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  1. #1
    Super Member JOHNTHOMAS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Somerset, Ky
    L3901HST F3080 RTV1140 BX2370-1

    Default Don't make them like they used to

    Classic Mustang a rough beauty

    When I read this article I can't help but think about the times I've read on this forum how they aren't making tractors like they used to which always brings a grin to my face. I love the old days and the memories of the old days. I also try to be a realist and admit that things actually weren't necessarily better in the old days, just different. I also remember the truth about old cars as seen in this article and I've had over a hundred in my short 46 buying years which didn't start until I was 17. I'm sure the owners of older tractors can remember the truth about them, if they will, and give the input that newer ones are better overall. I won't trade my newer ones for older ones.

    As Detroit revs up for the Woodward Dream Cruise, I desperately wanted to get behind the wheel of a classic and take her for a spin.
    So I promised Manny Lopez, The Detroit News columnist and opinion page editor, a Drive cover for his 1966 Ford Mustang if he'd let me borrow it. Obtaining the keys to a classic car owner's pride and joy can only be done through some sort of bribery. He agreed and off I went in a cream colored '66 Mustang with a red interior.
    It's been a while since I've driven a car older than me, and, oh, how the memories rushed back at the first whiff of formerly leaded exhaust. There's a beauty in the mechanical simplicity of these vehicles. Furthermore, this particular Mustang looks outrageously sweet. That long hood, the short deck lid, and a roof that's not even chest high made me swoon when I walked up to it.
    I slipped the door/ignition key into the lock and watched the chrome door lock pop up. When was the last time I did that? New cars unlock themselves when I walk up and touch the door handle.

    Keys are dying a slow death. This Mustang had two, the rounded one for trunk, the square one for ignition. I still remember my first car's blue aluminum keys and the way they first felt in my hand -- cold and grown up. Do kids have the same tactile experience today? "Dad, can I borrow the preprogrammed fobless MyKey, which limits both the stereo volume and top speed, for the Mustang tonight? Please?"
    So, here was the moment of truth, I thought, sitting on the red vinyl driver's seat with less support than a chaise lounge beach chair. I turned the key and waited for that engine to roar. It didn't. Then I turned the key again. The starter motor raged against the machine, but nothing else. I sat there, and for a moment hearing my father's voice clear as day, "Don't flood it, Scott. Easy on the gas. Oh, no, its flooded."
    I waited for the smell of fresh gas to dissipate. Turned the key, heard the click and felt the vroooom.
    Such a lovely sound

    Oh, that engine is a symphony of bass and vibrato; it's metal American machismo. It bubbles up your spine every time you hit the accelerator, which on this particular model pretty much acted like an on/off switch. Either I was at full acceleration or none.
    This Mustang included a 302 cubic inch V-8 -- no, it's not a Boss 302, which generated 290 horses when it arrived in '69. This particular engine creates around 200+(ish) horsepower. Classic cars come with a lot of fuzzy estimates. Compared to the 2011 Mustang, the '66 version is a weakling. The 2011's 3.7-liter V-6 tosses out 305 horsepower. But figures don't' tell the whole story. When you judge them by sound, the contest isn't even close.
    The original's V-8 heads the class. It shakes the driver -- and the entire car -- at idle. Modern Mustangs are so quiet on the road that Ford engineers piped engine noise into the cabin so the driver could enjoy its roar. The '66 Mustang can be heard three blocks away. It sets off car alarms. (It's security system is The Club.)
    Open the hood and there's room to work. You could change the oil, plugs and fuel filter without pulling the engine. It's beautiful.
    Comparing it to the 2011 Ford Mustang would be like comparing the Wright Flyer to the space shuttle. The original doesn't have a voice-activated stereo system with a Bluetooth connection for hands-free cell phone communication. No, the original doesn't even have FM. You communicate with this car by engine revs and tire chirps.
    On the road, the '66 Mustang was exhilaratingly awful. The rear suspension (it is actually a leaf spring set up similar to those found on wooden wagons discarded along the Oregon Trail) made the car sound like someone was in the trunk banging a 20-pound sledge hammer every time you hit a bump. The manual steering requires Popeye-forearm strength, though I did enjoy the 4 inches of play the wheel allowed as you cruised.
    There was no nagging shoulder harness strapping me to the car's seat. The lap belt felt as helpful as the ones on airplanes. Really, there were no safety features in this Mustang. Front air bags, side curtain air bags, traction control, stability control, little black boxes and everything else people think are commonplace were not there.
    Creature comforts lacking

