By on April 3, 2018

Chalk one up for the Widow Douglas — or maybe for Aunt Sally. Both of them tried to “sivilize” Huck Finn. His response was to “light out for the Territory,” which was the wildest and least “sivilized” place he figured he could reasonably reach.

How many boys read that book and nodded in sympathy at Huck’s desire to get away from the coddling and constraining arms of civilization? How many of them used it as a model and pattern for their lives, whether they ended up breaking the sound barrier or starving to death in an abandoned schoolbus? And for how long has our primary impulse as young men been to get out and experience life face to face, on our own terms?

Those days are mostly gone. Today’s young men are “sivilized” by default. If they have any desire to leave their mothers, it is just so they can move to a big city and experience life as part of a communal organism. Whatever desire they might have had for some sort of frontier has been ground out of them bit by painful bit until their default approach to the empty and unknown is a fearful one. A few weeks ago, I read a screed by a young man who was planning to quit his job because his employer was forcing him to ride in an unsafe vehicle. Remembering the thrice-wrecked, permanently dogtracking Plymouth Arrow stakebed conversion I drove for David Hobbs BMW in 1989, I eagerly scrolled down until I could get the details of the deathtrap in question: a 2017 Ford Fusion, which apparently did not receive top marks in some part of the Euro NCAP test.

This is not to say that every young man is afraid of his own shadow. There are still a few dudes out there who imagine themselves rolling towards the unknown in the coolest or hottest car they can (not quite) afford. Which brings us to this week’s episode of Ask Jack.


This wasn’t the usual question-via-email that you, or anyone else, can submit to [email protected]. Rather, it was advice-by-proxy, given to the very sensible neighbor of a not-quite-sensible young man. We will call him “Jordan.”

Jordan’s currently driving an SN95 Mustang with 203,000 miles on it, a bent unibody, a blown heater core, a salvage title, and an arm’s-length list of aftermarket performance parts. He’s been approved for not a penny over $25,000 in auto loan, and he wants something outrageous. In particular, he’s been looking at Saleen Mustangs built between 2005 and 2010. He’s not a track rat and he has no interest in the weekend drag races. He just wants a cool Mustang that he can use to drive around and meet girls. The fact that all the girls are at home watching Netflix and swiping on Tinder does not dismay him one bit. He has no interest in being sivilized.

One of our mutual friends suggested a 2011-era 5.0 Mustang with a few performance mods. That’s easily acquired and such a vehicle would have more real-world pace than any Saleen based on the 4.6-liter three-valve engine. Yet Jordan isn’t necessarily interested in the most speed for the buck. He wants the most outrageous Mustang he can get.

Generally, that means buying a spoilers-and-louver-panels special like a Saleen or a Roush. Between the two, I’d much rather have a Roush. My impression, which is perhaps unjustified, is that Roush builds a more durable, better-performing car for the same money. The problem is that much of the market has the same impression that I do and as a result the prices are a bit higher than they are for Saleens. I’ve seen a couple of the early “427R” conversions for $25k. So that would be my suggestion, if Jordan is dead set on maximum flash.

If he is not set on that — if he is willing to have a slightly lower profile in exchange for a much more capable vehicle — then I think the answer is blindingly obvious. The 2007 Shelby Mustang GT500 is more than a bunch of go-fast bits applied to a cooking-grade Mustang. It has a bespoke 32-valve 5.4-liter engine derived from the mighty Terminator Cobra of 2003 and 2004. The suspension tuning was done by SVT and the thing really handles in all circumstances. It runs low 12s out of the box and can reach high 11s with $500 worth of tuning components.

The “Shelby” name is a misnomer; at the time, Ford SVT personnel confirmed to me that 99 percent of the car was developed in-house. Mr. Shelby gave it his blessing and that was about it. It’s a bad-ass ride and it’s available all over the place for $25,000 in good condition.

