Muscle Cars Compared: 1968 Mustang vs. Camaro, Firebird, Cougar, Barracuda, and Javelin!

Again in 1968, they referred to as them “sporty,” however for the six pack of automobiles Motor Development editors examined for the January 1968 challenge—the Ford Mustang, Chevy Camaro, Plymouth Barracuda, Pontiac Firebird, AMC Javelin, and Mercury Cougar—muscle automobile is now the much more applicable time period. Apparently, of the nameplates featured within the story we’ve pulled from the MotorTrend archives and recreated beneath, solely two nonetheless are nonetheless out there right now, and 4 of the manufacturers that constructed them not survive.

From MotorTrend Journal, January 1968

No matter when it began—1954 or 1964—the sports activities/private market has lastly resolved itself, and at this second, as spectacular as its development has been, the height remains to be nowhere in sight. Whereas the remainder of the world is strung out on “unification” and “standardization,” the sports activities/private automobiles supply a better palliate to human nature by “rising” within the different route, a lot to the satisfaction of everybody’s ego and id.

Though many got here earlier than, Mustang have to be credited with establishing a well-defined configuration for the sports activities/private automobile—a Mittymobile, a snug compromise for wishful thinkers—that was tailor made for followers who have been protected in assuming that the extra completely different sports activities/private automobiles there are, the extra “private” every will turn out to be.

That we have now collected 6 distinct representatives of this marketplace for comparability, signifies that this premise is a sound one. First, all six are profitable and value of comparability by advantage of their singular objective and design. Second, they’ve all occurred inside 4 years—a veritable phenomenon. Due to the “private” attribute of the category, the automobiles all differ, although all variations are imprecise or delicate. Two emphasize luxurious, one economic system, and all six supply efficiency and a selected sort of consolation, every of which might be rendered within the proprietor’s personal distinctive method from manifold choices and equipment.

By assessing the entire automobiles on a comparative foundation, we hoped to disclose the inherent weak spot in a market apparently overcrowded with equivalent merchandise. We found fairly the opposite.

1968 Ford Mustang

“Ponycar” means Mustang. It’s the unique, and the one all different contenders to the throne are out to beat. It made the entire scene occur, and prefer it or not, you possibly can’t drive dwelling in a brand new Cougar, Camaro, Javelin, Barracuda, or Firebird with out the neighborhood gang evaluating it to a Mustang.

Powertrain and Efficiency

The number of choices within the powertrain division is widespread. You possibly can have an economic system Mustang or a stormer. Our prime take a look at automobile was a 390-cubic-inch GT V-Eight fastback. This 4-bbl carbed engine accommodates 335 “ponies,” and will get efficiency jobs carried out with out pressure. The 390 GT engine is second solely to the 427ci, 390hp, 4-bbl carbureted V-8, which is numerous engine for a small automobile. It will probably solely be hooked to a 3-speed computerized, whereas the 390 V-Eight presents a alternative of normal 3-speed handbook, non-compulsory 4-speed handbook, or extra-cost computerized. Our 390 had the automated, and we couldn’t discover fault with it. The Cruise-O-Matic shifted crisply, all the time on the similar rpm when the accelerator was buried within the carpet, and was the best for in-town cruising.

We favor the 390 GT V-Eight for efficiency duties, largely as a result of it’s uncertain the typical person would ever notice full potential from the 427, and possibly be annoyed with the 302 4-bbl V-8. Getting full potential from a 427 dictates critical efforts on a closed course. Some other website would possibly endanger each driver and bystanders.

Customary in all Mustangs is a 200ci, 115hp in-line six-cylinder. This is a perfect powerplant for individuals who want good economical transportation, however hate to undergo from pure lack of energy. The vast majority of early Mustangs have been six-banger geared up, and a big proportion nonetheless roll off the road this manner. Computerized transmission is obtainable along with the usual all-synchro 3-speed.

Ford’s dependable 289-cubic-inch 2-bbl V-Eight is the usual 8-cylinder Mustang engine, with a 200-hp score. Solely a 4-bbl, 302-cubic-inch V-Eight is obtainable optionally within the small-block configuration, bringing with it 230 hp. A totally synchronized 3-speed floor-shifted transmission is commonplace for each, and both 4-speed handbook or 3-speed computerized is non-compulsory. The two-bbl 289 is an everyday gas person, whereas the 302 4-bbl V-Eight has an costly premium food regimen.

The performance-minded 390 GT V-Eight is nice for wherever from 11 to 15 mpg, and 16 is perhaps squeezed from it on an extended journey. This isn’t dangerous for an engine with nearly fixed energy reserve, although removed from what Dad would possibly think about good. It’s extraordinarily gentle mannered round city and doesn’t act up in site visitors or when the temperature climbs.

We made an extended journey within the 390 Mustang, discovering that except prompted by a heavy foot, it’s exhausting to detect the powerhouse lurking below the flat-black painted louvered hood.

All of the V-8s will settle for energy gear with out extreme energy loss, however we’d positively advise in opposition to including greater than energy steering to the six-banger. It simply doesn’t pump out that many horses to offer push for the automobile and a gob of equipment. Low mileage and extreme upkeep would be the end result.

Dealing with, Steering, and Stopping

Mustangs deal with, however want GT suspensions for exhausting work. Gentle rear finish might be unhandy, so full fuel tank is really helpful. “Fats” tires and energy steering assist driver chores, each on the highway and on the town. Automotive has little or no tendency to turn out to be skittish at excessive velocity. All-around imaginative and prescient leaves a lot to be desired in fastback, however is okay in coupe. All automobiles at school want entrance discs with any however commonplace V-8.

The primary Mustang consumers have been most likely impressed extra by the dealing with traits of the automobile than the rest. This isn’t a lot the case now, as all “ponycar” makers stress dealing with of their design and their gross sales pitch. In inventory type, with GT gear, the automobile hangs on indefinitely, and all Mustangs have “dealing with.” The typical, sane (hopefully) driver received’t discover himself overstretched in a scenario attributable to roll-under, entrance finish wash-out, or the rear finish greeting the highway earlier than the entrance. Springs don’t react as stiffly as on the Firebird, however however, the Mustang suspension delivers simple reliability in exhausting use. It has supplied start line for Shelby-American’s Group II Sedan Racers, which proved themselves on highway programs everywhere in the nation this previous yr.

Steering on the Mustang didn’t impress us all that a lot both manner. It steers like a automobile ought to. It has a reasonably tight turning diameter, and there’s no lag between steering wheel and entrance wheel motion. Energy steering was in all of the Mustangs we drove, however we tooled a ’67 with handbook gearing and located it not objectionable. It’s not the super-stiff selection we’ve endured in different makes, however don’t go by this advice when you’re pondering of wide-pattern tires. They grasp on to the pavement too nicely to make handbook steering a simple chore. Huge tires demand energy help for any sort of driving pleasure in any respect.

Stopping has by no means taken a lot effort in a Mustang, and this yr’s floating drum entrance energy disc brake is even higher. Extra braking effort outcomes from the identical quantity of foot stress, and the simplified “floating” caliper ought to give longer life because of fewer elements. In all our assessments, the automobile(s) by no means diverse from a straight line, and the brakes by no means gave up. We had solely disc entrance/drum rear varieties for our use, and the fuel tank was all the time full, which can have added to rear finish stability and absence of spring wind-up.

Irrespective of although as a result of the entrance disc/rear drum energy brakes present an amazing edge over regular non-power 4-wheel drum binders (energy drums aren’t out there). Think about additionally that the additional weight of a 390 or 427 detracts from braking effectiveness, and for that purpose, these engines can’t be had in a automobile with out entrance energy discs.

