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Inspired by the Bullitt/Camaro comparo Edmund's did, I will present, for our discussion, my Bullitt vs. 2000 WS-6 T/A comparo. I know others on the list have both of these cars at their disposal, so correct me when I'm wrong about T/A details and don't take anything as a slight to either car (I'll try to be objective, but my Bullitt bias will show, I'm sure).

Background: My TB Bullitt #4165 is at my home in CO and I am in FL for the holiday and a job search, so it will not be a true side by side comparison. The Bullitt, we all know about, The competition is my girlfriend's '00 WS-6. It is loaded, lacking only the Hurst shifter and traction control. As I have no formal driver training (beyond court mandated :wink:) or track experience, I will be speaking in layman's terms, and please do correct me with the proper terms, etc. Because we all know and love the Bullitt, I will spend most of the time discussing the from the drivers seat of the Firechicken. Also, this will come probably come in several installments as I encounter various situations in the Firechicken. I will start with first impressions:

Upon ingress, the first thing I noticed is that the steering wheel/pedal/shifter layout (and all around ergonomics) is superior to Bullitt. Everything is within easy reach and when I have the seat the proper distance from the pedals, the steering wheel and shifter are perfectly located. I start it up, it sounds muscular, but not as cool or testostorone laced as the Bullitt. I back out and go on my way and I notice right away that the visibility kind of sucks (not near as bad as the '70 Challenger SE with that tiny rear windos). The clutch throw is short, and it engages sooner in the travel than the Bullitt. However, IMHO, its too whimpy, I prefer a stiff clutch, also, the shifter SUCKS, gotta be careful, or you go from 2nd strait into 5th, its sloppy and does not center well. Kind of goes with the of the cheapness of the rest of the interior. Granted it's not the Hurst, but the stock Bullitt shifter is FAR superior. The seats also suck. I am a skinny white boy, and though they might demographically fit your average F-body buyer, they don't fit me (or my girlfriend :wink:), back ache after 5 miles and sore kidneys after hitting corners hard and sliding into the adjustable "wings" those horrid seats have. The lumbar support supports just above my lumbar (Bullitt seats fit me perfectly, BTW). The steering is higher effort than Bullitt, but I do like it, the cars are even up here. The Chicken doesn't feel as confident in corners as #4165, and I can't feel the limits but, I haven't broken it loose yet (those big a$$ tires do stick). Now for the highest high of the Chicken. I stop at the bottom of an I-95 on ramp and attempt a max traction launch. HOLYMARYMOTHEROFGOD, this thing GOES in a cloud of acrid smoke, grab 2nd, careful not to miss 3rd, 110 and have to jump on the brakes because its time to merge and I don't want to merge with a Lexus. The only cars I have ever driven that accelerate like this are a 440 powered '74 Challenger ('70 X block, pocket ported heads, unknown Purple Shaft, poor idle quality, 750 double pumper, 8 3/4 3.23 Sure Grip w/green bearings, 727, 2500 stall) and a 351C 4V powered '73 Pantera. The acceleration seems just a sh%* load more than Bullitt (more more than I expected), but I'm at sea level now and the Bullitt is home at 5280. I settle into my cruise and become critical of the stereo. The Monsoon has much more boom-ditty-boom, but much less detail, and I miss the Bullitt's exhaust note. I also dig the steering wheel controls. I had to jump on the binders to avoid merging with the Lexus again, and they are spongey, but confident this time. All in all, the Chicken feels more like a muscle car than the Bullitt. I would like to have the Chicken's drive train in the Bullitt and I really like that muscle car feel, but haven't yet decided wheather I prefer it or not.

I'll post more impressions when I get some more flog time :cool:
 

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Very insightful, Chris, and a great read. Thanks!
I agree about the Bullitt steering...Too easy for my taste. I'd like a little more effort and road feedback in my wheel.
 