The GT500 has just one Achilles’ heel: it’s heavy. Iron block heavy. Two tons heavy. Later on, Ford would cut weight and boost power with the 662-horsepower “Trinity” engine, thus creating an all-time legendary pony/muscle/sports car. Still, Jordan isn’t going to be stocking up brake pads for weekend runs around Thunderhill.

Get the GT500, Jordan. Put in some cutout pipes. Let it roar. Get your motor running. Head out to the highway. Ignore those Widow Douglases in HR and the Aunt Sallys on Bumble. Don’t let ’em sivilize you, my friend. You, and your Mustang, were born to be wild.

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67 Comments on “Ask Jack: We All Need Somebody to Saleen On...”


  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Corvette’s also have pretty solid depreciation too FYI, don’t cross them out automatically. There are plenty of one owner Vettes where the original owner was a guy with a midlife crisis who didn’t drive it in the rain and hardly got it over 75 mph.

    I’m trying to chill out about my parenting and not be over protective. My daughter turns 4 this summer, we’re spending as much time as possible outside.

    • 0 avatar
      TwoBelugas

      Listen to this guy.

    • 0 avatar
      Arthur Dailey

      That is what I would also recommend. However Jack’s age is starting to show. Most of the young men that we know, if they refuse to be ‘sivilized’ and wish to drive something ‘unsivilized’ (or cool), would purchase a pick-up.

      Generally that does not apply to the young guys who are members of ‘visible minorities’, they much prefer European rides.

      Any Mustangs, Camaros, Challengers, Corvettes or the like that we see/know of are driven/owned by middle aged (like Jack?) or older men.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        What Arthur said. If “Jordan” wants to go fast and make noise because he thinks it’s fun, the Mustang (or Camaro or Corvette) advice is great. If he wants to pick up girls, he’ll get a lot farther by spending $20,000 on a few-year-old F-150 that has some subtle mods, to look more manly without going over the top, and using the other $5,000 to upgrade his wardrobe.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          Well, if he wants to play “catch and release” with girls – and, hey, I would too if I were his age – he could do worse than a Mustang.

          The keepers aren’t gonna care what he drives, though. In fact, they might be more interested if he took that money he’s spending on the ‘Stang and built up a nice little nest egg with it.

          • 0 avatar
            OneAlpha

            Yeah, since the keeper’s gonna try to take him to the cleaners in 15 years when she decides she’s “not happy” anymore, and she wants there to be something in the account to grab.

      • 0 avatar
        anomaly149

        @Arthur Dailey: not *all* Mustang owners drink Ensure, just most :)

        For some reason my friends can’t fathom the idea of dailying an S-550 around Southeast Michigan. It’s an infinitely more capable vehicle in the snow than the CVT’d Saturn Ion I used to own (and Sajeev recommended I ditch). It’s as if they have this idea that anything short of a CUV immediately explodes in snow. They have no idea their grand-parents would have driven monstrous RWD land-yacht “coupe”s from the golden age of Detroit, with bias-ply tires made from pencil eraser and suspensions from stage-coaches.

        A modern pony car, with modern snow tires, is probably more snow/ice capable than any normal sedan built before the dot com boom.

  • avatar
    gtem

    Link to screed by feckless young man complaining about driving a Fusion?

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      That’d be an interesting read, but then again, there are plenty of feckless young men where I live complaining about not being able to roll coal anymore.

    • 0 avatar
      SWA737

      It probably starts out something like this: My deplorable, racist, Islamaphobic employer is forcing me to drive a 2017 Fusion instead of a Prius with a coexist bumper sticker. He refuses to empower me with a sense of community and biodiversity, which would increase my feelings of inclusion, through the use of trendy buzzwords. He doesn’t even supply us with a safe space at work. No emotional support coloring books. No wifi enabled, rain forest alliance vegan mocha late machines in the break room. I’m offended. 

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      I didn’t want to “signal boost” the guy, he was just complaining on Reddit to a relatively small group and I didn’t think he should be directly exposed to criticism.