    And forget about cruise control, windshield wipers that can actually remove rain or headlights bright enough to cast a shadow (though I do love the high-beam switch on the floor). All of the creature comforts found in today's Mustang, such as heated supportive seats, LED lights that change colors and cup holders, were then ideas yet to be drawn.
    But man, did those guys back then know how to use metal. There's more sparkling iron on the door sills of the '66 Mustang than you'll find inside an entire fleet of today's pony cars. The single iron exterior mirror on the driver's door just looks cool and nothing says "tough" more than a steel dash. Then there's the way the door closes with such crisp authority. Ka-clunk.
    Closing the door, however, is also a harrowing experience. The windows can get out of alignment and chrome pieces on the door's window will slap into the rear windows. I still love the small triangle windows on the front, the ones you can open up and flick the cigarette ash out -- just be careful getting into the car because you don't want lose an eye on that pointy end (that almost happened to me twice).
    But that's the thing about the classics. The 1966 Mustang is perfectly imperfect. Quibble over the way you smell like gas and oil after driving it or how the lack of air conditioning makes for sweat stains the size of Texarkana on your back -- it doesn't matter. All of that nostalgia in the truck blurs the imperfections and distorts both yesterday and today. No, Detroit doesn't build them like they used to; thank goodness for that.
    These cars prove how bad drivers had it back then. The ride was terrible, hot and dirty.
    Sure, my forearm fit nicely on the window sill of the '66 Mustang as I rumbled down Michigan Avenue. I felt good and, for a little while, I found myself enjoying memory lane.
    But I'm a modern man. I like air conditioning and good fuel economy and a suspension that doesn't require having a chiropractor on retainer.
    Nostalgia is a great place to visit, I just wouldn't want to live there.

    From The Detroit News: Classic Mustang a rough beauty | | The Detroit News
    2017 L3901 HST FEL, 2017 BX2370-1, 2012 F3080 4WD 72" RD, 2010/2009 RTV1140CPX , 72" Woods RFM, 60" LP Grapple, J DUNN Tree Grapple, 6' LP Rotary Mower, LP25 Hydraulic PHD, LP Quick hitch, RatchetRake , Rip and Dig, LP BB, LP 50" Tiller, Snow plow, Titan SSQA Forks, Titan Hitch Mounted Ripper, Titan SSQA to 3PH adapter plate, Sickle mower .. and Horse Drawn disk 13 Toyota Tacoma Double Cab, 18 Ford Flex

  2. #2
    Gold Member 955er's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Liberty Twp. MI
    1996 John Deere 955

    Default Re: Don't make them like they used to

    JD 955, 70A FEL, 72" MMM, 12" PHD, 16 Ton Ramsplitter Logsplitter, JD GT275

  3. #3
    Super Member smstonypoint's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    SC (Upstate) & NC (Piedmont)
    NH TN 55, Kubota B2320 & RTV 900, Bad Boy Outlaw ZTR

    Default Re: Don't make them like they used to

    Great post.

    It seems the older I get, the more nostalgic I become. The article helps me remember that some things about the "good old days" weren't so "good."

    I recall all the times that I tried to help my Dad as he fiddled with the carburetors, points, etc. on our trucks, cars, and tractors. My Dad and uncles seldom got in the field early in the morning. The first part of the morning was spent as follows:

    1. discovering that a tractor or truck wouldn't start or run correctly,
    2. looking for the tools that had been used the previous day to solve another mechanical problem, and
    3. fixing the problem

    Give me EFI, electronic ignition, etc. any day of the week.