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in high school one of my friends dad was an attorney for Lincoln Mercury,.....man i remeber when he was driving the Pantera for a while. sounded great and went like stink!! i had not thought of that car in a while. i loved Panteras for years, too bad they were only slightly more reliable than the Maserati BiTurbo!! LOL
i like your comparo chris!! i disagree about the ergonomics( for me personally ONLY!!) i really like the way the Bullitt lays out for me and my arms and legs! feels better than my 97 or 99 GT's. and yes!! the seats are awesome in our cars

_________________
mystang99 - (Marty)
2001 Bullitt DHG #648
Ford Racing Alum. Driveshaft
Steeda Tri-Ax Shifter, K & N Filter,
MGW LTD-All custom Satin Bullitt Bits & Pieces



<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: mystang99 on 2001-11-21 15:27 ]</font>
 

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as a former owner of several screeming chickens, including a 99ws-6 formula i traded in for the bullitt, i must admit your camp[are was fairy close to my exp.the f-bird interior is nicer, and set up nice for driving, except the seats suck as you said, and the vis is pretty poor compared to the mustang, the birds really grab the cormers, but, you have to feel for its limits as it doesnt tell you much from the wheel, as far as straight out running, i must admit, i do miss my bird, one of the fastest cars i ever drove, and way faster than my bullitt, but then again, overall, i did buy the bullitt, so i guess that say's it all.... just my 2c
 

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I also owned a 99 Firebird WS6 T/A 6 speed. Power it had, no comparison to the Bullitt. But I didn't buy the Bullitt for it's performance. I love my Bullitt, and would never part with it. Well, maybe when the Teminator arrives? :wink: Seriously, the Bullit is a great drving car. :smile:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Glad you all enjoyed :smile:. I do like Panteras, but, yes, they are POS's. The one I'm speaking of had to have new half shafts every summer, just couldn't take the 351's torque. Total rust bucket too, if you turned right, you had to hold the driver's door shut because the latch pin had rusted out.

A couple of more Chicken observations: What a rattle trap! 23K miles and it reminds me of a Shark Bodied 'Vette. You are bombarded with a caucophony of un-natural sounds, most notably the leaky T-tops as well as a sticky EGR valve that occasionaly whistles through the intake, exhaust rattles when that torque monster comes to life, and 3 more intermittant noises that I have yet to identify. The only mysterious rattle my Bullitt has seems to be coming from the package tray, inside the Mach 460 box. My girlfriend says I look cool driving the Chicken (did I mention that it is shiny black with Ram-Air?), which works for me :cool:. I told her however, that I would have to get a couple of thick gold neck chains, some Austin Powers glue on chest hair and a 3 knuckle ring that said "Guido" if I were going to drive it regularly :wink:. Get this, she thinks the Bullitt is visually boring, she recommends a Roush ground effects kit, when I got it though, she wanted to sell the Chicken and get a Cobra. Another Bullitt superiority is the steering wheel. It is thick all the way around, and the Chicken wheel has thickened parts at 10 and 2 but otherwise is like the wheel in a '63 Dart. The steering column is also the same one GM has been using in every car since the 70's. The '80's vintage turn signal/cruise control/windshield wiper lever is at an akward angle and in a strange position as well (like 10:45). Back to the plus side, I love that engine. The 4.6 is cool and high tech and kicks ass for its displacement (at least in the Bullitt), but as Jesus Christ said in the parable of the hot rods: "....there is no substitute for cubic inches." I can't wait to get my Bullitt down here, its going to be cool to have both of these beasts to appreciate.

One other thing I noticed, and somebody please tell me the name of what I am describing, In 4165, when I am in a corner, I can change my line by slightly increasing or decreasing throttle input. I have not been able to do this in the Chicken, which I find odd, considering it is a stump puller. In my mind, that kind of negates some of the benefit of the higher effort steering because that feature will lead to over correcting.

Next installment will be under hood, and under chasis mechanical features.
 

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This is really great to read a comparison of the 2 cars, Chris, without all that "My car's better than your car!" rhetoric.

