Wednesday, June 29, 2005

$125,000 what a bargain, sign me up

The ultimate 2005 Ford Mustang for sale. Click the link to go to Blue Oval News article on Ford selling 25 of these Grand Am Cup racers. Sure they're not street legal, but they will be exclusive.
A little out of my price range, but if I could afford it, I'd have on in the garage.

MyFordDreams to be edited of some content

To any of my readers that like the pictures on these pages, I advise you to copy them if you want them. in the 3 months that I have been posting on this blog, I have put up almost 700 posts, some are just a picture here or there. Now Blogger has a limit of 999 posts to be free and I don't want to pay for more space so over the next few days I will be going over the archives and deleting pictures or posts that I fell can go.

Now don't worry, I'm not going to delete everything, but I realize that I don't need every year Thunderbird posted here or every F series truck and station wagon. Some of the Festiva pictures may go also, as well as others that will be eliminated to regain space.

I will not be eliminating any links, but they should all be available on the link page anyway.
This may result in the elimination of some reader comments, but I will try and avoid that if possible.

This very post will be removed after a few days to make space.

So if you like a picture copy it to your hardrive now. I will be starting with May and then April and finally June. I should have the posts removed by the end of the holiday weekend.

Luckily I have all of these photos on hard drive and CD for my own collection. I may try and move some of the better photos to my underused AOL photo page.

Opps! I may have been wrong, it looks like Blogger does not have a limit of 999 posts after all. I think that's just a monthly limit or something.
I will not be deleting anymore old posts. I may delete this one to save myself the embarasment :) I'm going to check with Blogger support and find out for sure.

Alright, I checked and there does not seem to be a limit on total posts, so I will not be deleting anything including this post. I am not going through the process of restoring the posts I have deleted though.
I know I'm lazy.

Gotta love Blogger/Blogspot though. If it wasn't free, I wouldn't have started, but if it ever charges a fee, I'll consider keeping it.

Eric's 69 Ranchero project

The before shot of Eric's 1969 Ranchero project. He's got a blog detailing what mods he's doing and with a lot of good quality pictures showing progress. Click the link to see for yourself.

He's come a long way, can't wait to see this project finished. Check out his blog for the full story.


In an earlier post I stated that Ford of Australia had an IRS called Control Blade and while that is correct this suspension is not available in the station wagon or Ute versions. Thanks to Ben from Down Under for the clarification.

Sometimes, I get caught up in the emotion and confuse the facts.
I still stand by my assertation that Ford has many options already in their global product mix.

Pimp or Ho?

Can I be bought? Would I compromise my principals for personal gain?

Hell Yes! I'll take any one of these three lovely Mustangs in Windveil Blue!

CarPundit hilights an article on Bloggers who advertise overtly or discreetly on their blogs.
The one fella who only got paid $5 for his mentioning a service was comical. For my own part, I don't intentionally advertise any product or service on my blog. I have mentioned and linked to commercial sites if they interest me or I feel my readers may appreciate the heads up.

But Blogger has the option for sites like mine to put up banner ads and links to make a proffit.
These ads are supposed to increase traffic on a site also, which God knows I could use some traffic on here, but I did not opt for that. I felt that if people were going to read my ramblings, I would not additionally anoy them with pop up ads, banners or outright shilling for products or services.

Now if Ford wanted to donate a new Mustang to my cause I wouldn't turn them down, but $5?

I know this is a bit off topic for me, but I got a kick out of it and thought you may want to check it out. Click the link in the header to see CarPundit's article and the links there.

BigFordFan ;)

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Does Ford need to stretch the Mustang to compete with Chrysler's LH platform?

Some people on different blogs are asking for a 4 door variant of the Mustang. One blogger even wants to call it the Falcon. Here's what I've got to say about that;

First off, Ford has at least two platforms available that are rear wheel drive and have V-8 power and Independent Rear Suspensions. The first is available here in the US today. Walk into any Lincoln dealer and walk over to the LS. The Lincoln LS which is not selling as well as it should, hit the market a few years ago based on a new corporate platform that was shared with the Jaguar S Type and the Ford Thunderbird, and which shared some development with the new Mustang platform. I've read on several websites and in print that the Mustang chassis was a further development of this chassis. But I'm not interested in debating that. The point is that while some people argue that Ford has no chassis to compete with the new LH cars from Chrysler, that's just not true. The LS chassis is perfect for this, with IRS a V-8 or V-6 powertrain, and in the Jaguar a supercharged V-8 making over 380 hp.

