By on December 14, 2015

2015 Ford Mustang Exterior-003

The new Mustang is handsome, isn’t it? I was behind one the other day in traffic, and I couldn’t take my eyes off it: in the right color, with the right wheels, there’s a good argument to be made that the Mustang is one of the most attractive coupes on the market today. Too bad it’s still just another in a long list of retro designs.

I was thinking about this recently because there has been a lot of retro designs in the last few years — and virtually all of those models are still sporting retro designs. Which leads me to wonder: Has anyone ever actually successfully followed up on a retro design? Has anyone ever created a retro design, and then un-retroized it, and still found success?

In other words: Once you’ve gone retro, is it even possible to go back?

2016ChevroletCamaro_(17_of_30)

Here’s what I mean: When Chevrolet revived the Camaro back in 2010, they did so with a retro design. This was all the rage back then. We had a retro Mustang, and a retro Challenger, and a retro Camaro, and a host of other retro cars because apparently we wanted to escape the depression of the financial crisis by just pretending everything came from the ‘60s.

Well, here we are, six years later, there’s a new Camaro out, and it looks a lot like the old one. And it still uses a lot of retro design language. In other words, when it comes to styling, the new Camaro isn’t really new. It’s just a slightly evolved version of the old Camaro, which itself was just a modern version of the original Camaro.

2011 Dodge Challenger SRT8 392 Inaugural Edition

 

The Camaro isn’t alone in this. Back when the Dodge Challenger made its debut for the 2008 model year, we all thought that it was a) impressively cool, and b) the size of a VFW hall. Well, it’s been eight years since the first Challenger rolled off the assembly line — and guess what? It’s still the same damn car. They’ve updated the headlights, they’ve updated the taillights, they’ve given us more technology, but ultimately the Challenger remains virtually identical to the one that first went on sale during the Bush presidency.

The Mustang isn’t much different. Oh, sure, they’ve redesigned it with a nip here and a tuck there. But ultimately, it still has the retro look: the long hood, the tail lights, the old-school design touches like the badge and the roof line. The Mustang’s future, it seems, is still firmly rooted in the past.

minigoodwood2

And it isn’t just muscle cars. Actually, I could go on for days about retro cars that automakers are clearly struggling to follow up their initial design. For example: the Mini Cooper. It came out in 2002, it was redesigned in 2008, it was redesigned again last year, and my God it still looks exactly like it did when it came out. I can only imagine the meetings at BMW about this, where executives are cowering in fear because they have absolutely no idea where to take the Mini Cooper next.

And how about the Volkswagen Beetle? It came out in 2000, eventually they made a convertible, it languished for a while, and then, BAM! There’s now a new one that they swear is all new, totally redesigned, fully changed, even though it looks identical to the original.

Volkswagen Beetle R-Line. Picture courtesy Volkswagen

I mean, yes, there are a few new lines, and new tail lights, but it doesn’t pass the crucial test: If my girlfriend thinks it hasn’t changed, then it hasn’t changed. Oh, sure, I can spot the changes — but I’m not the normal consumer. I am the guy who can tell apart the Mercury Tracer from the Ford Escort. Volkswagen isn’t targeting me. My girlfriend is the normal consumer, and Volkswagen would be disappointed to find out she thinks the Beetle looks exactly like it did when it first came out 15 years ago. (“BUT THE TAIL LIGHTS!!!!” they would say.)

Some automakers take a different approach to retro designs — and just cancel them altogether. Rather than follow up on the HHR, Chevrolet made a different decision: ditch it. They made the same decision with the SSR. Chrysler said the same thing about the PT Cruiser and the Prowler.

All of this has got me thinking two things. Number one: Maybe, if you’re into designing cars, retro isn’t the best idea. It’s good for a few sales up front, but it’ll absolutely destroy any hope you have of cultivating a long-term success story in the future. And number two: Has there ever been a single retro-designed car that successfully shook off its retro roots? I am honestly, truly curious if one exists, because I can’t think of one. And usually, I would be able to figure it out. After all, I’m the guy who can tell the difference between a Ford Escort and a Mercury Tracer.

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74 Comments on “Doug Drives: Has Anyone Ever Successfully Followed Up a Retro Car Design?...”


  • avatar
    GermanReliabilityMyth

    Wait, wait. You have a girlfriend? Do the auto journalist pick up lines really work?

    I kid, I kid. What’s her perspective on all the wacky cars that keep parading thought your garage? If it’s worth mentioning her impression of the new-new Beetle, I think this is fair game too (still, it’s nice to have a perspective on the average Joe/Jane when you write something).

  • avatar
    RideHeight

    “Has Anyone Ever Successfully Followed Up a Retro Car Design?”

    Douglas has always been a bit syntax-challanged.

    I think he meant following up an iconic *original* design with a retro.

  • avatar
    Smaller-is-Better

    Mazda MX-5 Miata (no longer an evolution of the Lotus Elan)

  • avatar

    The new Mustang looks as much like a modern Accord Coupe as it does a 60’s fastback.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      Oh YEA IT DOES! Especially after you bang your head really hard, put on soneone else’s prescription glasses when you dont wear any glasses yourself, and use your hand to block out all of the car except the quarter window, ITS EXACTLY THE SAME!! Ford obviously copied the Accord due to it being the benchmark for the Pony car class, no question about it.

      I cant tell you how many times Ive wondered “is that an Accord or Mustang?”

      I cant tell you because its never happened. To anyone. Anywhere. Ever.

    • 0 avatar
      Marone

      “The new Mustang looks as much like a modern Accord Coupe as it does a 60’s fastback.”

      No way. Not sure how anyone who knows anything about cars could make that association.

  • avatar
    xflowgolf

    Can the Mustang really even be considered “retro” any more?

    There’s a fine line in drawing upon heritage, in which a car has certain distinctive character lines, without actually being “retro”.

    The Challenger is clearly trying to look like a prior generation.

    The new Mustang looks like a new car. Knocking the “long hood, and roofline” as Doug states, as “retro” is silly. It’s a RWD proportioned coupe. How else should the roofline and hood proportion look?

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Great question.

      The new ‘retro’ Mustang has been in production longer than the original.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      I find that the current Mustang has retro cues, but is no longer a retro design. You know it’d a Mustang when you see it, but that isn’t a bad thing. It also looks like something new.

      • 0 avatar
        redav

        I agree with this description. To most people, it therefore is a successfully de-retro’d car.

        However, I don’t like the new Mustang, so I would not call it a success, but I accept that I’m in the minority.

        But I think the Mustang is an interesting case. In the late ’90s, they made some hideous changes which were quickly replaced with a the ‘near-retro’ of the early 2000s, which was replaced with the ‘long-retro’ in c. ’06. It has since evolved out of the “retro” category IMO.

        • 0 avatar
          jeanbaptiste

          I also agree that the mustang has lost the retro. When the psedo-car people that I work with went out and bought 2014’s because the 2015’s stopped looking like mustangs, i knew that was enough of a change.

          Sure, there are some design que’s but not nearly as forced retro as the 2015-2014.

  • avatar
    sirwired

    I sorta-miss the Prowler. While I tried to sit in one once and failed, I thought it was a gorgeous car, and certainly it stood out from the crowd.

    I was in college at the time it was for sale, and I know that Chrysler always brought a purple Prowler as an attention-getter to every career fair they showed up at. I know the Prowler probably didn’t sell very well, but I expect it brought more than a few people into showrooms.

  • avatar
    jeoff

    Maybe Jaguar? The XK8 was a visual throwback to the E-type–but its successor, the XK was not connected to the classic design.

  • avatar
    jhefner

    Add the last generation Ford Thunderbird to the list of cars that were cancelled once they went retro.

    “Number one: Maybe, if you’re into designing cars, retro isn’t the best idea. It’s good for a few sales up front, but it’ll absolutely destroy any hope you have of cultivating a long-term success story in the future.”

    Uh, the Mustang went retro a decade ago, and sales have remained fairly steady then. Is a decade not long term enough?

    I also think to say that the current Mustang is just a nip and tuck from the previous one is glossing over a lot a changes. While folks complained that it looked too much like the previous Mustang and showed lack of imagination before they actually laid eyes on it; when you see one in reality; there is no mistaking it with a 2015. I think it is a good example of evolving a retro design into a present day lineup with it’s Fusion style front end that still looks like Mustang, and other details.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      I agree, you can have visual cues to the past without being retro. The Mustang does this well.