  4. #4
    New Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2010

    Default Re: Don't make them like they used to

    Well, my BX2660 is in the shop again so I'm leaning toward they don't build them like they used to. I spent a lot of time working on farms in the summer when I was growing up and it sure seemed that we had less problems with tractors. The problems I've had have been primarily with components that keep it running. A good friend of mine that has owned orange for many years can't get over all the problems I've had with it. In all fairness the Dealer has been great in dealing with the problems quickly and professionally. I'll be heading out this morning to rent a tractor to finish the work on my property that I have to complete due to weather issues.

  5. #5
    Bronze Member EThogfarmer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Cherokee County, TX

    Default Re: Don't make them like they used to

    Brings back so many memories...

    But that being said, I wouldn't trade in my current tractors for older ones. I used to say that I spent more time working ON my 8N than I did working with it. It's nice to be able to get on, turn the key and go to work.

  6. #6
    Platinum Member BigD23's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Pac. NW
    Kubota BX23 TLB

    Default Re: Don't make them like they used to

    I had a '67 Mustang 2+2 fastback...Had a 289 and was a fantastic car...Came back from Vietnam in 1970 and bought the horse for $1,100.


  7. #7
    Super Star Member TripleR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Kubota M8540HDC, L5740HSTC, BX2200, BX2660, John Deere 425&1025R, Case, Massey Ferguson, Ford

    Default Re: Don't make them like they used to

    My brother and nephew rebuilds old 60's model Chevy pickups. They love to drive them around, but don't use them as daily drivers. I like to look at classic cars/trucks, but have no desire to ever drive one again.
    Clothes make the man; naked people have little or no influence on society - - Mark Twain

  8. #8
    Elite Member
    ChuckinNH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    (B2620, had BX22) Simplicity Legacy w/48" mmm

    Default Re: Don't make them like they used to

    I had a '66' factory high performance Mustang with the 289 cu. in. engine. I think I paid $2200 for it when I returned from Vietnam in '68'. It was hot, and I drove it way too fast. I survived the experience, and have fond memories, but would rather have the coin that car would bring today than the car itself. I spent my time on old tractors too, and really have to smile a bit when I hear all the complaints about the seats on new ones. (the forward sloping kubota "B" seats that were around for a while excepted). A few days spent in a metal seat with holes for ventilation, and water (sweat) drainage will modify that opinion in a hurry!
    B2620,Loaded R-4's , Wallenstein BX42 chipper, Bush Hog SQ148 RC, 4' x 8' chain harrow, Blizzard 54" 3PT snowblower, Tirechains. com v-bar duo grip chains (hate them), Simplicity Legacy with 48"mmm, turbo collector, Country Line carry all, Countryline Middlebuster, Woods 48" BB, Kubota QA for loader, Kubota forks, Kuhn EL23 rototiller, and more to come...

  9. #9
    Veteran Member DiezNutz's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Central MD
    Kubota B3030-HSD-F

    Default Re: Don't make them like they used to

    No wonder the guy who wrote the article had that experience:

    Classic or not, a Ford's a Ford.

    Kidding aside, I have a number of classic cars and they would make horrible daily drivers. I use to enjoy daily-ing an old beater, but gave that up too a few years ago.

    I do enjoy the simplicity and quaintness of it all... but only because I can pick and choose when I want to drive one, I don't have to.
    Like the guy said, nostalgia's a nice place to visit, don't want to live there.
    Kubota B3030-HSD w/R4s, LA403 60" FEL w/ATI TB, RCK60" MMM, Woods BH80-X 4pt Hoe w/24"+12" bkts & Thumb, Woods RB72" Blade w/shoes

  10. #10
    Member Randyj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Planet Earth
    Kubota B9200D

    Default Re: Don't make them like they used to

    Everything has it's place.

    I enjoy my classic hot rods. Wouldn't give them up for anything, but I aso like my late model daily driver.

    No, they don't make them like they used to.

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