How'd you get your MN12?

theterminator93

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Sep 12, 2023
Messages
971
Location
North Ridgeville, OH
Vehicle Details
1997 Thunderbird 4.6, 1998 Mark VIII LSC
Country flag
Title says it all. How/why'd you end up with your Thunderbird/Cougar?

I'll start. I also feel like telling a story - it's kinda long but I love to reminisce! :)

To start, I have to say that it was a bit of a family thing. My uncle ran a body shop in the 90s and he occasionally let my parents drive salvaged cars he had repaired and was trying to sell. One of those cars was an 86 T-bird, and it left an impression on my parents. By the mid-late 90s, my parents had dumped their boxy econ-hatchback Hyundais and picked up a pair of 1st gen 3.8 T-birds used. At least once my dad did head gaskets on his 90 and ball joints on mom's 93 (not before a lower popped and we got stuck on the side of the road as we were just getting underway for a summer vacation!). They drove them until rust decay deemed them unsafe in a collision. My mom got bit by the SUV bug and moved on to a 96 Explorer, but my dad kept driving cars. By 2004 he was driving a 95 Trans Am and wanted something else for winter. Ironically he chose to get another T-bird.

He deliberately wanted to get a 97 4.6, having dealt with the modest power of the 3.8 and its head gasket issues before and wanted the newest model available. He found one for sale on the other side of the state at a dealership in Cincinnati. He drove down in his T/A with a fellow Trans Am buddy but when he got to the dealership they had changed the terms of the sale of the car such that my dad literally turned around and started walking off the lot before the salesman agreed at the last minute to my dad's terms. And so the 97 laser red LX came home that November day in 2004.

For 7-8 months of the year the car would sit in the back corner of the driveway, as seen in this oldest photo I have of the car from late 2005, until it was needed for winter driving when the Trans Am would go under the car cover.

1698800640924.png

This was the arrangement until late 2006 - I had graduated from high school and reluctantly got my driver's license so that I could drive myself to/from work. I began to drive the Explorer or the T-bird depending on whether my mom or dad needed either car, and eventually (after the weather broke and dad started driving the Trans Am again) I just drove the T-bird exclusively. One day my dad took the car in for a "free" inspection at a newly-opened auto service center and got a laundry list of things that were wrong with the car. He didn't have the money to get everything addressed, but I chose to begin making repairs to the car myself rather than pay 3-4x the price of parts to have someone else do it.

Through 2007 and 2008 I was driving the car nearly exclusively as my dad had picked up another vehicle to use for his winter driving needs. I, on the other hand, had no such luxury at the time and was driving the car year-round. In 2008 I was relying on my dad to help with some technical problems I ran into with the car - an electrical short that killed the car 1/2 mile up the road one day, then a seized A/C compressor on a cool fall night on the interstate later in the year. Eventually I found it more efficient to just join the technical community my dad was posting to, and I did that in the early hours of the morning on New Year's Day 2009. I've been a burden on the community ever since! :diablo:
 
I got Lazarus in 1999, after my dad passed. It was his car, and I got it with 28k miles. It is now well over 500k miles; it was over 300k when I lost a speedo gear in 2015. I drove it to work the week I had my stroke. (I was driving the tbird on that day). I joined tccoa after buying the red cougar, and killing its drive shaft and transmission.
 
My 1995 Cougar was my Dad's last car. It came to me in 2014 in pretty rough shape and got markedly worse when first the radiator blew out followed by the heater core failure. It was parked for a 2 year hiatus when my son successfully returned it to service, registered, and State Inspected as his High School Senior Project in 2019.

I never before had owned or even really worked on a Ford. product, but during the Senior Project I fell in love with the MN12 platform, and started the resto-mod project which grew into Ocelot Performance.
 
I was driving by a rusty wallace ford place at lunch in 2010, and saw the 97 tbird. 85k miles. They started at $5995. Lol.Looked great, Needed shocks, control arms,brakes, and a transmission.(I have high standards, lol.) Wasn't all wasted, but not perfect. :) After 15 years, and two mn 12's, I knew exactly what it needed, and how cheap it was to do. I talked them down to 3900, they thought the were financing it, since I was driving Lazarus, with the body damage, lol. He shit a brick when I pulled out cash and asked for a receipt. First car I paid cash for. :) Ever MN12 I got had warped brake rotors when I got it.
 
