The Truth About Cars » boss The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Wed, 23 Jul 2014 18:25:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » boss QOTD: What’s The Best Retro Mustang? Fri, 18 Oct 2013 15:39:24 +0000

(Let’s all welcome Zombie McQuestionbot back to TTAC. He’s a well-known and well-loved writer who is now writing for “bigger” and “better” and “more easily recognized” and “less thoroughly despised” outlets than this one, but we managed to convince him to write a few questions for us — JB)

Mustangs. I know, right? I almost bought a Mustang once. Actually, I did buy a Mustang. I was in the American South on my way to see an actual underground bullfight, with a bull and everything. But it turned out that the two-year-old “Mustang” that I agreed to pay five thousand dollars for in a back room of a Mexican restaurant was actually a Mustang.

You know, a horse.

The good news is that “Trigger” and I had plenty of good years together before I let him retire to a farm in Oregon. For “plenty of good years” subtitute “one drunken night”. And for “a farm in Oregon” substitute “the glue factory”. Oh, how I cried when they led Trigger away. Mostly because he’d stepped on my foot. But that isn’t the kind of Mustang we’re talking about here. The retro Mustang’s been around since 2005. What’s your favorite one?

Let’s start with the first generation. There was the Mustang V6, which was so bad that owning one is an actual legal cause for divorce in three southern states and Delaware. There was the Mustang GT, which had three hundred horsepower from a giant V-8 that made a lot of noise and once was used to power the world’s most powerful Sybian. Next up, we had the Mustang GT California Special, which was never purchased by anyone in California for the same reasons that you never see Aussies ordering a Bloomin’ Onion at the Outback Steakhouse.

Last but not least, we had the Shelby GT500, which had five hundred horsepower and was named in tribute to the original Shelby GT500, which did not.

Even more last but not least, we had the Mustang Bullitt, which was a nice way to have a tribute to Steve McQueen without having to pay Steve McQueen’s estate anything for doing it. One time I borrowed a Mustang Bullitt and drove it all the way to New York to participate in a high-stakes private poker game. The whole time there it kept punching me in the back every time I drove over an expansion joint. Eventually I gave up on the idea of using the freeway. By the time I got to the poker game, the only people left were James Bond and Le Chiffre, who thought I was making fun of him because I was bleeding from my left eye. I had to explain to him that it was just the ox-cart rear axle that made me that way.

I think there was also a Shelby GT-H, which was rented by Hertz to car collectors who never gave them back. “Send me the bill,” they’d say, and cackle as they stroked their Persian cats.

The original 2005 Mustang was so awesome that Ford decided not to change it for 2010. They just left it in an oven to melt a little bit. There was some concern about the interior melting as well, but it turned out that the plastic on the dashboard was so hard that it refused to melt. Instead, it actually transferred the heat to the nose of the car and made it look all droopy.

A drunken mistake by Alan Mullalllally while watching the Vanilla Ice movie, “Cool As Ice”, forced Ford to immediately put 5.0 engines in the 2011 model. These engines were actually twice as powerful as the original Mustang 5.0, which meant that it should have been a Mustang 10.0. Unfortunately, the average Mustang owner can’t count that high, so they left it as 5.0.

The original Mustang 5.0 was actually a 4.9. But Mustang owners didn’t understand the decimal system, so Ford called it the 5.0.

The new Mustang has spawned multiple variants — the Durable Technical V-6, which is not durable and has the “technical” solid rear axle. There’s the GT Track Pack, for both of the Mustang GT owners in America who think tracks have right turns, too. The California Special is back and it sells very well in Ohio.

Last but not least is the Boss 302. This car is more expensive than a used Corvette, which has always been the case for new Mustangs. Supposedly it’s very fast, but probably not as fast as a CTS-V.

If you’ve always wanted a Boss 302 your whole life since they came out two years ago, you might also be satisfied with a Hertz Penske GT, which is being rented from Hertz directly to collectors who will not be giving them back. I was an at airport recently, on my way to party with the guy who used to date the girl who sat next to Lindsay Lohan in her most recent rehab circle. I asked for an “Adrenaline” car, so they gave me a Dodge Challenger SRT. It was so obviously made for older people that I wasn’t surprised that one of the buttons on the steering wheel was labeled “Fallen And Can’t Get Up.”

All of these Mustangs are classics, but only one can be your favorite. So which will it be?

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Review: 2011 Ford F-350 Super Duty Fri, 10 Feb 2012 14:18:35 +0000  



A TTAC lede should intrigue and excite, yet what’s to snark on a Ford Super Duty with an aluminum bed? So here I am, being good friend to a girl that bought a home, tore it apart and reassembled with over 1600lbs of stone flooring: stuff that’ll eat up an Urban Cowboy’s prissy $30-50,000 rig. Or in this case, a self-made woman’s stainless steel infused Lincoln Blackwood. Is it any surprise she’d need a rental?