  • avatar
    pmirp1

    I also second whomever gave the recommendation on 2011-2014 Mustang GT. An even later model could be secured. But with 25K 2011-2014 GT, you an find a good example with relatively low mileage, and some budget left to make it look unique with after market parts from American Muscle. That engine is same engine as F150 and will last for ever, and its fast and with after market pipes you can make it roar like a lion.

  • avatar
    SWA737

    https://www.autotrader.com/cars-for-sale/vehicledetails.xhtml?listingId=476664486&zip=32127&startYear=2014&numRecords=25&vehicleStyleCodes=CONVERT%2CCOUPE&endYear=2019&modelCodeList=MUST%2CCORV&makeCodeList=FORD%2CCHEV&referrer=%2Fcars-for-sale%2Fsearchresults.xhtml%3Fzip%3D32127%26startYear%3D2014%26vehicleStyleCodes%3DCONVERT%252CCOUPE%26incremental%3Dall%26endYear%3D2019%26modelCodeList%3DMUST%252CCORV%26makeCodeList%3DFORD%252CCHEV%26driveGroup%3DRWD%26listingTypes%3Dused%252Ccertified%26minPrice%3D20000%26sortBy%3DderivedpriceDESC%26maxPrice%3D26000%26engineCodes%3D8CLDR%26firstRecord%3D25%26searchRadius%3D0&listingTypes=used%2Ccertified&minPrice=20000&maxPrice=26000&firstRecord=25&searchRadius=0&makeCode1=FORD&modelCode1=MUST

  • avatar
    jack4x

    The Shelby is a great choice here, anything aftermarket (even Roush/Saleen) is going to be a riskier buy used than a factory offering. Any aftermarket appearance parts that fit a GT will go on the GT500 also, if the styling needs to be outrageous.

    If he can nurse the SN95 along for a few more months and pinch pennies, there are 2011-12 GT500s available in the high 20s. That is a better car all around, you get the updated styling, 50 extra hp, the aluminum block to save 100+ lbs out of the nose, available Recaros in 2012 etc. I had a 2012 and loved it.

    If $25k is an absolute can’t exceed it cap, then the 07-10 is still a good car. Iron block isn’t such a big deal if you aren’t worried about handling. They still have 500 hp and are plenty fast in a straight line. The factory exhaust note is IMO one of the best available for any price. Buy the best one you can afford and don’t look back.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Any headline that references “Let It Bleed” is aces by me.

    And in that vein, the guy should buy the Mustang and make “Monkey Man” the first song he plays on the sound system – LOUD.

    • 0 avatar
      Sub-600

      The nine minute version of Midnight Rambler on “Get Yer Ya-Yas Out” is a testament as to why they were indeed “The Greatest Rock n’ Roll Band in the World” at the time.

  • avatar
    stingray65

    I’m going to suggest a different direction that shows not only masculinity, but also is more likely to attract the babes. For $25K or less he can get a E60 M5 in excellent shape, or for less than $20K get an F10 5 series or F01 7 series as new at 2014 in nice condition. I’m sure the equivalent Audi or MB is available for similar money or less, and a nice looking German sedan will be a much more impressive brand to the girls than a blue collar Mustang, and of course owning an out of warranty German luxury/sport sedan is somewhat risky, but that is what being masculine is all about.

    On the other hand, girls also like cute, so for about $20K he could also get a Mini Cooper S John Cooper Works as recent as 2015, which is pretty darn racy in a cute sort of way. Other cute ones to consider would be would be a Fiat 500 Abarth (2015 models go for well under $15K) or Fiat 124 Spider which are available for just over $20k for 2017 models. He could use the money he saves for repairs and taking a nice girl out of a date – if that sort of thing is still done.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      YMMV, but I asked a woman once about buying myself a 7-Series and was told “only if you’re interested in dating older women”. Which wasn’t *not* tempting, but I passed anyway.