My friend had the 95 tbird has his HS car. He drove it through college, and then for several years while working on the west coast. When he bought his first nice car, a new IS250 in 2008, I pleaded with him to sell me his old Tbird so I could race it in lemons because I knew it was RWD, IRS, and safe enough if we ever got hit.

I also accidentally shared with him that if you kept an old car on your insurance as your primary car, your insurance for two cars can actually be cheaper than just having the one new car. Whoops. He kept the car for a few more years (I would have done the same) but when he decided to relocate, he gave me the car. I felt guilty so i gave him $100 and bought him a round of drinks in exchange for an oil drain pan and the shop manual :)
 
Mine was my first car. Bought on Black Friday, 1997. I had just turned 17 the month before but had been working for a few summers and had enough saved for a down payment. We went to a known dealership to look at an Olds Toronado, but it had gold wire wheels and had a system in it that left it pretty abused. We spotted a Camaro Iroc but far wasn't impressed, then we saw a 91 Cougar with the 5.0.

Now, my brother had bought a 94 Cougar a few years earlier instead of the New Camaro he wanted, and loved it. My dad really liked that car and so we test drove the 91, even though they were asking $3k more than I wanted to spend. It had 37,000 miles and was on really nice shape, save for the rock chips in the passenger front fender( never figured out how they did that). Anyway, Dad talked them down $2,800, as it had been on the lot for a while. That and last couple days of the month are always the best time to buy as they try to meet quota. So we went home with intention to pick it up the next day. Mom about had a fit I was buying a rear wheel drive car in Iowa, and said no. I was left in tears, as I had settled on that as my first car. I think he called the dealership to tell them we were not coming. A few months later after taking to me, Dad told her it was perfectly fine and called the dealership back that we were coming to get it. And so it was my first car.
 
My buddy has a 91 cougar ls that he got in 2001 (he still has it, many know it, one of the most beautiful mn12s ever, he's mainly on fb, I think he goes by Zachary Louis). After several years of doing upgrades on it I really started to appreciate the platform. I was raised on gm and was then into honda preludes for a while before I came across mine. They guy that I got it from said it had clogged cats, ended up just being a bad distributor. Bought it for $500 in 2009. It was pretty trashed when I got it, grey interior that was destroyed, almost no bushings in the front suspension, not one tire even matched. It was a budget build for a while, then it just snowballed. Working 20 minutes from scp doesn't help matters either. Almost 15 years later and I love it and drive it more than ever (current engine was installed in March of 2020, currently has over 30k on it). I have also acquired a 94 sc 5 speed that I'm close to having everything I need to put it together. It has no rust on the car but no engine installed. It came with a disassembled stock engine that I was going to put together as a basic build. Then Bill talks me into a built motor he had sitting in his shop, so now its a full bolt on with mpx build. Also going with a tubular k member (already have one for the tbird) with most of the suspension and cobra brake goodies as well.
 
I bought my first MN12 almost by accident in 2003. A coworker of mine owned it. He was trying to sell it after buying a Chevy truck. The heater core was bypassed. The car had the mid nineties Ford clearcoat problem. Being in Vegas the sun was already burning that paint job off. He had it painted by Macco with a cheap single stage paint. That paint job was burning off too. Well because of the bad paint and no heat He wasn't finding any buyers. He started at $5000, then went to $3000. He even offered to take payments from another coworker. She put a down payment on the car. She had it for a day I think. She went over a speedbump and she thought the engine was going to "fall out". It had the original front shock in it. They made that creaking noise over bumps. But she was scared of it, and gave it back to him. So he kept it at his house, registered and insured. Finally months later he told me no one was calling about it, and he needed to sell it to be unburdened. I was daily driving my 1978 Ford Country Squire with a 460. And The $2 a gallon gas was getting to me. He asked me if I wanted it. I really didn't have the money to buy it. Then he offered it to me for $1000. I still didn't have that to spend. So he offered me payments and he left his plates and insurance on it until I paid him off and he gave me the title.

