Register for the 2017 Carlisle Ford Nationals Showfield. Registration includes weekend admission for two people. To qualify for the 10% Gate-N-Go pre-registration discount and have your entry window sticker mailed to you, please pre-register prior to May 1st, 2017 at midnight EST. Discount will be applied at checkout. After registering, a receipt will be emailed to you – please bring this receipt to the event. If you belong to a club, enter the full club name. Please do not abbreviate the club name.
Fox Body Mustangs Could be the Next Collector Craze
Could the Ford Mustangs from your youth really be worth anything today?
During the recent Barrett-Jackson auctions in Arizona, a few third-generation Mustangs hit the auction block, and when they came through on the other side of the platform, they were significantly more valuable than you would have thought.
According to Hagerty representative Jonathon Klinger, “Low-mile Fox-bodied Mustangs sold well on Wednesday, with a 16-mile 1990 7 Up Limited Edition convertible selling for $82,500, an as-new 1989 Mustang 5.0 LX hatchback selling for $71,500, and a 7-mile 1985 SVO fetching $63,800.”
But are these models and sales numbers outliers? Could we really see Fox Body Mustangs crest the $100,000 mark anytime soon?
“A $100,000 Fox Body Mustang? Never say never, but it would have to be a truly pristine example of a rare edition—a Cobra R, or an early SSP like a 1982 California Highway Patrol—to hit $100,000” said Klinger. “Maybe the 7UP Edition given yesterday’s $82,500 result, but those seem to be a mixed bag and I think the novelty of a 16-mile time capsule really was the story there.”
In fact, Klinger explained that recent auctions saw that special edition Fox Body Mustangs get far more attention than more common models. “Trends for the special editions are up but the more typical Fox Body Mustangs are holding steady.”
He brings up the results from the Mecum auction in Kissimmee earlier this month. “A 7 UP Edition (just like that $82,500 one sold this week) with 830 miles went for just $25,300. Another with 14,000 miles sold for $16,000. A rare 1993 SVT Cobra R didn’t sell but hammered at $60,000. A 1993 “Special Service Package” (higher performance fox body made for law enforcement) went for $25,000. But higher volume Base, LX, and GT models were all inline with trends. Four sold for between $5,000 and $10,000, two others unsold with $11,000 hammer prices.” Now that’s more reasonable…
Basically, he’s saying that those recent results from Barrett-Jackson were a bit excessive. “But, the fact that a Fox Body Mustang in general generated that much bidding enthusiasm demonstrates these cars are becoming more collectible, especially to the eyes of the younger buyers who lusted after these cars in their youth.” He says that Hagerty expects the market for good condition Fox Body Mustangs to gain more interest, which should increase their value over time. “The key is to find a well persevered example that hasn’t been highly modified or suffered from years of neglect.”
Third generation Mustangs, which were available between 1979–1993 are called the Fox Body Mustangs because they used Ford’s Fox Platform, which was one of the company’s most used architectures. It was used in compact cars like the Ford Fairmont, and large luxury cars like the Lincoln Continental Mark VII.
The Mustang’s made during this time were popular for a number of reasons. They were made in a number of body styles, including a notchback, coupe and convertible or with t-tops. This generation of Mustang also first introduced the idea of a turbocharged four-cylinder model, called the SVO, which has been resurrected in a way with the modern EcoBoost Mustang.
Tesla Removes Performance-Limiting Software From Model S & Model X
Tesla is removing performance-limiting software from its Model S and Model X. You didn’t know about the software at all? If not, you’re not the only one, but I’ll update you.
More importantly, though, has Tesla solved the overheating issues that restrict power output?
And does this mean we can finally race a Model S on a track?
Tesla Removes its Performance-Limiting Software
Before you inundate Tesla Motors with questions, note that this specific software limits the power output according to how many times it considers you have full-open-throttle accelerated the Model S and X. The ramifications and implications are many for Tesla and the automotive industry at large, which has been suffering from ethical business decisions.
As of now and according to Tesla’s President of Global Sales and Service, Jon McNeil, from our friends at Teslarati, the performance-limiting software will be removed from the Model S and Model X via the usual over-the-air software update.
The story erupted on the Tesla Motors Club (TMC) forum in recent weeks, where McNeil admitted the company was limiting the performance of some of its Model S and Model X in order to protect them from excessive wear and tear. Fair enough, but it wasn’t clear if the wear and tear are part of the rolling stock or the thermal management system of the battery and controller.
One of the reasons the Model S hasn’t been raced successfully so far is you can only use its full power for the first lap or so. Things drastically change in the second lap. The battery and controllers heat up. The car deliberately lowers its performance output, eventually to a crawl. We witnessed this clearly a few years ago when Steve Saleen was developing his own version of a performance Model S, the Four Sixteen, which we covered here. The racing restrictions were the overheating of the components and battery pack. Steve assured us he overcame that restriction eventually. Our initial test drives around an undisclosed California race track were convincing for a start.
However, racing is one thing. Buying a $135,000 performance car for its impressive numbers only to have it throttle back in an undisclosed way is quite another.