      Besides, muscle cars are impressive enough for the drive-thru girl at Boston Market and the cashier at Kohl’s and the lady at SuperCuts and that’s all I’m really gunning for.

      • 0 avatar
        srh

        I was told by my Tinder date that all the ladies know, with BMWs, you look for the bigger number. 4 better than 3. 35 better than 28.

        I briefly considered putting a roundel and a 999 on the back of my Leaf.

    • 0 avatar
      SilverCoupe

      I can’t say what younger women might want, but my 60 something year old wife drives a Mini Cooper S (with a manual), though she actually wanted a Fiat 500 Abarth. She likes the Fiat 124 too. She says that more men look her over when she drives my Audi A5S, though!

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Girls like cute for their own cars. They do not like it in men’s cars. They like a combination of masculine and responsible. In today’s environment, that pretty much means a well-maintained truck.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      The M-badge on a BMW is harder for them to “interpret”, but any BMW that looks expensive gets their attention (he’s got MONEY!!!), and can work in your favor.

      Yes getting their attention, first impression, conversation starter, is the point of “Chick Magnets”, but I strongly suggest getting the “specialty car” of your own liking, and if/when the chicks follow, bonus!

      Although chicks instantly recognize Mustangs as something “cooooool”, especially convertibles, and even with the V6/Auto.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        When I met my wife I was alternating between an old F150 and a 150cc Chinese scooter.

        She looked at the scooter and said: “Well at least I know your not compensating.”

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          Now THERE’S a keeper.

        • 0 avatar
          WallMeerkat

          When I met my wife I was driving a 1996 Alfa Romeo GTV (kinda like an old FWD 4C)

          She hated it. Made me trade it in for a sedan.

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            “She hated it. Made me trade it in for a sedan.”

            Would have been cheaper to get a different woman.

            A buddy of my father’s had an early 70s T-top Vette. Got engaged. She made him sell the Vette. Eventually called off wedding. Makes me cry.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      A $25K E60 M5 is a ticking time bomb. He’d do much better to get a 640i convertible for a couple grand more. Get some Alpina badging while he’s at it and really excite the golddiggers

  • avatar
    phila_DLJ

    TINDER? Nonono.

    Bumble.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    Agree on the GT500. It has presence.

    The Saleens and Roushes are cool but still have that reek of aftermarketness, even though they may be well done.

  • avatar
    gtem

    A suggestion out of left field: Build a home-brew Lightning by trying to hunt down a reg-cab short bed rwd F150 with a 5.0 (maybe this isn’t a possible configuration) or a 3.5L Ecoboost and use the balance of your budget on a wheel/tire package and some basic bolt-ons. Could be a really fun sleeper to surprise people with.

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      The guy is trying to score with the ladies, thus a sleeper is the opposite of what he wants. So I’d say a Trans Am with a screaming chicken on the hood is perfect. However based on the women I know his best bet would be Tesla, Audi or Porsche driven around the Whole Foods parking lot next to the yoga studio just before lunch. Actually the best bet is just adding Dr. in front of his name.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Jack, I know that you never even cast a sideways glance at another woman anymore, but which of your vehicles gets you the most female attention: your former C5, or your Silverado?

    I bet it’s the Silverado.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      Ranking some recent stuff:

      1. CB1100
      2. CB550
      (insert massive gap here)
      3. ZX14R
      4. the wife’s Miata!
      (insert massive gap here)
      5. Silverado
      6. Accord
      7. Walking
      8. BMX bike
      9. Accord coupe
      10. Being alone in the house and relying on women to look in the window
      11. Corvette

      • 0 avatar
        gtem

        The old bikes do get the ladies going. For my own riding enjoyment I’d say my nerdy ’99 KLR650 (olive green with purple and yellow graphics) took the cake, but the 70s UJMs (’74 CB360, ’77 XS500, ’78 GS1000) were appreciated by the fairer sex. Biggest loser in my mind was my briefly-owned ’01 Bonneville. They tried to get the old bike look/feel but failed tremendously in the latter, way too sanitized and modernized in terms of exhaust sound and engine vibration.

  • avatar
    cicero1

    I have a bridge to sell him. Only 15K.

  • avatar
    notapreppie

    A $25k auto loan on a 10+ year old car? SMDH.

    At least go with something from this decade.

    Here, this one does a decent job of screaming “tiny penis”…
    https://www.autotrader.com/cars-for-sale/vehicledetails.xhtml?listingId=480306063

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      I do have to admire the previous owner’s commitment to the dual red stripe theme here.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Ugh those stretched tires I can’t even.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      Why don’t you run the numbers on

      0. A $25k loan on a 2007 Shelby GT500
      1. A $25k loan on a new Civic

      and see which vehicle will be worth more at loan maturity?

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Interesting academic question. What’s the interest rate on a 10-year-old car these days, anyway? You’d have to factor that in. On the other hand, new Civics can be had with .9% financing.

        Plus, cost of ownership would have to be a LOT higher with the Mustang (more fuel used, higher insurance cost, more expensive maintenance, etc).

        I have a feeling the Mustang would be quite a bit more expensive, assuming a five year ownership period.

        • 0 avatar
          forzablu

          I financed my ~7 year old C63 at 1.5% for 60 months from a local credit union, yes I know this was a completely irresponsible decision — but I also bought the car on an absolute whim, and what are your 20’s for if not for irresponsible decisions, but I paid much less than market value for the car, and it brings me much enjoyment.
          I did however make the mistake of also getting a serious girlfriend around the same time….

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          I just bought a seven-year-old car and took out a loan for about half the price (to keep the cash for home projects). The rate was just over 2%, and that’s without especially careful shopping.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        “Why don’t you run the numbers on

        0. A $25k loan on a 2007 Shelby GT500
        1. A $25k loan on a new Civic”

        This reminds me, I should be stocking up on GT500s. That curve is gonna start looking like a smile eventually, and we’re near the bottom.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      I don’t know where you “hang out”, but normally when trying to land a chick/date, penis size remains a complete mystery, so what would be the point of “compensating”, at that point?

  • avatar
    Plamry

    Why not a Mustang SVT Cobra “Terminator”

  • avatar
    Plamry

    What about a Boss 302? It might be a stretch but I see a few on Cargurus touching 25,000

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    Personal preference I suppose, but if presence is what the young man is looking for why not a 392 Challenger?

    Makes plenty of noise from the factory, makes plenty of speed from the factory, and looks great. Plus, with some patience they can be found in interesting color combinations greater than grey, black, & white.

    Might take some negotiating to get the OTD figure to 25k, but it can be done.

  • avatar
    jfb43

    Chicks who dig cars dig OLD cars. Buy a restored lead sled, a nice Triumph TR6, an original Beetle or something that you don’t see a million of every day.

  • avatar
    manu06

    I can’t believe a Jeep Wrangler hasn’t been mentioned.

  • avatar
    Boxerman

    In my experience a 69 beattle is great puller, if youre below age 23 because youre not looking at wife material.

    If youre looking for women pushing 30 you simply cannot do better than a cadillac escalde. Thats what Borat called a P-magnet.

    A pickup truck always works and is probably the best.

    I suspect anyone wanting a mustang is also someone who likes girls but really wants a car that goes. I wholeheartedly agree on the shelby.

  • avatar
    Steve Edgett

    I think you nailed this one – both the writing and the recommendation. The Shelby has a supercharger scream only second to Bugattis worth 100 times the value of the Mustang. Doesn’t want track days – this is his ride…

  • avatar
    18726543

    I can actually speak from experience on this one. I own a 2009 Mustang 420S which, after Saleen and Ford began to part ways in 2007 (the last Saleen-emblazoned Mustang) was all you could get from a Ford dealership with Saleen hardware. In 2008 and 2009 you could get the 420S with the 4.6L 3v, Saleen Series VI blower, Saleen’s shocks, springs, sway bars, wheels, a “420S” badge on each fender, and a tape stripe kit. I’m the 3rd owner of mine in 48k miles and at some point the tape stripe kit was removed meaning the wheels, 420S badges, and slightly lower ride-height is all that visually distinguishes it from a standard GT.

