5th Dec 2010, 23:30

Probably a very good point. I sometimes think letting the car do too much of the driving for us makes us worse and more unsafe drivers. Our friend brags about how their new Ford will parallel park itself at the touch of a button. I've been parallel parking all by myself for decades, and do it just great. On the other hand, having had an accident that would have left me dead without airbags has made me more aware of just how important passive safety systems are. Now I worry about driving our classics because they have no air bags. You have no control over other drivers who veer into your lane, no matter how good a driver you might be. I no longer let my wife drive the older cars that don't have air bags.

6th Dec 2010, 09:54

You are right about the Caliber SRT-4 not being your average V6...it is a 4 cylinder.

There are many V6 cars that will leave the old muscle cars in the dust. It is a different time, and cars are way more advanced then they were. Even a 1970 442 455 would only get to 60 in around 5.8 seconds. They are very heavy cars. The average sedan like a Honda Accord V6 gets to 60 in around the same time today.

Take the new Mustang V6 though. 0-60 in 5.4 seconds while getting around 30 mpg. You also have cars like the 370Z, Infinity G37, Fusion Sport, Altima, Maxima... and the list goes on. Any of these would take most old muscle cars off the line. There are also many 4 cylinder cars that could do the same. The Caliber you mentioned, WRX, Evo, Cobalt SS, Mazda Speed3... etc., etc.

It is not a good comparison really... cars of today vs. cars of 40 years ago. Take the Mustang GT, Camaro SS and Challenger today and they have a 2 second advantage over their older versions to get to 60 mph. Old cars are lots of fun and they are really great to own, but it is tough to compare them to today's cars. They were built with more solid metal and such, but today's cars are advanced in virtually every way.

6th Dec 2010, 10:59

There's a recent description "restification". Which is improving an older car with modern technology. I have retro air, MSD ignition, modern tires, power disc brakes, better steering and suspension on my 40 year old car. All reversible, meaning it can be easily returned to stock with these bolt ons. In many cases, going original costs much more when restoring. I have the best of both, and can take long trips with newer safety advances on mine. The ride is great; a bit more firm.

There are the numbers matching totally correct purists. I had a friend just pull his gas tank, as the straps were incorrect for shows. I have a car with incorrect upgrades, but the car looks stock from 10 feet. My paint is actually better than stock, with clear over my stripes for example. I like the blend with old with the new. With over 5 mods, I am no longer able to show as stock anymore.

6th Dec 2010, 13:23

Of course, being quicker off the line, and quicker 0 to 60 isn't everything. A Taurus or Maxima may be "better" but it's hard to love a car that looks like an egg. New cars are just impersonal throw-away appliances. And that's fine if they get the job done. But there are things that are more important than 0 to 60 times, and skid pad results. It's hard to quantify enjoyment.

6th Dec 2010, 17:38

All too true! Owning an old car is much more about the full experience. My favorites are the mid seventies Firebirds. Not too fast overall, but so much fun to look at and drive.

7th Dec 2010, 05:49

There are at least new Corvettes, Challengers Mustangs out today. I have a C3 and a C5 Vette; both convertibles. My C3 has an incorrect decked 406- 400 HP 4 speed and my C5 is stock 365 HP. But I added Magbaflows and new intake since. I actually do not like the new Camaro styling though. I had a 69SS 4 speed that I wish I had not sold. I got notes on the windshield everywhere I went. What a mistake selling it. But then you look at what you have today too.

7th Dec 2010, 16:10

"my C5 is stock 365 HP"

The newest C5 from 2004 was rated at 350 HP stock.

8th Dec 2010, 12:52

2004 stock C5 are rated at 405hp stock in the fixed roof Z06 not available on my convertible. Then out comes the laptop and its tweaked upwards and reprogrammed from there to liven it up. I have added new intake and stainless cat backs another hp gain.

8th Dec 2010, 16:12

Yeah, the Z06 is a special model. I meant a stock normal Corvette C5 was rated at 350 HP.

Also, what on Earth do you need to "liven up" a 405 HP engine for? Isn't that enough?

9th Dec 2010, 19:54

It's always best to not generalize, and someone is getting worked up over 15 or so hp. The Z06 is pretty common, and not a special model per se. A new twin Callaway or a supercharged new ZL1 are. You can google their hp if that's your thing. Since this a Ford review, there's some high hp offerings as well to treat yourself for the holidays.

10th Dec 2010, 07:53

Who's getting worked up? You made an error in your HP figure and I corrected it.

10th Dec 2010, 20:46

"I do think that saying a V-6 is faster than a 440 Challenger is misleading, though. That is definitely not the average 3.0 Liter Vulcan V-6 or the standard 4.0 Liter V-6 in an Explorer."

I was referring to our 4.0 Mustang. It IS faster 0-60 than our 440 Challenger. The older muscle cars were fast in their day, and the hemi WAS faster than the 440, though still slow by modern standards. Many people are surprised that the older muscle cars were so slow, but in fact they were if they were factory stock (as our Challenger and Charger are). I was recently reading an article about how the Focus 4-cylinder is as fast 0-60 as a 1969 Mustang Mach I. Modern cars are incredibly fast by the standards of the 60's or early 70's. The only domestic car that would do 0-60 in under 6 seconds in those days was the awesome 421 special edition 1962 Pontiac, and only a handful of those were made. They were actually as fast 0-60 as a modern Mustang GT.

11th Dec 2010, 16:58

"Also, what on Earth do you need to "liven up" a 405 HP engine for? Isn't that enough?"

This is a really good question. Nowhere in the U.S. can you use even the full potential of a Chevy Aveo, let alone a 405 horsepower car. If you are doing modifications to boost fuel economy (the only modifications I ever make) that makes sense. If you are doing it to get better performance, it makes very little real sense. Flooring the accelerator on my 4.0 V-6 Mustang results in wheel spin. Once the tires break loose, you are just wearing out rubber. Why wear it out faster??

12th Dec 2010, 11:27

Another thing to consider in the new 0-60 times versus old car 0-60 times, is that you can't compare published results of stock vehicles from now and 40 years ago, because the stock tires on those vehicles were far different. Granted, modern 0-60 times may be be better, but if you put a set of modern tires (instead of keeping skinny old bias plies on a 440) on an old muscle car, you will likely shave a couple of seconds off that time. I would like to see the 4.0 V-6 Mustang versus the 440 Challenger with a pair of slicks on it at a drag strip. Then we'll see what's faster.