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A 5.0 mustang isn't fast tho. It was fast AT THE TIME, but it's still a pretty slow car by today's standards. 15 second 1/4 miles, just looked it up. I personally don't see a huge difference between a 15 second car and a 17 second car... >shrug<

Let me explain it to you this way: I borrowed money and spent every dollar I had to buy my Charger when I was 16. It kept me busy fixing things, and I learned a lot. I also didn't drive it super hard, because I spent everything I had on it. Later when I was 17, I bought a used neon to use in the winter. It had 130hp, and I drove the PISS out of that car, at the limit, all the god damn time. I didn't care about it and drove it harder because of that. E brakes slides, street races, etc. Charger was a cruiser and fast but I didn't want to hurt it since I loved the thing.
A 5.0 Foxbody isn't fast by today's standards, but it has a lot of potential (a lot more than an economy hatchback). The kid could easily get it into the 13s if he's savvy about his pocket money and learning to wrench. Plus, it enables things like burnouts and donuts that aren't really on the table for a modern economy car.

As to whether the kid will hoon it... that depends somewhat on the kid. My biggest reservation would be lack of airbags and other safety equipment if they do end up binning it (due to either bad choices or inexperience). There's has to be some cars from the late 90s or early 00s that can provide a similar experience with much better safety.
 

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As a guy that drove the family wagon on dates in HS, I would never, ever, never buy my daughter a car with folding seats in the back.
 

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^^ this guy gets it
 

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It's the psychological effect of the car. You think its fast, it sounds fast, its a mustang, you're gonna drive and treat it that way. Additionally, while it isn't fast by today's standards those things will happily do burnouts.
So? Oh no your kid will be cool, the horror, his friends will think it's rad, how will he survive with a better social standing...
 

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Father of two teenage daughters checking in....so yeah, hard f-ing NO here. For all the reasons already mentioned, INCLUDING the folding seats. But the biggest for me is zero safety features. You gotta remember, when that car was new, or newer, the highest posted speed limit was not approaching 80mph, it was most likely 55. That is not something I would want my new driver in, much less her friends. Buy it for yourself and your wife to enjoy, and buy your daughter the SAFEST car you can afford to put her in. And then buy the nice car after she has a few wrecks, because they will happen. You're actually stressing me out a little just thinking about a new driver in that car......
 

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As a guy that drove the family wagon on dates in HS, I would never, ever, never buy my daughter a car with folding seats in the back.
lots of room for activities?




they dont build 'em like they used to! :D

i get the appeal of this as a radwood car, or an LS recipient, but man... not sure id hand the keys to a teenager. guess it would depend on the teenager, but man...
 

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and that crash test was from a NEW car. Imagine now all rusted out. it'd go up in a puff of redish dust. OP, grab your kid a Honda Fit or something
 

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You should get her a newer car instead of an old rolling deathtrap that likely has worse crash survivability than a modern Nissan Sentra. My first car at 16 was a brand new Mazda RX-8 and did the inevitable crash... hit a concrete median divider after going 80+ downhill through the canyons with 3 people in the car. The RX-8 came with the MOST airbags (16?24?) at the time and not a single one of us got a scratch or bruise. If I had been in a cheap used beater, likely would have died.
 

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I didn't watch the whole video, but that doesn't look like a bad result for an old non-airbag car. The passenger compartment held and the front crushed like it's supposed to. I'd be more worried about side impacts, though my 1986 Parisienne does have crash beams in the doors and a pretty heavy-gauge B-pillar. Certainly not as good as today's high-strength steel and side airbags, but better than what you had in the '60s, which was basically nothing but sheet metal.

It's possible our parents knew something. We deserved the kinds of vehicle to which we had access. In a squareback, I came off a severe railroad crossing and landed hard enough to break the frame, or unibody or whatever keeps it from sagging in the middle. One of my friends had a 442 Cutlass that could push my big Plymouth wagon from a dead stop out into the traffic in an intersection, but he had a broken front shock absorber, so if we hit bumpy pavement he couldn't keep up.

It isn't that we wanted to take the train to and from school; we were just blind to risk and loss.
For some reason I never really went through that crazy-driving phase. I paid $3K of my own money for my first car, and it was exactly what I wanted, so that probably had something to do with it. I started doing my hubcap business in a semi-serious way when I was about 14, so by the time I was 16, I was dying to be able to go search the roads or go to junkyards on my own, without having to beg my dad to take me places. I wanted that more than anything, probably more than girls :) So once I had the car, I wasn't looking to screw up and lose it. That's not to say that I never made driving mistakes...there were plenty of those, but no real crashes or intentional dangerous driving that I can recall.

My brother's first car was a 1977 Celica (which my dad later restored and still has) and his HS girlfriend had a 1975 AMC Pacer, which was a basket case, but a very interesting car. I also had two classmates (both girls) whose first cars were air-cooled Beetles. This was all in the early '00s, so these were old and offbeat cars by then. The idea that teenagers need new cars for safety reasons seems to be something that's developed more recently. Not that it's a bad idea, but I hope it doesn't pull kids who are actually interested in cars away from getting something they can enjoy.