    I believe the only changes from when it left Saleen include a tune (via SCT tuner) and a pair of Flowmaster Outlaw mufflers. The car came with a dyno sheet that said 402 whp and 396 ftlbs. It’s a VERY fun car to drive, and since it already has a blower on it, big hp gains can be had for relatively cheap. 1400 bucks gets you 530 flywheel hp. I’m tempted.

    All that said, I currently have the blower off it right now because while doing my last oil change, I found it leaking. Some online forum hunting revealed this is quite common for Saleen blowers. The RTV applied when new literally dissolves over time because the wrong formulation was used. I’d rebuild it myself, but it’s completely pressed together, there’s zero support through Saleen in the way of tear-down instructions, or even exploded view diagrams, and there’s ONE shop in the whole country certified to rebuild them. It’s a rock and a hard place, but I love the car’s dynamics, and I love the car’s exclusivity!

    I took the car to the NRA’s yearly auto show last year (my girlfriend’s dad works at the range there), and there were Shelby and Rouch Mustangs everywhere…had to have been at least 15 Shelbys and 6 or 7 Rouchs. I had the only Saleen on the grounds, and knowing that in 2009 there were only 58 of them produced, I think that’s pretty cool!! It’ll be a pain in the ass to mail my 80-pound blower across the country for service and I’ll probably be 1500 bucks into it all said-and-done, but it’s fast and unique, and not covered with delicate and expensive body kit. People who know what they’re looking at recognize it, but the reason I drive it is because it always makes me smile! Well…when the blower isn’t sitting on my garage floor.

  • avatar
    raph

    GT500 you say? Yeah good choice, especially an 07-09 car with its clean lines and the cool RWB instrument cluster.

    Its a bit of a pig in the handling department and the stock Goodyear rubber is crap and due to the funky rear tire size (a perennial Ford tactic when it comes to tires so there isn’t really anything spectacular in the summer tire department – although a set of Michelin A/S 3+ tires will do as well or better than the OE summer tire ) but a switch to 19″ wheels will net some proper summer rubber since the Boss 302 ran similarly sized tires but on 19 inch rims.

    Exhaust wise S-197 and later Mustangs with axle back mufflers dont sound that good with an H-pipe and the de rigueur Flowmasters. They sound best with an X-pipe and traditional muffler design or simple resonators. Dynomax makes a cool 3″ race bullet setup that will also benefit the engine since the stock exhaust is 2.5″ and chokes the engine a bit. The change will net a 10-15 horsepower increase but isn’t for the bashful as it will make old women and children cry (especially in combination with headers and a cat delete).

    Another good change even with the stock blower is swapping out the factory heat exchanger. The cheap route is to find a take off unit from a later model GT500 and plumb in the later 13/14 electric pump (there are kits for it) as the stock Bosch pump is crap. The more expensive route involves an aftermarket unit with fans but it will delay the onset of heat soak and since the 07-09 cars dont come equipped with wide band 02 sensors or knock sensors (apparently Ford had trouble tuning out the mechanical sounds made by the blower) the computer likes to pull timing and dump fuel at the slightest provocation.

    Stock blower will make plenty of power with a pulley and the stock injectors but will become noticeably louder especially if the car is fitted with a “cold-air” intake. This is due primarily to Eaton’s use of straight cut gears in the blower and as the boost increases it puts a greater load on the gears. A cheap but effective mod here is to find a later model TVS blower and equip it with a Ford dual bore throttle body and tune ( forget the mono blade, drivability sucks and its just dick wagging ). fuel system is plenty stout and only really requires a swap to 72 lbs/hr injectors unless one wants go E85 for more power.