      The new F-150 reminds me of the 1980-1986 (?) models with the inset headlamps. It isnt retro and it probably wasnt even intentional, but its fine.

  • avatar
    Occam

    The Mustang went “retro” in 1994, bringing back side scoops, three bar taillights, the galloping pony, twin-arched dash. These 2005 design went hard-retro, but since 2009, and particularly with the new design, it has faded back to what it was in 1994: A modern design with iconic cues that have (other than the Fox-Body) always been there.

    It goes a step further though – the Mustang, Camaro, Charger, Challenger, Mini, etc. have made certain retro elements a part of the modern design language. For example, the wasp waist was all but dead, and it’s back. Wedge shaped noses were the norm, and now upright, charging into the wind grilles are back. The Camaro is moving away from it’s retro look as well.

    There are certain details that are strongly associated with cars of the 70’s that could be considered the retro of their day: Continental tires (or the hump suggesting them), opera windows, landau tops, wire wheel covers, tall vertical tombstone grilles with heraldic crest hood ornaments; these were all an attempt to give the cars a coach-build air, looking back to the glamor of Deusenburgs and Cadillacs from the 1920s and 30s.

    • 0 avatar
      Land Ark

      The Mustang went “retro” in 1974, bringing back side scoops, three bar taillights, the galloping pony…

      Ford seems to have a habit of this, don’t they?

    • 0 avatar
      ttacgreg

      Don’t forget the massive chrome bumpers engineered unimaginatively to meet regulations. (The Porsche 911 and Corvette showed the way to the future at that time with their bumpers)

      Also don’t forget the absolutely dismal emissions controls of the time too.

      And don’t forget how incredibly under powered almost all of them were.

      Oh god, with the exception of a (very) few bright spots, the 70’s were such a dismal dark age for cars.

  • avatar
    robc123

    PORSCHE?

    But I think they are stuck and should abandon the engine past axle design.

    Think you are looking for the term “style queue” (spelling?)- ha ha just caught I am critiquing but don’t know the correct spelling que? Fuc n mondays.

    • 0 avatar
      wumpus

      It isn’t retro if you are copying last years Porsche, even if you are using a water-cooled replica of an air-cooled original (presumably going mid-engine would kill the styling).

    • 0 avatar
      Marone

      Doesn’t really fit the theme. The 911 isn’t retro. It’s been a continuous design evolution. Not to mention highly capable and successful.

      • 0 avatar
        Speed3

        You could argue that the new Targa is retro.

      • 0 avatar
        doublechili

        I intended to post the same thing as robc123. I’d say the current Mustang is now sufficiently modernized to be outside the “retro” category and to be more analogous to a Porsche 911. Yes, the 911’s development has been “continuous”, but otherwise I’d say they’re both similarly related in their design evolution to their predecessors of a few decades ago. In other words, take each model from the ’60s/’70s and compare to today, and forget everything that happened in between, and there’s not a lot of difference in the changes design-wise. The only difference is that the 911 never got the “retro” label. Therefore, I’d argue that the current Mustang is the answer to the article’s question and is a successful retro evolution.

    • 0 avatar
      energetik9

      I think you meant to say 911 and not Porsche. The Boxster/Cayman/718 are praised for design, handling, and performance.

      Hard to classify the 911 as anything but successful. Also not sure I’d say “past-axle” anymore. Porsche has improved this greatly over the years. The engine and transmission is located at the rear axle, not hanging past the axle as it did generations ago. Perhaps pedantic, so apologize if that comes across.

    • 0 avatar
      derekson

      The word you’re looking for is styling *cue*.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    I just realized that my former Leaf 1.0 resembled my former Pinto, so maybe the Leaf is an unintentional retro car. Maybe Leaf 2.0 will successfully move away from that style.

    • 0 avatar
      Whatnext

      Well, since Nissan’s current bizarro styling seems to hark back to when they relyed on shock value,like the days of the atomic cockroach Datsuns (B210, F10 etc), maybe the Leaf is retro.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Toronado?

    The original design and FWD layout by the design team’s own admission borrow from 1930s Cord (at least as much as the SSR or PT Cruiser invokes a 1940s truck.)

    But then the car’s design went from retro to “muscle car” to “super fly PLC” to “old person car” to “awesome 80s PLC”.