I enjoyed that car immensely. So I have bought more.
Unfortunately I took that car apart to paint it and do upgrades. As well I wanted to DOHC swap it at the time. So I took the engine out of it and put it in another Tbird a buddy had. Then I lost storage space for it while it was in that condition and it went to scrap :(
 
With Home insurance, adding an old car makes the bill go down. I carrythe legal minimum insurance on Lazarus, and it cuts my bill; adding a 1980 motorcycle with minimum ins. made it go down again; The bike actually put more in my pocket, which is rare. I't's $~50 a year.
 
My 91 Cougar was my first car, my mom bought it new in 91. As a kid, I had a lot of memories in that car, road trips and vacations every summer, plus just generally enjoying the V8 and the sunroof, and I always said it would be my first car. Well come spring of 99, about 6 months before I turned 18, the car had over 200k miles, started having issues and my mom bought a leftover 98 Grand Marquis, and was going to junk the Cougar. I pleaded with her not to get rid of it, and she said if I could fix it before I got my license, I could have it. That began my learning how to work on cars, which eventually turned into a career as an auto mechanic, and driving that car around my senior year of high school I fell in love with the way the car looked, rode, and handled, and while I have gotten into some other cars over the years, I always wind up back at the MN12, and currently own 4 of them.
 
My 91 Cougar was my first car, my mom bought it new in 91. As a kid, I had a lot of memories in that car, road trips and vacations every summer, plus just generally enjoying the V8 and the sunroof, and I always said it would be my first car. Well come spring of 99, about 6 months before I turned 18, the car had over 200k miles, started having issues and my mom bought a leftover 98 Grand Marquis, and was going to junk the Cougar. I pleaded with her not to get rid of it, and she said if I could fix it before I got my license, I could have it. That began my learning how to work on cars, which eventually turned into a career as an auto mechanic, and driving that car around my senior year of high school I fell in love with the way the car looked, rode, and handled, and while I have gotten into some other cars over the years, I always wind up back at the MN12, and currently own 4 of them.
Buying Mn12s are like eating peanuts. Can't stop once you start.
 
After I totalled Lazarus, the first time, lol, I drove a couple dozen different cars. They all sucked. I finally searched the local used car network, and found The red cougar. Even tho it had all the standard issues, It was like coming home, lol. I walked away with it at 110k miles, at $2990. :) My bank knew I was looking at new cars; I was preapproved for $100k, lol. I could have bought a new Cobra, but The Cougar won. I'm also way too cheap for that kind of car payment, lol.I bought this house instead, and let my Mom live in the other one. :)
 
My story is a bit different. I grew up a Ford fan in NASCAR and Bill Elliott was my driver. Bill drove a Thunderbird and so did all the other drivers I liked, so I loved seeing them. When I was a kid, we (unfortunately) lived up north. Every year, my Dad got a new Taurus wagon for a company car. I always got to pick the color schemes for it. Each February, he'd take me to Sunbury Ford to pick the new car up. They would always have a Mustang and a Thunderbird on the showroom floor and I always loved seeing them and sitting in them.

Our 1994 Taurus was Vibrant White with the Royal Blue interior. When we went to pick it up, they had a new facelifted green over green Thunderbird LX 4.6 on the showroom floor and I immediately fell in love with it. So much so that when we ordered our 1995 Taurus, I told Dad to order the same color scheme. My uncle also had a 1996 XR7 in White Opalescent and I thought it was a beautiful car. From then on, I loved the Thunderbird. I always wanted one but never found the right one. Ideally I was looking for that green over green combo that got me hooked as a kid but I was open to anything.

Fast forward 25ish years and I was talking to a good friend of mine. I don't remember how these cars came up in our conversation, but I mentioned how I had always wanted one. He mentioned that he was actually selling one. His aunt in rural Virginia bought a LX 4.6 new off the showroom floor in 1995 and drove it until she passed away a few years ago. He sent me photos and as soon as I saw the blue interior that matched our 1994 Taurus' interior, I knew it was the one. That next weekend I met him at his aunt's old house. It fired up on the first crank. I drove it up on the trailer and towed it home. The rest is history.