The second chassis that Ford has that could be adapted for the purpose is the Australian Ford Falcon. Again with 6 or 8 cylinder powertrains and IRS capable of putting over 450 hp to the ground. With this chassis, they have the added bonus of a station wagon, crossover SUV and Ranchero like UTE. I've posted before on the strong atributes of this Ford from down under and how I feel it could be a natural for the US market.

Now either chassis could be made availalbe with AWD and powerful V-8 options, so take your pick. Ford has the raw materials to deliver the goods without having to come up with a clean sheet design.

Lincoln LS a 4 door V-8 powered rear wheel drive sedan with IRS.

The LS suffered from poor marketing and low power when compared to it's competition. Since it's initial release, sales have been steadily dropping and word is that Ford will bring a replacement based on the Volvo S-80 platform, with front wheel and optional all wheel drive.

When it first arrived the LS had 252 hp from a 3.9 L V-8 that was shared with the Thunderbird and Jaguar S Type. Later the horsepower in the Lincoln and Thunderbird rose to 283 hp. The problem was Cadillac's new CTS and Chrysler's 300 were both available with much more power, closer to 350-400 hp. Now for Jaguar, Ford added a sueprcharger and this 4.0 l V-8 puts out 390 hp.

The LS pictured above has a 4.6 supercharged V-8 and was built by Ford Engineers to race in the One Lap of America race. So it's apparent that the chassis will accept the larger V-8 and more power.

Australian Ford Falcon GT and Ute versioin.

If I have to explain this one in detail, then you're not a real car guy. The Australian Falcon/Fairmont has been an evolution starting in the early 70's when Ford discontinued the Falcon platform in the US, the Australian Engineers did not want to adopt the new Fairlane/Torino chassis and after making their case to Ford corporate in Dearborn were given the green light to develop a locally designed alternative. The rest as they say is history. Now 30 years later Ford of Australia has evolved their car into the versatile competant and exciting car pictured here. The range of cars built off this chassis include long wheelbase sedans with luxury to compare with the best of Europe and and a Freestyle type crossover SUV called the Territory, as well as a Utility body or UTE.

All have a base 4.2l I-6 making 240hp and there are optional powertrains going up to 500 hp including a 5.4l supercharged V-8. Also this chassis uses a new IRS called Control Blade which can handle all of that power and supply handling and comfort.

This one's a no brainer kids. I know it would cost money to Federalize this chassis for emissions and safety, but it's got to be cheaper than designing a new chassis. I'm not saying, import the car from Australia, build it here at the plants building Panther platforms.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Fixing Ford, can it be done?

What is the future of Ford? What do you think they should do to save themselves? I was reading Bob Schulties' blog Cars Cars Cars! and his latest post;
got me thinking. So I'm dusting off the soapbox and having my say. And I'd like to know what you think Ford can do better. You can comment here or email me directly at Any feedback would be appreciated.

As much as I love Ford, they have very little going for them right now except the F series trucks. Thankfully the Mustang is selling much better than anticipated, but is it enough? 2006 could be a turn around year for Ford, with so many new products coming out. The new Fusion, Milan and Zephyr arrive in dealerships in September and October with pricing set competitively and future plans including All Wheel Drive and possibly Hybrid powertrains (probably adapted from the Escape.)

With Chrysler's new LH platform(300, Magnum and just released Charger) selling well and getting a lot of positive ink in the automotive press, Ford and GM are both rumored to be bringing new Rear Wheel Drive platforms to market. GM had canceled it's new platform from Australia and is now thinking about a "lite" version of the Cadillac chassis. Now rumors are buzzing around on different websites, that a version of the 427 Concept may be in the works (as well as a Lincoln version.)

The last I had read(Motor Trend Future Vehicles section) was that Ford was going to spend 1 Billion dollars on 'freshening" the Panther platform, that has been around since 1979 under the Crown Victoria, Grand Marquis (Marauder) and Lincoln Town Car. Then they will spend an additional 2 Billion dollars to create a replacement by 2010. To stay competitive in the Rear Wheel Drive market, Ford will have to do a lot of work.

