The Cost of a Time Machine

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The good news first.

You can legally buy a brand-new car without a single air bag or any of the saaaaaaaaafety equipment mandated by the government since the late 1960s.

No back-up camera, ABS, TCS or black box data recorder.

Not even a seat belt buzzer.

A car you can see out of, too – that doesn’t need a back-up camera. Doesn’t try to parent you – and never nags you.

Even better news, these cars are brand-new 1960s Mustangs. Not restored originals, but brand-new cars – built using all new Ford-licensed sheetmetal and put together to a standard that wasn’t possible in the ‘60s.

Panel fitment is exacting; the doors close as tightly as a new Camry’s. These new Mustangs do not squeak or leak. Trim is not misaligned. The paintwork is perfect; no orange peel or drips – a common “feature’ that came standard with many 1960s-era cars.

No points to set or carbs to jet, either.

While the bodywork is virtually identical to the originals, including the absence of ugly federal 5 MPH bumpers – and the presence of beautifully chromed pre-Uncle bumpers – these doppelganger Mustangs are not powered by original 1960s engines.

They are powered by the same engines as the current (2018) Mustang GT – the one you do have to buy with eight air bags (driver and passenger, side-impact on both sides, curtain air bags and knee bags, too) plus all the rest of it.

But that’s ok.

As sweet as the old 289 Hi-Po was that powered the ’66 GT, it only made 271 horsepower and a ’66 GT needed about 7 seconds to get to 60  . . . right there with a new four cylinder Camry.

The new ’66 GT (hardtop, fastback or convertible) is powered by the current Mustang GT’s 5.0 liter V8, which makes 460 horsepower. It gets the doppelganger to 60 in less than four seconds – quicker than the current GT – because the new ’66 is several hundred pounds lighter.

Because it’s not weighed down by all the government-mandated saaaaaaaafety stuff.

Plus, you can see where you’re going .

It also comes with your choice of six-speed manual or automatic transmission – both without burnout-interrupting traction control and with deep overdrive gearing, just like any modern car’s transmission – giving the time-teleported “1966” Mustangs the potential (if you can restrain yourself) to deliver highway mileage almost as good as a new four cylinder Camry.

Back in the ’60s, Mustangs came with four speed manuals or three-speed automatics, without overdrive gearing.

Despite being hundreds of pounds lighter than a new Camry, they used about twice as much gas a result.

The original Mustangs didn’t very stop well, either. These do. Four wheel disc brakes, with four piston calipers, standard. A high-performance brake package with 12.88 slotted/vented rotors and six-piston calipers is optional.

This “1966” Mustang stops as well as the 2018.

Corners, too. The entire suspension benefits from current technology – without the current naggery. Coil-over shocks/tubular A-arms, structural bracing, subframe connectors – the works.

But inside, it’s 1966. Wood-trimmed/spoked wheel – without an ugly air bag. The dash as it was.

And so, beautiful.

Low back’d buckets – outlawed in new cars. In this car, you can put your arm around your girl. And she can lean over and snuggle up against you, because she’s not forced to “buckle up.” Or at least, doesn’t have to in order to avoid triggering an obnoxious buzzer that kills the mood like your high school girlfriend’s parents turning on the porch light just as you tried for a kiss.

There are a few subtle modernizations – a hi-end (800 watt) audio rig, if you wish. Ferrari leather trim is available. High powered headlights that appear to be stock sealed-beam units – until you turn them on.

Standard power windows that look manual; they’re activated by the factory-stock-looking hand cranks.

But nothing force-fed by Uncle.

It’s everything a new car should be – or would have been, had the government not gotten into the business of designing cars.

And the bad news?

These new Mustangs cost about eight times what the originals did. $166,760 for a brand-new “1966” Mustang GT convertible – which originally cost $2,759 back in ’66 (equivalent to $21,940 in today’s money). Other models – such as the “1967” Shelby GT500 – sticker for more. A lot more.

