<VV> Improving earlies, was: Casting Asparagus at Earlies

alan WESSON sidevalve@sidevalve.fsnet.co.uk
Sun, 2 May 2004 12:57:36 +0100

Geoff wrote:

> because that is what parts I had on hand at the time.  Won't do you any
> good (unless maybe a little strength) unless you do major engineering
> and put in a late suspension.

Sorry - that's what I meant! I had assumed you had to change the transaxle
at the same time as the suspension! The point I was trying to make is that
IMHO the only really significant improvement in a Late versus an Early
is the independent rear end, and so an Early with an independent rear end
would be as desirable (or nearly so) as a Late.

In my (very humble opinion the following are the main differences between
Earlies and Lates. They are mostly non-engine because I am not an Engine
Guy, so anyone who cares to add to the list is welcome to do so.

1. Rear suspension / handling (Lates a lot better).

2. Styling of sedans (I prefer the Earlies even though I have a late!).

3. Styling of coupes (Lates better - IMHO the Early coupe would have been
better if they had kept the rear window of the sedan!).

4. Styling of convertibles (I think the Early vert is the second
best-looking vert in history; I think the Late is the best).

5. Quality (Earlies better).

5. Seats (Earlies better).

7. Dashboard styling (Earlies better, although not as 'advanced'. In 1970
the British Ford Cortina came out with a dash that I (aged 12) thought was
VERY radical. I didn't like it, but I thought it was radical. It was, in
fact, almost a carbon copy of the Late dash (but I didn't know that at the

8. Hardtop versus post (Late hardtops, earlies not). That's a score draw
again, really - Hardtops have less strength but look prettier; Cars with a
post look less wild but are more rigid.

9. Performance - not a lot of experience of this, but I assume Lates are
better. It's not a big factor for road use, IMHO, because one of the
attractions of classic cars for me is that they are slower than modern ones
(and that I therefore cool it a bit!). If I want performance I can buy a
Lotus 7 of a Lancia Turbo (oops! Done that already...).

On balance I think I would like a 60 sedan with a late rear end, PG and an
80 hp engine (so that there was a lot more grip than power, which is good
for round here!) AND a 1965 180 vert in evening orchid (still one of
my dream cars).

All IMHO, but carefully thought-out, I hope balanced - and I also hope that
it won't annoy Smitty too much...