By on August 8, 2019

EcoBoost Mustang Burnout, Ford Motor Co.

Have you ever strayed? Fallen off the well-trodden path that carried you into adulthood from your imaginative youth?

We’re not talking sin, vice or philandery here, no sir. We’re talking cars. Most adults who harbor a deep love for all things automotive grew up loving all things automotive — it’s one of those age-spanning infatuations, unlike a passing interest in grape popsicles or dance music or that girl who sat in front of you in Grade 9 English class. Once you’re hooked on broader subjects like autos, history, or whatever else, it seems a person never strays from the path.

But maybe your interests took a sharp detour at one point. What sparked the sudden lack of interest, and what brought you back to the flock?

Maybe the advent of ovoid styling in the ’90s and electronically governed powerplants sullied your childhood enthusiasm and pushed you off the boat. Maybe you’re an old-timer and the muscle drought of the late ’70s and early ’80s was just too much to take, what with the orgy of lead and compression that occurred just a decade prior. Woodstock for cars, essentially, followed up by the Mustang II.

Perhaps it was something completely removed from the industry that diverted your affections elsewhere. Everyone walks different steps in life.

However, this question aims to find out why your interest in vehicles waned, and what it was that brought you back. Maybe the return of rear-drive muscle cars from Chrysler reignited the torch you once carried. Ever-better Mustangs. Vehicle design that could once again be called “sexy.” Or was it the ability to actually purchase something fun that got the home fires burning?

Name your motivations.

[Image: Ford]

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43 Comments on “QOTD: Returning to the Flock?...”


  • avatar
    iNeon

    I drive a car daily. That probably means I never ‘left’ the hobby. Cars are utility objects- like garments.

    Notice I did not use the generic ‘clothes’. Cars are the finest objects some of us will own— and as an object and culture person— I choose to validate this in myself and for others.

    Try to keep it interesting with an oddball color and trim package— my cars are rarer by those traits, but hen’s teeth in that they’re manual shift.

    I’m not a grey Infiniti.

    I’m a Beryl Green 1965 VW 1200. An Amethyst Pearl Dodge neon Sport Coupé— a Spitfire Orange 4×4 Compass, taken legs— and I like it that way.

  • avatar
    A Scientist

    2 things: “Life” and “Money”, which for the purposes of this question might as well be synonymous.

    I was a complete and total car nut/gearhead/whatever you want to call it in my teenage years and (very) early 20s, when I had no bills and no real responsibilities. Had a string of cool cars to boot (’68 Camaro, fox body mustang, Dakota R/T among others). But when I got out of the military and started putting myself through college and grad-school, I had no money, and I mean NO money. My interest in car culture waned severely mostly because I knew I couldn’t afford it so I kinda felt like what’s the point, and more importantly I had to devote all my time and energy towards completing my degrees. Then came marriage, a kid, the usual life stuff that takes even more of your time and money.

    Now I’m approaching middle-age, and I have (a little) extra cash to spare, and I’ve rediscovered my love of all things automobile. Even bought myself a weekend playtoy just a couple months ago (E93 335i).

  • avatar
    Hogey74

    I bought a ford fiesta new in 08 based on the excellent reviews. It drove that well but had quality issues from day one. I realized the motoring press were hopelessly compromised and it killed a multi decade love of cars and motoring magazines etc. I still enjoyed driving but it was over. Then this year I had to celebrate losing 40kg of weight and I finally bought an mx5/miata. The first time I stuffed it into a corner and hit the power way too early, I realized the love had never died.

  • avatar
    TheDutchGun

    For me it was practicality. I went from a 2006 mustang GT that I had really made my own in the 7 years I owned it, to a 2013 Edge that I felt obligated to buy for the benefit of my other half at the time.

    Eventually I got bored and halfway dipped my toe back in with a 5.0L F150, which I have since traded for a Focus ST. Back in a manual and could not be happier.

  • avatar
    theflyersfan

    I’m right smack in the middle of Generation X, and I can’t think of a time when I wasn’t following and liking cars. I got through the end of the weak performance era in the late-80s, saw the rise of performance in the 90s, and even the overdoing it of the BoF SUVs and the gas price explosion in the late-2000s didn’t do me in. But something is going on right now that is slowly ebbing away my enthusiasm. We are in the golden age of performance right now. We have family sedans that can run with the European sports cars of a few generations ago. We have supercars that shred 0-60 times well under 3 seconds and top out at over 220 mph. We have the merger of gasoline and electricity to give us an amazing combination of performance and efficiency. This should be the best time to be a car buff. But…

    It’s easy to blame the anonymous turbo-4 overstyled crossover as the root. And that is part of it. I know the automakers say they need them to survive, but when I see a Lamborghini or Porsche crossover, and hear hints that Ferrari and Aston Martin are designing one, another part of me dies on the inside. All of that racing and performance heritage being pissed away at the altar of suburban dweller sales.

    I see long-time and well-known nameplates being dropped at the altar of the crossover. I see brand identity fade away – the image of a company and what made them who they are – die due to the quest of the crossover sale (…ahem, BMW and Mercedes)

    I can’t read an auto magazine any longer without being assaulted by what seems to be the demise of the sports car and sports sedan in favor of yet another jacked up 5,000 pound CUV “coupe” with an overpowered engine to haul its bulk and provide a semblance of performance, but it can’t defy the laws of physics.

    It’s even harder to drive the city streets in a lower car without playing a duck and weave game around the crossover clones just to get some semblance of vision around them and see what’s ahead. What’s next – are we all going to have to drive semis just to see the road ahead?

    And then, when you’re done with the crossover scourge, we have witnessed the death of the true purpose of a pickup as they have morphed into luxury car priced, grossly overstyled and overweight, personal transportation pods that are impossible to see around, still get iffy mileage (no matter what the sticker says, real world doesn’t lie), and are getting close in size to requiring a commercial driver’s license to operate!

    The 2020 Corvette gives me hope, and the news of a new real Porsche sports car is always good news, but the reality is that due to market forces, government policies, and just a change in personal tastes, the days of my generation getting into driving (the 1990s) and the choices of cars we had seem to be long gone.

    And that’s why, in 2019, with autonomous driving seeming to not go away, and the slow death of driver’s cars (not crossovers), it’s getting harder at this moment to see positives in the future.

  • avatar

    I was into both cars and music. After February 1964, music took over. Still liked cars, but they were a somewhat distant second to music.

    I don’t think I’m really back to cars. One of my nephews sent me a TTAC article link when Thomas did an essay on his journey to buying a Shelby Charger. My nephew knew I had owned one and thought I’d enjoy the article, which I did. Started coming in here to TTAC as I enjoyed reading about what was happening automotively (?) and the comments were instructive too. I’m probably back to where I was pre-Feb. ’64 at this point in that I want to know more about “cars” and keep current with what’s happening in that arena.

  • avatar
    FormerFF

    Not really, but I’m more into sports car racing than cars in general. I saw the movie “Le Mans” in the summer of 1972, talked my father into taking us to the Formula 5000 race at Road America later that year, and have been infatuated ever since.

  • avatar
    theflyersfan

    I’m right smack in the middle of Generation X, and I can’t think of a time when I wasn’t following and liking cars. I got through the end of the weak performance era in the late-80s, saw the rise of performance in the 90s, and even the overdoing it of the BoF SUVs and the gas price explosion in the late-2000s didn’t do me in. But something is going on right now that is slowly ebbing away my enthusiasm. We are in the golden age of performance right now. We have family sedans that can run with the European sports cars of a few generations ago. We have supercars that shred 0-60 times well under 3 seconds and top out at over 220 mph. We have the merger of gasoline and electricity to give us an amazing combination of performance and efficiency. This should be the best time to be a car buff. But…

    It’s easy to blame the anonymous turbo-4 overstyled crossover as the root. And that is part of it. I know the automakers say they need them to survive, but when I see a Lamborghini or Porsche crossover, and hear hints that Ferrari and Aston Martin are designing one, another part of me dies on the inside. All of that racing and performance heritage being dumped at the altar of suburban dweller sales.