$227,760.

Avoiding Uncle isn’t cheap.

The company that builds them – Revology Cars – builds them by hand, for openers. And to show-car level, for second. But the real reason for the high cost is the low volume.

Uncle only allows Revology (and other companies doing the same thing) to build 500 cars annually, each exempted from current saaaaaaaaaaaaaaafety standards (they meet current emissions regs) under something called the Low Volume Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Act .

No more.

Ford built 607,568 Mustangs back in 1966. That high volume allowed low prices; Ford only needed to make a few hundred bucks profit per car in order to make a lot of money on all those cars.

And that is why you could by a new ’66 GT Hi-Po for less than $3,000  . . . back in 1966.

A top-of-the-line model for thousands less than the cost in today’s equivalent dollars of the base trim 2019 Mustang ($26,120) and about $150,000 less than the cost of the new “1966” GT.

It’s wonderful that Uncle allows cars like those being made by Revology to be sold at all – but the volume restriction means these cars might as well not exist at all for most of us, who will never be able to afford them.

And where did Uncle acquire the authority to allow us to buy this car – but not that one?

It also raises some interesting questions – among them, why Uncle allows some people (those who can afford it) to opt out of all the saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaafety mandates which apply to everyone else.

Is Uncle not “concerned” about the saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaafety of those 500 people he allows to buy new (but sans air bag and all the rest of it) cars?

Or is it another example of Uncle using a pretext to deny the rest of us the liberty which is becoming something that, increasingly, only the rich can afford?

. . .

Got a question about cars – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in!

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67 COMMENTS

  1. its not hard

    I have a 74 Bronco and installed a fuel injected 91 Mustang engine, a 5 speed NV 3550 from a dodge pickup, disc brakes and power steering.

    my sons daily driver is a 76 Chevy 4WD, with a LS 5.3 from a 2002, and a NV 3500 five speed from a 2007, Vintage Air AC
    the LS motor was $400 from a truck that had 270K on it, misc install parts were about $800
    trans was $350,
    AC was $1600,
    new suspension from Alcan spring $1500
    gonna leave the paint just the way it is,
    rust free and nicely patina’d from sitting in the Arizona sun for decades.
    we put down sound absorption mats under the new carpet, along with a new overlay dash pad, and new seat cover and headliner

    we probably have $10K in it all together.

    its a nice daily driver

    you CAN have the cool old car you want for a daily driver, for less than a 3 yr old used Camry.
    you just cant walk into a dealer on an impulse and finance it and drive out

    • That’s awesome, Justin! What you describe is exactly what I would love to do- trouble is, ya gotta have a good solid platform to start with; but most of the rest of the country east of the Rockies, everything is rusted to hell if it’s more than 20 years old (and many a lot sooner).

  2. You would think Uncle would be more concerned about protecting those who can afford to pay for these types of cars. Maybe Uncle just thinks people won’t crash their cars, either.

    I don’t know if Uncle got the memo, but ability to drive isn’t relative to wealth, Just like the ability to be insane isn’t limited to those in institutions.

    Many in government also qualify.

  3. And from the safety screwing up a wet dream department…

    2020 Continental will have suicide doors.

    Yeah baby!

    Of course the B pillars will be the size of a railroad tie.

    😢

  4. There’s a company here in Tulsa that makes brand new “Eleanor” mustangs. They also advertise new 70 Dodge Challengers too, but I haven’t seen any of them being built yet.

  5. This is a wonderful thing for those who are totally filthy rich. But at that price, you can buy some very high performance new models. The majority of people who can just write a check for that amount would probably buy something else.

    Only four wheeled “time machine” I’d gag up that much for would have to be one of those Specially Equipped DeLoreans. Anyone got Doc’s number on speed dial?

    • high belt lines / auto start stop / increased weight and reduced visibility / annoying headrests sticking into your head all the time. Sure fast but without that visceral feel of more basic engine including sound. Sure. Where do I sign

  6. Eric, I’d try and nab that Cutlass like real soon, as interest in 80’s cars seems to be building quite rapidly lately. Gonna be a good investment if she’s solid. Next year at this time, you likely won’t be able to touch the same for anywhere near the price you can get her for today.

    • Hiya Nunz!

      I know it… but I’m living on a thin margin; if i hadn’t just had to send the tax parasites $1,000 I’d be able to afford the car. Instead, I had to “help” pay for the government schooling of other people’s kids and various bureaucrats whose “services” I neither use nor asked for.

  7. How to tell that all the buzzers and beepers, idiot lights, cameras, airbags, and other expensive crap mandated by law are all to force the poor out of their cars and into “public” transportation?

    Because the wealthy don’t have to comply.

    • Exactly so, Bob.

      The same with regard to many other things; guns, for example. The rich and powerful are surrounded by a phalanx of armed guards. But we’re not allowed to protect ourselves…

      • The answer to the car problem is the same as the answer to the AK problem.
        All this is going to take is for someone to make the “80% lower” version of a car.
        One company building modern cars the way they should be by hand from the ground up will never work… but a thousand companies making 500 a year from prefab kits would… well they’d get legislated out of existence after 2 years. 🙁

      • Yeah, like Michael Bloomberg, the $55 billion+, seventh-richest guy in the world. He has 24-7-365 armed security… yet he spends $50 million to promote gun control for all the lowly filth beneath him like you and me.

        Must be nice to be one of God’s Chosen People, ain’t it?

        • Amen, X!

          It is halting – renders one speechless – to contemplate someone like Bloomberg, surrounded by armed guards, ululating that we be shorn of the means of defending ourselves. These same cretins urge energy austerity on us – while living in huge/lavish (and heavy BTU-consuming) accommodations and are driving around in extremely consumptive armored SUVs, on their way to jets that “emit” more “greenhouse gas” in one three hour flight than my Trans-Am has since it was built in 1976!

          • Morning eric. Probably Shitberg couldn’t have offended me than when he bragged he owned the 7th largest army in the world.

            The unmitigated gall and hubris it took to throw that in America’s face was unbelievable.

            He might find his soldiers loyalty only went so far when it was their families being targeted. Not everyone operates on money alone.

  8. Mark, I’m old. If I had $160k lying around I’d sell out, emigrate to some S.A.country where old Nazi compounds still exist and hole up. I like the food and finding a good German or Bavarian brewer would probably be easy enough and if that was a problem I’d bring Jeremy in to teach me to brew my own.
    I already know a Tennesseean who makes wicked good shine and he’d probably emigrate with me. We both have an affinity for shine, Combat Commanders in. 38 Super and AFRs.

      • I’ll remember that eric when I can get the funds. I might even get a Mennonite I know to go also and with the other 2 aforementioned guys we’d have you and Peter whose first language is German, his second being Spanish and even speaks uninflected English.
        He’s a damn good farmer, fabricator and mechanic. We’re rapidly approaching self sustainability and security. And the gals there are down to earth and have no problem with older men.

        And when you want to find me I’ll be fishing with a senorita giving me local dialect lessons while I bait her hook.

  9. Eric, this is the perfect example of what my best friend and I spoke about yesterday. Pick a subject, any old subject and research it. By the time you or the subject is exhausted, there is always the same conclusion to be had:There are two sets of laws, a hard and relentless one for the masses and another, interpret the law to suit you for the wealthy.

    Not surprising when we all know every, or with very few exceptions, politicians can be and are bought and paid for.

    Money talks, bullshit walks….and never the twain shall meet……to quote H.I. in Raising Arizona.

    • Hi Rick,

      It’s true… probably because of attrition. The ones still around are either in very good condition (and so, pricey) or they’re basket cases in need of a lot of work. Which costs money, usually.

