1972 represents a turning point for the era of the muscle-car. No longer a small
and nimble personal car the public adored, they had evolved to be those brute force
overweight torque-monsters. Gas prices began to increase in small increments. I still
recall service stations on every major street corner having their ''gas wars'' to
stimulate business with the lowest price in town.
Gas prices fluctuated throughout this period from about 32 to 37 cents per gallon.
Service Stations became gas stations which meant patrons were forced to learn how
to pump their own fuel, check oil, and other fluids and belts inspection, even wash
their own windows.
Stupid looking japanese miniature econoboxs with their weird-o styling slowly
began to infest the American market. They could be seen occasionally putting around
town or crawling along on our highways with a whisp of blue smoke trickling out of
their pathetic pencil sized exhaust pipe. Volkswagon sensed that their competition
was about to explode.
Between the government's safety and smog regulations, horsepower ratings dropped.
Advertised rating was changed from gross h.p. to net. in an effort to pacify the
insurance company's concerns for the runaway horsepower wars. Compression ratios
dropped and camshaft timing was altered in an effort to please the newly imposed
There was one last high performance 351 Cleveland 4V. Named ''351 H.O.'',
or High Output, this engine was a slightly de-tuned version of the previous years
infamous ''Boss 351''. The H.O. was a rare option with all three body styles.
1972 was the only year Mustang that looked exactly as the previous year and sales
were lagging for all the manufacturers as the nations economy and interests changed.
Planning at FoMoCo had already begun drawing up a new downsized version with
a fuel saving PINTO engine to compete with the pathetic mini-imports.
America's romance with the ''Great American Muscle-Car'' was speeding
to an abrupt ending.