    I see long-time and well-known nameplates being dropped at the altar of the crossover. I see brand identity fade away – the image of a company and what made them who they are – die due to the quest of the crossover sale (…ahem, BMW and Mercedes)

    I can’t read an auto magazine any longer without being assaulted by what seems to be the demise of the sports car and sports sedan in favor of yet another jacked up 5,000 pound CUV “coupe” with an overpowered engine to haul its bulk and provide a semblance of performance, but it can’t defy the laws of physics.

    It’s even harder to drive the city streets in a lower car without playing a duck and weave game around the crossover clones just to get some semblance of vision around them and see what’s ahead. What’s next – are we all going to have to drive semis just to see the road ahead?

    And then, when you’re done with the crossover scourge, we have witnessed the death of the true purpose of a pickup as they have morphed into luxury car priced, grossly overstyled and overweight, personal transportation pods that are impossible to see around, still get iffy mileage (no matter what the sticker says, real world doesn’t lie), and are getting close in size to requiring a commercial driver’s license to operate!

    The 2020 Corvette gives me hope, and the news of a new real Porsche sports car is always good news, but the reality is that due to market forces, government policies, and just a change in personal tastes, the days of my generation getting into driving (the 1990s) and the choices of cars we had seem to be long gone.

    And that’s why, in 2019, with autonomous driving seeming to not go away, and the slow death of driver’s cars (not crossovers), it’s getting harder at this moment to see positives in the future.

    • 0 avatar
      MeJ

      I also am from the dead center of GenX and feel similar. As I was reading your post I was thinking of the C8. Glad you mentioned it. One thing that turns me right off cars right now is the idea of autonomous cars. I’m all for progress including electric cars, but a self driving car seems to be a crushing blow to individuality.
      How much longer until our robots do everything for us and turn us into a bunch of thoughtless zombies. The future can be great but taking away a personal freedom machine is a scary thought…

    • 0 avatar
      dividebytube

      Good post – and mirrors a lot of my own feelings.

      Not a lot of vehicles out there I want to drive… though I do admit I’ve been thinking of going EV if I decide to give up on a Mustang GT or Challenger 392.

  • avatar
    Deneb66

    Thought about this long and hard. Probably the fact that I can no longer comfortably get under and around a car to work on it. I’m about the same size as I was at 18 years old, but now joints are sore, and back complains. That, and when I was growing up in the late 70’s and early 80’s we were driving the hand me downs of the 60’s. Easy to work on, straightforward. Now car engines are a computerized nightmare of electronics etc. Not that it’s a bad thing, I enjoy the increased performance and reliability – but is seems like the character of cars is gone. That, and when I drop a socket working on one it’s major pain to retrieve off the garage floor where it rolled off to.

  • avatar
    ajla

    According to my parents, I’ve been into cars since I could talk and I’ll very likely be into cars the day they put me in the urn.
    Now the vehicles I’m most interested in has changed over years but I doubt I’ll ever have a different #1 hobby.

  • avatar
    jeanbaptiste

    I come and go with my “passion” for car audio. I’ll go years without thinking about it and then I’ll get a wild hair, fire up term-pro and start modeling 15″ transmission line subwoofer systems. Then it fades away, waiting dormant for another 5 years.

    • 0 avatar
      Blackcloud_9

      Yes I remember the 70s/early 80s when the first thing anybody did – myself included – when they got their first car was to try to put a rockin’ stereo in it. In whatever way they could afford. That was because the first you usually got didn’t have anything or at best an AM radio and a single speaker.
      My older brother’s first solution was this…
      https://www.design-is-fine.org/post/66011244954/weltron-2003-amfm-stereo-with-8-track-cassette.
      The player was jammed between the bucket seats in the front and the satellite speakers were wedged in the back seat. Worked great as long you didn’t need to brake too hard. ;-)

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Awesome.