My friend's aunt, his grandmother, and his other aunt all lived in a row of houses next door to each other. My friend's wife grew up across the street next door to her grandparents. He practically grew up in that car and has so many fond memories with it. Whenever I send him photos of the car and what I am doing to it, he shares them with his family and they are thrilled to see it being cared for the way it is. It makes me happy to know that and it adds so much to the car's story for me. It also makes me happy to know that my son and I will continue to make those kinds of good memories with it.
 
Last edited:
I wanted a V8 RWD quasi muscle car and had been searching classifieds since before I was taking drivers ed. During the school year I found one of the few cars that fit a high schooler’s budget was a very rusty 74 351C Cougar with wide slot mags, but a combination of phone tag via the family home phone with the seller and my Dad catching wind answering he curiously took a look at the car for himself led to “you’re not buying that death trap”. That put the kibosh on that but planted the Cougar seed in my head. Months later in the summer of 05 I needed to retake geometry in summer school, at the farther away campus. I bummed rides from my friend who was going for one semester retake but I was retaking both semesters and it forced my hand to use my savings to buy a car, any car.

In the two week break I was looking at cars almost every day, mostly used car dealers from listings in the paper. Mind you I wasn’t being that picky, but MN12s had entered my radar at that point, especially when I learned they were still RWD, I sought out mostly Cougars sort of on principal from the one that got away but also because the couple Tbirds I found were really roached, Cougars seemed to be more taken care of around here. Eventually I was kind of set on a low mile black Bostonian 97 with a 3.8 because the tan all leather interior was super plush and it kind of reminded me of the 74 that wasn’t meant to be, despite the condition it was listed at $3,500 on the window. My dad one morning said we should check out one more out at Schaumburg Lexus on the weekend, a 94 this time, we showed up and there it was out front, glistening pearl white, no silly fabric roof treatment, moonroof, grey and white leather interior low miles and to my surprise V8 badges…. I didn’t know they came with V8s! I looked at probably 5 or 6 other cars at that point and they were all V6s so I thought I found a real unicorn and I instantly started falling in love with it. Even beyond the V8 though it had everything I wanted in a car and more especially after discovering the factory CD changer in the trunk, and I think my Dad was pretty fond of it too, having briefly had a Fox Cougar as a company car before I was born. Price was listed at $5,500, well out of my budget, or was willing to pay, but my dad negotiated it down to just under $4,000 and he made up the difference from what I had. We went to pick it up on 4th of July 2005. A few days later we got a silver platter of chocolates delivered to the house from the Lexus dealer... so fancy!

Incidentally my Dad traded in his Maxima for a 03 Lexus GS300 that August, but he bought it from the Schaumburg Honda down the street. I generously gave him the chrome Schaumburg Lexus plate frames that the Cougar came with :rofl:


What started as a commuter car I'd eventually move on from gradually became something I was much more interested in, my friend John introduced me to the world of self service junkyards after class one day and back then it was like a MN12 gold mine, and even though I didn't buy much on that first trip it game me so many ideas! I had a subscription to Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords since 2001 and I had started looking through my stack of issues for 4.6 mods and one issue actually had a step by step guide to the PI headswap, which became my goal. Soon after I wanted to see whether people actually modified Tbirds and Cougars in such a manner and that of course led to me to finding the other website formerly known as Birdcats :biggrin:, which opened up the biggest can of worms. First the reality check that the platform was not very interchangeable with Mustangs, but then looking into workarounds people had found like the hub swap. I dove deep! Plus I’d been on a few forums before and lurked a few car forums but not many had the sense of community and eventually I felt comfortable enough to register. Funny enough my dream vision for my Cougar back then isn’t all that far off from how it is now, yet when I think about the other cars I was into prior they don’t appeal to me much at all anymore.


Edit, I've been digging and digging but unfortunately this is the oldest pic I still have of the car but it is 2005, probably August, the tags expire in 06 and that chain plate frame was a gag gift my dad gave me after I gave him the Lexus frames lol

1698890724357.png
 
Last edited:
The short story is, I inherited my T-Bird.

The long story is....

When my wife and I first met back at the end of 2008, she was driving the T-Bird I have now.

