It's true — many of us admire high-performance vehicles from afar while only dreaming about having one of our own. But the price tags on many of our favorite classics are way too high to even consider. There are precious few, however, that have endured over the years without becoming rotten old junk piles or rare sought-after finds, and can even be found at affordable prices. Check them out!
1970 Mercury Cyclone GT
Valued today at $12,000-$19,000, the Cyclone's price tag doesn't give it nearly enough credit for the hype back in the 70's. The Mercury Cyclone features a classic, eye-catching design and a 250-hp 5L V8 engine. Though this unique car isn't for everyone, it's definitely a great find.
1973 Pontiac GTO
As the GTO model died out from Pontiac's productions, Pontiac didn't put much effort into hyping and marketing the car, and so it made a small splash without notice. This doesn't mean that it should be ignored; it sports a 6.6L V8 engine, and can be purchased today for as little as $11,000-$20,000.
1967 Mercury Cougar
Similar to the Mustang in almost all but name, the Cougar usually sells for around $15,000, though in brand new condition the price can jump up quite a bit. However, sporting a similar V8 to the Mustangs of its time, we can say for certain that this car was lost in the shadow of more popular machines.
We're looking at a 1964 Ford Thunderbird Convertible. This car features a hard cover over the back seat that provides a sporty two seater look. On the rear of the car is a “Continental Kit” with a spare tire. Nice one!!
My 69 Nova SS was originally Burnished Brown with a 375 horse 396 4 speed (factory). It was purchased to drag race. That's exactly what it did for 24 years between two different owners. The second owner eventually pulled the engine for his jet boat, and pawned the rolling chassis to a friend for cash, to get married.
The friend held onto the car for over 5 years, and eventually let it go with the property/building it was stored in. By that time some of the original parts had been stripped. Fortunately, along comes a Nova lover and purchases this Nova SS. He takes it to a local Body shop, has the car removed from the frame, and completely restores it, changing the color to Hugger Orange.
This guy is a Harley Davidson lover, and his wife has taken an interest. So, he offers it up for sale to buy her a bike. This is where I come in. I trade a nice Harley, with matching trailer, and some cash for it. Now, it's my turn. Over the Winter (Yeah, I made the deal in the middle of Winter..... long story) I made several changes to make the car more correct. While I had the car apart I noticed how clean and original the floorboards, etc., were.
I checked the engine transmission and rear end numbers. The engine is a 1973 454 with a mild build. Has a Lakewood scatter shield, A Borg Warner Super T-10 4 speed. Had a super street/strip shifter. I changed that to a competition plus and put a stock boot and ring back when I added sound deadener and new carpet. The rear had also been changed. It was also a 1973 code. Took it to a local suspension shop and had the new True Track ( no clutches) with 342 gears ( I live in the country ), for highway driving. Sent it to the local Body Shop and had it stripped to the metal. (again, very clean nice car).
Now it's what you see in the picture. Oh, I also added the body side moldings at the local body shop and the vinyl top. Has many new parts including a new dash bezel and in dash tach, under dash gauges, etc. Thank you for your interest. I tried to keep this short. Bob Cole ( Odessa, WA )
The now coveted California Special or Mustang GT/CS arrived at dealers in the middle of February 1968, and Ford assembled the last unit in early August of the same year. The original production order called for 5,000 units, but only 4,118 were actually produced, which included 251 that Ford rebadged as the “High Country Special ’68” and sold in Colorado.
Ford expected strong entries in the pony class for the ’68 model year, with formidable competition coming from the Camaro, Trans Am, Javelin, and the Mercury Cougar, even from Ford’s own Torino. In the continental United States, 20 percent of Mustang and Thunderbird sales, 1965 through ‘67, took place in California, which gave the dealers’ organization a lot of clout back in the head office. These retailers collectively tried a number of special or unique options in an attempt to create a California-exclusive Mustang.
Ford’s Southern California district sales manager at the time was Lee Gray, and he was always looking for a way to increase Ford sales in his area. Gray and the dealerships agreed the California Special presented a possible solution for the dealers’ needs and would also help Ford meet the upcoming competition head on.
The national catchphrase for marketing was “Only Mustang makes it happen.” but for the ’68 model year, it became “California made it happen” for the limited-edition Mustang GT/CS.
In 1969, there was the Mustang GT package, but the California Special GT/CS was a model name; this car may or may not have had the GT package. The GT/CS option included fog lamps, DZUS hood pins, spring-loaded gas cap, side scoops, a rear deck lid-mounted spoiler with end caps, non-sequential Thunderbird taillights, side stripes with GT/CS inscribed, plus the lengthwise double stripe on the rear deck and on the hood. The GT/CS was available in any Mustang color, but the stripes were only in metallic medium blue, red, black, or white.
Any other non-conflicting Mustang package would complete the California Special trim option, including engine and powertrain combinations, but most CS units had a two-barrel carburetor on the 289-cubic-inch (4.74L) engine coupled to the C-4 automatic transmission; the 427/C6 combination wasn’t available for any Mustang in ’68. There were very few units assembled with a 390 and the 428 Cobra Jet engines under the hood, making them extremely rare today..
Lee Gray was already forming a plan to help his dealers when he attended an auto show in August ’67 held at the Los Angeles Coliseum. The pre-release name for the soon-to-be Shelby GT-500 prototype was ‘Little Red” and got its power from a supercharged 428 bolted to the C-6 automatic transmission. This first Shelby-made vehicle was eventually destroyed. The vehicle was testing the waters for the release of an ultimate high-performance machine, but Gray saw many features he wanted to incorporate in his California market special-release vehicle. At a later meeting with Lee Iaccoca, they decided to have Dearborn fine-tune a limited-production Mustang called the GT/SC. But this later changed to GT/CS, with the CS standing for California Special.
The GT/CS was the first prototype Carroll Shelby engineered, but while Little Red was on display, he was at work on a second prototype, the EXP-500, later known as the Green Hornet, which still exists today. It’s anybody’s guess, but the original name for the California Special was GT/SC, which stood for “sport coupe,” but it also could have stood for Carroll Shelby. What did CS really stand for?