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I have also driven the first Mustang turbo and it was a pretty crude appliance at the time. The engine was just too low tech for a turbo, which doesn’t work terribly well with carbs. I remember all the hullabaloo about the first first Buick turbos and then to be horrified when I actually drove one. Not nearly enough low and for a heavy car like a LeSabre.

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Surprisingly enough, one of these rare ‘birds could have been my first car… black w. black leather interior an all power options… and a completely smashed rear end. It was ridiculously cheap, an equivalent of $700 or about that – but I was faaar too afraid of the obscure American four-banger with a turbo ))

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Raising most hoods on new cars back then was like confronting the convoluted entrails of a freshly-slit pork belly. You were lucky to catch a glimpse of the engine under miles of contorted vacuum hoses. Popping the Bird’s long beak a visual treat: The little four-banger sat so exposed, almost naked, adorned with some nice alloy pieces. In 1983, this was hot stuff, the kind of thing that quickly drew car freaks to its open hood.

3-Dimensional Image Reconstruction_2009

Buying my first new car was a lot like losing my virginity: it was unexpected, impulsive and quick. Even though it didn’t turn out exactly as I might have expected, I certainly don’t regret it; it was an inevitable rite of passage. There has to be a first time, for better or for worse. At least the glow of satisfaction lasted a bit longer (with the car).

Putting the sunroof to tilt helps a lot of it isn’t raining too much.

And what about the preliminaries? A few mental masturbation sessions after seeing the new TC on the cover and in the pages of Car and Driver. My innate attraction to efficiency, heightened by the very recent energy crisis II, had me pretty obsessed with the idea of diesels as well as small turbo-charged gasoline engines that could perform like a V8 and sip gas like a four. But diesels were too just too slow, noisy and stinky to inspire an act of act of passion. So turbo love blossomed in my heart.

Awesome…thank you Paul! Fits my memories of this car to a “T”-Bird.

GM had pioneered turbos in 1962, with the and Olds Jetfire, but within a few years, turbo-fever flamed out. Porsche’s 1976 930 Turbo reignited them, and Ford jumped in too. Instead of a modern fuel-injected design, Ford’s 1979 Mustang Turbo 2.3 was a primitive affair, where the boost was force-fed into the carburetor. The results were primitive too, with a modest 132hp rating. And not exactly the best running engine around. Sad to say,that 132 hp it was still substantially more powerful than the pathetic 255 inch V8 with its 118hp rating. Dark times. And at least Ford didn’t back down after their first attempt.

Great pic. How long did you keep it?

The 145hp output may seem pathetic today, but what was the alternative? Even BMW was on an economy binge; the only 5-Series available () had all of 128hp, and the 3-Series barely harnessed 100 horses. Yes, the Mustang GT finally found its oats again, with 175 hp. But the high-tech, high-efficiency allure of the TC was very different than that of the hot-rod four-barrel Mustang.