Illinois. Every year since the inaugural show was held in 2009, MCACN has delivered an unparalleled mix of cream-of-the-crop muscle cars, Corvettes, and racing vehicles, in addition to first-rate attractions such as freshly discovered “barn-find” cars, Schwinn Sting-Rays and other nostalgic “muscle bikes”, and seminars by leading historians and auto-industry luminaries.

1969 Yenko Camaro, 1960s Camaros

Among the “Camaro Museum” exhibits that Chevrolet gathered for the unveiling of the upcoming 6th-generation model was one of the 1969 Yenko Camaros that Pennsylvania racer and Chevy dealer Don Yenko sold with a thumping 427-cid V8 under the hood.

When Chevrolet unveiled the 2016 Camaro in Detroit on May 16, it did more than just call the automotive media in for a look-see and a bite to eat. Instead, it staged a mini celebration of its long-lived “ponycar.”

1972 Pony Cars, Pony Car Shootout

Way back in 1972, Consumer Guide ranked the Barracuda, Camaro, Challenger, Cougar, Firebird, Javelin, and Mustang. Which car came out on top? Read on…


Consumer Guide divided the ’72 new-car market into mini compact, compact, sporty compact, intermediate, standard, medium standard, personal luxury, and luxury categories.

The power went out in 1972. Manufacturers did their best to hide the muscle shortage behind the horsepower reporting conversion from SAE Gross to SAE Net, but we all knew the sad truth.

Responding to the pending arrival of low-lead gasoline, makers were forced to dial back the power, which was just as well, as auto insurers were getting nervous anyway.

How deep were the power cuts? Let’s look at the Chevrolet Corvette as an example. In 1971, the ‘Vette’s big block 454-cubic-inch V8 cranked out a reported 365 horsepower in its mildest state of tune. For 1972, the only 454 offered was good for just 270 ponies. Again, some of that decline was attributable to the new reporting standards, but sadly, most of it was just missing muscle.

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