It’s hard to imagine two more different approaches to car design….
And since these pictures didn’t come out that well, here’s one of the “Grande Sport” from another day.
“Sport”, not so much so.
Oddly appealing and an easy choice over the VW.
Well, it looks smaller than the 2014 Camaro…
“It’s hard to imagine two more different approaches to car design….” – or that the time would come when the “bloated” ’71-’73 Mustang would be dwarfed by a VW Beetle.
How is it “dwarfed” other than by height? It’s not longer or wider, its taller, no duh, a new Beetle is like a Quonset hut on wheels An contemporary Beetle would be taller than Thunderstang too.
I just happen to have these handy:
2000 New Beetle
1978 Super Beetle
1963 Type I Sedan
The modern bug has its charms in some contexts, but here it looks like the hand held brush gadget my mom would occasionally use to clean crumbs off a table cloth.
The latest bug is quite an improvement over the “New Beetle.”
I’d much rather work under the hood of the Ford…packaging in those New Beetles is atrocious…no room to work.
Even though I’m not exactly a Ford Bloke, I’d go for the Grande. It looks like either a 71 or 72… Not sure which. Hard to tell!
Stranger still would be the surprise as to which could actually make it around a track faster.
I will admit it – I find myself becoming a fan of the BloatStang. It is in that brief period of fluid but aggressive styling that was all over Ford from about 1969-71. And who doesn’t love something with loud, wide tape stipes sceaming “GRANDE” at you. Really – tape stripes and Grande? What an odd combination.
I have about three different Bloatstangs in my photo collection that I need to write up. Too bad the Mustang couldn’t have been in the foreground of the shot.
It took me a second to notice that it wasn’t a Mach 1, I like the “Grande” decals, funny.
It’s a Grande Sport; never knew before that it existed. A bit of an oxymoron.
Grande Sport is a new one on me too. Yes, the two terms do seem to cancel each other other out, don’t they? My guess is the actual definition of “Grande Sport” is “Grande with vinyl-roof delete.”
Although 1971-73 is deservedly the most hated gen of Mustang, this particular vehicle benefits from being lowered (or maybe it’s just sagging). Being a couple inches closer to the ground makes this one less of an eyesore than most of its bloated brethren.
It’s quite likely either some dealer special of the owner did this. There is no such thing as a Grande Sport. All Grandes had vinyl roofs for one thing. Interesting font though. I have no idea what this is.
I was too young to understand that these were relatively slow selling overdone cars that had moved away from the original Mustang’s mission. It’s what a cool car looked like when I was eight, and all I knew was that a few cool teens the kids in my neighborhood looked up to had ‘stangs like this – and they were only a year or two years old cars at the time. So, I’ve always been pretty accepting of these.
I’d imagine those teens were pretty charged on testosterone and were using them to chase girls.
I’ll go along that the Grande thing is a bit odd, I don’t recall seeing this.
Definitely not a factory correct stripe job. Also, either the vinyl top has been removed or this car isn’t a real Grande. The top was the Grande’s signature feature.
It’s a Grande Sport:
There should be an accent on the “E” for the full “d’Elegance effect”.
Would this make the Mustang II version a Tall Sport or a Venti Sport?
I actually disagree. The result may be a huge contrast, but the approach in both cases was ‘making a fashionable (for it’s time) impractical coupe on the platform of a big selling compact/midsize car’. Both cars also share hilariously tight rear seats, both are underpowered,both have marshmallow handling, and both have windows no where near where they belong. The mustang has a rear window/sunroof, and the Beetle has its windscreen halfway out on the hood. The Mustang partly makes up for it’s overhangs by having a somewhat functional trunk at least, where the Beetle has an extra glove compartment where the engine should have been.
“where the Beetle has an extra glove compartment where the engine should have been.”
You mean this?
Love it. Ed wins the internet!
Ed has learned that all VW owners should always carry a spare. 🙂
Apt comparisons, zykotec. Took one for a test drive once, that would have to be one of the longest dashtops ever.
Exceeded only by the Lumina Dustbuster.
I’m surprised at the amount of hate this generation of Mustang gets. Sure they are big, but not considering the time period
I’ve always liked the ’71 Mach 1, something this Grande imitates well with the black accent stripes and type used for the Grande.
I like it.
I liked the interior too, similar to the Corvettes of the time.
To me, this Mustang is like the grown up Danny Bonaduce.
I don’t know what that means but I’ll give it a +1 just the same for making me laugh.
Yeah, me too. I always liked the way the ’71-’73 Mustangs looked. The Mach1 Sportsroof model is the toughest, meanest looking Mustang of them all to my eyes. I find the 1973 grille update most attractive.
I got to drive a Q-code 4-speed ’73 once: it had manual steering, manual brakes…and I can say that car would have made a REAL man out of me if I drove it daily. Beautiful to look at; not so fun behind the wheel.
This model Mustang made the bloated styling of the XA Falcon coup’e look quite good and marked the end of any interest in Mustangs for me then the M2 arrived and sealed the decision.
I find it ironic that the more masculine of the two cars would probably require the most pampering. Even when new.
The Mustang of this vintage certainly wasn’t as rugged as their image suggests. They rusted as badly as the Maverick or LTDs. And like the LTDs of this era, they disappeared very quickly from my part of the continent. Plus, they were thrashed.
But as a weekend cruising car, without the demands of daily year round driving, it’s a no brainer. I do like the packaging of the VW better though. I find this Mustang sacrifices a lot, for sleek styling.
