What's Your Eleanor? – UDMan Edition

While not a Coupe, this is almost exactly what My Eleanor looked like.

I became car aware in the late 60’s and early 70’s when attending George J. Penney high School, which was located in the working class town of East Hartford. We never really had what you would call a good car (one that was almost new) because we were a rather large clan, with 5 siblings. I was the oldest, with 3 other brothers and one sister, who was the youngest. So, instead of a wood paneled wagon as the family hauler, we had a succession of questionable cars, from a 1958 Chevy Brookwood Wagon (283, Powerglide, 2 Tone Green), a 1964 Corvair Greenbriar Van (4 speed stick, 3 seats, 2 Tone Green), to a 1973 Chevy Suburban (350, Auto, School Bus Yellow). They were augmented with second cars used by my Mom, including a 1961 Corvair Monza, and a 1966 Rambler American. So, what the hell does this have anything to do with My Eleanor? You see, for my first car, I wanted something completely different than what the parents had, which was all crap in my opinion.

I prefer the lines of the Notchback Hardtop to the Fastback. Vinyl Roof Please!

I saw the love of my car life during the Autumn of 1973, when a school buddy of mine showed up in the Parking Lot with what I still consider one of the most drop dead, gorgeous vehicles ever to see production, the 1970 Mustang Hardtop. This car was something special as it was equipped with a 302 and a T-Shift Cruise-o-Matic, but it really wasn’t a Muscle Car. On the outside it was painted in a shade of arrest-me Red with a Raven Black Vinyl Roof. There was a factory hood scoop installed, though I didn’t think it was factory at that time. But it was the interior that blew me away with black and white “Houndstooth” fabric on the seats, and a Wood Grained Dash with a big ole clock in front of the passenger. And one more discovery for someone who was never exposed to this option before, Air Conditioning.
This is a 1970 Mustang Grande. Hideous wheels, but lovely none the less.

I was enamored, in lust, and filled with envy at the sight of this Coupe, and I wanted one badly. This was the car I would compare any other vehicle I owned and eventually I bought my own (Fox Bodied) Mustang many years later. Unfortunately, it was like meeting the Prom Queen at your reunion a decade later, only to discover that she lives in a trailer park with two kids, and looking quite different. That car could never live up to the expectations of the first time I saw my friends 1970 Red Hardtop, and I probably should never have expected it to. After the experience with my Mustang the dream of owning a 70 version quickly faded, and I have moved on.
High School is a very distant memory now, but I remember the times in which my friends and I gathered in the parking lot of Augie & Rays with our cars all gleaming, and that Red Mustang glowed just a bit brighter under the fluorescent lights than any of the others. Yes, even brighter than my 1966 Corvair Monza Convertible.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The maximum upload file size: 64 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop files here

  1. Black Steelies Avatar
    Black Steelies

    my current lustworthy ride? a GMC Typhoon. My all time favorite? 1970 Chevelle SS 454. vinyl roof. racing stripes: yes. color: not sure. And I'm hung up on whether to get the m22 4 spd or the cooool horseshoe shifter.

    1. thomasmac Avatar

      My dads 68 Camaro has a TH350 with the horseshoe shifter and its pretty bad ass but the noise a rock crusher generates is irresistible

      1. Black Steelies Avatar

        hmm trueee. i guess for pure badassery the Muncie would have to do. For whizbang gadget cool the horseshoe is the choice.

  2. soo΄pәr-bādd75 Avatar

    Awesome choice of Mustang. '70 is my favorite year as well, but I'd have to roll with the fastback. I've got a framed picture of a Hugger Orange and black Boss 429 hanging in my garage. I've had that picture since I was a kid, and have lusted after that exact car for even longer. I never realized how much I like that coupe body though, it looks very '67-'69 Cougarish. I'm just glad to see someone drooling over a Mustang that's not a Shelby or a '65-'68.

  3. engineerd Avatar

    Nice choice, UDMan! So, did my V6 Mustang give you faith in the pony car again?
    I'd love to have a late-'60s to '70 Mustang with a 302. I have a buddy who's got a fastback '70, IIRC, with a 302. I don't think it's seen the road in a few years. I should see if I can buy it off him for a case of Natty Light.

  4. Gearhead Avatar

    Solid choice. I've owned a bunch of '65-'66 Mustangs and a couple of big-block Fairlanes, but the one that has always been just out of reach has been a '69 Boss 302. I had the good fortune to care for one for a couple of days, and have wanted one ever since.

  5. From_a_Buick_6 Avatar

    The '70 was really sharp, and the coupe bodystyle has really gotten lost in the shuffle with the Mach1 and Boss fastbacks. However, my inner TV junkie will always remember the '70 coupe as Mary Tyler Moore's car.
    I'm a big fan of all the pre-'74 Mustangs, although the II is strangely (perversely?) amusing, and a Fox body akways sounds like a really good idea to me until I realize how overpriced clean examples have become. Right now, I'm trying to figure out how to find/store/pay for a '65-'66 sometime this spring, either a 289 coupe or straight-6 convertible.

%d bloggers like this: