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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 .
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?
. . .
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