National Parts Depot - Entries from March 2013

Fox Mustang New Product: OE-Correct Battery Clamp

Tuesday, March 26. 2013

A new offering in our Fox body Mustang inventory, this
OE-correct battery hold down clamp will replace your broken, rusted or missing
original on all 1979-86 Mustangs. Featuring all the correct stampings in the
original yellow zinc plating, this exact reproduction will not only match the
originals in look but in fit and function as well.
Click here to view and purchase
through the NPDLink website

The New Stuff

Tuesday, March 26. 2013

over 100,000 different part numbers in stock, you might think almost an entire
car could be built from our inventory at National Parts Depot. But we don’t
stop there, since there are always new products hitting the market, and one of
those could be the difference towards your ride earning that coveted car show
award, being the final step towards a first cruise, or improving upon your
current weekend toy. So make sure to check out our blog for new products for
your restoration needs! 

Passing The Torch

Wednesday, March 20. 2013

It’s not a shock that the car hobby landscape has significantly changed in the last few decades. Participation at car shows, races and cruises are still holding true in most areas, and I’ve personally witnessed some event counts still on the rise. But once you walk away from the event-style organization, the lack of participation is eye opening. This is where the efforts are truly needed. I grew up used to seeing cool muscle cars out on the street, and I was born after the muscle car boom had been somewhat cooled by the smog police. But as Y2K came and went, it seems fewer classics were on the road, as well as Fox-body Mustangs, unless an event was nearby. Daily driving anything over 10 years old was the exception rather than the norm, and as gas continued to rise, that trend shows no sign of slowing. The way I see it, everyone needs to take the initiative to pass on our hobby to the next generation. Take someone to a show, for a ride in a classic (most Fox Mustangs now qualify for that status), or even to a race. That single experience can be all it takes to keep our car-rich way of life alive.

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The Muscle Car: Alive and Well? Part Three

Thursday, March 14. 2013

To wrap up the question of whether muscle and pony cars days are numbered, I had mentioned that 500 horsepower cars were becoming in greater supply and a 35 MPG standard in the same sentence. Gas was nearing three dollars a gallon for regular 87 octane; would this mean current muscle cars like the 515 horsepower Z06 Corvette and 500 horse Mustang Shelby GT500 could be on borrowed time? Would the upcoming 638 horsepower ZR1 Corvette face the chopping block, and would the big three have to give in to economy above performance on their future check lists? “High performance vehicles such as this may actually be legislated out of existence” Corvette chief engineer Tadge Juechter mentioned when referring to the ZR1 and the CAFE standards coming. So was it a doom and gloom future?

My family has vacationed in Maine since the 1970s, and in 2009 I got a few indicators that could show the muscle car and pony car future status. Isleboro is a small island off the coast of Maine, and unless you own a boat, a 30 minute ferry ride is required to experience their way of life (the island's lighthouse is pictured). Even in this remote of places, I was able to see muscle cars every day. In one weeks time, I saw two 1970 Chevelles, a ’68 and ‘80 Camaro, and a few days before I left, a spanking new 2009 orange Dodge Challenger came in. All this on an island less than is 25 miles from end to end, and only containing one place to purchase gas. Might seem crazy, but those owners are still cruising and living the dream of having a muscle car in their life. They gave me hope that our hobby will continue to survive for future generations. 

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The Muscle Car: Alive and Well? Part Two

Monday, March 11. 2013

Continuing on the question I posed above, the muscle car didn’t have a bright future in the 1980s, but the “pony car” wars revved back up late in the decade, the Camaro, Firebird and Mustang were getting the attention again, and the public responded. If you checked the right boxes and could drive them, 13-second times with sticky rubber and a few bolt-ons were the result. Some were even getting the job done without a single modification. The feelings from the old days was coming back, days when you saw gearheads driving their weekly commuter to the track and making lap after lap with big grins and going to work Monday with rubber on the quarter panels. Through the 1990s and into Y2K, the power kept increasing to the point people could buy cars with nearly double the MPG of the hot rods of the 1960s and 70s while clicking off 12-second times as delivered without the need for drag race only tires. As the years continued to speed past, family sedans packing 400 ponies and sports cars pushing past the 500 horse mark started becoming the norm rather than the exception. If you could work the gears on time, all that stood between you and a 10-second time slip was a set of sticky tires, all in a showroom fresh car sipping fuel to the tune of 20-plus MPG. But the party got a big warning on December 18th of 2007 when a change that could start the end of our current muscle car phase was introduced. An energy bill passed through Congress and the Senate requiring a 35 MPG CAFE standard for automakers, and although this is the first increase in average fleet fuel economy in 32 years, does it signal the muscle car’s best days will soon be behind us? I’ll finish this subject up in part three.

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