Friday, July 3, 2015

Coffee Brake: Living on a G-String Budget: 2010 Stripper Pony(ish) Cars Market Report

This guest Coffee Brake was written by K2 Mystery Car
Evolution is a cruel mistress; it creates fearsome predators that devour every tasty morsel in their path. And then, something funny happens…the razor-toothed dinosaur that’s born with tiny legs, the lightning-quick tiger who can’t see more than two feet in front of its nose and other oxymoronic natural creations that boggle the mind.
Like those natural mistakes of yore, automakers have offered similar combinations; hot cars with feeble engines, the better to make a fast buck from a buyer who wanted the look but couldn’t afford the power. Known for their lack of features and a lackluster power plant, these are “stripper” cars, decontented to serve the almighty dollar and service the painfully poor enthusiast.

Not many have fond memories of Camaros and Firebirds saddled with Iron Duke four-cylinder motors and Lima-engine Mustangs. But times have changed; the efficiency of most engines on the market today have increased significantly; there’s even excitement surrounding turbo-charged four-cylinder examples of those very cars. Gone are the low horsepower ratings and the embarrassment of driving a sporty car that can be out-gunned by a family sedan from the stoplight. Enthusiasts now revel in a higher level of simplicity, better mileage and less weight, though these days the last two factors are no longer as significant as they once were in comparison to their upgraded engine model mates.
So maybe you’re interested in what’s happening in the used pony car market, you’d like to enjoy lower insurance rates and you don’t really have the need for a million-horsepower monster under the hood for a quick zip down to the grocery. Other than the obligatory Mustang-Camaro showdown, I’ve added three cars that came quickly to my mind as competitors. Why haven’t I included other cars in this comparison, you may ask? Well for no other reason other than random choice and we all know what happens when you poke the GCG (German Car Groupies).
Here’s where we’re at currently with values, assuming a car with 60,000 miles, in “average” condition and not factoring in any options. Pricing in your neighborhood will be different; these numbers should be used for comparison only and were obtained by averaging the retail values provided by Kelley Blue Book, Edmunds and NADA.  See those websites for more detailed information.

The 2010 Chevrolet Camaro 1LT features 304 horsepower, 273 foot-pounds of torque in a rather claustrophobic 3,780 pound retro-styled body and the 0-60 run happens in approximately 6 seconds with the six-speed manual transmission.
Current retail: $15,600

Having basically invented it pony car market, Ford’s Mustang has always been a heavy hitter. The 2010 Mustang Coupe V6 is motivated by 210 horsepower in an evolutionary body that weighs 3,400 pounds and is shifted through a five-speed manual. Ride those ponies for all their worth and the 0-60 run takes 6.5 seconds.
Current retail: $13,000

Many enthusiasts and the media poke fun at Dodge Challenger for being overweight and ponderous to drive. I’ll leave it up to you to decide if you agree with that opinion but the Dodge Challenger SE V6 has 250 horsepower in a retro body that weighs 3,720 pounds and is only available with a five-speed automatic, which made for a 0-60 saunter in 7.4 seconds.
Current retail: $16,200

In a reversal of our premise, the underdog Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 has a 306 horsepower, 266 foot-pounds of torque V6 as the upgraded variant, with no V8 on offer. The 3,389 pound Korean coupe with a six-speed manual will haul your kimchi 0-60 in 6.0 seconds.
Current retail: $13,200

If you’re unconcerned about a vestigial back seat, the Nissan 370Z (G37 Coupe aside) is a superb choice. The base line model features 332 horsepower, 270 foot-pounds of torque in a relatively svelte 3,232 pound body, which results in a 0-60 sushi roll in 4.5 seconds, meaning you can (and must) choose to drive away quickly from those hitchhiking twins.
Current retail: $17,000

Which of these five cars would you choose and what’s your favorite (clean) stripper joke (and who doesn’t love a clean stripper)?
Big thanks to K2 for writing this story, images via creative commons.


  1. I'm personally not interested in any of the Detroit ponycars, for the reasons you hinted at - too big, too heavy, too hard to see out of.

    The Hyundai's not bad, no fan of the 350/370Z much rather have the G35/G37.

    But, really, and I know it busts your base-model thing but it was only offered with the V8, if I were buying something in what I consider to be this segment, it'd be a Monaro...uh, GTO.

  2. I have never given the posers much thought, simply because my id has naturally gravitated towards the big dog versions since time immemorial. At least regarding sports or sporting cars. And although the strippers of today outgun the exotics of a couple decades ago, that horse is out of the barn since our collective performance barometer seems to get reset almost yearly now. I remember when I first read of the n54 and shook my head unbelieving: 300hp/300lbft!! Now, those numbers are nearly quaint, BMW power rating shenanigans aside.

    You know where I really appreciate the stripper, though? In the econohatch segment. A based-out Fiesta manual five door is a stripper I could take home to mom and have fun with alike.

    1. Gianni and I were just discussing how hard it is to buy a brand new car without a/c these days.

    2. Nice lineup of vintage ads at the top. Please keep mindlessly downing the 240Z, so those of us who build and tune them can keep getting cheap parts and making barn finds. Legit max power from the factory is cool, but let's face it - it's for checkbook rodders. Not as much as in the past, but it's still expensive, and anyway it's so much more fun to spin wrenches correctly and then see the look on FancyFace's face in Daddy's Shiny Toy when you shut him down rolling to the sushi bar and/or frozen custard stand, not to mention on the track. Or maybe wrench-spinning and subsequent unnecessary displays of acceleration and lateral-G generation are frowned upon here? That's what strippers are all about. Am I in the wrong place? Is this Martha Stewart Cooking??

    3. I like your perspective whatever your name is. And now I'm hungry. Thanks for that.

  3. The 2010 Mustang V6 (and the 2010 4.6 V8 for that matter) is the red-headed stepchild of modern Mustangs. It got all of the new looks and none of the go. A decades old 4.0 V6 making a hair over 200 hp in the '10 versus the modern 3.7l DOHC V6 in the 2011+ that makes 300 hp and gets around 30mpg highway along with a 6-speed manual over the '10's 5-speed. There isn't much of a price penalty stepping from a 2010 Mustang to a 2011, but both the V6 and V8 cars have much better powertrains. The 11+ V6s are a great example of the concept you're talking about, while the 2010 is the weak, rattly V6 easily outgunned by family sedans...

    1. All true but then we'd be talking newer cars...5 years is always an interesting time for depreciation.

  4. Keep in mind that two of these cars are an alternative to a new Nissan Versa. Which would you rather drive if a warranty wasn't a concern?

  5. 71 Charger not a Pony Car may win UGLY contest 68-70 Chargers are cool but too big for a pony. The new GTO does make it on my list.

    1. It's interesting that folks find the GTO to be relatively new. It's nine years old, at best.

    2. It's really 'do you want something newer, or do you want something better?'

      I guess 2010 falls between two stools for me, if I care about newish I care about warranty and 2010 are all just out of warranty, you've got to go new enough that it's either some mfr's 'certified preowned' or some halfway-reputable (and many are only halfway reputable) aftermarket warranty outfit will touch you.

      If I'm going to fix it (or pay to fix it) myself I'm buying condition, quality, and depth of online expertise (and availability of diagnostic and service tools) rather than year-model.

    3. And just to continue that thought: probably not true of those Mustangs but Ford has, for the past couple decades, been the worst in the industry when it comes to declaring parts for older models no-longer-available. So if you plan on keeping your 2010 Ford another decade, particularly if it's a model that didn't sell in 250K+ per year numbers, you've got to consider that.


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