        I installed one of those under-dash equalizer/amplifiers in my ’81 Rabbit, which I ended up taking to college. As a bonus, I could run speaker wires into the back seat, and hooked up my big home audio speakers when no one was riding back there. It came in particularly handy for the eight-hour trips back home. Van Halen II sounded pretty solid, as I recall.

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      Same with me. My first car in 1980 was a totally bondo-ed out 1969 Ford Torino GT; I put in a Kraco AM/FM cassette head, some Radio Shack amp/equalizer and a couple of Jensen 6″ x 9″ speakers in the package tray. I think that whole rig cost about as much as the car did.

  • avatar
    jtk

    I’ve been generally interested in cars for most of my life, but having to commute through suburban Chicago traffic has killed most of my interest in actually driving. Most recently I’m starting to wonder what the point of having a car with good handling is, there are hardly any curves on my commute, and there are always cars on them.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    All it took was a bad marriage and five years of budget-killing alimony to steer me away from the Church of Car Buying. But during those years, I learned what it’s like to drive and maintain an old Buick that says “surely you jest” at the merest mention of enthusiastic driving. As it turns out, that wasn’t so bad.

    There’s a certain charm to driving an old road boat, and I even learned how to do some basic repairs. I wouldn’t mind learning how to do more advanced stuff on it either. And at the end, I was able to pass it along to my kids.

    Like I said before…not so bad.

    But, yeah, the minute I could afford something sharper and faster, I was off to the dealership. Hallelujah and amen.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      Post-1988 cars with a Buick V6 were a great vehicle to get someone through a rough patch. An intersection of affordability, maintainability, and durability.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        The school drop off lane (the ever vigilant principal out on duty first thing in the morning) is largely full of SUVs/CUVs/pickups built within the last 5 years but certainly the last 10. The occasional sedans are largely newer – like current gen Malibus.

        However this morning I did notice a lightly patina-ed Lucerne with the three portholes per side to indicate “V6”. Must have been carpool because 4 kids got out. Interestingly there was a radar detector on the dash.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    The “four eyed” Fox Mustang LX/GT 5.0s is where it started. They were cheap and deep by the late ’80s so I had a rad collection by the early ’90s.

    I should’ve keep them as their prices are going nuts now and I’m always looking the (affordable) barn finds.

    So a couple years ago I kept driving past an F-350 dually crew cab, stretch limousine 4X4 for sale at some company yard. I figured its price was astronomical, but driving by with a friend, he had to have a look.

    It had minor body issues, botched repairs on both dually fenders, otherwise clean/clean and was a 1991 Lariat with 50K original miles with new upholstery, great running 460 big block, and a legit limo (otherwise stock) from a prominent limo upfitter, Town Cars mostly.

    It was priced surprisingly low and after some haggling, I got it for $6,500 (typical for normal duallys of the era), and it seems to be the only “limo” in existence of the shoebox generation F-series. 99% of newer SuperDuty limos are just custom stretches, 6 or 8 doors (total) grafted and whatnot.

    All it took was one ride in the back, and it’s clear why they never caught on. The ride is so extremely rough, you’ll have to take your champagne from a sippy cup. Aftermarket “air-ride” wasn’t an off-the-self part (for light duty) like it is today, but I’m sure it will still need some custom fabricating.

  • avatar
    R Henry

    My interests have always been, at core, mechanical.

    During my highschool years, I helped my friends work on their cars, while I personally enjoyed motorcycles. In my college years and well into fatherhood, my mechanical fantasies all revolved around motorcycles. Once my career veered into the direction of a long interstate commute across uninteresting terrain, enjoyment of motorcycling declined.

    A comforatble, air conditioned cabin with a good stereo become much more attractive. The notion of living long enough to raise my son to adulthood also played a role.

    I gave up motorcycling and motorcycles around age 40, and reignited my interest in automobiles. This week I am neck deep in replacing the engine in a friend’s Isuzu Rodeo. I find this kind of labor to be therapeutic after a hectic day in my sales job. Nothing clears my mind better than solving mechanical riddles and challenges. I don’t mind greasy hands or bloody knuckles…at all!