Consolation, Comfort, and Journey

We’re huge on protected automobiles, however generally security objects detract from consolation. Take the brand new closely padded steering wheel, as an illustration. It protrudes farther towards the motive force than the ’67 challenge, inflicting him to “kink” his elbows so as to sit inside vary of the foot pedals. Then, whereas turning, the bent elbows are liable to strike the thickly padded armrest. We realized to keep away from the armrest, however by no means appreciated having to take action.

Sit-down consolation is OK. We’d hate to go as far as to say “excellent,” as a result of just a few aches can happen after a very long time within the driver’s saddle. Usually, we discover no grievance within the well-padded buckets for regular use, which means journeys of 1 hour or much less. Again seat consolation may very well be improved with extra legroom and armrests, and the rear seat headroom within the fastback is cramped. However judging by gross sales of ponycars, Mustang specifically, the rear seat area has little to do with influencing purchases, and if it have been bigger, then it wouldn’t be sports activities/private. And there you’re! Driver place is superb. All devices might be simply learn, and most controls are shortly reached. The ashtray lies nearly flat with very shallow sides, so periodic emptying is a necessity. Reaching the important thing takes some stretching, however the driver has trigger to go for it solely when getting out and in, in order that’s no main objection. Placing it down low the place it’s might additionally imply much less probability of banging it along with your knee both when getting into or leaving.

In some way, we by no means received used to the non-compulsory Tilt-Swing steering wheel. We actually loved having the ability to get the wheel out of our lap when exiting, and having a alternative of 9 completely different driving positions. Our objection, nonetheless, is that after it swings away when the door is opened, it doesn’t lock in place. It simply strikes up and to the suitable after which is as sloppy as a moist mop. We would like it to lock, giving us one thing to understand when exiting.

We discovered no nice problem getting into or exiting the automobile, with or with out the lean wheel. Door opening and clearance is sufficient: seat-to-wheel clearance isn’t an issue.

The Mustang experience has been improved yearly since its introduction, and that is the perfect but. A “hockey-stick” curved entrance decrease management arm helps bump and shock absorption by the entrance wheels, drastically decreasing suggestions by means of the steering management. A carryover from final yr is the usage of rubber bushings in any respect attachment factors of the suspension members to the physique, which neatly voids harsh vibrations and dampens noise to a big extent.

“Plain-Jane” Mustangs with out heavy-duty suspension really feel good for ’68, and supply about what consumers might count on from “dealing with packages’’ way back to 5 years in the past. Ford engineers have evidently turn out to be conscious of the truth that there’s extra worth in management than in a cushiony experience, and it may be included in all automobiles with out arousing proprietor grievance.

The comfort of the massive bin within the entrance of the non-compulsory console was repeatedly introduced out to us. It appears able to accepting a complete picnic lunch—although it received’t maintain it chilly—and is inside arm’s attain of driver or passenger. The roll-top hatch and enormous dimension mix to make it the most effective console compartments we’ve seen.

Plus and Minus Options

We’ve already “black marked” the Tilt-Swing wheel for its non-locking swing; however because it’s non-compulsory, when you don’t prefer it, don’t purchase it. The shut positioning of the handbook windshield washer pump pedal and lightweight dimmer swap make it seemingly that you simply’ll wash your home windows and/or brighten your lights when solely one among these features is desired. Transferring the pedal or equipping all Mustangs with electrical pumps can be an answer.

Sprint structure is nice, and the revamping of the heater/air-con controls will certainly lead to extra proprietor satisfaction.

The two+2 rear air vents don’t do a lot to drag air in and thru the automobile, however are about equal to what opponents have to supply, making it a form of standoff.

Transferring the directional sign indicators to the driver-facing a part of the louvered hood is a fab concept, and makes them so much simpler to identify whereas attempting to drive. In addition they give a touch to drivers on either side as to what your subsequent transfer could also be.

No automobile is ideal. The Mustang has some tough edges inbuilt, however not sufficient to remove any of the glamour. The opposite ponycar makers notice that solely too nicely.

1968 Chevrolet Camaro

The Camaro physique styling stays mainly unchanged from 1967. Main modification is the removing of vent home windows. Headlight doorways on our take a look at automobile did not function correctly, they usually typically caught open or closed.

All of it received began again in 1964—by another person. And, it wasn’t till a number of years later, in 1967, that Chevrolet lastly fielded an entry within the sporty automobile sweepstakes. The wait was price it. The sleek, flowing strains and traditional simplicity of the Camaro mirrored, from each angle, consummate years of continental styling improvements. For 1968, the key modifications and enhancements are inside and beneath.

Hopefully, the designers received’t get a whack on the exterior for plenty of years. The one physique change of any consequence that’s instantly evident is the addition of full door home windows with out ventipanes. Fortunately, that little bit of engineering prestidigitation truly enhanced the appears.

For a automobile that wasn’t instantly accepted within the look division, Camaro has actually taken off now. Maybe, as is the case with most inventive creations, it takes some time to be understood. The one recommendation we have now for Camaro engineers is: tune up, activate, however by no means, by no means drop out.

Powertrain and Efficiency

If the variety of engines out there for the Camaro will increase yearly because it did this yr, a purchaser would require a pc to do his selecting for him. Final yr there have been three engine choices: a 6 and two V-8s. This yr the selection has elevated 100%. Now there are six powerplants prepared and ready for the Camaro Connoisseur. A 230-cubic-inch, 140-hp six and a 327-cubic-inch, 210-hp V-Eight are commonplace. Non-obligatory selections embrace a 250-ci, 155-hp six and a 327-ci, 275-hp V-8. Accessible for the Camaro SS are a 350-ci, 295-hp V-8, and the highest of the road, a 396-ci, 325-hp V-8. Rear axle ratios are as plentiful as engine choices and vary all the best way from a 2.56:1 economic system bundle with Powerglide, to a 4.88:1 particular used with the 4-speed and 350-ci V-8. Positraction is required with the excessive ratio rear ends from 4.10 to 4.88 and is out there optionally for all different ratios.

Our take a look at automobile was geared up with the 396-ci, 325-hp V-8, tied right into a Turbo Hydra-Matic and a 3.07 rear axle. The Turbo is out there solely with the large engine within the SS sequence. The 396 places out a torque score of 410 lb-ft at a leisurely 3,200 rpm, which is sort of ample for this 3,680-pound, short-wheelbase stormer. This huge engine actually represents brute pressure in a automobile this dimension. Sadly, progress is one thing we should reside with as trendy expertise continues to bathe us with aids that make driving simpler, however on the similar time forces us to relinquish the enjoyable and feeling of driving an impressive car. The engine of our take a look at Camaro, apart from driving the automobile, additionally furnished the horses for: energy steering, energy brakes, air-con, and a smog system. Even with all these contingencies, the automobile was capable of do a good Zero to 60 in 7.Eight seconds, and turned a quarter-mile at 92 mph. The three huge V-8s all have 4-bbl carbs and the 396 has 10.25:1 compression. The 325 hp is rated at 4,800 rpm. Our automobile had a tach, which is mighty helpful to have, and indicated the shift factors at 5,500 rpm. There’s additionally a profusion of transmission choices to tie in with the engines and rear ends. These embrace a regular 3-speed, a heavy-duty 3-speed, a 4-speed, Powerglide and the Turbo. With the right, fastidiously thought-about powertrain mixture, the Camaro is usually a extremely pleasing, going machine.

Dealing with, Steering, and Stopping

Dealing with this automobile is a pleasure, one of many excellent options. Its wide-stance, low-profile chassis presents distinctive driving consolation with good dealing with and excellent roadability. Round city, on washboard or chuck-holed roads, the experience is just a little stiff with the beefed-up SS springing, however freeway cruising is a distinct story. The Camaro SS handles like a automobile twice its dimension and weight. Apart from the unfold stance chassis, the driving qualities may also be attributed to the broad tread, F70x14 tires fitted on 16-inch wheels. A brand new improvement for 1968 that provides to the dealing with and driving traits are bias-mounted rear shock absorbers for improved suspension management. The curb aspect unit is mounted forward of the axle; the driver-side shock is mounted behind. The SS and fashions with non-compulsory 275-hp V-Eight and 4-speed gearbox additionally function particular multiple-leaf rear springs. All others have single leaf rear springing.