    TVS blower swap, pulley, tune (Lund or VMP are good canned tunes), and full exhaust will get 550+ horsepower to the rear wheels and probably closer to 600 which is about as far as you want to go with the cats on the car. Over 600 and they have been known to fail and clog the engine and lead to expensive engine repair or replacement and even the iron lump in these cars dont come cheap and can be hard to come by since Ford doesn’t really service them anymore.

    Brakes are okay on the stock car but an upgrade to the later GT500 hardware isnt too expensive along with a nice pad swap and fluid of course. Save your money on upgraded lines (maybe the factory Boss lines if they are compatible) since the dash is really just there to keep hot engine and mud out of the interior and hang stuff. Its structure contribution is minimal and allows some serious deflection of the master cylinder when you hit the brakes leaving a spongy feeling even with a top notch brake setup – best to source a brace for the master cylinder to minimize deflection. It will improve brake feel more than anything else.

    Suspension – the FRPP stuff isn’t too bad but the adjustable struts and shocks are crap and manufactured by Tokico (Ford does have a non adjustable setup with loaded struts and would be my pick). They blow out in a year or less and aren’t very fun when your exploring the cars effortless thrust and hit say bump in the road at 140 plus. After that a nice set of rear control arms (BMRs non-adjustable upper/lower heim/poly boxed arms are a good choice) and an adjustable panhard bar to make sure the rear end is centered with a lowered suspension is good to have.

    Transmission is plenty stout since its a TR6060 and the 8.8 is plenty tough as well provided one doesnt go with a full slick and launch on a sticky track off the rev limiter. The factory clutch doesnt do well in day to day driving its more of an on/off switch than anything else and you have to be on your game or risk destroying it in as little as two or three thousand miles. The later factory clutches are better tasked for day to day duty and McLeod makes a superlative replacement with much reduced effort. Factory shifter is fine but MGW makes a damn fine unit and might still offer an adjustable throw. A nice aluminum driveshaft or carbon fiber shaft is a good upgrade as it will reduce rotating mass. The factory 3:31 gearing is fine for an upgraded engine but the stocker likes a 3:73 final drive and that helps again with the day to day shuffle also a swap to a Torsen limited slip unit will help in the handling department. The stock Traction-Lok is good for drag racing and day to day operation but spirited driving and road course work will favor the Torsen.

    Anyways that’s my two cents on the GT500 recommendation.

    • 0 avatar
      raph

      Editor timed out but I forgot to add on the rear suspension bit a Watts link is a good investment if for no other reason than it gets rid of the rear suspension’s tendency to swing in an arc which can be unnerving to somebody new to a live axle car which inevitably drives a body to lift on the throttle as the car moves around the rear axle but needs a little tuning since IIRC instant center changes.

  • avatar
    mechimike

    When I met my wife, I was driving a weathered ’68 Volvo 122. This was in 2009. Her daily was a 10 year old GMC Jimmy, but she had a secret- a ’68 Camaro she kept stashed away except on sunny days. Our first date was in my Volvo. Our next date was in her Camaro- her driving us to a local pool hall. The next date we took my ’64 Corvair convertible and her Camaro (we drove separately) to a cruise-in and parked together.

    A few dates later she helped me clean the carburetors on the Volvo.

    I didn’t wait long to propose to this girl.

  • avatar
    Compaq Deskpro

    New or couple year old base V6 (with manual if possible) and an extended warranty should be doable at $25,000. Assuming girls care in the first place, which they don’t, they won’t know the difference. No forced induction, no 10 year old stuff, no tape stripes, no no no.

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  • turbo_awd: 1) sub-10 seconds 1/4 mile requires a roll cage for drag strip, IIRC, so you can’t take it there...
  • DenverMike: Most of the raping going on at dealers happen in the service dept. It’s perfectly legal to...

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