-Andrew L
 

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For some reason I never really went through that crazy-driving phase.
Andrew, if you were building your own business at 14, you may be an outlier. We weren't bad people, but at that stage of our lives, society was entitled to some protection from us because the stupid was irrepressible.

The idea that teenagers need new cars for safety reasons seems to be something that's developed more recently. Not that it's a bad idea, but I hope it doesn't pull kids who are actually interested in cars away from getting something they can enjoy.
I could well imagine why a child born after 2000 would regard cars as fungible appliances. To us TVRs, MGs and Fiats were just old cars that were cheap enough to buy. So much of what we found different and interesting would now have historic plates.

But whatever they get will have Bluetooth, so there's that.
 

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I'm glad I clicked on this thread...this was my first car in 2000, and I liked it so much I still have it. Mine has the Chevy 305 though, which in my opinion is superior to the 307. I later had a 1990 Buick Estate Wagon with the 307, and it was profoundly slow.

As for whether this is appropriate for a teenager, I would say it depends on the teenager. I've always driven older cars, I know they're less safe but I like them. If she's the type who needs a funky car and won't be happy in a Camry, and she's not a total disaster behind the wheel, then let her get something like this. There is some risk, but people need to be allowed to have fun and express themselves at that age. On the other hand, if you like the Pontiac and she would really be fine with something normal that has modern safety equipment, then don't push her into this. You would feel bad if something happened and the only reason she had the car was because you talked her into it.

If you have any technical questions about the car, I know these pretty much bolt-by-bolt, so feel free to ask!

-Andrew L
Ordinarily, I'd agree, but drivers have gotten pretty crappy since COVID-19 and any SUV or CUV is going to demolish that car.
 

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The whole video?!? The driver clearly DIES at 0:34! Brain vs metal steering wheel...?
I was mostly talking about the crash structure, which held up pretty well for an old car. It would probably do a lot worse in an offset test, but at least it has a decent amount of crumple space and the passenger cell seems to be stronger than the front structure, as it should be.

The steering column impact wouldn't be fun, but it's not as bad as it looks. Non-airbag cars from the post-Nader era have collapsible steering columns. The steering wheel itself will bend and absorb some impact, and the column is made from two telescoping steel tubes held in place by breakaway plastic plugs. You really have to go back before about 1970 to find cars that had zero safety engineering at all. Nader had a big impact, and a lot of changes were made in the '70s and '80s even before air bags and high-strength steels became commonplace. Keep in mind, an air bag deployment is not exactly a fluffy comfortable cushion either. Your body can survive a lot as long as it's not crushed, impaled or thrown out of the car. I don't mean to play the "older cars are actually safer than new ones" card, which is mostly BS, but plenty of people including myself have crashed older non-airbag cars without injury.

-Andrew L
 

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I'd want my daughter to drive something that at least has airbags.
This thinking is kind of backwards to me. ABS is far more important than airbags. Airbags are nice, but ABS can actually stop the car before you get in trouble. And you can, with some effort, retrofit it. I'm quite serious about ABS being the most important safety feature. It's my soapbox and I am making it bigger soon so I can yell louder, too. 🤘
Let me explain it to you this way: I borrowed money and spent every dollar I had to buy my Charger when I was 16. It kept me busy fixing things, and I learned a lot. I also didn't drive it super hard, because I spent everything I had on it. ... Charger was a cruiser and fast but I didn't want to hurt it since I loved the thing.
You sound like KBJr. His pours his soul in the MR2, studies up on it a lot, works on it, just engages with it so much. It's beautiful to watch. 💓
 

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This thinking is kind of backwards to me. ABS is far more important than airbags. Airbags are nice, but ABS can actually stop the car before you get in trouble.
This is a good point - Active Safety vs. Passive Safety, Prevention vs. Protection. My wife's (bought new) 1999 Honda Civic EX coupe had airbags but no ABS. We never crashed that car in 17 years of ownership but we did pirouette down an interstate in Cleveland once after someone swerved into our lane and my wife had to jam on the brakes.
 

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This thinking is kind of backwards to me. ABS is far more important than airbags. Airbags are nice, but ABS can actually stop the car before you get in trouble. And you can, with some effort, retrofit it. I'm quite serious about ABS being the most important safety feature. It's my soapbox and I am making it bigger soon so I can yell louder, too. 🤘
You sound like KBJr. His pours his soul in the MR2, studies up on it a lot, works on it, just engages with it so much. It's beautiful to watch. 💓
ABS too. But anything built this century is likely to have both. I wouldn’t buy a shiny new car for a teenager (far from it), but something 10-15 years old seems like the sweet spot. You aren’t saving any money getting something 30+ years old over something 10-15.
 
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