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Fuel shortages were cause for concern as motorists waited in line to fill their tanks. Detroit auto makers were under more pressure to build cars having better fuel efficiency.

Massive cars that cruised the interstates were doomed to go the way of the dinosaur. Compact cars were soon to be the wave of the future.

Environmentalists and safety standards tightened the reigns as auto makers scrambled to meet their demands. Huge urethane covered front bumpers were hung off the chin of the new cars that much resembled a deep diving fishing lure. Ford's ''Q'' code 351c 4v top of the line engine was rated at only 266 h.p. (net). Vacuum lines and mysterious electrical gadgets began to clutter and complicate the engine bay. Simplicity of design became a thing of the past.

1973 was the year that saw the final factory built Ford convertible. Production figures nearly doubled for the last of the first generation Mustang convertibles to almost 12,000 units. This was the only year since 1966 the classic Mustang total production exceeded the previous year.

Total production figures for the three-year run of the massive 1971-1973 Mustangs was only 409,358 units. By comparison of early years, it would have been considered a failure. Mustang still out sold it's nearest competitor every year, with ease.

Mustangs glory days appeared to be history, as the fuel saving Mustang II began it's chapter, a chapter of which I would prefer to ignore.

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By Stan G. Codger