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    I have been a car nut since birth. At 44, my nuttiness has not waned one bit, except I have a hard time getting excited about the new stuff. When I was younger, I was always eying the latest and greatest and now I find myself being mostly a curmudgeon about anything new. Super-Car CUV’s make me want to puke; A Lamborghini used to be special; now it is in the soccer drop off line because mommy married some fellas who makes some serious dough and she had to have the best SUV. Same goes for Porsche.

    Disclaimer….I get these SUV’s are probably great to drive etc. But for me they ruined the panache of the brand.

    Anymore, I am all about a resto-modded 69 Chevelle, or whatever you fancy for that matter. Great looks, you can make them drive and handle great, drop in your favorite LS drivetrain and you have, what I feel, the perfect daily driver.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    My interest might have waned a bit after the birth of my 1st child (she’ll turn 5 at the end of August) and I bought a gently used Highlander like a responsible father might do. It was a competent appliance and 4wd came in handy but I was no longer excited about driving.

    I’ve had my 67 Mustang since 2013 but that’s more of a cruiser and until my bank account swells I’m in more of a custodial relationship than something exciting like a full restoration.

    My TourX has brought some enthusiasm back to my commute. Especially fun to dust off someone on a back road who’s moving at the speed of smell or be enthusiastic in the corners.

  • avatar
    geozinger

    As far back as anyone in my family can remember, I’ve always been into cars. Motorcycles and trucks a little, but mostly cars. In my middle and high school years I was working on a race crew or working to make money to hop up my own cars. In my college years, a buddy of mine and I started our own race crew, we campaigned several old Mopars in the local dirt track’s showroom stock (LOL) division. We placed pretty well in the three years we did it, but I got married and he had other distractions, we got out of that game.

    After marriage, we moved to Atlanta and that is where the first downfall happened. Like others on here, so much time was spent commuting in stop and go traffic that it ruined my love of driving. A fairly severe accident I was involved in made me a bit gun-shy. In addition, a sales job shifting Toyotas in the ATL suburbs exposed me to all kinds of things I never wanted to know about people. There were a lot of bad feelings associated with cars at that time and I lost interest in cars and driving. Once I started working in printing again, the personal computer had revolutionized that business and I became a computer geek.

    More time passes, we move to a mid-sized city in Michigan. Where I live is serious suburbia, but the country roads aren’t that far away and are mostly fun. But, I was in the midst of the child-raising years and there were still lots of soccer games, church events, scouting events that we drove to. No fun cars then, just family sedans and SUVs. Now that the kids are out of the house, I can think about getting a hobby car of some kind. But the recession took a big chunk out of me, both psychically and monetarily and I’ve been hesitant to spend money I really don’t have to.

    To make matters worse, the recent round of CAFE edicts have made new cars unpalatable to me. I have a 15 year old minivan and a 10 year old sedan currently, with no intentions (outside of calamity or major repairs) of replacing them in the near- to mid-term future. I think winter has returned and I find my interest waning again.

  • avatar
    Maymar

    I still love cars, but I despise driving. Or rather, getting to a place where I enjoy driving is incredibly rare. I’m in Toronto, and can’t consider leaving, since my wife’s (STEM-based) job basically doesn’t exist anywhere else but a couple other equally expensive urban centres. It’s a city that decided to selectively follow the lead of Jane Jacobs, and completely halt any further road development, but failed to accept that means their precious little neighbourhoods might need to densify, and we might need to spend a little to foster real transit development. So everyone has to drive pretty much everywhere, all the time, and we keep bringing more people in and failing to reckon with that in any way. Not only does this lead to excessive traffic (on bad roads), but it also means that there’s a ton of people who just shouldn’t be driving, be it because they’re incompetent, too old, or would just rather not, but all have no choice (and we enable it). So by the time I’ve driven far out enough to get free of all that, I’m in an absolutely rotten mood, so I just don’t.