Or will they? In Australia Ford sells the Falcon/Fairmont family of cars, with four wheel independent suspension and some very powerful optional powerplants. Ford's Control Blade independent Rear Suspension can handle the 500 hp V-8 and turbocharged I-6(over 400 hp) in their FPV versions (think SVT down under.) Even if this car is not suited for the US market as some respected bloggers have told me, it does illustrate that Ford knows how to build what they need.

Don't even get me started on the Focus, what a sham, everyone but us gets a new great Focus and we get some freshened sheetmetal and loose the SVT Focus. When you're looking at the new Volvo C-40 think Focus Vignale.

2006 Ranger, is Ford just going to give up on a market it once dominated? While the Ranger is a great truck, it's underpowered and smaller than it's competitors and Ford seems unwilling to invest the money and time to save it.

For a number of years, the Ford Ranger was the number 1 selling Compact truck in the US.
And over the years, the US sourced Ranger replaced the Mazda sourced Courier in overseas markets. Overseas versions of the Ranger are well adapted to the markets they service, with a diesel option, not seen on these shores in many years and a crew cab version available everywhere but the US and Canada. Ford opting to give us the Explorer based Sport Trac.

Now Compact trucks have all moved up to Midsize status, with the exception of the Ranger and it's Mazda clone. Even GM invested heavily in their new Colorado/Canyon twins (and Isuzu clone) with new more powerful engines, stiffer chassis and a crew cab that is more inline with competitors like Dodge, Toyota and Nissan. All of these trucks have received major redesigns over the last 2 years and Ford gives us nothing more than a "new" grill.

Rumors online are that Ford is willing to throw in the towel in the fight for the Compact/Midsize truck market. This seems foolish to me and while I'm no professional, I would think that the rise of fuel prices would mean that this market may grow. I just don't see Ford giving up on it. As any reader will know I have a Ranger and I love it, wouldn't trade it for any full size truck. But to be honest if I was in the market for a new compact truck, the Nissan Frontier would be the likely choice.

2006 Mustang, a success, but is it enough? The Mustang is certainly a home run for Ford, exceeding projected sales by almost 50%, they've stopped taking orders on 2005 models and told dealers to start taking orders for 2006. They can't keep GT's on the lot and even the V-6 model doesn't linger for long.

With new special models in the pipeline, like the new Pony package for the V-6 and rumored Mach 1(spotted by AutoProphet; ) and California Specials (BlueOvalNews) as well as the much anticipated Shelby GT 500 by SVT, it's likely that Mustang will sell very well for the next few years.

It's rumored that Chrysler may release a 2 door version of their new Charger called the challenger, hoping to sell as many as 60,000 a year, chipping away at Mustang sales. And let's not forget GM, there are rumors flying (although it may not happen) of a new Camaro/Firebird.
Ford definitely has a headstart on these models, but with sales under 200,000 per year, the Mustang may not be enough.

Ford really needs the new Fusion/Milan/Zephyr models to take off and fast.

2006 Lincoln Zephyr, one of three new Ford cars based on the Mazda 6 platform.

Lincoln really needs the Zephyr and hopefully the Aviator to be big hits. The Town Car is getting long in the tooth and you can't depend on the Navigator to carry the brand. But as much as I like the Zephyr, it's no competition for the new Cadillac and Chrysler rear wheel drive sedans. The Lincoln LS is due for a redesign and rumors are that it may be based on the Volvo S-80 architecture like the new Fivehundred/Montego models. This could be a fatal mistake for Ford.

Platform sharing is fine if each model can be tailored to the respective customer. And while All Wheel Drive is no doubt a great option, Rear Wheel Drive with new Traction Control ESP programming can be a more cost effective option. One of my brothers drives a new Dodge Magnum with the Hemi and Ford has nothing that can touch this. Bob drove his Magnum in all of this past winter's storms without any problems thanks to his Traction and Stability control systems. And despite his Hemi's 340 horsepower, managed decent fuel economy with the engine displacement control system. So is a Lincoln Fivehundred clone a good idea? No, it's not.