      But, you can still find them. I have my eye on an ’85 Cutlass; the price is right – but I haven’t actually seen it yet. If it’s in good shape – and if I can scrounge the funds – I will buy it as a hedge against the future.

  10. I can see one of the Climate Change Cultist buying one and declaring that we all need to go electric right after. Just like Arnold said right after he bought his bentley.

  11. It’s too bad the safety Nazis and Enviro fags have control of cars. I can only imagine what an updated design of the classics could look like with the more modern emissions and some safety aspects (no airbags, but seat belts, better construction, and disk brakes). I would love to be able to drive a car with fins on the back.

    • Amen, Someone!

      In addition to cars like these Mustangs, there would be new economy cars capable of 70 MPG (or more) that cost less than $10,000… were it not for Uncle and his lampreys.

    • I guarantee a new Mustang in 2018 would look nearly identical to the originals if it wasn’t for the federal fatwas. Take any pre-Uncle timeless classic and evolve it a bit. Remember how long the classic, real Beetle remained in production?

      Buick, Cadillac, Chrysler, and Lincoln have been struggling to survive in this environment. The vehicles it would take to save them are not allowed to be built. Think of the time and money they’ve blown on mediocrity over the years to satisfy Uncle. It makes me sick.

      • Sadly the Mustang ii was not because of Uncle but because some woman complained about the ’71-’73 being too big. Which it was but the over reaction before CAFE or any other good reason for the ii came from the complaint letter.

        Uncle would have been okay with a Maverick sized Mustang with an updated suspension, chassis, etc.

  12. If it wasn’t for the control freaks, we could have achieved automotive perfection. Those hideous successors to the timeless classics probably would never have existed! Want to purchase a ’60s Continental with a V12, heated & cooled massaging seats, and a panoramic sunroof? You got it!

    • Hi Handler,

      Yup!

      These Revology guys are doing (to the nth degree) what many of us already have, to a lesser degree. My ’76 TA has a modern overdrive transmission and about twice the power as it did when it was new. It runs and drives like a new car – but without all the crap. I imagine it with perfect panel alignment and paint; perhaps heated seats! I’d even be willing to accept TBI in lieu of the Quadrajet, if that’s what it took to get its emissions down to a reasonable level.

      Voila, a perfect car!

      For me, at least!

      • It’s always fun (and sad) to imagine what the auto industry would be today without Uncle. Without Uncle, a modern car wouldn’t really be all that different than a ’60s-era car. You can bet they would still have glass headlights and chrome-plated bumpers!

        • Then again, sports cars and others might have carbon fiber body parts or bodies and barely a bumper if any. I like chrome on my Peterbilt and none on my cars.

          1800 lb performance cars with no need for 800 hp and good mileage sounds good too. We could drive cars light as a feather and only a beautiful body for bling, huge land yachts and everything in between.

          Some might call that a free market…..the best of all worlds

        • Handler,

          “It’s always fun (and sad) to imagine what the auto industry would be today without Uncle.”

          Imagine aviation, space travel, or even simple family life without godvernment.

          What a life we all could have had.

          It would have been grand.

          We all coulda been contenders. We coulda been somebody’s, instead of bums, which is what we are, let’s face it.

          We are simply human livestock.

          So let us all just STFU, get in our registered, licensed, properly insured, and approved vehicles, buckle up, and OBEY.

          Cause we’re proud to be Americans where at least we know we’re free!

          I’m pretty got damned sure that these “new” Shelby’s and Broncos are going to be a welcome distraction to the masses. That is why they have been Govco approved.

          We call all look at the beauty of what was.

          TPTB don’t want you to think about what is really waiting for you over the rainbow.

          Birds fly over the rainbow. You need a fucking license.