We started dating and eventually moved in together. As time and life went on, I began to drive the T-Bird more and more. My wife bagan to drive the Honda more and more. As life continued forward and we had kids, we needed a more family appropriate vehicle and so we bought the Taurus (RIP).

Having three cars, the T-Bird began to sit for longer periods of time except on weekends or whenever the Honda needed some extensive TLC as the Honda is a bit more fuel efficient.

During all this time, my wife finally decided that the T-Bird was "officially" mine and she told me I could do whatever I wanted with the T-Bird.
 
Got the Bird as my first car. My dad was painting a house and the owners late father drove my car so my dad made an offer and she liked it. "$1000 and some weed" is what my dad tells me we got it for. Not bad for a central coast CA Bird no rust, garage kept, 65k miles on it. Been my daily ever since and I don't know another car that id be so happy with.
 
Matt, I drove a 76 Tbird for about 3 months once, and while it was a bad ass 5.0 v8, the handling was shit. It handled like a logwagon, even on a good road, lol. I traded it off for a 1981 subaru. :) Dude I traded it to swerved to try to miss a deer, and hit 5. Car was destroyed, and dude got his ass kicked by the deer that came thru the windshield :) In tennessee, it's legal to keep roadkill, so he left the deer in the back seat, and had the car towed home. When He went to get the deer, it was awake, and really pissed by the look of him. The county deputy told me all about it the next day, lol while writing me a ticket for 70 in a 45, in the subaru, lol.
 
Matt, I drove a 76 Tbird for about 3 months once, and while it was a bad ass 5.0 v8, the handling was shit. It handled like a logwagon, even on a good road, lol. I traded it off for a 1981 subaru. :) Dude I traded it to swerved to try to miss a deer, and hit 5. Car was destroyed, and dude got his ass kicked by the deer that came thru the windshield :) In tennessee, it's legal to keep roadkill, so he left the deer in the back seat, and had the car towed home. When He went to get the deer, it was awake, and really pissed by the look of him. The county deputy told me all about it the next day, lol while writing me a ticket for 70 in a 45, in the subaru, lol.

76 Tbird were still full size cars, the 74-76 Cougar was based on the intermediate Torino coupe body(which 77-79 Tbirds later moved to), the wheelbase is only 1” longer than a MN12. Neither are the paragon of handling but the roads here aren’t exactly the tail of the dragon. I used to have pics of the the actual car but this was basically how it looked if you imagine every panel facing the ground covered in rust and holes lol

Edit this wheel setup/stance is more like the one I almost bought

1698887331422.jpeg


Funny how things manifest themselves later

02A7AB36-A09C-401D-B812-DB57D2CC4479.jpeg
 

Attachments

  • 1698886510813.jpeg
    1698886510813.jpeg
    117.7 KB · Views: 12
Last edited:
Man that black Cougar!! WOW!
 
I bought my base model new in '89. I was looking for a Mustang LX hatchback, but the only v8 on the lot was a convertible. Any other v8
Mustang had a six month waiting list. The salesman tried to talk me into a Probe, which looked cool enough but was too small for me. It reminded me of the Mercury astronauts describing their spacecraft, you don't get in it you put it on.

Then he asked if I had seen the new Thunderbird, I'd heard about them but not seen one. Once I saw it it was instant love (which I tried very hard to hide.) I bought it, the first one I laid eyes on. I'm still driving it today, it's the only car I've owned.
 
I received mine as a high school graduation present from my grandparents who bought the car new off the show room floor back in ‘94. If I scavenge through my parents house i could find some pictures of me with the car when I was a lot younger. I’m now going on 17 years with the Tbird, and I always say it’s coming to the grave with me.
 
Started looking for a fun summer car when I turned 30. I had always wanted a Edge Mustang with a stick shift. But my first daughter was a few years old at the time so Mustangs are too small, and being a "Mustang guy" is no longer a good thing when you have a family. At least having an older Mustang.... I'd be happy with a Dark Horse or something LOL

After researching different coupes that were RWD, and V8, I stumbled onto MN12's. When I looked into them more I really was impressed with their suspension design and they are nice and big. Liking the unique/classic notch back look of the Cougar, I focused on finding one.

