Were American cars ever good?

Discussion in 'Ian's Corner' started by Ian Gills, Dec 7, 2009.

  1. Cass

    Cass Plumber

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    So is this....

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  2. Cass

    Cass Plumber

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    My all time faveorite...67' Ford Shelby Cobra...stock with 500 HP ....OH YEAH!!!!!

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    And a few had this motor.........


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    Pushing 629 HP from the factory.......
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2009
  3. Rich B

    Rich B DIY Senior Member

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    I have been a "serious" drag racer since I was infected with the bug in the 60's as a teenager. Since I am a mechanic and was born with a wrench in my hand..LOL....I lived thru the muscle car era and worked on many cars people only dream about today. I raced at the US Nationals in 1966 with my partner. We had a '57 Chevy sedan delivery. They were very popular back then. We built another car a few years later and set the NHRA national record with that one. I got married, had kids and had to quit racing.....that marriage went south a number of years later and I went back to drag racing and have been doing it ever since. I have had a lot of cars. I race both locally in bracket racing and have raced in big time NHRA races. I have won a national event in S/G anda Lucas Oil Series race in S/C. I have had Stockers, Super Stockers, S/G-bracket cars and 2 dragsters. I presently race a 235" wheelbase RaceTech dragster. It runs 7.70-7.80 at about 170mph in the 1/4mile. I am 62 years old and have almost as much fun today doing it as when I was 18! Thas why we do it. I built racing engines for over 10 years and worked in a small race engine machine shop-engine shop. A good friend had a '68 Chevelle he raced with engines I built and he owned it for many many years. It ran as quick as high 9's and he sold it last year to a man who lives in France. The car was shipped over there and he is tickled with it.... $44K was what it took to buy it. I have another good friend who owns a 1970 Boss 429 Mustang. He has owned it for many years and he says it's his retirement $$$. The way prices have gone lately on those cars he might not be so well off anymore.....I love cars...and so do most of my friends we are GEARHEADS....I will post some pictures if I can find them on my computer...


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    My last 3 cars. 1998 to the present......
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2009
  4. FloridaOrange

    FloridaOrange Plumbing Designer

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    Sounds awesome Rich. 170 @ ~ 7.70 is moving!
  5. Rich B

    Rich B DIY Senior Member

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    Yes it is Matt....In a dragster it is very stable though. They are very popular cars in fast bracket racing. The solid blue car is my latest. 509 BB Chev burning methanol and carburated. The Firebird was a mid 10 second car at 125. It had a relatively stock LT-1 engine and factory EFI. Rules limited modifications but they still are very fast for what you have to work with. Wheelstands are routine for those cars and on only 9" wide radial slicks......Florida has some good tracks...been there. Moroso in West Palm. It is now called Palm Beach International Raceway. Bradenton, Gainesville......Too hot though in the summer months for me and it rains too often during the afternoons......It's a great sport but way to costly these days. I don't go nearly as much as I used to and a big part of it is the costs to race overall are way up.....and looks like it will one day be governed out of existence by people intent on having us all live in a tree with the animals.....LOL
  6. FloridaOrange

    FloridaOrange Plumbing Designer

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    Nice wheel stand. Yes from what I understand the LT-1 were very responsive, the LSx motors are stout as well. I'm a Ford fan though and I really like the modular motors, they turn really nice numbers for their sizes.

    I'm halfway between Bradenton and an 1/8 mile at Immokolee (which is a crap track). My last mustang was supposed to be good for high 12's N/A (with a decent driver) but hopefully the next (maybe an '04 cobra) will be good for mid 11's with tires. That may be a bit ambiteous for a daily driver but we'll see.
  7. Rich B

    Rich B DIY Senior Member

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    Matt....Ford and Chrysler have some cars out this past year that are out there racing in Stock and the Mustangs are rediculously underrated on HP and unbelievably fast. They have a 4 valve 5.3 or 5.4litre supercharged engine and I have seen times in the lower 9's at 140.....That is unherad of for a categorie that was dominated by muscle cars of the '60s. A '69 Camaro with a 396 or 427 or a Max Wedge mopar or some Shelby Mustangs were the fastest cars previously and just started knocking in the 9's the last few years. Those new Mustangs are so underrated and fast they will need to add a class or two as thei HP factor gets corrected. Or move them into SuperStock. The only supercharged stockers in the past were limited to some Fords in the '50's and they were 312's. Fast for back then but nothing like todays stuff.

    I have heard of Imokalee.....That must be in real alligator country! My sister once lived in Homestead. They moved to northern Florida many years ago . They have lived in various towns around Daytona Beach for many years. I used to stop at the Speedway and also Daytona USA and sat and watched them during testing a few times in January. No matter where they have been those hurricanes down there seem to follow them. Luckily they have never had any severe damage but the storms would drive me away for sure.......My mother also lived there untill she passed away last year....she was 96 years old and lived there since 1985....It snowed 3-4" this morning here......