  13. Had a ’67 Mustang 289 auto select shift that was passed down through my family, originally my mom’s car. Was repaired and given to me after my brother crashed it on Diamond Head Road on his graduation night. My wife used to love driving that car, she would step on the gas and laugh with her long hair blowing in the wind. The Japanese tourists would just stare at that car as we drove around Honolulu. Unfortunately my wife was rear ended on Kapiolani Blvd. come home for lunch, and that was the end of that. Thankfully she was OK.

  14. It’s feasible to build a Mustang like this yourself for about $40-50K all said and done. Just a lot of your own labor to price at zero.

    • Hi Brent,

      And if one begins with a solid “driver,” it could cost even less. A maniacal body-off-frame/rotisserie resto will get into money, but I could bring my TA’s body up to 90-plus percent of that for $10k or so. A mostly stock rebuild of the factory suspension would only cost a couple thousand in parts; the stock brakes are perfectly fine for everyday driving. Maybe another $5k to go through the drivetrain.

      So, about $20k to bring the car up to a cosmetic level most people would consider “show quality” and the mechanicals to better-than-new.

      It’s so sad what we’ve lost.

      What we’ve been denied.

      • There’s a restoration with stuff that enhances and then there is building what we have in the article.
        The big problem is the modern ford V8 doesn’t fit. So instead of building the car so it works the car had to modified so it works. Cutting out the shock towers, replacing the structure, new front suspension etc. Even if starting with stock replacement parts it would be easier to modify a car being built up rather than tearing down and building up.

        • Hi Brent,

          Agreed. The sad thing (another one) is that an injected 302 would fit – and would be much cheaper than the 5.0 Coyote – but the old 302’s emissions are fractionally higher, so it’s not allowed.

          • Emissions can be gamed. My old 327 back in the early 90s had to be ’emission checked’ every year. Crazy thing with silly power and could not pass emissions in a usable condition.

            Simply change the jets, put the cats back on, get tested. Barely ran but met the numbers the man wanted. Next day, 2 hours to put it all back to ‘silly’.

            $170-230K? For a Mustang?

            I could move to a sane nation and buy a nice “country place, that no one knows about” for that kind of money.

            Unless you can afford a track membership, which is crazy expensive at Area 27 (the local), what is the point of these things today?

            Something as nice as those would be instant targets for ‘civil forfeiture’ too. 20 over, car impounded. Prove you are not a drug dealer. USA! USA! USA!…….

            • Hell, Froggie, for the price of those ‘Stangs, there are some entire islands one could buy!

              Bet ya the civil asset forfeiture scum start going after these cars (if they haven’t already) too!

              Hey, if you’re looking for a place to go, I got it from an in-person personal source that the Amish are moving to Belize- a place I had never really considered- but knowing this, it’s worth re-looking at! One of the easiest countries to get into, too! (I figure if the Amish, -who have largely fled my area already- can be happy there (Up in the hills- dirt roads) I probably can be too! And it’s so close!

                • I used to hate the heat, period. I knew though, that any place that would be suitable and doable, would be hot- so when I made my transitional move out of NY, I did so with the idea that transitioning to a hotter place here, would hopefully acclimate me to the heat- and it has. Now I can’t stand t5he cold! -But I have no problem working outside in 100*F heat (Although I do prefer when it’s drier).

                  I figure, there’s no way I can find a place that has everything I want- including perfect climate. There are always going to be trade-offs. Freedom is the key.

                  But I hear ya. I definitely wouldn’t be able to cope with a cold place. I was tired of that even before I left NY!

                  Riding a bicycle really did the trick as far as acclimating to the heat. Came home from a 26 mile ride my year of riding here in the hills- and it was 108* (I took a pic of my thermometer!)…..after that, the heat didn’t bother me anymore. Don’t ask me to ride when it’s 40* though! 🙂

    • Amen, Brent & Eric!