The F-350 isn’t a lovely beast in XL-grade black plastic, and Home Depot’s tagging doesn’t help. Even worse, Ford’s latest Super Duty takes the trend of “inflated styling features” to the point there’s no room for sheetmetal on the front facade.  Insurance companies rejoice, but fake fender vents further prove that modern trucks are out of scope. Side mirrors cleverly attach to a droopy DLO (day light opening), with rooftop clearance lights and anti-bling steel hoops: all hallmarks of the XL lifestyle, but I long for the days when trucks weren’t so proportionally silly.



Luckily, the rough-and-tumble lifestyle receives a supple 40/20/40 vinyl bench. The “20” folds to make an armrest with storage. Rubber flooring encourages muddy boots. And the requisite hard plastics?  NFL linemen use ballet to up their game, and Super Duties need the minimalistic soft vinyl from yesteryear’s F-350. Trust me; it wouldn’t lose an ounce of macho.



Home Depot trucks have a unique interior quirk: note the steering wheel lock, smell what must be a blend of sweat, dirt and the chemical used to remove dog/cat urine smells from carpeting. Like, awesome.

Fire up the Super Duty and something magical happens.  The 6.2L “BOSS” V8’s initial exhaust burble is pure muscle from the days of smog-belching big blocks and Nixonian secrecy. With a few (manly) twists of aluminum locks, the Super Duty’s cargo “walls” become a flat bed. Home Depot’s fork lift has ample room to offload the pallet, and the prodigious leaf springs easily take the load.  Ride height is now 2-3”lower, if that matters.



The ride is fairly smooth, only with the extra rearward weight. The numb, slow steering makes sense considering the value your heavy and brittle investment staying in one piece. There’s plenty of stopping power even with more nose dive than an ordinary car.

Which proves the point: as every decade passes, trucks improve at the same rate of cars.

Back to the stone: after pulling 20+ tiles out, the quality was a little suspect.  There’s enough body filler here to patch a fleet of Mazda Protégé 5s.  So we reload the F-350, unfold the bed’s walls and drive back.  Are those rain clouds up ahead? While she asked the boys at Home Depot to exchange the crate, I did my usual ADD analysis of the interior. The upfitter switches were a nice touch, ditto the abundance of cubbies and cup holders.  The basic information display was controlled by a PlayStation-worthy pad on the tiller. Then a familiar song emanated from the 2-speaker stereo. The electronic hi-hats were clearer than crystal and bass hit like a boxer fighting above his class. As the clouds threatened again, the lyrics came down on me like shelves of bolts from Home Depot’s hardware aisle:

You can Blame it on the Rain,

Cause the Rain Don’t Mind!

And The Rain Don’t Care,

You got to Blame it on Something!

Is this really happening? Why am I here, thinking about a future TTAC review? How did I not grow up, get married and whatnot? Was that guy in high school right about me, am I really an existentialist?



Oh dear. Mercifully, the new pallet arrived, and–escaping the rain–the new tile was unloaded. After a long evening, we returned the Super Duty and went back to the luxurious confines of the Lincoln Blackwood.  But wait…let’s talk about straight line prowess.

6-speeds, 385 horsepower, 405lb-ft of twist. A pair of stump-pulling camshafts happily rev to 5500RPM inside a delightfully retro-styled big block Boss mill. With the traction nanny off and the transmission locked in first, the Super Duty squats, hooks and absolutely flies off the line.



Whoa mamma!  Gear number two and you’re merging on the highway with authority: the Boss is an absolute beast. Once the howl of a thousand big block Galaxies left my eardrums, one thought remained: why can’t we have this damn powertrain in a Ford car?

But I digress. The F-350 Super Duty proves something: the base engine is far from entry-level.  Who cares if gas motors are 3-7 MPG worse (probably, but not rated by the EPA) than a Powerstroke Diesel? The Boss is just that.  With no purchase penalty ($7835), no urine supplements, cheaper fuel ($0.30 a gallon) and a stunning Muscle Car soundtrack, the Boss Super Duty equates to the perfect big truck for all but the most serious towing junky.

For everyone else? Instant bliss is just a Home Depot away, for about $20 an hour.


Photo Courtesy Sajeev Mehta IMAG0131 IMAG0132 IMAG0134 IMAG0135 Photo Courtesy Sajeev Mehta IMAG0137 Photo Courtesy Sajeev Mehta IMAG0140 IMAG0141 IMAG0143 IMAG0145 Photo Courtesy Sajeev Mehta IMAG0148 Photo Courtesy Sajeev Mehta IMAG0150 IMAG0151 IMAG0152 IMAG0156 IMAG0157 IMAG0158 Photo Courtesy Sajeev Mehta IMAG0161 Photo Courtesy Sajeev Mehta IMAG0163 Photo Courtesy Sajeev Mehta Photo Courtesy Sajeev Mehta IMAG0168 f350thumb Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail ]]> 57