I have long referred to the ’71-73 Mustangs as Clydesdales. The proportions are very close to the same era Torino and perhaps not coincidentially, the Cuda and Challenger of 1970-74.
To improve it’s look, I think the Mustang badly needs to loose those ‘bumperette’ bumper guards. They lend a ‘Maverick’ quality.
Thank God the trend of white mud flaps seemed to fade away at some point.
The hood on the 71-73 Mustangs is SO long that you’ve got to be careful closing the hood. It’s very easy to bend the hood at one of the hinges if you don’t do it just right! (Don’t ask me how I know…)
just like the cuda and challenger of the time, these mustangs were designed to take big blocks as a primary consideration as that was the trend, soon killed by insurance rates. never really got why the cuda/challenger is loved while this mustang is hated….
I think it’s the Fastback. Not everyone likes that bodystyle and no factory performance Mustang could be had as a Coupe after 1969(which is exactly what most E body lovers desire). That and the Mustang adopted more of a mini LTD shape to the coupe rather than the Vaunted coke bottle shape the original Mustangs, E bodies and first generation F bodies had. Granted the second generation F bodies were mandatory fastbacks too but their styling was more graceful and very tidy, I’d say the same about the Cuda/Challenger as well. The Mustang was very lumpy looking in comparison, especially the coupe bodystyle.
Personally I think if the 71-73 Mustang Coupe lost the buttresses it would be a much much more attractive car, same goes for the Cougar for that matter.
Plus I’ve noticed a huge faction of Mustang enthusiasts really cannot seem to accept a Mustang if it isn’t a direct tribute to a 1965 aesthetically. They’re as bad as 911 enthusiasts.
” no factory performance Mustang could be had as a Coupe after 1969″
The 428 could be ordered in any body style in 1970, likewise the 429 in ’71, even a Grande. Yes, it wasn’t wise to do so with the soft Grande suspension, and very few were built, but it could be done. Another little known engine is the 1972 351 HO, which was a low compression Boss 351, still with solid lifters. Rarer than lizard feathers, available in any body style. In 1972-73, the 351-CJ was offered in any Mustang as well. People tend to dismiss these engines as dogs,and they sort of were with the unseemly combination of low comp and huge ports.
Add the severely retarded emissions timing into the equation, and they weren’t the greatest accelerators in the world. However they were still rated at around 246 HP SAE Net, which was more than any 429-460 of the time. Imagine something that doesn’t accelerate very well, but never stops accelerating. Of course, that’s not true but that approximates the characteristics these had. Nothing on the bottom end, bit once you got them rolling, they wouldn’t quit.
I still want to snag a 71-73 fastback and give it the full Bullitt treatment.
Actually, they reflect pretty similar design approaches in that both cars are cartoon versions of the original.
BTW, the overbite on the Mustang makes the front overhang on the Mustang II quite tidy by comparison.
I don’t mind these mustangs so much. Its not my favorite…anything BEFORE this generation wins, or the ’05-11 model. It may not be the performer that the Fox is, but I still like it a little better, since it at least LOOKS like a mutation of the original. I definitely prefer the coupe in this generation, looks way more trim and athletic than the ‘sportsroof’ model. The Mustang II…well, you know. And the ’94-04 generation looks just as bad to my eye.
I really, REALLY hate the first new beetle. If a clown fart had a shape, this would be it. Ive seen these things customized every way imaginable but they always come off looking like a girly mobile. BLECH. Now, the NEW new beetle….Looks pretty good! There’s a turbo model in that sweet cobalt blue with the coke bottle looking wheels running around my area Id love to have.
“If a clown fart had a shape, this would be it.”
FWIW I think the 2000 Beetle looks better than the 2013 version. I realise the upright windscreen is closer to the original, but as a whole design I’m in the 2000 corner. Doesn’t mean I’m not going to steal that clown fart line and use it with my friends.
Perhaps we can extend the comparison to the original owners, for some context…
I didn’t think George Lucas was the onesie type.
He may be Rupert ‘Pina Colada Song’ Holmes…
I think I saw him once on an ABC Sunday Night Mystery movie.
I’m not a fan of black/white cars but I find this Mustang quite attractive. I think the clean wheel trim helps. The “Grande Sport” totally kills it for me though — no need to advertise with a meaningless moniker.
I agree with the above poster on the bumper guards too. They would have to come off.
Good enough for James Bond:
But do note the roadability (or lack thereof) of the police cars chasing him…
Also good enough for H.B Halicki. This is what compacting 10 vertebrae in your spine looks like:
Yes, but Sean Connery had a special model. Goes into narrow alley tilted one way, that magically comes out the other end tilted on the other wheels.
From what I’ve heard they only realized after all the filming was done and they were splicing the movie, the scene where the car comes out of the alley was re-shot by a 2nd unit that didn’t realize that the car came in on its right wheels, they had to insert the clumsy “cut” shot of the car changing angles in the alley.
They also thought of reversing the shot so the car would appear to come out on the “right” wheels, but then all the signs on the buildings would be backwards, I dunno which one would have been better.
Yep, heard the same story. I would love to have played ‘corners’ with Jill St. John. hehehe
Looks like a ’73. I had a ’72 convertible which didnt have the backup light in the tail lenses. My ’72 was cool and too bad I sold it, but it did catch fire once …in a gas station…fortunately I got it out of there before worst case scenario. The ’72s also could interchange interior parts with ’72 Cougars. My Mustang had a Cougar interior which mystified everyone including me.
What’s with the 2/3 scale replica of a mustang parked behind that beetle?
‘Mustang Grande’ I almost want to buy one just so I can tell people that’s what I drive.
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