      My neighbor bought a ’67 289 ‘Stang driver a few years ago, for $4500. Nice car- I would have daily driven it just the way it was- maybe just do a few very minor things. My neighbor though….well, he’s been somewhat restoring it- but quite frankly, I liked the car better the way he got it. But point is, he hasn’t put all that much money into it (far less than $10K), and it just needs a good paint job now- but that’s it- that’s my kind of car (Well, if it weren’t a Mustang- I don’t have any use for the li’l thangs.)- But IMO, this is what’s killing viable old cars. Someone gets a reasonably priced oldie that’s already in pretty good shape- but then puts a good deal of money into it, without really improving the car or increasing it’s value- but now, if he goes to sell that car, it’s magically a $15K car instead of a $4500 car.

      I would’ve given $4500 for that car the way it was, and left it alone (I would have- even not being a ‘Stang fan)- but I don’t see even a ‘Stang fan giving $15K for it the way it is now…

      But to get back to yous guyses original point: That $4500 car, whether driven as-is, or given a functional make-over by someone who knew what they were doing, would still indeed be a cheap ride. I’d actually prefer something like that to the $166K brand new one, ’cause the perfect flawless new one that rides so smooth and has twice the power, and the tightness that modern tolerances allow, just ain’t the same.

      Sheet metal may be the same; and it may be free of the tyranny- but it’s still just a replica. (And not to mention that it’s worth too much- even if ya could afford it- to have any fun with. Even if you’re rich, unless you’re Saudi-prince rich, uber-expensive things tend to disappoint.)

      I don’t care that I couldn’t afford the $166K new one…I care more that the prospect of finding a nice driver from MT. for $4500 these days, is just about nil.

      • The nutters who think they deserve what they put in a car have always been around. You’ll see people with modified relatively recent cars asking for prices to recover their modifications. In most cases I would have to undo some or all of their modifications because I don’t like them. Same with most intentional buyers. Sogood luck to them finding just the right person.

        • Yeah, Brent,

          In my neighbor’s case, the half-cocked “resto” actually makes the car worth less, IMO. Like I said, I would have given $4500 for the car the way it was when he got it, and would have been quite happy. The way it sits now, with a bad paint job that needs redoing; and having had various bits and pieces replaced, but with no overall benefit, I wouldn’t give him $4500 for it. Sad thing is, the car was driven here to KY by the previous owner from MT. The way it is now, it really isn’t fit to drive even locally. Sad.

          Unrelated, but while on the subject: A female cousin of mine has a ’70 or ’71, 6-banger whe bought brand new that has lived on the streets of NYC and occasionally in a garage, all these years…. A testament to the durability of those cars! How rare are 6 cylinder varieties of any 60’s or 70’s car today?! I wish there were more around, for those of us who don’t care so much about performance- but everyone turns ’em into V-8’s!

          • But how would the rust be kept away all those decades on a NYC street? Of course a garage in winters only would go a long way to it. Anyhow the rust protection, what there is of it, breaks down in about 15 years on those cars. Then it’s a constant battle.

            • I haven’t seen my cousin’s car in 30 years, but I’m amazed that it’s still even driveable! Between the deterioration the elements and salt must’ve had on it, and the fact that it’s rarely driven (I’d be surprised if it’s even hit 100K miles yet), mechanically and body-wise, it’s probably a mess by now. She used to always have people asking if she wanted to sell it….but not so much anymore.

  15. Any end-run of this type with the Mahindra Roxor? Golly, could set up a shell company, buy and rebadge Roxor’s as CJ2’s? Yes, you could only sell 500 a year, but could be a low overhead operation.

  16. Ford also recently licensed a company to build brand new first generation Broncos. Same sort of set up as the Mustangs above and similar price.

  17. Guessing they aren’t close to making 500 of them a year.

    It sucks that low volume will not result in cars affordable to a normal person.

  18. fairly amazing these care are allowed at all like you said. For me my sweet spot is mid 80s muscle cars – all the stuff you mentioned but at reasonable prices. Still these cars are pretty damn cool. If I had 160K laying around sure

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