Panteras were slick looking cars then and they still are, but they are a nightmare. It's no wonder the true enthusiast mod's the hell out of them. They do really haul ass but I've yet to see one that doesn't eventually overheat. The '69 DeTomaso Magusta with the 428 CJ was a monster, but it took absolutely nothing to toast the engine!

I've toyed with the idea in the past about getting a black T/A, but the main thing that kept me away was the uncomfortable seating. The design cues are so much better than the other F-bodies and I love that slick hood scoop setup!

You certainly can't beat the 350 motor, because it really is the most reliable V-8 out there, but I don't understand why GM hasn't woken up and smelled the coffee about replacing all that other antiquated stuff.

Maybe having Bob Lutz at the helm at GM and Henry Ford now running Ford, we may see a more spirited attempt at bringing fresher ideas to the consumer.

This is a great read, dude! :smile:
 

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Just a note on the F-body interior, if you're 6'4" and a "big guy" like me you'll find the interior so cramped and uncomfortable that the Bullitt feels like a Lincoln Town Car in comparison. I've had the opportunity to drive several 99+ Firebirds and my knees rub the dash & my head rubs the roof. Not a pleasant experience despite the mighty impressive engine.
 

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Pretty good read.
I haven't ridden in a GM in guite a while.
In the 70's I was in plenty of big blocks 6-71 blowers and all. I can tell you that the Bullitt handles well, but much like my 94 5.0 with a supercharger the Bullitt can be just as phenominal. i.e. seat of the pants fast. My 99 Lightning I had was much like the old muscle cars, but drove like a new Mustang GT. If Ford would only put a powerplant in the Mustang like that. Hey I can dream huh. :smile: Like I've said in the past, GM's got the Z06, Dodge the Viper, Ford = Nothing Comparable. As a Ford fanatic I'd really like to stop lining the pockets of the speed shops just to make my Ford perform along with the big 3. It has been this way for a looong time. I liked the WS article, good comparisons. I just wish Ford would build a "Factory" sports car worthy of it's namesake and motorsport/racing history.
How 'bout that new GT40 10 or twelve cylinder. :cool:
 

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Thanks for a great read and a fair comparison. There's always a faster car out there if you've got the bucks, but it takes something more to make a truly enjoyable ride. Love my Bullitt, and wouldn't trade it for anything, but you always wonder what the other guy's car is like.
 

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Very good comparo on the WS6 and Bullitt. I too almost settled on the WS6. I test drove one on two different occasions, same exact car. Just wanted to make sure my initial impressions were indeed correct and not something my mind fabricated.

The WS6 I drove had EVERY available option. Initially, it was the car I was going to get, but told myself to be sure. Then I found a Cobra and a Bullitt to drive. I then immediately fell in love/lust with the Bullitt. IMO it was an easier car to drive and is a hell of a lot easier to get into and out of. Not to mention that my golf clubs won't fit into the back of the WS6. I remember the complete lack of fit and finish issues I and my friends have had with the bowtie products. In the end the Bullitt obviously won my pocket book.
 

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First, I would like to say that I own a 2002 WS6 as well as Bullitt #2990. I love both cars!! However, this review is way off!! Lets compare apples to apples and not oranges to apples. The Bullitt is not in the same league as the WS6. Maybe you will have a better comparision with the WS6 and lets say a Cobra (not the same league, but closer). Also, you have to compare a 2001/2002 Ram Air because of the many improvements on all levels over the 2000 Ram Air models. Also, my WS6 has all the options, including the Hurst Shifter (which does make a HUGE difference over the regular shifter you have been using),

Anyways, for sake of argument, lets compare them. This comes from a guy who owns both cars and who has driven both cars.

Engine: All have to agree the WS6 is superior by far here. I bought both cars two weeks from each other and have babied them both since I purchased them. But every now and then I let it go for a little. Both cars have excellent engines and great HP/Torque, but the WS6 is freaking AWESOME!! That car is without limits!!!! You don't even have to put the gas down 1/3 to feel the WS6's power!! The Bullitt is incredible as well! By the way, I have read from many authorative magazines/web-sites that have stated that the 2001-2002 LS1 engines are by far the best ever made versus the 2000 Ram Air you have been driving.