Entrance suspension is impartial with coils and concentric shocks. The road-test automobile was geared up with Positraction, and we extremely suggest this selection with the large engine. It’s invaluable for cornering, and even when leaving a parking zone. With huge energy below the hood, the rear finish might break unfastened with out a lot provocation, however Positraction negates the fishtail urge earlier than it begins. Put your foot into it popping out of a nook. The sensation when the rear finish digs in and places you in a straight line is pure safety blanket. Energy steering actually saves the arms, particularly with the broad treads throughout, however makes for some sensitive dealing with when cornering at velocity. Many extra wheel corrections are mandatory than can be required if the steering have been unassisted. Once more, it is a sacrifice to ease and comfort. Energy steering ratio is 20.6:1.

Stopping can also be a Camaro good level, particularly when you have the entrance disc brake possibility, which our take a look at automobile had. Entrance discs are 11 inches and rear drums are 9.5 inches. Stopping from 60 mph took 141 toes and from 30 to 31 toes, each respectable distances, and the automobile didn’t fluctuate from a straight line both time. The brake pedal is adjusted to experience near the ground for heel and toe operation. This can be a good function for rallying and racing. Entrance discs are remarkably fade-resistant after repeated high-speed stops. The ability- help operates simply with none seize.

Consolation, Comfort, and Journey

Inside consolation is nice except you undergo from claustrophobia. Spaciousness isn’t a Camaro robust level, however then, one doesn’t purchase a sporty automobile if he expects a wagon inside. Bucket seats are snug—even after a prolonged journey—and nicely proportioned. The customized inside possibility with all vinyl seat covers is enticing and straightforward to scrub. All accent knobs and switches are conveniently positioned, and speedometer and tach are straightforward to learn. Rear seats are snug, however head- and legroom are missing—additionally to be anticipated with a small, sporty automobile. The identical remark might be made about baggage area. It’s virtually unimaginable to get something however the smallest circumstances into the trunk, however one can’t count on a cavernous storage space both with this sort automobile. The middle-mounted console is the suitable top and size for simple shifting and easy accessibility to the console glove compartment. A console-mounted seatbelt receptacle can also be handy and eliminates the necessity to search below the seats for a lacking belt every time you enter the automobile. The coupe presents barely extra room within the baggage compartment and inside than the convertible.

As talked about earlier, experience is outstanding, particularly when broad treads are chosen. Steady driving is seldom tiring. Air con, though it attracts closely on the engine, is an asset that may’t be neglected. It cools the automobile shortly, which isn’t as typically the case with greater automobiles and bigger interiors and, with the home windows up, the noise issue is held to a minimal, additionally an asset on an extended journey.

Plus and Minus Options

An absence of preplanning, the excessive price of modifications, or the sacrifice of perfection for expediency, are anomalies we reside with right now. Sadly, many minor inconveniences on the Camaro might have been corrected with just a little extra experimentation and testing. The particular console-mounted instrumentation bundle—that features gas, ammeter, temperature, and oil stress gauges—is positioned in order that it’s nearly unimaginable to see from the motive force seat. To test the gauges, particularly gas, the eyes have to be away from the highway for plenty of seconds, a harmful requirement in any driving scenario. With the usage of so many energy choices fitted right into a small engine compartment, routine service operations comparable to including oil or checking spark plugs, turn out to be main mechanical achievements. An adjustable steering wheel can be a helpful accent, not solely to facilitate entry and exit, however to alleviate driving monotony on lengthy journeys. Home windows are additionally tough to roll up. On the plus aspect, the elevated inside padding and security options rating many factors, as do the brand new aspect lights.

There’s numerous room for enchancment, mechanically, however when you like ’em small and quick, Camaro comes on like a champ.

Plymouth Barracuda

There aren’t any moments of emotional or bodily ecstasy with the Barracuda, however a minimum of it doesn’t current phony impressions of achievement. It’s nearly too massive for a real sports activities/private automobile, but we had the responsible sensation that it intentionally displayed this impression as a put-down for the entire sports activities/private fad—simply as if it’s telling us what everyone knows, however are afraid to confess; specifically, that sports-personals are a questionable compromise between the honesty of purism and a dehumanizing give up to materialistic creature comforts.

Powertrain and Efficiency

Unquestionably one of many extra thrilling engines examined this yr was the brand new 340-ci, 4-bbl System “S” Barracuda powerplant in our automobile. And, one of the crucial irritating experiences in testing this yr was working this engine below the onus of its smog-control constrictor, air conditioner, and energy steering. It has an nearly antiphonal sound when working at limits, as if it has lastly discovered its future—but you may as well hear its muffled cries because it strains in opposition to quite a few, ridiculous equipment.

There are few praises within the newest technology of automobiles, and this engine is one among them. The quick stroke of three.31 inches and the excessive compression ratio of 10.5:1, are instantly detectable by its agile response. Potential is clear upon inspecting the consumption manifold, a system designed to partially compensate for smog modifications. Heads have massive valves and ports, and the engine used with our TorqueFlite has 4 levels extra advance than the one with handbook transmissions. Consumption valve raise is .430 and exhaust is .445. That is additionally the smallest engine Chrysler Corp. presents with air valve secondaries and a low-restriction, unsilenced air cleaner.

Its greatest contribution to potential is its weight—solely 25 kilos greater than the outdated 273. Designed for road use, it’s gentle and versatile, and it desires to wind nicely previous 6,000 rpm with none eerie noises. Torque peaks at 340 lb-ft at a surprisingly low 3,200 rpm, however hp is simply the other: 275 at 5,000, fairly than a imply of 4,500 or 4,800 for the remainder of the trade. Nonetheless, with all this working room out there, we nonetheless obtained our greatest acceleration occasions by shifting at 5,500 fairly than 6,000 rpm. Weight and equipment make a giant distinction, and that is the place torque manifests its worth.

Each the TorqueFlite and low-ratio axle of three.23:1 negated acceleration occasions even additional, so the perfect we might obtain have been 8.1 seconds from Zero to 60 and 11.Eight from Zero to 75. Its greatest supply is, naturally, within the velocity ranges the place all of it counts—specifically, passing speeds and terminals on the quarter-mile. Though the quarter was coated in a considerably leisurely 15.2, we achieved 92 mph in that distance. The 40 to 60 passing vary was coated in 3.Three seconds after starting with some excessive revs in low, and 50 to 70 is a powerful 4.1 seconds. The 340 being as prepared to work as it’s, and interesting primarily to the road nut, it’s extra cheap for Plymouth to suggest it with the next axle ratio and Positive-Grip differential as commonplace gear so as to allow it to comprehend its correct price in commonplace type. As it’s, there’s an extreme 22.Eight mph for each 1,000 rpm. Air con, an embarrassing possibility for the System ‘’S’’ set-up—and normally the one function solely able to devastating efficiency fully—solely reduce .7 second off the quarter-mile time and three mph off the terminal velocity whereas working, which attests both to the engine’s power or the air conditioner’s weak spot.

Dealing with, Steering, and Stopping

The one benefit the Barracuda System “S” model has in dealing with over a super-suspended sedan is much less weight. Inherent limitations of an outdated design are apparent on both tough roads or below duress on clean ones. Extreme unsprung weight is extreme sufficient in a inventory design, however then throw 6 leaves on the springs, together with an online of torsion bars, add wider, 5.5J wheels, all of which gathers up the normally excessive polar second of inertia of home our bodies, and all you will have is a smaller huge automobile that doesn’t sway as a lot because the household sedan. Our take a look at automobile may very well be thought-about a way more docile and controllable bundle than most Barracudas—primarily due to two options: the broad, E70x14 tires, and the comparatively gentle weight of that superb 340-ci engine. Even at that, there was extreme physique lean, and a simple drift didn’t happen till it was too late to be fully trusted.

