True Stories of The Muscle Car Fan: Rare 429 Ford Barn Find

Another very cool Muscle Car Fan Member story from
Sherwin M.

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Your Muscle Car Story
It was about 4 years ago while checking out some local car ads when I came across and ad about a 1970 Ford Galaxie. The pictures shown were of a car that was barely recognizable because of the terrible photo's. It peaked my interest so I gave the number a call. It so happens that the car was a 1970 Ford XL that was being sold by the original owner. It had been put away for the last 16 years and he was ready to let it go. We talked some more and I found out that it had the original 429 4 barrel engine in fact the car was completely original except for a paint job done sometime in the 1980's. It had the horseshoe shifter, high bucket seats, C-6 transmission, horn blow steering wheel etc. It was actually outfitted as a 1969 Ford XL-Gt would have been.

It was located about 2 hours away but I still made the trip the next day. When I pulled up to the house, there it sat in all it's glory. It looked amazing for a car that had been sitting around for the last 15 years and it was starting to steal my heart. I could see it's amazing potential and really, where do you find a car like this and buy it from the original owner..I had to buy it.

We settled on a great price and because I traveled 2 hours to see it, I couldn't take her home that day as I couldn't obviously drive both cars but the owner happily agreed to drive it to me the next day.

Over the last few year I have had the engine rebuilt to factory specs, changed the gears and really just prettied it. I added Magnum 500 wheels, some cool striping and a functional scoop on the hood.
It is a big and beautiful car that is now my summer daily driver as well as my track warrior on the weekends (14 second car). This is a rare, underappreciated full size Ford that you don't see often (1640 XL's made in 1970) but when I get in it, there is no way anyone could wipe the smile off my face. That's my Ford barn find story. Cheers!

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Chevrolet Camaro 1970 Z28

The Camaro was all-new for 1970, and the Z28 is loaded with the also-new LT1 350. The LT1 350 had a higher horsepower rating than the big block, and the Z28's performance tuned suspension was one of the best you could get in '70!!

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Was the Original ’70s Dodge Challenger a Failure?

The Dodge Challenger is one of the most beloved muscle cars from the Golden Age of American performance. It looked great, had racing pedigree, and could be optioned with everything from a thrifty slant-six to a fire-breathing Hemi V8. But there’s another reason why the Challenger looms large in our collective automotive imagination: It died young. The Challenger was around for just five model years, from 1970 to 1974, just long enough to experience the peak of the muscle car movement, and disappear before things got really bad.

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6 thoughts on “Was the Original ’70s Dodge Challenger a Failure?”

  1. The timing was off and the A body Duster and Demon offered 95% Of the thrills for a fair bit less money. The duplication of efforts was where they went wrong. The Barracuda should have been the Challenger (cuda is a bit shorter) and the Duster should have been the Barracuda. That would have differentiated the lineups better.

    Biggest mistake was abandoning the pony car after ’74. The camaros and mustangs were a mixed bag in the coming years but if you’re going to be an American automaker, you HAVE to have a serious performance car. There was always parts in the bin to put something competitive from ’75 to ’04 but Ma Mopar just chose not to.

  2. Challenger and cuda were conceived to rival mustang camaro and amx for road racing. Amx being the most competitive. The Ebodies were dead last :( That’s when they became muscle cars rather than pony cars. Mopar was a monster in Nascar so they didn’t even bother with making the Es more competitive. And…I’m ok with that.

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1965 Ford Falcon images 302 CID V8 4 Speed Automatic

The Ford Falcon was a very successful model for the Ford Motor Company, although introduction of the sporty Mustang in late '64, on the same compact frame, are a major reason for a decline in sales of the more traditional Falcon. Many of the mechanical parts for the Mustang will fit into the Falcon without any modification. There was a "Sprint"package available for the '64 model year which would put the 260 cu in V8 under the hood, although later in the year a 289 became the power option. The Sprint package also included an upgraded suspension for improved handling and a louder exhaust sound for aesthetics. Front seat belts were included, but there was also a full range of models and a large number of creature comfort goodies on the table.

Our thanks to Gateway Classic Cars for the images displayed here.

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Buick Skylark 1970 GSX tribute car-MCF George has bragging rights!

George  lucked out during the summer of 2014; While cruising around his home town, Lisbon Ohio, he spotted a classic Buick Skylark with a "for sale"sign on the windshield. The car was at the curb, parked in front of a house, George stopped for a closer look.

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 The owner had not even listed it yet, and was busy making room in his too small three bay garage for the rest of his collection. The garage holds treasure to make any MCF drool-a  '69 Camaro convertible, '69 Hard Top Camaro along side a '66 Impala SS convertible; all meticulously maintained or, according to George, "MCF eye candy!". The two shortly sealed a deal for the 1970 Skylark then agreed on the day and time when George would retrieve his new ride. When he picked his car up, the seller had replaced all the fluids and  it was ready to drive home, although some work is already planned. The car had previously been upgraded to the GS455 engine, and is now a GSX  clone. George's deal includes the original low mileage 350 engine mounted with a two barrel carburetor allowing it to be a numbers matching,  factory correct version.

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The car has been slightly modified, additionally equipped with an electric cooling fan to drop the engine running temperature at sustained low speeds. This Skylark GSX 455 now sports a newly re-cored radiator and will need some bottom end engine work, but George is up to this job and will have it ready to go in time for summer 2016. He is one very pleased MCF  now that he has his GSX tribute car. He will keep it,  as is, with the more powerful 455 under the hood and the 350 engine safely stored, so George or future owners will have the option to put the car back to its original factory state later.  George has promised to update us on the progress as it unfolds, so this story is still in the making.


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Images by George!

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The advertising campaign in 1970 is focused on the all new "Light your fire vehicles" from the Buick Division of General Motors. The body on the mid-sized Skylark has revised sheet metal this year and it's now the entry level Buick with the Buick Special dropped from the line up entirely. In 1970 the GSX appearance package is a new addition to the GS lineup and delivers; body strips, hood tach, big tires, heavy duty suspension plus spoilers in front and rear. The roof line of the  Chevy Chevelle and Skylark hard tops are identical, but in 1970, there is no pillared coupe available as a Skylark-all the units produced have two doors and are hardtops or convertibles. Buick produced 20,098 Skylarks in 1970 and 1,416 of those were with soft tops.

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The basic power for the Skylark in '70 is a peppy 250 inline six, sourced from the Chevrolet Division, but the standard  V8 engine for the Skylark Custom is a small block 350 mounted with a two barrel Rochester carburetor. This 350 engine can be tweaked to develop 230 hp (170 kW) at 4400 rpm. The entry level GS is powered by the 350/2 bbl.,  but the ultimate option is the GS455. This big block will produce 350 hp (260.99 kW)) and delivers up to 510 lb-ft (691.47 Nm) of torque to the wheels. There is a GM documented, one only Skylark unit roll off the assembly line in '70 that was further equipped at the factory with a GS455 Stage I engine option, which also includes the suspension, transmission plus  brake upgrades. This ultimate Buick power package makes it a very fast, responsive and desirable, but unique muscle car. The only example is badged as a "GS" and was created due to a GM VIN# error during the production process, at least that's the reason G.M. offers.

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