Saturday, March 28, 2015

1988 Mustang and Celica convertibles reviewed

I can remember only three convertibles in my high school parking lot. A white FC RX-7 belonging to my chemistry teacher (she had so many problems with it, Mazda shipped it back to Japan for repair), a white Geo Metro belonging to a student, and a blue Celica belonging to a guy named Boris. Boris always drove it with the top down (probably because the top was such a pain in the ass to put back up) with his girlfriend. They were two years older than me and they seemed so mature, like they were in their 20s!

No one at school drove a Mustang convertible. In the mid-90s, I test drove a co-worker's Mustang LX convertible. It was looser than a Gumby doll after 20 minutes in the convection oven. He bought it brand new when he was 19 and working as a bellboy at a swanky San Francisco hotel. I guess guests tipped generously. Frankly, driving that thing on the narrow streets of Berkeley was terrifying. It was loud, obnoxious, and had horrible steering, braking, and handling. It literally felt like it was going to fall apart.

And I can't post a Mustang GT video without also posting this video:


MattC said...

I can share a similar experience with a Mustang GT convertible. I was working at a rental car agency while in college (1988-1990). We offered the convertible in both the GT and anemic 2.3l variants. While the GT was a blast in a straight line, it shook , creaked, and had body moans the entire time.

(For reference, My father had a 1983 Fox body Mustang hatchback during that timeframe. While it was tighter feeling, the overall car was generally very loose.) The foibles of the Mustangs of this era are easily corrected by a hefty aftermarket. (welded insub frame connecters are a must if you want some semblance of solidity). So the Mustangs of this era are cheaply made, with loose structural integrity, poor paint and NVH levels far more than its competitors. Yet, I am scouring the CL ads for decent versions as we speak. They are that fun.

mtc said...

True story: Richard Hammond pronounces Celica "sell-EE-kah". I always found that amusing.

Those Brits and their pronunciation.