Interior: I have to say that the WS6's interior is far superior to that of the Bullitt's. I think that the interior is really quite comfortable with the lumbar and lower back supports found in the seats. Also, I find the steering wheel to be thicker and gripper than the Bullitt's. However, the Bullitt's interior is really quite comfortable as well and I love those seats!!! However, it does seem quite bland next to the WS6's interior. Both stereo's are awesome!!! Very nice. I like the options found in the Mach460!! I also like the T-tops in the WS6, eventhough I have not used them as of yet. Both have very nice interiors.

Exterior: I have to say that the RAM AIR has the meanest look of any muscle car out there! That raised hood with the functional hood scoops is a work of ART!! And at least the hood scoops are functional!! The WS6 has a very sleek, meaningful, strong look to it. I also LOVE the look of the Bullitt. Much better than a regular GT and the Cobra!! Those brake calipers are NICE!! I have to admit that I get more looks with the WS6 than with the Bullitt!! Don't know why. I guess the people in my area just don't know of the Bullitt and how awesome it is.

Transmission/Shifters: I love the Hurst Shifter. It has a very nice muscle car feel to it. I also love that of the Bullitt as well, especially it's design. You need to drive with the Hurst shifter to appreciate the power and ability of the WS6.


Also, it's called the FireBird and not the Firechicken!! A little respect for such a fine automobile is in order.

Both cars are amazing and I am glad that I have the chance to cruise in them both.

More to come when I think of more stuff to say about these fine automobiles.

Thanks.
 

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Makes you wonder what an animal the Bullitt would be with an LS-1 engine under the hood,plus it is a bit lighter than the 4.6 2V mod motor.You would have a stronger rear end assembly in the Bullitt,and an already great exhaust system.But,I don't know how you would dress up the LS-1 engine,topside,for looks improvement,the Bullitt engine is by far the better looking!

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Mus408 on 2001-11-24 10:00 ]</font>
 

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Looks or not, the LS1 for the 2002 is simply a work of ART!!! The 4.6 for the Bullitt is also incredible. Both pieces of art!
 

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I would just fitst say that I am a Firebird guy. As I have owned an 82, 96 and current 98 formual w/ramair. But when I pull my Firebird into the garage it sits proudly next to #3033. I love both cars for what they are and have no wish to ever getrid of either one. Put I would like to say I am 6'6" and I am not ashamed to say 290 pounds and I dont fit in the Bullitt for long periods of time. The seats are buy far better then the firebird but I fit better in the firebird. My knees dont hit the dash or steering and I recline the seat(as I do in the bullitt) and have more head room. I took the bullitt to a friends and they just laughed at me because I look like I am in a ball when sitting in the car. I also go golfing and my bag fits perfict in the back trunk area. As for the rattles in the firebird...well if it dosent rattle its not a muscle car! There is one point that I would like to add to the comparison about the engines. The Bullitt as a smaller engine with less power and still gets worse gas mileage. Mustange 24 Firebird 28(but like any big engine if you step on it alot you can watch the gas gage move but the mustang are the same).

Just my .02
 

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i also had a 98 ram air formula i traded in for the bullitt.i must admit, when that cobra or ss pull up along side at the trafic light, i miss the bird.granted, i think the bullitt has hooked me more than any firebird i ever owned (4), but i miss being able to roll at 20mph, drop the clutch and burn rubber for 30ft, then shift to 2nd and burn alot more...sigh, but still, i would not trade my bullitt back for the formula, just thinking about dropping a ls1 into the bullitt.hehe
 

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dan, respect your opinions and welcome them BUT i'm always going to call it "the chicken"!! -LOL
i grew up in the 70's when every single Trans-Am had that damn chicken on the hood!
man, i always loved the way the TA looked in the 70's with the "shaker" scoop coming out of the hood though!
 
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