As in all circumstances with 108-inch wheelbase automobiles that weigh 3,500 kilos and over, tires are essentially the most helpful suspension function. The drawback of that is the monitoring sacrifice that have to be made with the broad treads, due to their proclivity to observe essentially the most delicate directional deviations of cracks within the highway or tracks on the street. There have been positively occasions when the Barracuda had a thoughts of its personal.

Too typically, energy steering is an absolute necessity with home V-8s, however the Barracuda geared up with the light-weight 340 engine is an exception to the rule that might have been attention-grabbing to expertise with the non-compulsory low-ratio handbook steering that has an total ratio of 19.15:1, in contrast with the 28.7:1 commonplace ratio. Associated additional to the 18.79:1 energy ratio, the response differential is so small that it’s not even vital, whereas the low handbook ratio would offer the ever vital “really feel” that’s so lamentably absent with energy models. For individuals who do prefer to thrash about with ease, Barracuda’s energy unit is nicely modulated and in no way dangerously easy. In some way, they’ve managed to retain a commendable quantity of management within the system.

Hopefully, we are going to all see the day, and really quickly, when the home car will probably be designed as an integral unit combining good style, good sense, character and performance, as an alternative of unbalanced expressions of remoted passions. However, till that day comes, we are going to proceed to supply overpowered, front-heavy lumbering megamobiles with dangerous brakes. Barracuda has head begin in smart engine design with their newest powerplant, however efficiency of the drum brakes nearly struck us with apoplexy once we realized that we hadn’t hesitated to wring out the automobile below lower than superb circumstances with a pompous disdain for security—trusting fully in our personal mortal abilities. In a panic cease from 60 mph, we lastly got here to relaxation in 159 toes—and that, people, was the top of that. Our journey again to the workplace was an exemplary show of consideration for the opposite driver.

Consolation, Comfort, and Journey

Each Barracuda we’ve examined has been nearly peerless in consolation and experience. Its dimension and suspension are tough to excel for these mixtures. Rear springs, even within the System “S” model, are rated at solely 130 kilos per inch, and with solely 6 leaves, they don’t seem to be fairly harsh sufficient to affront tender sensitivities. Loaded with equipment and topped up with gas, the Barracuda fastback weighs 3,500 kilos—greater than sufficient substance to provide the impression of a mushy experience.

Definitely a bonus, and in no way “sq.,” is the out there alternative of bench or bucket seats in Barracuda’s hardtop and fastback fashions. In reality, the bucket seats have been clearly designed for look and softness. They supplied nearly no lateral assist on both the seatback or backside. Whereas they develop no fatigue within the driver and do convey some really feel, the benches would have served these calls for adequately. Arm- and legroom is most spectacular. The seat may very well be moved again to simply accommodate a 6-footer together with his limbs absolutely prolonged.

New this yr are the good-looking map pockets within the doorways, testifying tastefully to a luxury-sporty picture. Sadly, incongruous slabs of simulated, contrasting wooden right here and there deteriorate what would in any other case be clean, easy magnificence.

Plus and Minus Options

The Barracuda lacks a lot of the sporty attraction of its opponents within the passenger compartment in dealing with and in brakes. Due to these qualities, it’s caught in a marginal place for satisfying these for whom it’s clearly meant. Nonetheless, it excels impressively in three crucial facets: the brand new 340-ci engine will little question emerge as “The Powerplant” of the yr, each in design and efficiency; Barracuda’s styling lead remains to be a truth; and roominess and luxury will unsell the deficiencies talked about above.

AMC Javelin

American Motors may be very honest of their flattery. They’ve copied the opposite makers’ fundamental sports-personal concept, however that’s the place the imitation ends. Their Javelin is a world aside from the opposite ponycars in styling, consolation, area and options.

It additionally differs in the truth that by no means has one automobile meant a lot to the company lifetime of an organization. For AM’s sake, Javelin needs to be a hit. We really feel it needs to be a hit as a result of it’s a good product. The automobile is an effective consultant for any firm’s title tag.

Powertrain and Efficiency

Javelin’s commonplace 232-ci six-cylinder engine is the second largest six-banger within the subject, giving manner solely to the 250-ci Firebird OHC-6. Rated at 145 hp, it’s of a current design, and delivers surprisingly good efficiency and a minimum of 22 mpg on common gas. Energy equipment might be held on the 6 with out shattering efficiency, and there’s even a dealing with package non-compulsory for six-cylinder propelled automobiles. A 3-speed column shifted handbook gearbox is commonplace, and a column managed Shift-Command 3-speed computerized is non-compulsory. Rear axle ratios vary from 3.08:1 to three.31:1, and an “economic system” 2.73:1. ratio could also be ordered.

Mildest of three non-compulsory V-8s is a 290-cubic-inch, 200-hp model. It performs economically on common gas, having a light compression ratio of 9.0:1 and a 2-bbl carb. Addition of energy equipment received’t overburden the motor, and both console- or column-shifted computerized transmission is non-compulsory. Customary gearbox is an all-synchro 3-speed unit, whereas a 4-speed floor-shifted field might be extra-cost ordered.

A high-performance 4-bbl carbed 290 V-Eight is non-compulsory, and is rated at 225 hp. Premium gas is required, and the distinction between this and the 200-hp V-Eight appears considerably greater than 25 horses. Solely a 4-speed transmission might be mated to the 225 V-8, at further price in fact.

Largest engine out there is AM’s 343-ci, 280hp V-8. Quad carbureted and delivering 10.2:1 compression ratio, its exterior dimensions are equivalent to 290s, so it takes up no extra room below the lengthy hood. Our take a look at automobile got here geared up with this engine, and we by no means discovered it objectionable to be used in any job. It carried out easily, quietly, but “received with this system” when pushed. Our take a look at machine had the non-compulsory 4-speed gearbox, and this engine might be hooked to a flooring or column-shifted computerized. There’s no commonplace transmission for this V-8.

Gear ratios for V-8s start at 3.15:1 for all, and a pair of.87:1 (economic system) or 3.54:1 (efficiency) could also be ordered. Units of 4.10:1 or 4.44:1 might be had over the supplier elements counter.

Additionally provided from the supplier’s elements bin is a high-performance hydraulic camshaft and package that ups efficiency and usable rpm vary with out including horsepower. One additional step might be taken by including the dealer-available “cold-air” consumption manifold gasket, blocking the exhaust cooker to the carburetor, a well known hot-rod trick. Neither step reduces the automobile’s usefulness to any diploma.

Efficiency of our take a look at automobile was simply in need of shocking. Our greatest elapsed time for the quarter-mile was 15.12 seconds, and this resulted in a velocity of 93.26 mph, in response to the Chrondeks at Irwindale Raceway.

Dealing with, Steering, and Stopping

A impolite awakening waited for us within the dealing with take a look at. In SST type with the 343 V-Eight which features a stout dealing with bundle, the automobile turned and cornered as if it have been nailed to the highway. Photographs reveal lean and slight tire roll, however nobody behind the wheel ever caught a touch of this. The fats E70x14 tires included within the bundle heartily contribute to lateral stability, whereas lending a giant automobile really feel and dealing with trait throughout straight-line tooling. If auto racing have been relegated to strictly inventory automobiles, we’d put our guess right here.

No wheel hop was encountered throughout acceleration or deceleration. Credit score goes to a pair of dealer-installed rear traction bars.

