An open letter to FoMoCo.
I’m a long time Ford guy. I cut my teeth on a 20 year old ‘46 flathead coupe in high school. I’ll bet you didn’t know that a built flathead could run with the small block Chevy’s back then, but mine humbled a lot of modern iron on Colorado Boulevard. Those were good days. Vic Edelbrock's shop was just down the road on Jefferson Boulevard in LA, Weiand and Offenhauser were nearby too! Before you ask, I never “ran” any little old ladies in SS Dodges while in Pasadena. Flatheads have their limits, and weak rods too, but I sure had fun with that old “FirstOnRaceDay” Ford!
Anyhow, I’ve owned a bunch of Fords since then. My favorite was a ’68 4 speed top loader GT fastback Mustang. I swapped the 390 for a 427 side-oiler, but had to sell it when the kids came along. I still miss that car! I’ll never sell another old Mustang, or Norton! My son stands to inherit my ’08 Shelby GT 500, which kinda’ gets me to one of several points I’d like to make.
Mustangs are kind of like Harleys. I know, I own three Mustangs. Make them faster, make them better, make the chassis catch up to the horsepower, but do not change the Mustang so that it looses it’s identity and mystique. Customers who are thinking of a new Mustang will just keep the old ones if you screw it up. Does anybody remember the Mustang II? Me neither!
A few other things have been bothering me too, and the Taurus is one of those things. What were you thinking when you thought the Taurus would replace the Crown Vic? The Taurus is an OK car, but I see at least ten Chargers for every Taurus and I’m also beginning to see many new Impalas. Know why? I do! Can you say front engine rear drive V8 with HORSEPOWER! The kind with lots of “grunt”, good old torque, power that pins your back against the seat right now. Waiting for a turbo to spool up is, well, it’s like waiting.
Bring the Crown Victoria back with some horsepower. Oh, it’s OK if you throw in a V6, if it’s a base engine, but don’t forget about a hot V8 for those of us who buy our cars for smiles of miles. You goofed when you forgot that a 5.4 would bolt into a Crown Victoria, and if you don’t come up with something soon, I’m going to build a 5.4 for my ‘05 Charcoal Grey Sport with factory sunroof and keep it. I’ve built three other 5.4s and did they ever run! The only trouble was that guys bought them all before I got them finished. I guess that you could have sold more if you had just made them, but please keep that lesson in mind when you design a new Crown Vic and I’ll probably buy one.
I know that this is getting long winded, but I’m starting to feel a lot better already, so be patient. I also know that you guys know what you are doing, well maybe you do, but where is the Diesel Fusion? If you must build “economy” cars for the CAFÉ ratings, think VW Jetta, only with a 3.0 liter diesel and seven speed dual clutch transmission in the Fusion. Maybe you could make it a 2.5 liter Diesel for the European Markets. I understand that taxes take much of the fun out of driving over there, but we like power here in the wide open spaces of America, and fuel here is cheap! Yes, we are very lucky and I never forget that! Oh, and forget the hybrids. Diesels are cheaper to buy and get better fuel mileage in the real world where people cruise at 70.
BTW, my ‘99 F-350 looks better than a new F350, and my ‘04 Diesel Excursion gets much better mileage than a new one too, that’s if you still made them. But next time, have International sort the engine out before you sell it! It took me a while!
I know that you’ll get right on these suggestions first thing in the morning, but don’t rush, you can drink your coffee first. Just don’t forget, we’re waiting!