Tag Archives: Ford

Armchair Quarterbacking: FORD

This is going to be brief.

1.   Thunderbird.   Bring it BACK.
Ford-Thunderbird-1955-EE.UU_.

The Thunderbird started out in 1955 as a hot little 2 Seat sports car, as an answer to the Chevy Corvette which came out a couple years earlier in 1953.  Unlike the Corvette, the Thunderbird grew large.  It transformed into a huge Lincoln Towncar thing, then morphed into this:

1987_ford_thunderbird

I had one of those, and it was awesome.  I had the Super Coupe version, rolling on Turbo Coupe wheels… yes, you had both options for forced induction… neither really gave a lot of power but both were great for long range interstate flights.

And then Ford did this to the Thunderbird:
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This was the 11th Generation of the Thunderbird.   Ford tried to do some Retro Styling to it and missed.  They took what could have been awesome and gave it all the bravado and machismo of this:

1991-Buick-Reatta-191476

How they managed to make a 2 seat, drop top Thunderbird as fun as a Buick Reatta, I have no idea.  But they did.  The 2002 Thunderbird was a huge flop and an automotive laughing stock.  So much so that Ford discontinued the Gen 11 Chickenbird in 2005.  This was even before I actually saw one in person.  And when I did see it, I laughed at it.  A lot.  It cried.

I only know 1 guy that liked his 2005 Thunderbird.  He bought one and loved it.  He said it was “Vogue”.  This isn’t him, but he looks like him:

Glee-Colfer-Born-Way_320

Not that there is anything wrong with that, but even he said the car was “too gay”.  He sold it a couple years later and bought a VW Beetle, because it was tougher.  He actually said that… and his Beetle has a build in flower vase.  He has since bought another Beetle.  This one has a turbo.  He’s learning.

So the car was a huge failwagon… Where did Ford go wrong?  With the Mustang, they took the retro theme and made it work.  By making it look modern with retro touches.  With the Thunderbird they took a car from 1955 and retro-Imaged it to the 1950′s vision of what the year 2000 was like.  When what they should have done was take a 1955 year car and make it look like current era modern and not past era future-vision.

Look, Ford doesn’t have a car that competes with the Corvette from Chevy or the Viper from Dodge.  Does it need it?  Yes.  Ford needs it.  Because Ford’s only performance machine is myriad different flavors or Mustang.  And the Mustang isn’t in the same league as the Vette and Viper.    Ford had the GT 40 Replica, the “Ford GT” for a very brief production run, and then killed it.  There are no more Ford GT’s so don’t even bring that up.  They are all in private collections owned by people who may drive it once or twice a year on their own property for a grand total of 6 miles annually.  That’s not a car.  That’s a trophy.  So shut it about the GT.  Ford needs something that has history name wise.  A recognized title.

What I’d do would be to put Ford’s design team in a bunch of Sports Cars, from across the board.  Miatta’s, BMW Z3′s, MG’s, Saturn Skys, Pontiac Solstice (same thing I know), an AC Cobra or two, the new Vette and the Viper… Then the Original, the 1955 Thunderbird.  Let the guys spend a whole day at the track.  No instruments.  No measurements.  Just drive the cars.   All day.  Enjoy the day.  And then tell them… We want a new Thunderbird, and put all that enjoyment into it.

2.  Bronco.

trollertr4

A Ford company in Brazil is making this.  They are calling it a Troller 4.  Ford needs to be calling this the Bronco and building it in the USA.  Make it a soft top, drop top, removable hard top like the Jeep Wrangler or Land Rover Defender.  The FJ is leaving the market, leaving really the JK Wrangler as the only real offroader option anymore.  Which is stupid.  So here’s what I’d do… Take another team of Ford Guys, and put them in a bunch of Rubicons.  Take them to Moab.  Spend a WEEK camping and living in the Jeeps, taking trails, having a good time.  And then the last day, put this Troller in front of them and tell them to make it a Rubicon.  Then build that.

EDIT:

#3.  The Ranger.

Ford needs to do a small pickup.  The market needs more options.  Even VW is working on one.  Ford needs to dominate this.   Just as small as the last ones.  Okay, maybe just a little bigger.  Not just a slight smaller truck like the Chevy Colorado, which looks like a chopped Equinox… Make it like the last Ranger.  But Modernized.  4, 6, and 8 cylinder options.  Same engine options as the 2015 Mustang.   2×4 and 4×4 options.  2 door, king cab, and 4 door options.  Keep it simple, keep it cheap, give it a good touch screen, make the little truck cool… and open it up so it can have massive aftermarket customizing options.   Make a Work Package, a Street Package, and an Off Road package… Mini Raptor.  Style them like the Raptor.  That same style grill and markings.

America’s greatest car.

Let me ask you guys a question.  What is America’s greatest car?  What car is the icon of all that is America?  Maybe we should ask those that don’t live in the USA… What car do they see in the American Dream?  The symbol of the United State…  The 4 wheel statue at the top of the flag pole.  Eh, who cares what Jeremy Clarkson thinks… This is our car we’re talking about.  America’s car.  What is that car to us?