The Lincoln LS shares it's chassis and engine architecture with the Jaguar S type and the departing Thunderbird. The chassis is competent and the engine while not very powerful with the blue oval on it (252 hp in T'Bird and 283 hp in LS) it has been massaged and supercharged for Jaguar and Range Rover (390 hp.) This car came to the market before the new LH platform from Chrysler, but was not developed or evolved.

Will the new Zephyr suffer the same fate as the Versailles? Will the LS become a rebadged Fivehundred? Hopefully the answer will be no to both questions.

One of 3 Crossover SUV's that Ford may pull off the Mazda 6 platform, the Lincoln Aviator.
This one looks like it could be a home run for Ford, but it may need more than the 250 hp to really compete with the likes of Lexus. Hell even the Honda Pilot has 255 hp.

I love the styling and size of this model. Based on the new Mazda Crossport (Mazda 6 mechanicals) this truck will only lack power. No amount of bargain pricing will fix that.
Ford needs to work on this before bringing it to market, find another 50 or 75 horsepower.

Ford needs to bring Lincoln back up to speed so to speak, make it more competitive with Cadillac, Chrysler, Acura, Lexus and Infinity. Then maybe they can take a shot at BMW and Audi.

Mercury is a lost cause, it's only purpose is to give Lincoln entry level cars. Just rebadged Ford models with stupid "waterfall" grills. Ford should rethink Mercury altogether. Make it more competitive with youth oriented brands like Scion, Saturn and maybe even low priced German imports like VW and Audi. Start bringing some of the European Ford models over as Mercury not Merkur. And loose the waterfall grill.

Friday, June 24, 2005

United Ford Owners of Ohio

These people know how to have fun. Check out their website and all the pictures from their events. Drags, Cruises, Swapmeets, Autocrosses. Why can't there be a club like this near me?
I noticed a few of their members at Carlisle and they have over 300 pictures from Carlisle on their site. Click the link above.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

2006 Pony Mustang

This may be my Ford Dream. I've always liked this blue, but delete the stripes. I'm debating on the V-8.

Prices released for Fusion

2006 Ford Fusion prices released, check out article on BlueOvalNews and go to Ford to preview Fusion.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Birthplace of Ford Model T almost lost in fire

The birthplace of greatness, nearly lost forever. The factory in Detroit where Henry Ford designed and built the first Model T. Click the link to the news article. I found out about this on AutoProphet last night.

AutoProphet has updated me, letting me know that the Model T plant survived, but the Studebaker plant was lost.

Model T, the car that put the world on wheels

The first Model T's were built here, before moving production to Highland Park

This car put the world on wheels, the first quality car, priced for everyone.

Preservation group had begun renovations

Group has been restoring building to create museum of Automotive history. When I have a chance, I would like to go to Detroit and Dearborn on an Automotive pilgrimage.

According to updates from the AutoProphet, the Model T plant was saved by the heroic efforts of the Detroit Fire Department, but the Studebaker building next door was lost.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Mustang winning races, gotta love it

Ford Racing/Multimatic FR500C leads the pack and racks up the wins. Click the link to BlueOvalNews above to read the article.

I love the gold with black stripes, makes it look like 1969 again.

Sort of looks like the 60's with a Mustang leading the pack.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Volvo C-40 = Focus Vignale even to the untrained eye

Volvo C-40 hardtop convertible. Since the S-40 platform is the same as the Euro Ford Focus, it's not much of a surprise to see this Volvo version of the Focus Vignale drop top. I was hoping we would get this with a Ford Badge, but at least it's here.

Focus Vignale from Europe

Focus Vignale

Volvo C-40

Head to Head comparison and Ford wins again

2005 Ford F-150, still the king.

This past weekend, I took part in the GM AutoShowinMotion out on Long Island. I know some people will say, but Joe you're a Ford fanatic, why would you do that? Well, simple answer is this, Ford doesn't offer a program like this. What GM does is it brings truck loads of their cars and a few competative models from other brands to various locations and invites prospective customers out for a chance to drive all of these cars on a closed course through cones and over speedbumps. Top speed allowed is about 30 mph, but it can be educational anyway.