    Thanks Terry for the avatar.....I did like that car and it is owned by a friend so I see it regularly and might get to drive it again this year once or twice.......
  8. nhmaster

    nhmaster Master Plumber

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    In defense of American cars. I had a 1985 Ford E150 cargo van that I put over 350,000 miles on and never did squat to it cept for tires and brake pads.

    I am currently driving a 97 Ford F150 with 245,000 miles on it and I have only changed the oil 3 yes 3 times since it was brand new. Again, tires, brake pads and last week the alternator finally went

    That said, I collect MG's I have 4 running MGB's a half dozen for parts, two MGA's and a Triumph TR3. I work on all of them constantly, they all leak oil, they are all electrical nightmares but for some warped reason I am addicted to the damn things.
  9. Ian Gills

    Ian Gills Senior Robin Hood Guy

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    Possibly because they can go round a corner Peter.
  10. FloridaOrange

    FloridaOrange Plumbing Designer

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    The '04 Mach1 I had was a 4.6L 4valve. Aluminum block with a functioning shaker hood. It was about 90lbs lighter on the front end vs. the iron block motors. I miss that car terribly...

    By the way, as an engine builder, you might like this vid. Ignore the comments below the video, most are ignorant.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bw9ffyssPV8
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2009
  11. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

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    spark plugs

    You asked if one spark plug on a V8 would be noticeable. How about FOUR spark plugs not working? The Chrysler Hemi, for example cuts off four cylinders when they are not needed, and the driver does not know the difference. Of the dozens of cars I have had since my '54 Lincoln convertible, only about 4 of them have been imports. One British TR-3, two Toyota Cressidas, and one Toyota Supra. IF the car could not do 115 on the highway, I did not need it. Although I did dump my '60 Lincoln because it only wanted to go straight on twisting roads or sharp curves. That is when I bought the TR-3.
  12. Ian Gills

    Ian Gills Senior Robin Hood Guy

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    I'd love a Totoya Supra.
  13. Rich B

    Rich B DIY Senior Member

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    Really!.......Well I service a fleet of work vans and we usually sell them at about 130-150,000 miles. We do regular oil changes, brakes and tires as needed and they usually have a few other things fail along the way...not much but something......Older vans often had fuel pumps or even a trans failure so you must be one really lucky guy to neglect the heck out of your vehicles and they keep on going anyway......

    I have been doing all our vehicles for 17 years and we have had trucks from all 3 American builders.....and numerous cars from various manufacturers.....
  14. nhmaster

    nhmaster Master Plumber

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    Regular maintenance will kill them every time :D
  15. FloridaOrange

    FloridaOrange Plumbing Designer

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    That's what the guy who I bought my '96 must've though. I had the heads pulled and there was soooooo much sludge in the upper part of the motor I went ahead and replaced the whole thing (entire new motor top to bottom) with the exception of the accessory drive items.
  16. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

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    Supra

    I bought the Supra for my daughter. She drove it to California, and when she came back she asked me, "Why can't the car go faster than 85, no matter how hard I press on the gas?" I told her it was because Toyota stops the digital speedometer at 85, but she was probably going about 125.
  17. Rich B

    Rich B DIY Senior Member

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    We have a Tech here at work that has this attitude?? Most of our field workers drive their vans from home in exchange for being available occasionally for a call. This worker is a little "odd" and he ignored getting his van in for just a simple oil/filter change untill it had close to 30,000 miles on it. His oil was so bad I haven't seen anything like that since the '60s. BLACK-THICK-MUD. Oil today is much better than the old days. Sludge and muck inside an engine was way more common. I can recall removing a valve cover and the sludge was so deep it nearly covered the rocker arms and shafts on a nice Y-Block Ford or Slant six Mopar.......

    Do your engine a favor...change your oil and filter regularly. I have a friend who has put 250,000 miles on 2 different GM trucks but there's no way he did that without regular service and some repairs.....
  18. Ian Gills

    Ian Gills Senior Robin Hood Guy

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    I do all my own maintenance but there is some truth to the accusation made by Peter.

    When I bought the car I replaced the stock spark plug wires (working perfectly well but 7 years old) with new ones. Four years later, one of these gave up the ghost on a shopping trip without any warning.

    I had to drive home on three cylinders.

    Guess what kept the thing going for a week before my new parts were posted to me? You guessed it....the now 11 year old original wires that I had kept in an old box, still working just fine!
  19. FloridaOrange

    FloridaOrange Plumbing Designer

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    Using old wires does not cause sludge build up.

    This is what a BMW looked like after not changing the oil for 60K.
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  20. Ian Gills

    Ian Gills Senior Robin Hood Guy

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    I change my oil every 3000 miles and use fully synthetic so I am not worried about that. I use a Fumoto oil valve which is like to oil changes what ball valves are to plumbing.

    You really have to neglect an oil change to get things that bad.

    Like using BMW's recommended service intervals of 12,000 miles for instance.

    No wonder they offer servicing for free. They hardly ever do it!

    If I had to choose a car to cross a desert:

    - would it be an American car? hell no

    - would it be a VW? Absolutely not

    - would it be a BMW? No thank you.

    - would it be a Honda or a Toyota? Yes please.
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2009
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