  • avatar
    Secret Hi5

    Wasn’t this topic discussed a few weeks ago? I think the PT Cruiser, Mini, and Fiat 500 were the subjects then, but same arguments.

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    The Boeing 747 has been in service since 1970. The 737 since 1968. Yet, step into the cockpit of a modern 737-900 or a 747-8, despite the sheetmetal being very similar, they’re very different animals. The engines as well and much of the mechanical systems are different as well. Same goes for any of these cars or even a 2008 and 2016 Challanger.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    I think if you are going to do retro in the Mustang/Camaro/Charger ilk you have to treat each generation as a successive generation. Example: Camaro – If you are going to base your 5th generation on the 1st generation car, then the 6th generation should be based on the 2nd generation car etc until you come full circle. That might actually lead you to success.

    If the vehicle only has one basic design (ie: Beetle and Mini) then tread carefully. I think the latest Beetle is a successful design – although it is starting to resemble an early Porsche more than a Beetle.

    • 0 avatar

      I suspect the Mustang that pays homage to the Mustang II would not be a sales success.

    • 0 avatar
      Chets Jalopy

      I’d love to see a Gen 2 Camaro redo. Split bumper, LSX, and reasonable door sill height…FTW!

      • 0 avatar
        nrd515

        I might actually think about buying one if they did. I hated the last Camaro and I hate this one too. The styling boss has a fixation on 1st gen Camaros. I like 1st gens, but I don’t like what GM has done with them on the new and previous Camaros at all. I was hoping for a 2nd gen looking car. I guess I can hope for one in 5 years or so. Looks like it’s another Challenger for me in about a year or so. I’m taking a year off car payments..

  • avatar
    la834

    I don’t think it’s fair to single out American muscle cars as being “retro” as is often done. Really, the BMW 3 Series clings to its past design cues as stubbornly as the Mustang does, if not more; you can see echoes of 1960s New Class Bimmers like the 2002 in nearly every modern BMW.

    As for retro cars that didn’t take hold, there’s Lincoln’s reprise of the ’61 Continental grille and dash several years back. Some previous generations of Nissan’s Z sports cars were more retro than the current offering. Mercedes tried bringing back 1950s Ponton rear fenders recently but it didn’t fly so they’ve dropped them.

    Cadillac has had several bouts of retro over the years – the ’71 full-sizers emulated the ’59-’60’s creases faithfully, really everything but the fishbowl glass and huge tailfins. The early ’70s Eldorado aped early ’50s Caddies. The ’80-’85 Seville had that weird steamer trunk which was retro, though in this case retro Rolls-Royce rather than retro Cadillac; there was no sign of it in any future Seville or STS. And finally, when the mini-me shrunken DeVilles and Fleetwoods didn’t sell well in the mid-’80s, they were lengthened and given rear wheel skirts, huge vertical taillight housings, and other vintage touches. Cadillac has since completely abandoned nearly any trace of retro, save for the grille.

  • avatar
    Opus

    I’ve always thought of the Audi TT as a modern version of the VW Karmann Ghia. No?

  • avatar
    Wade.Moeller

    The Mustang looked pretty good when they first put it out, but in the 2 refreshes since, they must have hired an ex-Porsche designer for the rear. It’s now a PorsheStang.

  • avatar
    plateofshrimp

    The Impala? That Drive movie told me it’s the most popular car in California. I live in California and don’t see them that often, but the movie said.

  • avatar
    MrIcky

    Retro vs Design Language. I don’t think the Mustang or Camaro is all that retro. The Camaro in particular has some highlights reminiscent of a ’69 but is trying to look like ‘the future’ with just a hint of the past. The Mini is only retro because it was brought back after an absence. If Mini’s continued to evolve along a small hatchback concept, than this would be design language, not retro. VW Bug? Well I just don’t get VW-philia so whatever, I can’t tell them apart either.

  • avatar
    energetik9

    Isn’t the Mustang your evidence? The past what, 3-4 body styles have been retro. Ford has sucessfully gone through different body styles (yes retro inspired), but the most recent versions continue to get better and better. I think you can easily classify this as a success for Ford.