GM hopes to lure customers to their brands that may not have bought otherwise and offer a head to head comparison. Now overall I have to say it's not a bad idea. I've gone three years in a row now and it is well run and can be a lot of fun.

Trucks being a huge market, GM had their Siera, Silverado, Avalanche and Escalade trucks as well as a Nissan Titan, Toyota Tundra, Dodge Ram and Ford F-150. All were 4x4 crew cabs and nicely appointed with V-8 and automatic transmisions. So over the last three years, I've had the chance to drive all of the major truck offerings. And despite it being GM's party, I can safely say that the Ford was the best of the bunch. It had more power, and a nicer interior than most. And amazingly last year I drove the GM with the rear wheel steering against the F-150 and the Ford had no problems on the turn around portion, matching the GM's turning circle without rear steering wheels. The Toyota was probably the nicest interior of the bunch, but didn't feel right.

F-150, still the champ no question.

Of the small trucks there, the one thing that I noticed was a lack of a Ford Ranger. In years past, GM always had one available, but I guess they no longer see it as competative to their truck or the Toyota and Dodge.

Oh and before anyone asks, no there were no Mustangs there, GM didn't want to sell Fords, although after driving the trucks, it's hard to tell.

Ford Employee X-Plan discouts

X-plan guidelines and information;

Everyone has heard about General Motor's much publicized "Employee Discount for Everyone"
GM is spending big bucks to promote the program and the dealers are seeing some additional traffic as a result. Well Ford is hoping to accomplish similar results in a slightly different way.
In what I liken to a "Grass roots" effort, Ford has issed memos to it's empoyees and retirees offering them a spiff or bonus for each car sold using one of their employee X-Plan PINs .

One very generous reader has offered me the use of their PIN and I may take them up on it.
Now the pin being offered is for a percentage off of "Invoice" price, so haggling is non existant.
But you are guaranteed a price lower than you could have achieved that way.

For more info on the plan visit BlueOvalNews and when there, check the forum where employees are offering their pins. Now the rules forbid Ford Employees from selling these PINs or accepting gifts and there is a risk associated for the employee. So if you aren't serious don't ask for the PIN. This is a rare opportunity so if it is something that appeals to you look into it.
The PINs are limited to around 8 per employee and their are 300,000 employees so if Ford gets one sale from each employee it could drive up their market share by 1% and that's a big deal.

These employees are not obligated to give you the PIN, so if you are fortunate enough to participate, be polite and greatful. The employee's get a small bonus that could total up to a $1000 if they hand out all of their PINs and they result in sales. When you think about it that's not a lot of money.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

The Chase is on

Waiting for my copies of this DVD to arrive and contemplating buying the new DVD Rush also.
Click the link to check it out yourself, they have a downloadable clip. I'll give a brief review of this movie after I've watched it and let you know if I'm going to pop for the second shorter DVD Rush, a high speed romp in the awsome Australian Ford Falcon GT.

BlueOvalNews gets scoop on new California Special for 2006

06 California Special to be latest special model.

Blue Oval News breaks the news of a new California Special for 2006. Could a High Country Special be far behind? What about us New York people?

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Mustang my way

OK now I know how my Mustang should be, but Ford doesn't offer it this way.
I want my 06 coupe to be a GT painted the Bullit green with the argent five spoke Bullit wheels in 18" and I want the grille, fog lights and running horse badges from the V-6 Pony package. Spoiler delete with the black leather interior and the Interior upgrade package. The Mach 500 stereo will do fine.

First thing to get modified will be the exhaust, probably a Magna Flow or Flowmaster. I'll have to check with Joe Z on which is better. With the new exhaust I'll have to have dual chrome or stainless tips coming through the rear valance. I'm thinking a medium tint on the windows too.

Too bad, Ford doesn't offer a power moonroof, maybe I'll have to find an aftermarket alternative. Joe and I saw a vendor selling a glass roof when we were in Carlisle. I'll have to find a picture of that and a link to post.

In the future a supercharger would need to be installed, but I can live with 300 horsepower for a while. Now what I need is someone that knows how to photoshop the picture I posted of the tungsten pony below to reflect my dreams.

