Pony Car Wars II (80s Challenger doesn’t count)
Posted On April 14, 2021
So it’s starting to drag us towards us; the next generation ponycar wars. For many fans of domestic ponycars from the late 60s, this is like a dream come true. In a year or so, the streets will be awash with new Dodge Challengers, Ford Mustangs and Chevrolet Camaro. Now, I was too young to be a part of the early ponycar wars, so I can’t give a first-hand account of what happened. But what I can do is tell you what happened next: the cars sucked.
Now don’t get me wrong, there were some bright spots (the 1970-1981 Camaro / Firebirds), some low spots (Mustang II King Kobra? Come on!), And some things the mind tries to forget (OMG, by what! ?!). But what if you wanted a ponycar and not the junk mobiles that were produced at that time? Let me take you to the mid-80s. I was in high school and I didn’t have any money to buy a car. You had always wanted a 1971 Plymouth Barracuda, but it was awfully expensive to buy a decent one, (like $ 5000. Today that could buy your shell) and you wanted to suffer the humiliation of buying one of the ‘weak’ 1972-1974 cars? For a thousand dollars you could buy a 1974 Barracuda and pretend you were in a big block Mopar. Bleh, that felt like a trap. Now those disposables average over $ 10,000 on eBay! Anyway, after a few years I got a job and by my senior year in high school I was ready to buy myself a ponycar.
At the time, I was really starting to notice late ’60s Mustang Fastbacks, so I kept that option in mind. I scoffed at this kid at my school who would sell me his nearly rust-free 1969 Mach 1 for $ 2,500. Too much for a Mustang, I thought. Late ’60s Camaros were starting to go up in price at the time, but I never had much of an interest in them at the time, but I was able to get’ buy one / get one free ‘deals on mid’ 70s and Trans Camaros. -Ams almost everywhere. No. It’s not different enough for my taste. So I started looking for my Barracuda, a ‘top repairman’ who could afford to buy and drive at the same time. A friend found a drivable 1971 Cuda ‘383 with the trunk virtually gone and was in need of a full restoration for $ 1500, but I thought it was too much work. So I ended up buying a 1969 Coronet 383 that was clunky but workable, and decided I’d buy my ponycar a little later.
Fast-forward much later down the road, and prices have skyrocketed on just about every ponycar made by the Big 3. How about a nice drivable 1974 Barracuda 318 for $ 5000? Say ah. No. How about those Mustang Fastbacks from the ’60s, they made hundreds of thousands? Sure, but if you want all the options, like an engine and the floors, it will cost you $ 15,000, if you’re lucky. But the good news is that the late ’60s Camaro has stabilized in price, say around $ 15,000 to $ 20,000, but I still don’t like them. But what if you want something to drive every day, with air conditioning, factory warranty, and airbags? Well the big 3 finally (read: about damn time) answered our prayers and are offering us retro ponies at a price we can afford. Now that’s exciting in itself, but it’ll be even better when all three cars are on the road at the same time. Let me put it this way, you can have two of the world’s most educated, docile, and friendly 40-somethings driving those cars, but when a Mustang and Camaro meet at a stoplight, one of those cars is turning off. lose a tooth. It is not the fault of the owners.
You can be sure that most of them bought the cars because they loved or used to own one of the originals, or maybe they just want to look good. No … cars know. I have a 2005 Mustang with the V6. I know he’s just a good driver and not a pavement killer. Every time a kid pulls up next to me in an applauded Cavalier or a shiny four-door Civic, or even an Aztek for Pete’s sake, it’s suddenly turned on! They rev the engines and try to break down the power (almost killing the poor guy) and then let go when the light turns green. All the time I hang back in awe thinking, “why are you trying to blow your car’s engine through the hood?” My Mustang laughs at me, because she knows that she is the one looking for the fight. If you think I’m exaggerating, watch the first time you see one of the new Dodge Challenger R / T and Camaro SS meet at a stoplight. I? I will enjoy peace and solidarity while it lasts. As for never being able to afford my Cuda ‘from 1971, okay, maybe they’ll do a 2011.