Big, brash, beautiful
The car was in decent running condition when I bought it. This is what I've done so far:
New front rotors and brakes, serviced rear brakes.
New belts and hoses.
New exhaust system.
The last two items weren't strictly necessary -- done to make sure it passed the California smog check with flying colors.
I still need to replace the shocks, the air conditioner's compressor and the rear main seal, none of which my mechanic considers urgent. Also, around the time I discovered the big factory moonroof leaks, it stopped working, so I'll need to have that checked.
I drove the big Town Coupe from Denver to Los Angeles without a single problem. Big and comfortable, but thirsty, and it loves the open road. It gets to third gear by 30 mph or so, and tends to stay there. Since there's plenty of torque the transmission never needs to hunt for a gear; I'm a fairly aggressive driver and I've only felt it kick down a couple times.
I had to reinstall all the emissions equipment removed by the last owner because California recently changed the rules and I had to smog the 32-year-old car. It had a definite impact on the 460's performance and mileage. Kind of depressing. Went from feeling fairly quick, with good power off the line and good low-speed acceleration, to feeling more sedate. I now get around 8 or 9 miles to the gallon in town, which is also a bit worse than my mileage before the emissions equipment. On the upside, it doesn't need high-octane gas.
Handling prowess and steering feel are predictably non-existent. This is okay with me because I didn't expect anything else. The only real challenge is in parking lot situations. It has the turning radius of a bus, it's blocky, and it's nearly 20 feet long. You learn to scope out less crowded areas of the lot. This might be an issue if this were my only car, but since it's just for fun, it's not a problem. If I need to go to Target on a Saturday, I take a smaller car.
Repairs are remarkably inexpensive since practically everything's a common Ford component. Parts have been downright cheap. The rear main seal will cost a mint in labor, but it's an outlier price-wise. Also, aside from the brakes, the car hasn't actually *required* any of the repairs I've made (or those on my to-do list) to stay roadworthy. In other words, so far, so good in the reliability department.
It's completely anachronistic and attracts lots of attention, even in car-crazed Southern California. I have a lot of fun with her, and use her almost daily for something or other. Friends love to go cruising. Very glad with the purchase.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 4th February, 2009