Steering in our take a look at car was AM’s non-compulsory “Fast Ratio” handbook, with a 16.Zero gearbox ratio, taking solely 4 turns of the wheel to go from lock-to-lock. It’s removed from the simplest we’ve twisted, however completely fitted to highway and rallye circumstances. We’d advise in opposition to it for in-town use as its on-the-road virtues don’t assist parallel parking chores. The common handbook steering with 5.1 turns lock-to-lock is clean and straightforward, although a bit sluggish. The non-compulsory energy help strikes a contented medium with a 17.1 total ratio and three.6 turns wanted for lock-to-lock motion.

Too few automobiles have brakes equal to the non-compulsory entrance disc/rear drum energy models on the Javelin. We made many passes up and down mountain roads and “by means of the eyes” on the dragstrip, by no means as soon as struggling deterioration of stopping energy. The automobile pulled to a halt a scant 150 toes from 60 mph in a virtually excellent straight line, and repeated this take a look at a number of occasions in the identical distance. The drum brakes work admirably, however are liable to fade after repeated use. We strongly suggest the entrance disc binders for all, particularly these automobiles with efficiency gear.

Consolation, Comfort, and Journey

You want solely a second inside a Javelin to find the abundance of area. Almost each inside dimension is bigger than its opponents, and three within the full-width again seat is a actuality. Outboard rear passengers get loads of knee and legroom even when the entrance seats are pushed absolutely to the rear.

Seating is basically snug. Even the fundamental seats are wonderful—the one actual distinction between them and the SST is coloration. We logged a number of thousand miles in our take a look at automobile, and by no means grew uncomfortable within the saddle. Driver place is good and excessive, although this doesn’t clear up the issue of rear imaginative and prescient being considerably blocked by the massive rear quarter.

Contortions aren’t wanted to enter entrance or rear, and the out-of-the-way door launch is helpful to seek out. Flush-mounted exterior door deal with approaches the comfort of sliced bread.

We discovered a discount in wind draft contained in the automobile from the absence of vent home windows. Rear passengers voiced the identical remark. The heavy pane remains to be to roll up, however a powerful help spring or higher gearing would cut back the hassle wanted.

Sprint structure has every little thing the place the motive force can see and attain it simply, although the glovebox attain is a little bit of a chore. It’s not dangerous by comparability to all different automobiles, and is a tilt-down drawer fairly than a door with area behind.

Devices are deeply recessed into the ABS plastic panel, and the center-mounted radio is about low, nearly on the ground tunnel. Cigar lighter and ashtray are below it, and the ashtray has a holder for cigarettes and cigars.

Air-conditioning shops occupy the mid-section of the flat middle panel, and soon-to-be-released non-compulsory gauges will slot in the identical space. The 10.2-cubic-foot trunk compartment will undoubtedly maintain that quantity, however getting it in is an issue. The fastback decklid presents an entry downside for sizeable objects, however hordes of small packages will stow properly.

Our “dealing with bundle” take a look at automobile rode stiffly, however with out damaging our tender torsos. Management is close to excellent, and passenger bounce and rebound is destructive. In fact extreme bumps will separate rider from full seat contact, however the identical holds true for all H-D suspended home automobiles. We like the usual Javelin suspension for its firmness and stability, and as within the “bundle” automobile, vibration and driveline noise are nonexistent contained in the automobile.

Plus and Minus Options

The usual flow-through air flow actually falls down on the job. The under-armrest and doorjamb outlet factors want transforming.

An added benefit to recessing the devices is the discount of glare from the glass covers. One other merchandise we favor is the non-compulsory headlight buzzer which comes alive when the sunshine swap is out and the secret’s off.

The 4-speed linkage is likely one of the higher manufacturing models we’ve encountered, however we’d prefer to see the Reverse lockout deal with moved decrease down the stick. It interferes with knuckles throughout fast shifts, and shifting it will don’t have any hostile impact on partaking Reverse.

There’s a glance of success in regards to the Javelin, although it’s getting into the sport late. The ultimate gun hasn’t sounded but, so there’s nonetheless time to attain touchdowns. We met only some individuals who didn’t dig the automobile, and none of those have been from different automakers. Perhaps subsequent yr, AM will probably be flattered by imitation.

Mercury Cougar

Lincoln-Mercury’s principle of a small, sporty automobile interesting to luxury-minded consumers when geared up considerably higher than nearly all of “ponycars” was nicely proved in 1967. Cougar gross sales ran greater than anticipated, and numerous trade-ins have been huge automobiles. The value is greater, naturally, however solely a mirrored image of what’s included by comparability to the opposite automobiles on this market.

Powertrain and Efficiency

There aren’t any six-cylinder Cougars. The bottom V-Eight is a 302-ci, 2-bbl engine, rated at 210 hp and simply run on common gas. A 3-speed handbook, floor-shifted gearbox is commonplace, and both a 3-speed computerized or 4-speed handbook could also be had at further price. Customary rear axle is 2.79:1, and a 3.00:1 comes with the non-compulsory transmissions.

A 230-hp model of the 302 V-Eight is non-compulsory, utilizing a 4-bbl carb and needing premium gas for its 10.0:1 compression. The extra 20 hp over the usual engine are fairly noticeable and make a greater accessory-laden powerplant. Transmission availability is similar because the 210-hp motor. All rear gearing is 3.00:1, with 2.79:1 non-compulsory. The added-cost limited-slip differential carries a 3.00:1 gear.

Two variations of 390ci V-8s might be had, one in 2-bbl type, and the opposite in 4-bbl gown. The two-throat has a 280-hp score with 10.5:1 compression, dictating premium gas, although much less is used than on the 4-bbl 390.

It appears massive, however this isn’t an outlandishly sized engine and it’ll carry out economically and easily, particularly at excessive cruising speeds. With many choices on the order clean, the 2-bbI 390 is an effective alternative, although tire-burning efficiency is minimal.

The bigger 390 GT V-Eight with 4-bbl carburetion has the identical 10.5:1 compression, however 325 hp versus 280. Torque is 39 lb-ft better at 320. Twin exhausts are commonplace, and the GT V-Eight could also be ordered alone or at the side of the GT Efficiency Group possibility, which incorporates broad tires and H-D suspension items. Our take a look at Cougar had the large 390, impressing us with clean efficiency at low speeds, but a prepared reserve of energy when wanted.

Solely a 3-speed computerized is out there with the 2-bbl 390, and rear gears of two.75, 3.00, or 3.25:1 are provided. Customary with the 4-bbl 390 is a H-D floor-shifted 3-speed stick, whereas both a 4-speed handbook or 3-gear computerized are non-compulsory. Axle ratio availability is similar because the 2-bbl 390.

Largest engine possibility is a 427-ci “race-bred” 4-bbl V-8. Creating 390 hp, it’s fairly a bit tamer than Ford’s race automobile 427s, however nonetheless a “runner.” A hydraulic lifter camshaft is used, and the 427 can solely be mated to a 3-speed computerized. Rear axle ratio is static at 3.25:1. Getting one among these in a Cougar remains to be a case for “Mission Unimaginable,” however price is barely decrease.

Due to its wholesome potential, the 427 is bought solely with GT or GT-E packages, giving house owners heavy-duty suspension and fats tires for his or her efficiency exercises.

We drove a number of Cougars, all with completely different engines. All labored nicely, and we discovered no engine noise penetrating the sheetmetal nor harsh temperaments from “efficiency” mixtures. Some decrease gearing would profit quarter-mile occasions, however none are presently out there from the meeting line.

Dealing with, Steering, and Stopping

Since it’s touted as a consolation automobile, discovering it driving machine might come as a shock to first-time pilots. We have been already conscious of this, however every session reminds us of how nicely L-M engineers have integrated stability and firmness with a clean experience. In any type, Cougars are taut handlers. They react shortly to driver calls for, and weight switch lean doesn’t induce tire-roll-under. The tail-end is extraordinarily correct in following the entrance. Bud Moore has carried out a lot with Cougar suspension in Group II sedans, however L-M supplied him with start line.