Ended up finding my Cougar on Craigslist at a buy here pay here dealer in New Jersey. It was clean and had the sport package so I was sold. Drove down (I lived in NY then) and paid cash for it, I think I paid 2500, wow they were cheap 10 years ago.

Never expected to put as much work into it as I have! Looking forward to teaching my daughters how to drive it sometime soon.
 
Man that black Cougar!! WOW!

That was my vision at 15-16, course my paint/body skills and equipment today are about the same as they were then lol

It had the landau top too(actually I think they all did from the factory). It certainly wasn't the best car to grace the Cougar badge but that coke bottle body always looked mean to me. I'd still buy that car now as a project if I found it!
 
Is it tradition for all dealers to discount cars on black friday? I got mine on Black Friday as well, went from 4k to 2.5. The dealer was a friend of a friend of a friend kind of thing. If I get a whiff of my annual bonus in time, I might consider taking a trip to the dealers on BF again.

The long story isn't too interesting. I was 25 or so and never driven a car, I took the bus and train all the time. That was no big deal for me, because I used to take transit to highschool and also just go fuck around downtown portland back when it was a genuinely great place to be. You were guaranteed to see at least one person you know, and you found a nice place to have a 40.

Anyway, on 12 dollars an hour I had saved up enough to at least get a loan for a car. My dad took me to a dealership selling some garbage SUV, he said his co-worker had one and loved it. I didn't know anything about cars, but I knew for certain that thing was a miserable plastic box of shit. I want to say it was a Saturn or something. Something extremely forgetable. I said no lets go somewhere else please.

So at the next place we let seller know the situation, just need a cheap reliable car to learn in. They walked me over to a white 2000s impala :zpuke:, and they kept talking about it without really caring about my input. I let them babble on as I looked at the black bird parked right next to it on chrome wheels (I still wonder if the seller put us next to it on purpose, that the impala was a smokescreen). I interrupted them and said how 'bout this. My dad was visibly annoyed and said I wanted something reliable like the impala. ??

We popped up the hood and saw that massive son of a bitch and we were all drooling at it. Seller said "well I was going to work on it some more but its good to go" - to this day I still wonder what he intended on doing. My dad test drove it because I hadn't learned yet. I put in a down payment.

When we acquired it, I let pops keep it at his place for a little bit. The next time I saw him he said "I was looking at your car, the curves are just right." I didn't know until very recently, that him and his wife were giggling about how the car wouldn't last more than a year. After a couple of years, my dad was saying that someone really must have taken care of it. A few years ago, I bought a couple of CARFAX for a prospective purchase. Just out of curiousity, I ran it on my bird. Im the fifth owner and theres no service records.

Damn I miss how polished it used to look back then. The sun has gotten to it.

1699119390206.png
 
Is it tradition for all dealers to discount cars on black friday? I got mine on Black Friday as well, went from 4k to 2.5. The dealer was a friend of a friend of a friend kind of thing. If I get a whiff of my annual bonus in time, I might consider taking a trip to the dealers on BF again.

The long story isn't too interesting. I was 25 or so and never driven a car, I took the bus and train all the time. That was no big deal for me, because I used to take transit to highschool and also just go fuck around downtown portland back when it was a genuinely great place to be. You were guaranteed to see at least one person you know, and you found a nice place to have a 40.

Anyway, on 12 dollars an hour I had saved up enough to at least get a loan for a car. My dad took me to a dealership selling some garbage SUV, he said his co-worker had one and loved it. I didn't know anything about cars, but I knew for certain that thing was a miserable plastic box of shit. I want to say it was a Saturn or something. Something extremely forgetable. I said no lets go somewhere else please.

So at the next place we let seller know the situation, just need a cheap reliable car to learn in. They walked me over to a white 2000s impala :zpuke:, and they kept talking about it without really caring about my input. I let them babble on as I looked at the black bird parked right next to it on chrome wheels (I still wonder if the seller put us next to it on purpose, that the impala was a smokescreen). I interrupted them and said how 'bout this. My dad was visibly annoyed and said I wanted something reliable like the impala. ??

