6th Nov 2015, 17:55
Very nice! I almost bought a '97... so close... gorgeous black with cloth interior. The dealer screwed me on payment terms, so I walked out on that deal without thinking twice. All things happen for a reason, and about a year later I came across the T-Bird I currently own. Knew what I wanted and persistence paid off! A former co-worker knew what I was in search for, and he spotted one and told me about it... went there the same day, drove it... went back the next... SOLD! The rest is what they say... history. Best car I have ever owned. The Cougar was nice though too, but had the wide factory stock tires on it, which led to many white-knuckle drives in the rain and snow.
The Thunderbird... driving it until it can't be driven! Great condition and paid for eons ago. Gotta love that!
7th Nov 2015, 02:02
I always thought in my mind that the Cougar was the better looking of the two. That is until the 8th generation Cougar (1999-2002) was introduced. After that it wasn't a Cougar anymore.
But in all actuality my favorite Ford of all time is in fact a 1971 Thunderbird.
10th Nov 2015, 16:17
Yes, I agree with the Cougar... great car until Ford morphed it into a Honda Civic. Same goes for the "New Millennium" Thunderbirds. In my opinion... disaster! Again, I hope one day Ford decides to bring back the Thunderbird/Cougar. Design it along the lines of the Charger/Challenger. Big and sleek. American muscle.
28th Jan 2016, 10:37
I also have a 96 white T-Bird.
I agree the cup holder is WRONG! In 97 they moved them FWD 6 inches and placed the ashtray under the radio. The console is the same. Take the faceplate/ashtray/cupholder and the heat tube from a 97, that's what I did. You can keep the ones in your console and have 4 if you ever need that.
My trans does a really weird thing, and it sounds like a lot of you are missing what I am catching. Mine works and the threads I have read seem to be doing the same. It is not always fully engaged in first when you start out. And I don't think it is the torque converter. I think it is that damn manual lever position sensor. Now and then it doesn't find reverse unless I put it back in gear and try again. I am sure a tap with a screwdriver will reveal it is loose or cracked or something.
But FORDS I LOVE, and I will tell anyone Fords have electrical problems.
Interiors are really cheesy, and the brakes are crap
Any trans problem, I would look at the speed sensor and this MLPS sensor first. Oh yes, if you take it to a shop they are all too happy to spend your money. The factory just eyeballed the two marks. I saw a guy using an ohm meter; its range was pretty wide. I bet you could set the shift points by the resistance.
4th Feb 2016, 17:12
I have had no issues with the trans on mine (yet)... still smooth, no slips or hard shifts. Performed a DIY on the IAC valve and EGR valve recently, simple fixes. Cleaned the throttle body/ports... made a huge difference. Spent around $600.00 in front and rear suspension parts. Had them installed for a reasonable price.
Every car has their good and bad points, but I agree, Fords are the best in terms of domestic vehicles. Had 2 GMs in the past... complete garbage. Leaked every fluid put into it... bad paint... the list goes on and on.
Love this generation T-Bird. Ford was in the process of making an SVT supercharged V8 for the 1998 model year, but as history proved, that was scrapped.
Best of luck with your T-Bird!
16th Mar 2017, 04:36
You don't have the authority to decide what is and is not a Cougar. Ford owns the name.
16th Mar 2017, 13:23
The point was that the last generation Cougar did not represent what the car once was.
16th Mar 2017, 15:07
It's called Mercury. The first gens were nice insurance beaters. Heavier and typically well optioned. But you could order without much addons and a 4 speed. Make mine a first gen Eliminator.
16th Mar 2017, 17:33
Yeah, I know it's called a Mercury. Thanks for pointing that out. Also what better way to bring up a four speed manual once again on a different thread. Pretty popular comment lately.
16th Mar 2017, 19:54
Sorry, it is the correct thread. You could have bought a brand new Mercury Cougar first gen with a 4 speed. Some of you may not have been around. The XR7 was a pretty good performer over the base. Upgrade with larger engine options. The 73 was horrendous. At least you could get it in a convertible. 67-72 were the best looking. Now you can buy a 6 speed manual in new Mustangs, although it's had problems. So here we go again on a Ford review.
17th Mar 2017, 04:24
As an ugly and overweight coupe that shared a platform with an economy sedan, I'd call the last Cougar a worthy heir to its namesake.
17th Mar 2017, 11:30
Personally I disagree. Unless you also dislike late 60s Mustangs as well. My parents had a brand new 302 and I drive it once in a while to high school. Parked it with the Mustangs.
Here's what I liked:
Good power even with the 302.
The hideaway lights gave a very clean appearance.
The sequential rear turn signals.
The luxury and options far exceeded most Mustangs.
Very nice power to weight ratio, especially with the lighter 302. The big blocks were faster but cornering was not as well. Yes you could check off more options including the mean Eliminator edition.
It was garage kept and driven through the full service car wash. I always enjoyed that experience even years before with my parents. The car was pampered and very well maintained. Whoever bought that car later got a really nice one.
I do not think you can lump the early Cougars in with the ones you grew up on. And yes it was a Ford. But most Mercury models then were more compared to Lincoln models. As far as upgrades, before someone says they are not in the same category, I will say there were pretty ugly other Mercury models during the same years. But the Cougar in my opinion was a nice looking car for the times then, not later. It got many compliments including the nicely done side pinstripes. Painted as I recall, not decals.
Anyway, you like what you like. I was driving in this era and have great memories. Every domestic automaker had at least one great car during the late 60s. Ford was very heavily into racing and it helped the street driven segment immensely. The Cougar was a combination of luxury and performance. Buick and Olds also had their versions. You sacrificed heavier weight which affected speed. A negative. Lot of us older guys like having air and power options today. On hot summers it's great.
18th Mar 2017, 08:00
Pontiac did the same. They should have quit making the Cougar. I wish Ford would make the Mustang the same size as the 1960s era Mustangs. I know you can buy an Eleanor aftermarket recreation. Make some. Dodge did a great job with the Challenger. I still do not like the seating and high door sides of the Camaro. I was just in a new convertible. It seems wind tunnel tests override a visual impact. Many are tasteless. If you are spending a lot, make it better looking at least. Many are fast today.