Bump and dip response over tough roads doesn’t carry out “bottoming,” even on inventory underpinnings. General feeling is one among solidness and fixed management.

Steering motion is constructive. Entrance-wheel response to steering wheel motion is instantaneous. All our take a look at Cougars had energy help. We’ve pushed ’67s with handbook steering and located them gentle on the arm muscle tissue. Lock-to-lock is extra, however aside from being sluggish, there’s little drawback to non-power steering. Huge-pattern tires and large engines, although, will probably be so much simpler to reside with if energy steering is ordered.

Vibration and shock switch from suspension parts is zero. After driving varied automobiles all through the testing yr, this advantage actually reveals itself by its absence.

Cougar brakes are practically equivalent to Mustang of their stopping energy and design. The brand new “floating” caliper entrance discs are all that’s provided with energy help, they usually function so nicely, we really feel they need to be commonplace. The non-power drum brakes cease mainly geared up fashions with out extreme effort or yardage, however the addition of weight-adding choices or engines positively requires entrance disc/rear drum stoppers.

Consolation, Comfort, and Journey

This heading is what Cougar’s all about. Consolation is the large level. Solely delicate refinements in cushioning and sound-deadening set the automobile aside from its lower-priced opponents, however that’s all it takes to make a giant distinction. Crank the home windows up tight (sorry, nonetheless no energy window possibility) to the climate stripping and also you’ll not be bothered by exterior noise. Small highway irritations do little to disturb the “inside sanctum,” and miles of driving received’t remind you of the final time you have been horseback driving. Driving consolation is so groovy, house owners would possibly need to transfer 15 or 20 miles farther from work only for the pleasure of the experience backwards and forwards every day. Would you consider 5 miles?

Dashboard structure and design is a variation of the Mustang, however simply as accessible and legible. Air-conditioning shops are plentiful, and it doesn’t take lengthy for the ice machine to get the inside good and cooled down.

The pair of rear seat passengers (three will not be too eager) have armrests and an ashtray matches within the rear of the non-compulsory console. They received’t want this in the event that they learn the aspect of the pack.

Headroom in all 4 positions is pretty good, however don’t strive carrying a hat. Legroom leaves nothing to be desired up entrance, and solely barely extra would put the rear seat within the intermediate-car class. A pair of 6-footers graced our take a look at automobile again seat, and solely minor unfolding was required at journey’s finish.

Journey is equal to that in different sporty automobiles, however is taken in additional consolation because of the plushier seat padding. Street “chop” isn’t in proof, and there’s solely minor dip and/or squat upon braking and acceleration. It’s not the mattress spring experience of a luxurious automobile, Which we discover a bonus.

Plus and Minus Options

It’s tough to think about how individuals are anticipated to maintain objects in Cougar and Mustang glove compartments. Two highway maps and a pair of glasses gave us matches, and something extra would spill out when the door-bin was dropped. The lean-out drawer sides are about the identical as on the ashtray (which suffers from the identical downside)—letting contents spill out.

You don’t should be obese to understand the Tilt Wheel. We don’t dig the sloppy “tilted-a-way” place, however the possibility of 9 completely different driving positions and straightforward getting in-and-out make up the drawback.

Our grievance on Mustang steering-wheel padding holds true for the Cougar, besides that we didn’t have hassle hitting our elbow in opposition to the armrest within the Cougar. The wheel remains to be too near the motive force for snug attain.

Entrance and rear imaginative and prescient are higher on this automobile than all of the others on this month’s lineup. This may be credited to “no fastback” and a comparatively excessive driver place. There’s no purpose why a fella ought to should hit his nostril on the door windowsill, and it’ll by no means occur right here.

Air-conditioning and heating controls have been redesigned and simplified from the 1967 setup, all to the motive force’s profit. A correspondence course is not wanted to get the suitable temperature. Now in the event that they’d put lights on them…

Our most up-to-date go to with Cougar was no much less pleasurable than the primary. Consolation and quiet abound, each combined fairly naturally with sporty taste and efficiency. All add as much as greater month-to-month funds, however for individuals who need the sprint of a small automobile and aren’t prepared to sacrifice big-car consolation, the Cougar seems to be their “scorching setup.”

Pontiac Firebird

In America’s sporty-car land, all however Firebird have a house. Javelin, Camaro, Barracuda and Mustang are the “pocketbook” specials, whereas the Cougar depends on “class” to elicit more cash from the client. Firebird has ’em all coated, providing a cost-effective six and a wailin’ 400-cubic-inch prime V-Eight possibility.

Powertrain and Efficiency

It simply wouldn’t do for Pontiac to make a sporty automobile that didn’t supply “neat” powerplants during. No Siree! That’s why the bottom engine is their OHC six-cylinder. It fires out 175 hp at 4,800 rpm, and torque of 240 lb-ft at 2,600 rpm. Common gas is all that’s wanted by means of the single-barrel carb, and there’s completely no easier engine for accessibility. Engine compartment room is nice, and attending to prime elements is normally a 5-minute chore.

A 3-speed handbook, all synchro gearbox is commonplace, and both a 4-speed handbook or 2-speed computerized is non-compulsory. Rear gears vary from 2.41 to three.55:1.

A fab bundle for any fanatic is the Dash possibility. This pumps the little six-banger as much as 215 hp, and boosts torque as much as 255 lb-ft at 3,800 rpm. In fact the 4-bbl carb and 10.5:1 compression imply premium gas, however even then mileage vary is 15 to 20 mpg. Entrance finish weight is gentle, and efficiency is superb, shutting down many V-8s with out pressure. Potential is improbable, and plenty of gear makers are already producing velocity merchandise.

Transmission availability is similar as with the bottom OHC-6, and rear axle ratios begin at 2.78:1 and prime off at 3.55:1. Air con dictates its personal ratio on all fashions.

Littlest V-Eight possibility is a 350-ci, 265-hp design, utilizing common gas in its 9.2:1 compression chambers. The two-bbl V-Eight received’t trigger untimely rear tire substitute, nevertheless it performs easily and economically, driving gobs of equipment with out distressing energy.

Gearbox choices are the 2-speed computerized and 4-speed floor-shift handbook. The all-synchro 3-speed stick is commonplace. Rear axle gears go from 2.56:1 as much as 3.23:1:

There’s a high-output 350-inch V-Eight provided with a 4-bbl Rochester and 320 hp. With 10.5:1 compression, it produces 380 lb-ft of torque at 3,200 rpm. A belt-in-the-back performer, this small-sized stormer is sort of a shock.

Similar transmissions are provided right here as with the 265-hp V-8, however axle gears are restricted to three.36:1, 3.23:1, and a pair of.78:1 with refrigeration.

Tamest 400-ci V-Eight possibility is the 330hp (tame?) mannequin, placing out a mere 430 lb-ft of torque at 3,300 rpm. It makes use of 10.75:1 compression to successfully burn premium gas despatched by means of the 4-throat carb. GM’s good computerized—the 3-speed Turbo Hydra-Matic is non-compulsory—as is both a close- or wide-ratio 4-speed. A 3-speed handbook is commonplace. Gear ratios are comparatively low (excessive numerically) beginning at 3.08:1 and dealing as much as 3.55:1. A 2.56:1 is shipped with air-con.

The most well-liked performance-plant is the 400 H.O. Solely 5 extra hp are listed over the 400, however this comes at 5,000 rpm, and the equivalent torque studying is at 3,400 rpm. Exterior look is similar, however modifications present up internally: camshaft and valving. Gearbox availability and rear gear numbers are the exact same because the plain 400, however efficiency positive isn’t.

Our take a look at automobile had the 400 H.O., and we heartily suggest it for all-around use. In no way exhausting to handle in atypical obligation, it actually comes on on the observe.

