Ford Mustangs 5.0 and Longitudinal Engine Configuration

Most cars nowadays are front wheel drive, which means that they have a transverse engine configuration. In simple terms (at least according to Wikipedia), a transverse engine configuration is one in which the crankshaft of the engine is perpendicular to the long axis of the vehicle.

But Ford Mustangs, at least the 5.0, were not ordinary cars. They were simple, rear-wheel drive vehicles with a longitudinal engine configuration. They were also next to impossible to drive the snow without chains, or at least studs in the tires, and if there was a hint of moisture on the ground you could peel your tires for as long as you wanted. That’s not the point. The longitudinal engine configuration means that when you floored it when the car was in neutral, it would rock the whole thing. Very impressive!

1990 Ford Mustang 5.0 Engine
1990 Ford Mustang 5.0 Engine

In fact, I’ve heard from my trustworthy mechanic, Nick – I’m serious, he really is trustworthy, and he’s the King of Mopar – that he once saw a guy who car broke its engine mounts on one side only (he had a V8, obviously) and when he accelerated, the whole drive-train would torque and the engine would kick the inside of the hood! Honestly, that may be a tall tale, but it seems believable enough. I’m not certain he could drive for a long time with a loose engine, though. Anyways, that’s neither here nor there. Mustangs, even the puny 4-cylinder versions of the famous Pony, had a longitudinal engine configuration. I know it seems like I’m going on a lot about this, but it was really cool, and I MISS IT.

The car I drive now has neither the personality, the power nor the charm of the Mustangs of those years, so when I think that I could rock the car my giving it gas, I’m nostalgic. There you have it. My Buick would also do so, thanks to its similar configuration, but it was a larger car, so the effect wasn’t as pronounced.

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