Tesla Community Members Up In Arms
Members of Tesla community didn’t react well to this performance-limiting software infringement on the Model S’s stated performance. A few threads on the company’s forum highlighted that the overuse of Tesla’s Launch Mode feature throttles back the Ludicrous Model S’s performance. But the issue got worse when P85D and P85 owners, post Ludicrousmode, reported the same problem on their Model S, which were not Ludicrous. It eventually culminated when other owners reported the same restrictions in Launch and Max Power modes.
What was brought to light eventually was that Tesla used an algorithm that counted how many times the cars were driven with open throttle without stating it. It would then throttle back performance, sometimes reducing the overall horsepower by as much as 100 HP. Since the claimed performance of the Model S and X wasn’t met over and over and was highlighted on Tesla’s forum, the company discreetly added a disclaimer to its online Design Studio confirming the limiting software. Tesla wasn’t upfront and took a lot of heat from some of its owners. This is something the company can’t afford to do. Here’s why:
Tesla is very adept at making its client handle marketing, while other carmakers rely on huge budgets. What can it do when it gets caught with numbers that don’t match the claimed performance?
Unlike other carmakers that spend millions of dollars on a monthly base, Tesla doesn’t officially have a marketing department, in the traditional automotive sense. Handling negative publicity is crucial. Tesla owners are notoriously technically savvy and bleeding-edge adopters. It doesn’t take much for them to realize numbers and performance don’t add up. Selling these people a product that doesn’t work as advertised is extremely dangerous. Undisclosed performance-limiting software is a mistake that Tesla must avoid at all costs, considering the scandals VW and other carmakers are currently facing. While not technically the same issue, stating one thing and acting contrary in an undisclosed way is a slippery slope. Rightfully, Tesla kept the performance-limiting software story internal and away from the news.
But what about racing? Does that mean we can now race a Model S? Not so fast. The car is still throttled back it heats up around a race track. It’s understandable. Tesla didn’t design your car for racing. We’ll have to wait for the Electric GT (EGT) Championship series to tackle that.
The moral questions are more along the lines of what if you purchase a certified pre-owned Performance Model S or X? Does it mean you will be even more throttled than buying a brand new one? Are you going to be “paying for” the consequences of the previous driver when the company sells you a used car?
Consequences and Conclusion
These are serious learning lessons for Tesla. After the VW diesel scandal, carmakers know they can’t withhold information and claim the contrary. This hinders on federal crime laws and no one wants to go that route, especially the financially fragile Tesla Motors company.
It takes an entire society to accept de facto norms imposed on it. It only takes a few vocal people to stop and sometimes reverse the process. Case in this point, thanks to Tech_Guy in the Tesla owners community, McNeil was forced to acknowledge the performance limiting software by writing:
“Based on your input, we have decided to remove all software performance reductions tied to frequent max power usage. These changes will roll out with our next software update (in about three weeks).
We had put these reductions in place to proactively protect the powertrain from wear and tear. Instead, we will monitor the condition of the powertrain and let our customers know if service is needed so that we can take proactive steps, such as by replacing parts if necessary, to maintain the vehicle’s performance.”
The conclusion is simple, bordering simplistic. Ethics are mostly interpretations based on a solid bedrock. Our political world in shamble only reflects our society subconscious and acts as a shadow self. Tesla is the darling of the EV community. It can’t afford to say one thing and hinder performance. This is something the automotive industry at large is learning the hard way.
* Registration for the 2017 show will open in January 2017. * Bring your Saleen — no matter its condition — to the largest non-judged show of its kind in the world! * Pre-Register — you can do so online or download a form at fabulousfordsforever.org
SATURDAY, APRIL 29:
Club Members: Join us for a members-only dinner event — RSVP Required for each person in your party — Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 714-369-8621 for more info. Casual attire, pay-your-own meal and expect to pay $12-20-plus for your meal per person. Space is limited, and spouses (or significant others) and family are welcome. We expect a group of about 50 people. More info to be announced.
SUNDAY, APRIL 30:
We’ll do an early morning cruise to Knott’s (see lower map below) — Steve and Molly are expected to attend — unsure if they’ll do the cruise, but if you want to cruise to Knott’s, meet at Saleen at 7:45 a.m.; planned departure by 8:00 a.m. Everyone’s invited. You must be pre-registered for the show and have your confirmation card hanging from your rear view mirror as you enter the Knott’s gate.
We will need some volunteers to help parking from 5:30 – 10:00 a.m. and you get a free VIP lunch with journalists and celebrities plus preferential parking, but we need a commitment by April 4. You must also have your car registered for the show, or get a ride with someone (let Jim D. know if you need a ride).
We might need additional helpers starting at 7:00 a.m., so if you arrive early, please let Jim D. know you can help and we’ll give you a vest or a task to help with.
Adam and Matt kick off 2017 welcoming Parnelli Jones, his son P.J., and Troy Lee. They talk to Troy about painting helmets and the art of pinstriping. Next, Parnelli and P.J. give insight to some of the amazing moments in their respective racing careers.
For more with ‘Behind The Indianapolis 500 with Parnelli Jones’ as well as Troy’s Limited Edition helmets, visit BehindIndy.com