Only a few Ram-Air 400s go by means of sellers’ fingers, largely due to restricted constructing schedules in addition to excessive price. The exterior recent air feed through the opened hood scoops doesn’t current too huge an issue, however there simply aren’t numerous consumers who want—or can use—this sort of efficiency. Horsepower score of the Ram-Air possibility remains to be 335, however registered at 5,300 rpm. The 430 lb-ft of torque is learn at 3,600 rpm. The Ram-Air engine will simply buzz to 6-grand, because of a stronger valvetrain. It will probably solely be had with non-compulsory 4-speed or Turbo Hydra-Matic, and the one rear cog provided is a 3.90:1. Air con can’t be had.

Dealing with, Steering, and Stopping

Complaints creeped up in 1967 in regards to the stiff experience traits of Firebirds with H-D suspension. Nothing was stated about dealing with, although, which evidently was why they rode stiff. The 1968 version has each good dealing with and reasonably clean experience. A Firebird—any mannequin—with H-D parts will execute a mountain highway or tight nook like a younger Curtis Turner on a moonlight run. If that doesn’t imply a lot, test it out with any veteran Virginia freeway trooper.

Steering motion is similar to dealing with—it’s good. The ability help makes each sort of driving simpler, and we discovered no oversteer or lack of really feel throughout fast maneuvers. Many occasions the steering help does an excessive amount of even in atypical site visitors, however we had no such problem. The handbook steering field isn’t all that onerous to crank, nevertheless it takes over one flip extra to go from lock-to-lock and is sort of a bit slower in gearing.

All fashions obtain drum brakes in commonplace type, which means that sixes and V-8s are equal. The drums work nicely with sixes, however including the load of the V-Eight makes it mandatory so as to add entrance discs to even stick with the sixes in a panic cease. The least quantity of weight distinction between six and V-Eight is 100 kilos, and essentially the most is 300. Pontiac’s 9.5-inch drums work superb, however front-end weight can positive play havoc. We just like the dependability of disc brakes, too, having the ability to carry out repeated stops with out fade. One factor we loved was the straight-line stopping of all of the automobiles, regardless of which system was employed.

Consolation, Comfort, and Journey

Camaro and Firebird use the identical seats, mainly, however Pontiac positive does much more with them. Seating consolation is especially good, and the seat journey is bigger, giving tall drivers an opportunity to seek out some legroom.

Thank goodness the “T” bar computerized console shift has been retained. It may very well be moved farther rearward—nearer to the motive force—however we’ve no critical grievance.

Hopefully, Pontiac can speak Fisher Physique into letting them get their very own sprint design. At the moment, it’s equivalent to Camaro’s, and whereas not objectionable, it doesn’t exhibit the “class” related to the remainder of the automobile. Discovering a spot to place all of the wanted devices can also be an issue.

The one tachometer out there is the hood-mounted one, and also you positive can’t miss seeing the gem. Simply look ahead.

Rear seat legroom isn’t nice, however no worse than different ponycars.

Getting out and in is less complicated now, because of vent window eradication. We’ve put our chin down on the highest of a vent body typically sufficient to understand how harmful they’re, particularly when the adjoining automobile is attempting for a paint pattern.

The largest comfort merchandise is the no-cost non-compulsory House-Saver spare tire. Its small dimension actually makes the trunk compartment seem like it’ll maintain one thing—and it’ll. There’s a achieve of two.Eight cubic toes of area with the collapsible unit over the usual configuration.

Whereas engineers have cushioned the experience considerably, the H-D–geared up automobiles nonetheless take jolts and bumps more durable than regular. We accustomed ourselves to this, however can’t say the experience is softer than some other automobile. Rear-seat riders get the brunt of the motion. Rear wheels have good rebound over ruts. There’s little or no probability of them leaving the highway, even momentarily.

Journey in the usual fashions is superb. It’s potential that fanatics will discover H-D suspension pointless due to the great stability in the usual outfitting.

Plus and Minus Options

An enormous plus—a minimum of for us—was getting a production-assembly automobile for our early-in-the-season take a look at schedule. Our regular supply couldn’t provide a automobile, and when George Neutill of Royal Pontiac in North Hollywood, California (no affiliation with Royal Pontiac in Royal Oak, Michigan) heard of our dilemma, he invited us over to select from 5 he had on his lot. Wow! We couldn’t consider it, however we requested for—and received—the automobile we would have liked. We actually admire his efforts, and sincerely thank him.

A minus function we discovered was finding and deciphering windshield wiper and headlight controls at night time.

The flow-through air flow labored adequately on our take a look at Firebird. We discovered the other on opponents, however this design offers cheap consolation in heat climate, and likewise permits directing recent air towards the motive force’s face.

Upon reflection, we discover only a few flaws that are peculiar to Firebirds. The ahead imaginative and prescient is barely deceiving whereas parking due to the lengthy hood, however that’s the worth of fashion. Facet imaginative and prescient is blocked by the quarter “C” pillar, and sitting low to the bottom has its drawbacks.

Perhaps working the gamut of worth and energy is the reply on this subject. The Firebird does, and simply now reaching its first birthday, ought to be capable to inform a revealing story.