    Compounding that is that, there’s little available that’s even remotely interesting, cheap to run (especially considering all I can afford to live in is a condo, which is completely intolerant of any wrenching), and suited to the sort of isolation chamber I probably need. Certainly nothing compelling enough to take on more debt.

  • avatar
    whynotaztec

    I always loved the 80s stuff growing up – it was a fun time as horsepower was just starting to make a comeback. So I loved the GNs, etc, and still admired the muscle car era stuff.

    My last gasp was a 96 Impala SS which could hold 3 car seats, but then the demands of commuting, kids, and budget forced me into minivans, accords, etc.

    Then an early midlife crisis had me decide to get into the car biz since I loved cars so much. 5 years later I was out of the car business, with a real disdain for cars and people.

    Now I’m slowly getting back as the budget will allow, but my tastes have changed quite a bit. Might want a Vette, or might want an old firetruck.

  • avatar
    Dan

    It’s really waning for me.

    I love toys. Guns, computers, canoes, waffle makers, miter saws, all of them. A car was the biggest and most expensive toy of them all. There was an endless concrete and asphalt playground outside. I played. I loved it, even in the crampy junk that I could afford then. I daydreamed about the garage I’d fill some day.

    A couple of decades of market returns later I can drive anything I want. But between the godawful east coast traffic and the crampy CAFE blobs that have replaced everything else in the past 10 years I’m not tempted to buy anything and other than the occasional road trip I’d rather not drive at all. I like my F-150 but it isn’t half as cool as the Impala SS that I couldn’t afford 25 years ago. I’m not sure it’s even as cool as the Marauder I couldn’t justify 15 years ago. I’ll buy a Challenger before they go away, unless Ford has the sense to put the 7.3 in a half ton first, and maybe even then.

    And the 50 weeks a year that I’m not driving cross country I’m pretty sure that I won’t much like driving it either.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    After years of living in cities, it finally dawned on me that I had nearly zero opportunity to drive fast. Driving fast in the city is sociopathic, and you have to cross an hour or more of identical strip-mall-and-subdivision suburbia before you get to a place where it’s not. And within the city, it’s more fun to walk or bike than it is to drive, unless you’re going too far or the weather is exceptionally lousy.

    So my priorities changed drastically. I basically don’t care about power or speed anymore, and I do care about not adding to the miasma of unburned fuel smell that takes over the city on cold mornings. Now I’m much more curious about what’s next for EVs and e-bikes than I am about performance cars.

    • 0 avatar
      thelaine

      I had a similar journey with a different destination. Traffic, traffic enforcement and recognition of the dangers of speed turned me off to cars. Now it is all trucks and off-road activities. I will never buy another “car.” My next vehicle will be a mid-sized pickup to go with my full-sized pickup.

  • avatar
    JoeBrick

    I liked cars since I was VERY young. When I was 3 and 4, I could identify every car by make and year on sight. I pity kids these days when cars all look alike.
    On topic- I DID get married a couple of times, and that may have distracted me for a short while, but I had some of my most interesting and fun cars when I was married too.
    So I guess that the answer is No.

  • avatar
    cprescott

    Born in 1962, I was almost always into cars. My parents would still embarrass me with stories of how I called every car a “Mustang” until the day I used a rather unflattering word my Dad used for Firebirds when one of his friends came over in a new one. The nice way of saying it is “poobird” but dad used sh*t and so did I at the age of 5. Kids will say the darnedest things!

    I have always loved Detroit iron and never saw much need (or love) for anything Japanese (and now loathe Honduh and Toyoduh owners so affectionately that I note they are the number one and number two brand of cars most likely to tailgate you even when going over the speed limit.

    Up until this past January I have never owed anything other than what Ford made (including a Lincoln); but you know what, Ford abandoned me with their decision to forgo anything but Mustangs as cars and it was then and there that my 22 year old Ford bought new in 1997 was replaced by a remarkably efficient, roomy, and stylish 2016 Hyundai Elantra that is far better than I imagined and makes Honduhs and Toyoduhs as arrogant fool products.

