At the start of the 1960s, Ford realised it had nothing to trade for the considerable disposable income of fun-loving young Americans.
The Mustang was its answer, and man was it the right one: more than a million examples were sold within two years, and very quickly many rival ‘pony cars’ had arrived
The most successful came from Ford’s arch-rival, General Motors, in late 1966: the Chevrolet Camaro. We got our first taste five months later, in Super Sport models with 5.7-litre and 7.5-litre ‘Big Red’ V8s.
We said: “On normal roads, the Camaro sparkles like a magnum of champagne. Roadholding tends to be neutral. Fast and medium-speed bends can be taken in style, even with a controlled slide if you prefer. On the other hand, in tighter turns, the live rear axle makes itself felt and the wheels tend to lose grip.
“Performance is markedly above that of the average American car with the 5.7. The acceleration times we recorded [0-62mph in 8.0sec; 0-100mph in 22.6sec] nevertheless are very near those of the new 5.4 Mustang and a Ferrari or Jaguar.”
We concluded that, although it required respect, the Chevy should succeed as it was so stimulating yet cheap, at about £1400 (£26k today).
Upgrades for MG Midget
MG had been developing its Midget for eight years by the time the Mk3 arrived with a detuned Mini Cooper S engine.
“Slightly better acceleration and mid-range torque than before,” we concluded. “Robust engine and transmission. Ride and handling in best MG traditions. Faultless brakes. New hood a great improvement, but cramped seating not changed.”