    • 0 avatar
      Russycle

      Indeed. This sentence really grated on me: “Too bad it’s still just another in a long list of retro designs.” What’s too bad about it? It’s a great looking car, Ford’s selling a ton of them. Sure, a lot of retro designs run out of steam and whither away. In any category of anything–fighter planes, wallpaper, disposable razors–there are designs that succeed and designs that fail. The failures don’t take anything away from the successes. The retro-T-Bird in no way tarnishes the 2016 Mustang, although it may provide some clues as to what not to do.

    • 0 avatar
      johnny_5.0

      Anecdotal but I’ll share anyway. My wife has asked for the keys to my ’13 Mustang exactly once. She doesn’t hate it, but it’s just not her style inside or out. She’s more of a 4 series person. She actually wants me to get a new GT Premium w/ Performance Pack so *she* can drive it. I’d say the new design is a resounding success just because it’s opened up an entire segment of potential buyers who thought the previous generation was too retro/butch/crude and would never have bought one. It’s managed to do that without offending the majority of the Mustang faithful. I’m trying to wear down her resistance to that Ford Racing/Roush supercharger kit for 670hp…

  • avatar
    olddavid

    Wouldn’t everybody have lusted after a Prowler if it had the Hemi engine? When I first saw one I thought it was a great idea – then someone started it up. It didn’t have a chance to be followed up with that exhaust note behind that design language.

  • avatar
    Chan

    The Porsche 911 is a good example of a car that never deviated from its original theme, so the modern car isn’t “retro” in the strict definition.

    When the current Dodge Challenger debuted in 2009, it was a good idea with a half-baked execution. The retro theme was in full force, but the interior was low-rent as typical for Chrysler products of the time. The headlamps and taillamps were shaped right but lacked detail. The front air intake had a generic rectangular shape that got lost in the huge surface area. Stylistic detail is very important for a car this large.

    The 2015 Challenger is what it should have been in 2009. The new interior is fresh, modern and even luxurious. It even carries a few historical cues like the instrument binnacle and the low door handles. The exterior gains new headlamps and beautifully textured taillamps that add the right amount of detail. The front bumper gains a larger, more shaped intake. This car really makes me want an American car for the very first time in my life.

    Similar things happened to the 2005 Mustang and the 2010 Camaro. They went retro but forgot to create a modern car. The new ones are on the right track with improved interiors and more “finished” styling.

    When you go retro, you have to do it right or else the new car comes out feeling dated and cheap. Recall the old theme, but add the modern details that belong on a modern car. V8s and smoky burnouts don’t sell your car anymore–the rest of the car gotta be good too.

  • avatar
    Smaller-is-Better

    Also, the Ford GT

  • avatar
    philadlj

    I’d argue the Jeep Cherokee is a pretty successful un-retroized model. The previous Wrangler was stubbornly boxy and upright right up until its discontinuation in 2001. It was followed up with another retro-ish design, the Wrangler-faced Liberty, then the even boxier Dodge Nitro-based (and highly unpopular) Liberty, and finally gets the Cherokee name back but with a radically different and modern design.

  • avatar

    I don’t think one could “un-retro” a VW Beetle or a Mini, since their designs come from vehicles which hardly changed over decades of production. If anything, the Beetle should be more retro by moving the engine in the back… if Porsche could be convinced by VW Group to build a boxer for such a beast.

    I do wish the new Camaro had left the 1960s behind, perhaps adopt more styling cues from the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, or casting retro aside completely for a futuristic, yet timeless appearance, one which could be aped in 2066.

    • 0 avatar
      ClutchCarGo

      Not to mention that the 2 retro Beetle designs are actually very different, with the second iteration coming closer in look to the original. Yes, both retro redesigns clearly called back to the original, but even Doug’s girlfriend would see the difference if she saw them together, or even in close succession.

  • avatar
    laserwizard

    Wow. Does this writer have a brain?

    A Mustang looks like a Mustang – that is not retro. Just because Total Recall Motors and Brand X had the audacity to try to redefine their Camaro in 1970 and then in the early 1980’s doesn’t mean that is how a Camaro should look.

    Quite simply some cars can get away with re-imagining itself – the bloatware of the Honduh Accord is one where it has grown so huge that it is laughable – so would downsizing it make it retro?

    I’m sorry – Mustangs have certain styling cues or it is just another pony car.

    As for the Mini and the Beetle – well, those are iconic models as well -you are trapped in a design paradigm with those models just like the Mustang. And remember when Ford was going to make the Probe as the next Mustang? Idiot?!

  • avatar
    HeeeeyJake

    Jeep with the XJ Cherokee, Liberty, then the new Cherokee.

    XJ wasn’t necessarily retro, but that could be argued. In this instance, it’s our starting point.

    The Liberty replaced it with a soft body but retro touches like the round headlights, and external spare and that two piece liftgate.

    The Liberty then pulled a double retro and was squared off in regard to body lines and non-circular headlights. I forget if it returned to a one piece liftgate like the Dodge Nitro. These Libertys didn’t sell as well.

    The new/current Cherokee is zero retro and even forsakes some of Jeeps legendary ruggedness for roadability. It is selling like hotcakes and seems to be a sales success.

    All of Jeep is sort of retro though. The Grand Cherokee kinda went retro in 05 but the current isn’t retro one bit.

    • 0 avatar
      Chan

      The off-road prowess of the new Cherokee (in Trailhawk trim) is not really worse than the XJ. Remember to make it a stock-for-stock comparison. Modern electronics, drivetrain and suspension design make the current car much more forgiving on the road.

      People are just disappointed that 1) it doesn’t look boxy, and 2) Jeep now makes less-hardcore versions for their mainstream customers, sort of “selling out.” In its current state, FCA does need the sales.

  • avatar
    Chets Jalopy

    I don’t get the heavy breathing over retro designs. Why limit your design themes to something unfamiliar? I spent many of my younger years yearning for modern equivalents to the classics – modern electronics, engines brakes, suspensions, etc. The retro car thing is great for me. Some of these tried and true designs still look good after all these years and it sure makes my time on the road more interesting. Your mileage may vary.

  • avatar
    derekson

    Ian is the Jaguar guy.

  • avatar
    Carzzi

    The latest iterations of the Mustang and Camaro only have a few cues that recall the originals. Their immediately preceding generations were instantly recognizable, faithful cartoon-versions of their 1st gens.

    Today’s Mustang looks nothing like its forebears; in my opinion, the 6g’s the best looking Mustang ever, even one of the finest-looking contemporary designs overall. So much so that I had to buy one: my first brand-new car in 16 years! So yes, to DeMuro’s question, it has successfully followed up to its retro predecessor.

    The 6g Camaro looks little like its well-proportioned 1st gen, but it does remind me, especially around its C-pillar, of the reviled Mustang-II. The rest of it looks like an unflattering funhouse-mirror image of the 5th gen, with none of the fairly pleasing 5g proportions. The rear-end is particularly ugly. So to answer Doug’s query purely on aesthetic appeal, GM failed. Only people with an undeveloped sense of proportion, or those who place a priority on its excellent performance should be permitted to like it.

    The Challenger is, per general consensus, a continuation of its best (’70-’74) iteration. Nothing wrong with that: their target buyers are pretty damn happy with the styling. The current minor facelift was spot-effing-on. If only they could pull off a pillarless hardtop!

  • avatar
    415s30

    I always think about this on the road, there are a bunch of cars that are meant to look like old cars. They don’t more forward. All things considered the automobile as we know it today just isn’t that old of an invention, we had the style and art, now do we bow down to safety and aero trying to hold onto some of the past? Perhaps all cars fun to drive will be classics and we will have an autonomous electric etc.. vehicle for normal use. And we know that car should look like an Aptera for aero efficiency. So I too have been behind a new Mustang in traffic, pondering the design conundrum (I sure like to be behind a Mustang instead of a Camaro, they are awful). Will the Mustang become a modern car without holding onto the past? Maybe the next trend will be giving up the retro and going full speed into the future.

  • avatar
    raph

    Mustang tried to break with the past and it was a resounding failure, so much so, they had to call the it the Probe.

    Prior to the Probe fiasco the Fox body Mustangs tried to break with Mustang convention and by and large were not considered very Mustang like (even Ford intentionally left the 79-93 cars out of its ads when the S-197 was introduced). The fox cars were popular because they were cheap speed and really only appeal to a specific subset of Mustang owner (namely kids and young adults during the fox car’s heyday) and outside that group most people find them unattractive if they even know what they are looking at and if they do they will flatly tell you that the fox cars and to some extent the later sn95/new edge cars aren’t what a Mustang is supposed to look like.

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