    I love big Detroit iron from the 1960’s and 1970’s – the battleship class iron that consumed more gas than what a Democrat belches at a debate; I simply love the style that Detroit once had that was a carefully crafted form of art that is so lost on most vehicles these days. The putrid stuff that Honduh and Toyoduh put out would never make it to product with the ghastly bends of sheetmetal and horrific front end designs that these two miscreant makers seem to think is “stylish”.

    Even though I am a frugal SOB of the first and second order, I’d love to spend some cash on a beautiful Detroit Battleship and infuriate a Prius owner by consuming global resources at four times the rate their eyesore does and be glad that I’m contributing to the mythical climate change that was once global cooling that morphed into global warming that has now become bi-scandalous in its ability to bat for one team and them bat for another almost simultaneously.

  • avatar
    dividebytube

    I really didn’t even think of cars that much as a kid – except for some fine Hotwheels, but I didn’t dream of owning a Porsche or anything like that.

    And then, dragged along by my older brother, I saw the Road Warrior. That, and the dreadful life of suburbia, got me interested in V8 muscle cars. The 80s was a pretty good time to be into it – lots of 60s iron was dirt cheap. I bought my first car when I was 17 – a 1968 Firebird I paid $680 for. It was a piece of junk – 2 speed powerglide, and a 1974 400 had replaced the original 350.

    Well college and poverty came along. I drove a hand-me down 1984 Nissan truck, and then a 1987 Stanza. Neither a powerhouse. Out of college it was a succession of Nissan products, and Honda Accords, and then – finally – a 1986 Monte Carlo SS that I redid the interior on. And replaced the 305 with a 355 and also a new 200-4R transmission. But the whole kid thing and the realization that the car was just sitting most of the time without being driven meant I ended up selling it when we moved to a house with a one-stall garage.

    I dabbled in a few “fast” cars – 1994 Buick Roadmaster – but my heart wasn’t into modifying it. And then a few MINIs, which handled nicely but really didn’t satisfy my need for speed.

    On a whim I bought a 2014 Mustang 6-speed with the 3.7L V6. I really had no idea to modify it at all. Just wanted something fun to drive with a manual. Well fast forward a year and I got sick of the 2.73 gears, now replaced with 3.55s. And also a ECU tune plus an AFE air filter. Oohh – what a waste versus the 5.0L GT a lot of people would say. I agree with that but my slightly modified V6 is a lot more fun to drive now. And I see a used GT in my future.

    • 0 avatar
      whynotaztec

      Tell us more about the Mustang, especially the gear conversion – was it expensive? A 300 horse v6 with a stick sounds entertaining.

      • 0 avatar
        dividebytube

        Swapping gears was $1100USD in labor/parts. Plus I bought a SCT tuner to correct the speedometer.

        It really did wake the car up. With the 2.73 gears, you could go ~40mph in first gear, 85mph in second! 0-60, unless you got a perfect launch, was (according to the track pack app) in the high 5s, low 6s.

        I’m still “burning in the gears” so I haven’t done a hard launch, but from a gentle roll out I can tick off 0-60 is 5.5 seconds. Not fast compared to the newest super or muscle cars, but being a child from the 1970s, it feels fast enough to me.

        I’m running out of traction right now – only 235s – and winter will be uh, interesting, on snow tires. But I really do like the high-revving nature of the Ford 3.7. It’s a lot of fun to wind out.

  • avatar
    SoCalMikester

    BMX bikes, then when i turned 18 in 1986 i got my first japanese scooter. ive always had at least one, currently 2- a yamaha tmax, and a zuma 125. one for commuting, one for errands. ive had a couple motorcycles as well, but something about scooters just feels right to me.

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    I was always a slow car fast sort and valued handling. The fox body 5.0 was king of my youth, but I always wanted the SVO. When I started driving in the early 90s it was the Taurus SHO, B13 Sentra SE-R, the Civic SI and CRX, and the Miatas that had my attention. At that point my budget was more Saturn’s and Escort GT though. I enjoyed flogging them though. Then I moved to Italy and had the money for some fun cars. GTI, an E30 BMW, a little Autobianchi A112 Abarth, and several others. Coming home I had a couple Miatas and then shifted to trucks and family haulers due to life.