Heatwave is coming to an end, look for more posts soon,

Monday, June 13, 2005

Mustang Pony package for 2006 V-6 models

Courtesy of the Mustang Source. Com, pictures and what specs are available for the 2006 Mustang V-6 Pony package. With the price of gas and other factors, maybe I'll get one of these?

I love the new grille and fog lights of the Pony package

I think I would opt not to have the stripes, but love the 17" Bullit wheels

Mini heatwave, keeps me from blog

Sorry about the lack of posts, but this mini heatwave we're experiencing is keeping me busy and away from the computer. My computer is in a part of the house that does not have A/C.
If you need a fix of Ford news, click on the links for BlueOvalNews and AutoBlog. I'll be more active when it cools off.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

B4LNOR a very nice 66 restomod Mustang from NY

This very nicely done 66 Mustang restomod is named B4LNOR, because the owner Joe from Long Island New York, was being asked so many times if this was a replica of the movie car. This was a 6 year project and is a very nice job. I was hoping for some sun to get better pics. Hopefully I'll see Joe at some other car shows and get better pics.

Big block under hood of Joe's B4LNOR 66 stang.

1978 Thunderbird with custom convertible top. My buddy Joe and I used to talk about doing something like this when I had my 78. I want one :)

66 Ford F-100 with late model SVT Lightning powertrain. Very nicely done, but with all of the people around this was the best shot I could get.

Hand built Lotus replica with SVO power

The owner/builder of this Lotus replica built this from tubing and sheet aluminum, doing everything but the tune on the Turbo 4. This SVO powered Lotus replica was very well done .

Lotus Super 7 replica, completely hand built by the owner.

The young man sitting behind in the gray t-shirt built this using blueprints and his own two hands. The pictures don't do it justice. And it weighs less than 2200 lbs.

2.3 Turbo 4 from SVO Mustang powers this handbuilt sports car. I spoke briefly to the owner and it puts out over 200 hp.

This Triumph TR6 was powered by a Ford 2.3 Turbo 4. Very nicely done.

Ford MotorSport valve covers on a big block Ford V-8 sitting under the hood of a highly modified Pro Street Mercedes.

That big block Ford sits under the hood of this classic Mercedes. Car was in the vendor area, not the show field.

The picture doesn't show just how big those rear tires are. But you can see the rollcage through the rear window.

Student Film maker at Carlisle

On the second day of the event in the afternoon, my buddy Joe Z and I were approached by a young man with a camera. It turns out Josh Ford is making a film as part of his thesis and he's interviewing people about the car hobby. Josh drove down from the Boston area in his modified Ford Focus and walked the grounds talking to other Ford Fanatics asking why we do it.

I see his film as being similar to documentaries about Woodstock and other cultural phenominom. He was telling me that other students wanted to know if it was going to be like the Fast and Furious films. Well, Josh seemed to be a great guy and I wish him luck. Can't wait to see his film. I'm also hoping he will email pics of his Focus so I can post them here.

Keep an eye open for Josh and his camera this summer, who knows you could be a star.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005


SVT's tent drew heavy crowds and right there was the new SVT Shelby Cobra GT500. The SVT guys were knowledgable and helpful. I overheard one poor SVT guy being grilled by several men about the price gouging going on with the Ford GT and asking what Ford was going to do to prevent the same shenanigans with the GT500. Apparently Ford SVT is tracking dealer sales and they will direct more product to dealers that don't jack up the prices. We'll see what happens when they hit dealers.

People were 5 deep around this one when the sun came out, so I was lucky to get these pictures while it was raining.

87 Turbo Diesel Ranger, resurected from the junk pile

You see a lot of Rangers, and I would have walked right by this one, it seeming to be nothing special. But when I read the front window, I had to speak to the owner. John, saved this one from the Junk yard, and found all of the pieces to bring it back to life second hand. While you may not think it's show quality, it is unique.

Ford Ranger Turbo Diesel from 1987, engine is sourced from Mitsubishi and only offered for two years.

Rescued from the junk pile, this 87 Ranger has a fairly rare turbo diesel. Owned by John Baumann, a local guy who does classic car apraisals, will post a link to his company when time allows. John, Dan and Jan were very nice guys and knowledgable. Look for the link to their company soon.