I miss my 65 Mustang

The cars I’ve been test driving have such leaden steering and poor responsiveness. I like to drive one-handed and accelerate the second I step on the gas. Can anyone suggest a car with a low steering ratio, a light or even loose steering wheel, and good road feedback that is reasonable?

Late 70’s Camaros give a good return (in performance) I had a $500.00 1977 and that car was a great handling car,loads of fun, I really don’t see you going out and getting one,you being a Mustang guy and all,they are just good bang for the buck and tons of parts around, a stroker motor Camaro set up real stiff,fun.

I can’t think of a modern car that can’t be driven one-handed. What have you been test driving? Don’t new Mustangs accelerate the second you step on the gas?

Maybe if you tell us what sort of vehicle you’re looking for we can make some suggestions. Here’s one:

You could buy a 1965 Mustang. There are lots of them for sale, some original, some restored. They all drive just the way you remember.

I just sold my Mustang! I test drove a Honda, Mini, Mazda3…I think the steering ratio in my Mustang was 1:1, and the wheel moved so easily. I guess I need to look at sports cars? Is American power steering different from these foreign cars? The steering wheels are so clunky I feel like I’m steering a couple of bricks with a rubber band around them. My mechanic will die if I buy another older car!

I’ve owned 60’s and early 70’s Camaro’s/Firebird and a 68 Mustang…All in EXCELLENT condition…and non of them could come close to handling of almost any car today…not even close…My wifes Accord’s or Lexus would blow either of those vehicles away on a twisty road…No question.

A straight away…well that’s a different story.

Don’t get me wrong…I LOVED those vehicles…and if my kids were out of college I’d have one right now. But there have been MAJOR improvements in handling in the past 40 years.

One nice thing…there are suspension upgrades for these vehicles that could turn them into a much, much better handling vehicle. I’ve driven one that I almost bought a couple years ago…It was a 69 Firebird with a new/modern suspension system…The biggest improvement was in the rear…replacing the rear leaf-springs with a multi-link coil suspension system. McPherson struts all around…MAJOR, MAJOR improvement. Handles as good as anything I’ve ever driven.

I think I feel like I’m getting less road feedback, like I’m driving a computer rather than what I think of as a car. I miss the American power steering and skinny wheel where the wheel glides around. Not that that’s what anybody else likes since it’s apparently not around anymore. Maybe I prefer bad handling?

Well, it’s going to quite a transition going from 1965 technology to a modern car. Most domestic cars have power steering that feels just like the imports, unless you go for something like a Crown Victoria or Town Car.

You feel LESS road feedback in a Mini? That’s the first time I’ve ever heard that one.

Thanks so much for the help…I guess it will take some adjustment. I just really don’t like the feel of driving these which makes it hard to judge the cars. The only other car I had was a 72 Pontiac Ventura so clearly my judgement is skewed.

Yeah, the Mini had good acceleration, but you have to push the pedal down and wait a split second before anything happened. The steering wheels with airbags seem thick and huge and the resistance gets in the way of feeling the road for me. What is that resistance in the wheel?

That resistance in the wheel is the effort it takes to turn today’s modern wide tires. The power steering on your Mustang was ridiculously over-boosted so you could turn it with one finger. You never had to exert any effort to steer the car. Have you ever driven a car that did not have power steering? Just wondering.

'72 Ventura? Gee, you really are out of touch, aren’t you? As I said, you’ve got an adjustment to make.

I think you should consider renting a car that you think you might like to own. This will give you a chance to drive it for a few days instead of a few miles, and see if you start getting used to the difference. I suggest you not buy anything until you’re sure you won’t hate it in a month.

I don’t understand the throttle lag you’re experiencing in these cars. There should be no delay in acceleration when you step on the throttle.

Modern steering wheels rims are much thicker than cars from the 60’s (thank goodness). I think they are easier to grip and not as fatiguing as the skinny rims, but, again, it’s something you’ll have to get used to.

That’s a great idea to rent a car. I might check out some American cars, too though they’re probably more like foreign cars now. I just feel like there is a filter in between me and the car, although from what you say, the Mustang had more interference with the steering boost. It felt to me like I was steering a bicycle. Of course, 4 cylinders is very different from V-8. It feels like analog vs. digital, like there’s a computer in between the steering wheel and the pedal and me. I don’t have particularly small hands, but I’d drive close to the wheel, one hand resting on the top and quite comfortable. The engine sound is so different, too- different feedback. I don’t think I’ll find the steering feel I like unless I get another old car, much to my mechanic’s chagrin! I feel like a time-traveler or an old fogie in a spaceship!

New Dodge Challenger maybe :slight_smile:

They still make Mustangs, you know? Even V-8 Mustangs. They won’t drive like your '65, but the engine note might be more to your liking.

Depending on what you’re driving the analog/digital comparison may be entirely appropriate. Some cars have electric power steering these days, and lots of new cars have computer controlled throttles, with no mechanical connection between the gas pedal and the throttle. Scary, isn’t it? This may explain the lag you noticed.

Bicycles weigh almost nothing. Of course they’re easy to steer. Cars weigh a ton-and-a-half to two tons. It should take at least a little effort to steer them.

I would feel corny driving a new Mustang. But the electric power steering and throttles makes total sense. I liked the low steering ratio, although it could get nutty on the highway-the slightest movement of the wheel could translate into a big movement in the car. And it was so light, the wind could really push it. I don’t miss that so much!

Sounds like a mental barrier. Modern cars provide MORE feedback in almost ALL respects, especially steering.

Throttle response is really different now, because of the variety in gearing, engine types, sizes, etc.

You grab onto a 300 HP Mustang with a five-speed automatic and the GT suspension, and you tell me their steering isn’t responsive or lack feel, and you tell me there is hesitation, and I’m gonna call you a flat out nut.

Sure, a little four cylinder engine that works hard and uses the gearbox to make things really happen won’t feel the same as a car that makes it torque down low, like a large V6 or V8.

Pontiac G8?

Most folks prefer the new Camaro or the Mustang to the Challenger. You could test drive all three and decide for yourself.

A lot of us think we miss the cars of the '60s when what we really miss is our youth.
Do you really miss drum brakes, carburettors, bias tires, ignition points, and boatlike handling?

No they don’t…

All the above advice and comments about old vs new cars is correct. I had a '65 Mustang 6 with manual steering, it was not easy, and those narrow tires gave very poor control. Buy the latest Car and Driver, they compare the 2010 Mustang, Camaro, and Challenger V8s, and they like the Mustang most! I think after a month driving a new Mustang GT, you’d be amazed at the poor handling and limited feedback of a '65.