    A friend of mine had a B14 200SX SE-R I got to drive on occasion and while not the B13, the 5 speed behind that SR20;made me realize how much I missed it. I looked for one of the cars I had coveted in the 90s but all of that metal was abused, modded, or in the case of that integra, Barret Jackson material. Enter the Fiesta ST

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    I’m finding my interest in new cars waning rapidly. The sorts of cars I like barely exist and the selection is getting thinner by the day. But I don’t really have time for old cars. So I feel like my little collection of six cars (three newish, three oldish) may last me a REALLY long time. Especially as I barely drive 10-12K a year across six cars these days.

    When I retire, I certainly see my interest in old cars coming back, but travelling for a living 200 days a year leaves very little time for messing about with cars.

  • avatar
    nrd515

    From almost day one, I was interested in cars. None of the cars my parents had did much for me, I complained all the time about them being, “Old man’s cars”. That complaining got louder when the neighbors down the street bought the ’68 Charger R/T and then the guy across from him got his ’68 Roadrunner. My dad bought his short lived ’68 Imperial almost the same day the Roadrunner came home. Same engine and basic drivetrain(440 Autos), but in IMHO, a much uglier box. It had a dealer installed cam and had a great idle, but the Imp’s stock exhaust kept it too quiet. The Imp was a 2 door, so it wasn’t like it had any more room inside then the Charger or Roadrunner did. I tried and tried to get my dad to get a Chevelle, Regal, 442, or any Mopar B-Body without success. In later ’69, the Imp was sold and he bought his last Ford product, a ’69 Lincoln MKIII that he hated so much he traded it to his brother for the ’69 Caddy Sedan De Ville, both of them being in Avacado green, AKA “Baby Shit Green”. It would die violently when dad passed out and hit a telephone pole, knocking out power to about 1/4 of Toledo, and totally destroying the car. Unbelted, all he had in injuries was a broken nose and some loose teeth from hitting the steering wheel. That was the end of his driving, and I think that made him die sooner than he would have. He really loved driving, and at 63 dread the day, if it happens, when I will have to stop.

  • avatar
    55_wrench

    I started driving in ’71 with Mom’s 1962 Dynamic 88 and within a couple of years got way overboard building Corvairs.

    My first late model Monza cost all of 35 bucks for an engine and 30 for the body shell complete with a good interior.

    They were about 10 years old, plentiful, cheap and nearing the bottom of their depreciation curves.
    I joined the local (SFBA) chapter of CORSA and rapidly developed connections for parts.

    If anyone saw one running around San Jose and Saratoga with Camaro taillights and a Panther Pink paint job, that was me. It had Cadillac door pulls on the inside, white door panels and seats, Corsa dash with 1965 Bonneville gauges mounted in a modified floor console out of a 1966 GTO. All painted metal interior surfaces were covered in black vinyl. Ok it was the disco era, so who minded a little tackiness? But Under the hood was a 2 barrel IECO ram air system with Hooker headers and Turbo mufflers.

    By the time the Corvair thing was over and I needed to spend more time raising our son and less time under them, I had restored a late convertible, a late 4 door and a 1963 Rampside, which was my DD for about 3 years. We even took our newborn son home from the hospital in it. AND WE ALL SURVIVED!

    Reliable? Not the way I drove them, but I really enjoyed the driving dynamics and loved the styling of the late model ones.

    So I tried to be a responsible husband and father, and though we bought several Malaise Era GM offerings after I sold off the Corvairs, I never stopped liking them.

    Eventually I became a Toyota/Lexus guy and whaddya know I hardly had to do any serious wrenching on any of them.

    But I’m retired now and those old memories make me want to take the plunge again. But I’m under no illusions that Corvairs are all now at least 50 years old, and the tinworm has never taken a day off on those unibodies…so the chances of finding a bone stock and affordable rust free example are slim to none.

    But I can Dream, can’t I? Maybe a Miata?

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