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15 comments

Are These Back Seats Useless?

Posted April 15, 2011 8:30 AM by CarDomain

What do Mustangs and 911s have in common? Well, besides being two of the most successful enthusiast cars of the last fifty years, they both have useless back seats. But are they really useless?

You can generally get at least one smallish person back there, if you really try. Your dog can sit back there. Plus, it's a good place to toss a sweatshirt or backpack or bag of groceries. But most importantly: those seats can make the difference when you are trying to justify the purchase to your significant other. Yep, that 911 Turbo is totally practical. What do you think?

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#1

Re: Are These Back Seats Useless?

04/15/2011 9:10 AM

You get even more room in the back with the back-seat-delete option.

I have easily put a full sized cello and an acoustic guitar (both in their cases) in the back of a 911 without disturbing the view out the rear window.

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#2

Re: Are These Back Seats Useless?

04/15/2011 12:38 PM

My kids ride in the back seat of my Cobra everyday to school. They don't have any problems getting in and out. Last night I took my dog on a quick trip to the pet store for more food. He really loved having the top down. The most practical? No. Fun to own and drive? Yes. We don't buy these cars because they are the most practical. If that was the case I wouldn't have traded in my Yukon for it.

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#3

Re: Are These Back Seats Useless?

04/15/2011 3:39 PM

I once had a '73 Mustang. My girlfriends passengers never complained about the lack of room back there, only how hard it was to get in and out of the car.

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#4

Re: Are These Back Seats Useless?

04/16/2011 1:11 AM

Had a 69 Mach 1, if you were under the age of 10, back seats were a non issue.

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#5

Re: Are These Back Seats Useless?

04/16/2011 7:43 AM

There is actually a real world answer to your question. Case in point. I use to be the proud owner of a 1985 635CSi BMW. When this car was in the design phase the American market weighed heavily in their final choices. It was decided in order to get in a more favorable insurance bracket the car couldn't be considered a 2 seater. You know those people that drive 2 seat sport cars just race around and get in quite a few more collisions than 4 seater's do! Your answer is money. And the power and influence of insurance companies.

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#6
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Re: Are These Back Seats Useless?

04/16/2011 9:13 AM

I love BMW's really, I own one. But if you are putting a 635 in the same sports car context as a 911, I'm pretty sure you've never driven a 911. However, I digress. I have a Fiat Spider with a back seat cushion that is about five inches away from the front seat back, with the front seat all the way forward. Normally, it is useful for groceries, though.

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#7
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Re: Are These Back Seats Useless?

04/16/2011 9:55 AM

I never said that. However if you want to take the 1985 911 Carrara, I'll take the 1985 M635 (M6). You can get a nice look at my tail lights as I pass you at 155 MPH

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#10
In reply to #7

Re: Are These Back Seats Useless?

04/17/2011 6:36 PM

Until you go to turn the steering wheel. ;-)

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#11
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Re: Are These Back Seats Useless?

04/17/2011 7:19 PM

The 1985 cars you specified side by side work out like this:

M635

HP = 282

Weight = 3,300 lbs

Power to weight ratio = 0.086 hp/lb

Top Speed = 158 mph.

Carrara

HP = 230

Weight = 2,620 lbs

Power to weight ratio = 0.088 hp/lb

Top speed = 152 mph

So, on paper and on the straight line I would favor the Carrera for a good portion of the drag race. The BMW may eek out ahead at the end. The BMW does better in the torque department, too leading with 246 ft-lbs versus 200 for the Carrera. That is an important difference.

However, on a real track, the Carrera has far less weight to contend with and would probably leave the BMW behind after the first few turns and would remain there for the duration of the run.

The Carrera is a more purpose built sports car. The BMW is a touring GT car and not designed to be a track rat. After all 550 lbs is not a trivial amount of weight disadvantage.

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#8
In reply to #5

Re: Are These Back Seats Useless?

04/16/2011 9:57 AM

G.A.

I've had a 68 Mustang and a 78 Cobra, when I was younger, and discovered the more favorable insurance rate was the reason backseats were included.

I now have a Jeep Wrangler Sahara and have the best insurance rate ever. Do you think it it the little seat in the back or am I just getting too old to be risk?

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#9
In reply to #8

Re: Are These Back Seats Useless?

04/16/2011 10:04 AM

I had 2 68 Stangs. A coupe with a 302 and a fastback with a 289 and a Toploader 4 speed. I wish I had those cars today!

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#12

Re: Are These Back Seats Useless?

04/17/2011 8:08 PM

There have been many cars with back seats designed for legless midgets - I have never owned one since I have always valued the ability to carry passengers and goods .... station waggons forever!

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#13
In reply to #12

Re: Are These Back Seats Useless?

04/17/2011 8:39 PM

Like this?

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#14
In reply to #13

Re: Are These Back Seats Useless?

04/17/2011 9:07 PM

That one has a little more power than any of mine!

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#15
In reply to #14

Re: Are These Back Seats Useless?

04/17/2011 9:42 PM

Mine too, for now. Next up, electric!

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