Is it the Mustang?

2015-ford-mustang_100448877_l

The Mustang is now 50 years old.   And it’s been mostly a good 50 years.  Never mind the Mustang II years… 1973 to 1978… Those were terrible years and I am not convinced anything good came out of those years.  Interestingly, ’73 to ’78 were the very same years as the run of Kojak.  Telly Savalas may have single handedly saved The 70′s, I’m not sure, but it sure wasn’t the Mustang II.  Side note, according to the Wiki, Consumer Reports recommended the Gremlin over the Mustang II.  Ouch.  That stings.

Maybe America’s Car is the Corvette.

Ferrari and Lambo can go back to Italy.
Ferrari and Lambo can go back to Italy.

The Corvette is now well over that 50 year mark.  It too has a long and storied history marred by that awkward time through the 70′s.   But overall, the Corvette weathered that storm and really never forgot what it was quite like the Mustang.   The 2015 Corvett’s styling is brilliant… it blends hallmarks over everything the Corvette always was, with everything the Mad Men at Chevy want the Corvette to be. Then they put in the best interior that the Corvette has ever had.  The best seats, the best dash layout, the best cockpit area… It’s the promise of the Corvette finally fulfilled.  Driving one, just for a few minutes, tells you that the Corvette has finally arrived.  For it to be any better than this – It will have to run on a Mr Fusion and fly.

Both the Mustang and the Corvette share one thing in common for me.  I never really wanted one until the 2015 Model year for both the cars.  If you look at the development of these cars, you see a progression of development, with both cars getting better with every year… but 2015 marks what is probably the pinnacle for both platforms.    Maybe overall the Mustang had a lead.  Especially in 1968… Because of one man.  No, not Carroll Shelby*.  But Steve McQueen.

Bullitt_mustang

I think overall this is what saved the Mustang through those lean 70′s years.  That and the fact there really were not a lot of good options during that time anyway.
In 2004 is when Ford started taking the Mustang seriously though.  That’s when Carroll Shelby came into the scene, bringing with him the Cobra packages.  Mustangs all the sudden became something more than just a habit for Ford.  It became a real thing again.  Something that they could actually show some pride in.  They had gone past the Fox Bodies – which really were not all that bad – into that newer clam shell topped car that was just… not all that inspiring. They were like a place holder car until Shelby bolted in an Awesome kit.    Come on, Ford’s Special Vehicle Team couldn’t do anything with it… The best work that they had done in some time before or since with any car was the Contour.  When automotive journalists compare the SVT Contour to a BMW M3, that really says something.  Too bad nobody paid attention to those journalists.  Come on, SVT’s biggest idea for the Mustang was a 4 cylinder turbo.  They should have put that in the Contour and supercharged the Mustang.  Or something. I will give them credit for the Lightning… because that was awesome… and the Raptor… because that was even more awesome.  But without Shelby, the SVT guys were just lost.

Okay, now here’s the thing though… America’s best selling car isn’t a car.  According to AutoBlog, the top 10 vehicles sold doesn’t even have an American car in the list.   You see that the #1 rig is the Ford F-150, and #2 is the Chevy Silverado.   It’s been said that Ford sells about 6 F-150′s every Minute.  But best selling doesn’t necessarily mean best vehicle.  Motor Trend (my favorite American’ Auto-Rag) named the Ram 1500 as the Truck of the Year for 2014.    I have to say, that’s a good choice.  I drove a Ram 1500 from Vernal, Utah to Las Vegas, Nevada and I have to say… it was incredibly comfortable and incredibly smooth.  It was a joy to drive.  And that was, what, a 2012 model?  The newer ones have got nothing but better.  I especially love the storage boxes above the wheel wells along the sides of the beds.  That’s smart.  And the fact that you can get 28 MPG’s on the highway – thats’ incredible.

More than Car Guys – Truck Guys can get seriously argumentative over who has the best truck.  Ford – Chevy – Dodge – Toyota… They battle like the families in Game of Thrones.   I’ll let you guys decide which Family is which Brand.  For me, there is something wrong with Ford F-150 that I can’t put my finger on.  Maybe it’s the looks.  I HATE the look of these new F-150′s.  They look like they were designed by Mayan-Cylon Architects.  That’s not a good look for a truck.  I’m not a fan of the dual turbo V-6… Ford’s EcoBoost.  Sure, it’s popular and guys that have it love them.  But I’d rather have the 5.0 Liter…   Now, the Ford’s 5.0 is said to put out more power than the 5.3 Liter Chevy V-8, but the Chevy’s has Cylinder Deactivation for more efficient highway driving.  When trying out both trucks, I really can’t feel a difference.

As I have mentioned before, I do like the Chevy interior better than the Ford’s.   The Ford’s feel like you are flying in Coach Class by the Emergency Exit.  You might have plenty of leg room, but you don’t really want to be there.  The Chevy’s is more comfortable, with a better layout all around.  So I think between the two I’d take the Chevy**.

Overall, in my opinion, America’s Car for 2014 is the Chevy Silverado.