1968 Sports activities/Private Vehicles: How They Evaluate
Efficiency Barracuda Camaro Cougar Firebird Javelin Mustang
Acceleration (2 Aboard)
0-30 MPH 3.2 sec 3.2 sec 3.2 sec 2.Eight sec 3.2 sec 3.Zero sec
0-45 MPH 5.Three sec 5.Zero sec 5.1 sec 5.Zero sec 5.Zero sec 5.1 sec
0-60 MPH 8.1 sec 7.Eight sec 8.Zero sec 7.6 sec 7.6 sec 7.Eight sec
0-75 MPH 11.Eight sec 10.Eight sec 11.Zero sec 11.1 sec 10.Eight sec 10.6 sec
Passing Speeds
40-60 MPH 3.Three sec 3.7 sec 4.Zero sec 3.Eight sec 3.5 sec 3.2 sec
241 ft 270 ft 292 ft 278 ft 256 ft 234 ft
50-70 mph 4.1 sec 4.Three sec 4.5 sec 4.Four sec 3.7 sec 3.Eight sec
360.Eight ft 378 ft 396 ft 387 ft 325 ft 334 ft
Standing Begin 1/Four Mile 15.2 sec 15.6 sec 15.Four sec 15.Four sec 15.1 sec 15.2 sec
92 mph 92 mph 91 mph 93 mph 93 mph 94 mph
Speeds in Gears
1st (MPH at RPM) 49 at 5,500 55 at 5,500 48 at 5,000 55 at 5,500 39 at 5,000 48 at 5,000
2nd 84 at 5,500 91 at 5,500 84 at 5,000 91 at 5,500 49 at 5,000 84 at 5,000
third 125 at 5,500 135 at 5,500 125 at 5,000 137 at 5,500 71 at 5,000 125 at 5,000
4th 105 at 5,000
MPH per 1,000 RPM 22.Eight mph 24.7 mph 25.Zero mph 25.Zero mph 21 mph 25.Zero mph
Stopping Distances
From 30 MPH 39 ft 31 ft 40 ft 38 ft 36 ft 40 ft
From 60 MPH 159 ft 141 ft 160 ft 151 ft 150 ft 145 ft
Mileage Vary 10.9-14.1 8.9-13.1 10.7-15.5 11.0-14.9 11.5-15.8 12.0-15.9
Bore and Stroke 4.04 x 3.31 in 4.094 x 3.76 in 4.05 x 3.78 in 4.12 x 3.75 in 4.08 x 3.28 in 4.05 x 3.78 in
Displacement 340 ci 396 ci 390 ci 400 ci 343 ci 390 ci
HP at RPM 275 at 5,000 325 at 4,800 335 at 4,800 335 at 5,000 280 at 4,800 335 at 4,800
Torque: LB-FT at RPM 340 at 3,200 410 at 3,200 427 at 3,200 430 at 3,400 365 at 3,000 427 at 3,200
Compression Ratio 10.5:1 10.25:1 10.5:1 10.75:1 10.2:1 10.5:1
Carburetion 1 4-bbl Carter 1 4-bbl Rochester 1 4-bbl Holley 1 4-bbl Rochester 1 4-bbl Carter 1 4-bbl Holley
Transmission Kind – Std 4-spd handbook H.D. 3-spd 3-spd handbook 3-spd handbook None 3-spd handbook
Remaining Drive Ratio – Std 3.23:1 3.07:1 3.25:1 3.36:1 2.87:1 w/ auto 3.25:1
3.15:1 w/ 4-spd
Steering Kind – Std Handbook Handbook Handbook Handbook Handbook Handbook
Steering Gear Ratio 24.0:1 24.0:1
Turning Diameter – Curb to Curb 38.Zero ft 37.Zero ft
Wheel Turns – Lock-to-Lock 5.3 4
Tire Measurement – Std E70 x 14 F70 x 14
Brake Kind – Std Drum Drum Drum Drum Drum Drum
Brakes – Non-obligatory Entrance disc and energy Energy drum, metallic, and entrance disc Energy entrance disc / rear drum Energy drum; energy entrance disc / rear drum Energy drum; energy entrance disc / rear drum Energy entrance disc / rear drum
Gasoline Capability – Gallons 18 18 17 18.5 19 16
Curb Weight – Kilos 3,500 3,680 3,882 3,740 3,461 3,623
Physique/Body Development Unit Mixture physique / body Unitized Integral physique Single unit Unitized
Wheelbase – Inches 108 108 111.1 108.1 109 108
Entrance Monitor – Inches 57.4 59 58.5 60 58.36 58.5
Rear Monitor – Inches 55.6 58.9 58.5 60 57 58.5
General Size – Inches 192.8 184.7 190.3 188.8 189.22 183.6
Width – Inches 71.6 72.6 71.3 72.8 71.89 70.9
Top – Inches 52.8 51.5* 51.7 50.0* 51.81 51.6*
*2-Door Coupe
Mfg’s Steered Retail Value $2,736.00 (225 – 6 cyl) $2,565.00 (230 – 6 cyl) $2,910.42 base $2,758.00 (250 – 6 cyl) $2,287.00 (232 – 6 cyl) $2,578.60 (200 – 6 cyl)
$2,842.00 (318 – V-8) $2,670.00 (327 – V-8) $3,208.91 (XR-7) $2,385.00 (290 – V-8)
$4,221.42 (GT-E) $2,385.00 (6 cyl SST)
$2,484.00 (V-Eight SST)
Engine Choices $186.30 – System S340 $92.70 (275 hp, 327 V-8) $79.00 (230 hp, 302 V-8) $105.60 (265 hp, 350 V-8) $45.35 (225 hp, 290 V-8) $105.63 (195 hp, 289 V-8)
$221.65 – System S383 $210.65 (295 hp, 350 V-8)* $77.80 (280 hp, 390 V-8) $180.58 (320 hp, 350 V-8) $90.70 (280 hp, 343 V-8) $66.14 (230 hp, 302 V-8)*
$263.30 (325 hp, 396 V-8)* $158.00 (335 hp, 390 V-8) $273.83 (330 hp, 400 V-8) $158.08 (335 hp, 390 V-8)*
$350.72 (335 hp, 400 V-8) $622.97 (390 hp, 427 V-8)*
$616.12 (Ram-Air 400)
Computerized Transmission $216.20 $194.85 Powerglide $226.10 $194.84, 2-spd $269.35 $233.17
$237.00 Turbo Hydro $236.97 Turbo Hydro
4-Spd Transmission $179.15 $184.35 $184.02 $184.31 $184.25 $233.18**
H.D. 3-Spd Transmission Not provided $79.00 $79.00 $84.26 Not provided $79.20
Restricted-Slip Differential $42.35 $42.15 $41.60 $42.13 $42.10 $41.60
Excessive-Efficiency Tires $69.60 $64.75* $36.35 (E70 x 14) $46.34 $62.75 $64.43 W/390
$73.40 (F70 x 14) $78.53 different V-Eight fashions
Particular Instrumentation $6.10 (journey odometer and 150-mph speedo) $94.80 $39.50 (test panel) $31.60 Not provided $15.59 (clock)
Tachometer $48.70 Included w/ above Accessible solely w/ XR-7 $63.19 hood mounted $48.05 $54.45 (incl. odometer)
AM Radio $61.55 $61.10 $61.40 $61.09 $61.20 $61.40
AM/FM Radio Not provided $133.80 $184.95 (stereo) $133.76 $133.80 $181.36 (stereo)
Customized Wheels Not provided $31.10 (solely w/ disc brakes) $117.65 $84.26 $80.00 approx. $160.27 incl. E70 x 14 tire
$174.38 incl. F70 x 14 tire
Energy Brakes $41.75 $42.15 Not provided $42.13 $42.15 Not provided
Energy Entrance Disc Brakes $114.70 $100.10 $64.85 $105.23 $97.15 $64.77
Middle Console $53.35 $50.60 $57.00 $50.55 Incl. w/ flooring computerized 53.71%
Energy Steering $80.35 $84.30 $95.00 $94.79 $84.40 $84.47
Particular Steering Ratio Not provided $15.80 Not provided Not provided $15.90 Not provided
Adjustable Steering Wheel Not provided $42.15 $66.05 $42.13 $42.15 $66.14
Energy Home windows Not provided $100.10 Not provided $100.05 Not provided Not provided
Air Conditioning $334.60 $360.20 $360.40 $360.20 $360.25 $360.30
*incl. w/ SS bundle *Above base V-Eight price
**Incl. tach and journey odometer w/ V-8
We Like Excessive utility worth in sports-minded automobile … wonderful efficiency from medium-sized V-8, with out nice thirst for fuel … non-compulsory air-con might serve nicely as a deep-freeze. Good handlig, coupled with good braking … absence of vent home windows … pretty good high quality detailing … wide selection of powerplants … good collection of consolation choices. Luxurious motif blended with sporty automobile virtues … good, agency steering and experience … wonderful styline … high-quality ending … good view from driver seat, and excessive seat location … non-compulsory console has enormous storage capability. Styling … good creature consolation in entrance seat … performance-oriented engines all through line … agency experience, which presents similar dealing with talents as 1967, however with smoother experience … collapsible spare … well-outfitted inside compares favorable with Cougar. Low base costs … styling … total design that isn’t a compromise … ventless aspect glass … nice driving consolation … beneficiant rear seat room … actually startling efficiency from smallest engine of all automobiles examined in class. Physique types and their availability … usefulness of fastback … possibility vary … hood-mounted “blinkers” … dealing with and stopping functionality … greater than common trunk area because of accessibility … neat sprint design.
We Don’t Like Excessive steering wheel … hidden seatback latches … inside door releases that may pinch fingers … cluttered door panel upholstery … lack of sporty attraction to inside. Restricted room round driver: foot, hip, and headroom … extraordinarily poor engine compartment entry … dangerous view of non-compulsory gauges … “horseshoe” console shifter. Glove compartment … unlighted temperature controls … headlight doorways that received’t open—or shut—once in a while … padded steering wheel that protrudes too far towards driver. Too shut similarity to Camaro in automobile that sells for extra … absence of 3-speed Turbo Hydro all through the road … small rear seat room. Poor flow-through air flow … poor trunk entry and spare tire place … exhausting cranking aspect home windows … near-blind rear quarter. Unhandy placement of help strap on door which additionally interferes with arm motion … padded steering wheel … unbaffled fuel tank.

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