Vintage C&D Road Tests: Comparing the 1965 Mustang, Barracuda and Corvair – Mustang GT 271 HP

Thanks to CC Contributor GN, I’m able to share with you a trio of C&D reviews of the 1965 sporty compacts: Mustang, Barracuda and Corvair. I was too young to read about just how the new 1965 Corvair compared to the competition, which was of course very different in format and many other aspects.

The 1960.5 Monza coupe started a revolution by creating a whole new class of American car: the sporty compact. Americans were tired of both big cars as well as poverty-box Falcons. They wanted compact, stylish, and sporty, and the Monza gave it to them. The surprise success of the Monza caught Ford off guard, and they had to respond. They never expected their Falcon-based Mustang to be nearly the hit it was, but then who could have predicted how big the Beatles would become?

In the first of the three tests, C&D takes on a very hot Mustang: a fastback with the 271 hp solid lifter 289 V8, four speed and special sport suspension. It was brutally fast in a straight line, with an astonishing 0-60 time of 5.2 seconds, a quarter mile time of 14.0 seconds flat and it tripped the traps at an even 100 mph. Only a Corvette was faster. But all was not well when it came to curves.