*The fact that Dodge locked up Shelby to merely gussy up some ulgy hatchbacks is something America should never forgive Dodge for.

**Actually most likely I’d take the new 2015 Chevy Colorado.  With a V-6 of course.  For economy reasons.  This is a class of Truck that Ford has ignored for some time now.   But that’s another topic.    But if I was rich and could just buy whatever I wanted – The Silverado High Country edition with that 6.2 liter engine… Just because.

Designs

Looking at the newest Fords and Chevy’s one thing is clear… Ford is slipping.   Ford is concentrating on making everything look like generic Aston Martins.  Including the new 2015 Mustang.  Now, I’m really digging the new Mustang.  A lot.  I mean… a lot…  Love it.  But when all the cars are starting to look the same way… it waters the Ford brand down.

Ford-Fusion-3dCarbon-body-kit-000
Chevy is doing much the same with all their cars… The Cruze, the Malibu, the SS… they all look the same from the front.  This is disappointing.   Honestly, it’s hard to tell them apart on the street.  Save for the Camaro and the Corvette.. They all look they came out of the OctoMom.  I’m not saying that they look bad individually… But when you walk around a Dealership… It’s a shallow gene-pool.  It’s like the same guy just phoned in the designs.

2014-chevy-Volt
Making everything in your brand look the same… isn’t making it all look like Family.  It makes everything look Inbred.  This may have worked for British Royals through the middle ages… but it doesn’t work for me.  I don’t know about you.  What do you guys think about that?
I think where designs have really taken off, is with the interiors.

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Ford’s Aston

Now that the 2015 Ford Mustang is revealed,  we see that Ford really and truly had its way with Aston Martin.
It appears that Ford wasn’t a considerate lover… it made Aston bite the pillow.
And now we’ve got the result… The Mustang.  One version is going to be rolling on a V8 that grinds out 500 horses. That’s only 65 horses less than the Aston V-12 Vantage S, for a whopping $100,000 less.  And most guys will never be able to tell the difference.   Not between the way it drives, or looks.  And since the new Stang is standing on independent rear suspension… finally… it’s going to handle like kid’s Hot Wheels.
I can honestly say that I’ve never really wanted a Mustang before.  But I want this.  Ooohh man!  It looks awesome,  and with 500 horses at the Independent Rear… it should prove to be the best Mustang ever built.
Unless Ford finds a way to ruin it.

Dear Ford

Please bring back the Ranger pickup truck.  Other companies still have small pickups in their line up and they are selling well.  The Toyota Tacoma, the Chevy Colorado… What happened to the Ranger?  They didn’t sell?
Did you actually look at the Ranger?  It looked like the front end of an Escort… it didn’t look like a truck.  It looked like a little bitch trucklette.  Now go look at the Tacoma and Colorado.  The look cool.  Look mean and threatening.  That’s what guys want.  Guys spend their money on Sex and Violence and the Ranger had none of that.
Here’s what you do.  Draw a pissed off Ford Raptor.  Shrink it a bit to Ranger size – but somewhat larger, because the Ranger was too damn small.  Drop in your Ecoboost V-6 and give it some serious off road hardware.  Give it a good diesel option.  Give it a V-8 option with an optional 6 speed manual transmission.  Paint it Murder Black. 

Okay, now that you’ve done that – Make an SUV out of it, call it the new fucking Explorer and then Fire the asshole who made the 2012 “Explorer”.  And then hire someone to kick his ass.  And then apologize to America for making the Mother of SUV’s into a little bitch-wagon.

That is all.

Ford Expedition


Every time I get ready to get a new car, something happens and I don’t… and I’m stuck on my bike. Like this… Her Explorer died on us. Transmission decided it didn’t like having teeth on the gears. So, here is her new (to us) Ford Expedition. I actually really like it. Big, Solid. Stable. Powerful. Comfortable. And with room for Wife and I and our six sons.
Also, this is a test of my new Drift HD camera and Microphone and Remote. It all works.

Groovy.

Oh, for those wondering, this is not at Ogre Ranch. The light blue Explorer there, that’s her old rig with the dead tranny. I’m thinking 50 pounds of Tannerite.

The 2015 Ford Mustang

I’ve read the lamentations of the Ford Fans that the next Mustang is completely ditching it’s Retro styling.  At first I was myself concerned that Ford had lost it’s mind.  But then I watched a new Mustang roll past (I was sitting in a Wendy’s at the time) and I thought that it had very little Retro look to it anyways.   So not much is lost.  The new Mustangs don’t look like Mustangs and they sound like Honda Accords, so I’m not bothered by Ford chucking it and starting over.  This is ultimately going to be a very good thing for Ford.  The new 2015 Mustang looks sharp.  It looks like a performance car.  It looks like an Aston Martin, but that’s not a bad thing.   I have some optimism about the new Stang… with Ford’s new Engines, some new looks, I see a winner coming.  Especially since Ford has hinted at something the Mustang has always needed.  An Updated Suspension.   There is Hope For America!

All we need now is for Chevy to make the Vette a Mid-Engine car.