We popped up the hood and saw that massive son of a bitch and we were all drooling at it. Seller said "well I was going to work on it some more but its good to go" - to this day I still wonder what he intended on doing. My dad test drove it because I hadn't learned yet. I put in a down payment.

When we acquired it, I let pops keep it at his place for a little bit. The next time I saw him he said "I was looking at your car, the curves are just right." I didn't know until very recently, that him and his wife were giggling about how the car wouldn't last more than a year. After a couple of years, my dad was saying that someone really must have taken care of it. A few years ago, I bought a couple of CARFAX for a prospective purchase. Just out of curiousity, I ran it on my bird. Im the fifth owner and theres no service records.

Damn I miss how polished it used to look back then. The sun has gotten to it.

View attachment 1840
I love a black Tbird! Very nice!
 
In 2004 I was in the market for a car, after coming back from working overseas and having gotten rid of all my vehicles before going over there with the presumption that they'd all be too big for narrow rural streets. I had owned about ten Chevelles, Malibus and El Caminos by then, was checking out local dealerships for a similar but newer sedan, and wasn't finding anything I liked. Salesman said, "check out this Thunderbird." I was impressed. I knew right away I wanted it. Almost twenty years later and I'm still driving the '95. Longest car I've ever owned.
 
US ARMY: Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri Fall 1994: After returning from deployment with a bank account full of cash and having had my eye on the 1994 redesign of the Tbird I set my eye on a new 1995 model with the amazing and - at the time - new 4.6L V8. I had looked briefly at the competitors Chevy Monte Carlo and the Beretta but decided against them for three reasons: 1. FWD 2. V6 only and 3. Chevy

I loved the Deep Emerald Green color that was popular at the time. I still love the color although I've had my car painted an even darker shade of green. So, I got one with the Dark Green paint and tan interior. I paid 17,325 for it and put about 1,500 down on it.

Side story: The stealership sent me a "Thank you for your business" gift card to a local restaurant for $25. Guess where that money came from? #Fuckers!

I only had the car for about 6 months before we went on deployment again and the car sat in the motor pool for another 4 months. Over the years I've put over 200K on the car and - including the original - I am on my third motor in this car. I didn't start heavily modifying the car until about 2010.

I'm the original owner and plan on passing the car down to my son.
 
In high school my friend bought a cougar from an old lady, previous body style to the 96/97, he beat the hell out of it, but I loved it. I also grew up in Lorain where they were built and loved them. I was driving to work over the weekend and saw my 97 30th sitting on the lot. Monday morning I called them and talked about the car. They were doing some work on it and the owner flipped cars so it was going to be for sale, they gave me the number and we worked a deal.

It sat in the garage for months as I worked on it. I had a 2000 Impala as a daily at the time was working 2 jobs, one teaching. The Impala eventually blew a head gasket and although she kept running I had no heat, so the Cougar became my daily, up until then it was only a summer vehicle for my wife. We were planning on moving and couldn't take all the cars, 4 at the time. So the Impala was sacrificed.

I drove the Cougar to North Carolina and kept it running for a while until the rust got the better of it. It blew out a break line on the way to work one day, with the amount of rust encroaching on it it was not worth fixing. I scavenged a many parts as I could and sold some on that other forum.
Then I had to decide on a new car. My wife and I with our daughter in grade school at the time managed to work with one car for about 3 months and finally my wife was like you need a new car or a new wife. One of the guys on the other forum pointed me to the Smurf I have now. I drove 5 hours to meet this guy to pick up the Smurf, it was beautiful. I just couldn't see myself in another car and still can't.

My first car at 16 was a Ford Ranger and I still love trucks, but man this Cougar is so much fun. I plan on dropping an Explorer 4.6 and rebuilt tranny in at some time, then get into tuning. Right now she's my daily driver. It's crazy how many stories I get about these cars, just random people that come up and talk about having one. IT's also cool to think that my friends and family working for Ford played a part in building this car.

As a side note growing up my parents bought a 79 Trans Am, that they still have. I have really enjoyed driving that car, my Cougar reminds me of it so much in the performance and the way they handle. These are really a great car, I love and hate that there is such a small following of them.
 

Similar threads

Back
Top