The Cats In My Den
Page Revised: 6 May 2019
1984 Cougar GS
In the spring of 2006 I happened to find this beautiful 1984 Cougar GS V6, which was an identical copy to my first car. That first car was sold over fifteen years prior and as time went by, I really began to miss it. Secretly I'd hoped to find another like it one day, but I never thought I'd hit the mark so closely.
I was contacted through this site by a gentleman wanting to sell his car. The description indicated that this might be what I wanted. After making the 3-hour drive to see it, I was instantly hooked and made the deal. It had to be towed home due to blown head gaskets, which my mechanic was able to repair, along with new brakes and exhaust components, and some normal-wear items.I'm committed to keeping the original paint as long as possible.
The body had some slight surface rust issues that were promptly fixed. After a good buffing and waxing, the paint shines good as new. The car has roughly 90% of its original paint and it's in incredible condition for its age.
Eventually it's going to need restored and that can get quite expensive. Fortunately I've been finding a lot of NOS parts for it and have them safely stored away until they're needed. I'm committed to keeping the original paint as long as possible. The car sees light driving duty on nice days, and is taken to local shows when possible. It has also done quite well at national shows.
- Car built in March 1984 in Lorain, OH
- Light Cadet Blue (91) exterior with Cadet Blue interior
- Stock 3.8L V6
- C5 3-speed transmission
- 2.73 gear open rear end
- Full LED lighting conversion, inside and out
- Larger Turbo Coupe front sway bar
- Addition of Turbo Coupe rear sway bar
- Aftermarket Alpine radio
The car as it was the night the body was finished and it was running for the first time. Original equipment included the 14" spoke hubcaps.
The interior simply needed a good cleaning. Everything works, including the air conditioning, and there were no flaws in the seats. It's pretty much a time capsule.
My two Cats.
The stock engine bay. In the future a few things will be repainted or replaced under the hood but for now it's a pretty good representation of the original V6 engine bay.
A late-October photo which shows the brilliance of the paint in strong sunlight. It's almost as if the sky dripped down onto the body.
At this point, early after the car's purchase, the wheels got upgraded to 15" turbine wheels which lend a much more sporty appearance to the car.
Two classics together.
A super-clean, straight body.
Stock front end with very little chrome pitting in the grille.
Cats love playing at night.
1986 Cougar LS Convertible
Sometimes you are indeed in the right place at the right time, when Fate gives you a little nudge and tells you that this is meant to be. I was extremely fortunate to have this happen in regards to this 1986 Cougar LS convertible. The car itself had been in my local area for several years, as I'd seen it cruising town since the late 1980s, but I was never able to track down who owned it. Yet it was always in the back of my mind that I'd cross paths with it eventually.
That happened in 1994 when I finally found the car at a used car lot. The top was missing completely; only the skeleton remained. An attendant at the lot said it was the lot owner's mother's car, and they had just sent the top out so that a new one could be made from it. I asked if it was for sale and he didn't know. At least I had a lead on finding the car.
The following spring I happened to drive by the same car lot, and to my shock the car was sitting out in front with a price on the windshield. I quickly pulled in to inspect the car, and was even allowed to take it for a short test drive. While obviously I was infatuated with it, the only concern was being able to afford it. At the time it just wasn't possible to fit this car into my already narrow budget. Very reluctantly, and with a sadness that's hard to put into words, I returned the car, seemingly never to see it again.I've always lived by the belief that one should make his or her vehicle the way that they want.
When driving by the car lot several times over that fall and winter, the car had disappeared and my immediate impression was that the car got sold. I had held out hope that it didn't but one never knows.
It just so happened that the next summer, in 1996, I drove by that used car lot—and there it was, again for sale, and with a lower price to boot! I simply could not believe the luck. Of course I was still stuck in the exact same financial rut. But there was no way that I wasn't owning this car even if the money outlook was bleak. I made arrangements to secure a loan and paid for it a few days later. Everything happened very quickly but at long last, it was mine.
As the years have gone by I've done a lot of customization and personalization to the car. Even though it's a relatively uncommon vehicle I've always lived by the belief that one should make his or her vehicle the way that they want. So I took our own advice and customized the entire car: I believe the only original, untouched part left on the car is the windshield. I wanted a new twist on classic hot rod themes (shaved door handles, de-badging, side exhaust, frenched-in grilled, hood scoop, etc.) but on a more modern car.
Admittedly the car gets driven less and less as the years go on, and I'd love to do so many things to it still, but life always complicates things. I'm still as happy driving it today as I was those many years ago.
- Car built March 11, 1986 in Lorain, OH
- Convertible by Car Craft Company, Lima, OH, late March 1986
- #54 of 89 Cougar convertibles produced in 1986*
- Original colors: Oxford White / white canvas top / Canyon Red leather interior
- Current colors: Oxford White / charcoal grey German cloth top / custom off-white interior
Engine + Drivetrain
- High-output 1992 Mustang 5.0L (302cid) engine
- Modified E7TE cylinder heads
- E-303 FRPP/Motorsport cam
- Hooker 1 5/8" equal-length headers
- Full custom 2.5" dual side exhaust system
- BBK X-pipe and Dynomax race bullet mufflers
- 1993 Cobra intake manifold
- BBK 65mm throttle body
- 70mm mass air meter
- Summit Racing chrome intake tube with conical K&N air filter
- 1993 Cobra 2-row aluminum radiator
- Aluminum underdrive pulleys
- Steeda air pump eliminator kit
- FRPP A/C eliminator kit
- BBK 190lph fuel pump
- Lincoln Mark VII LSC AOD transmission
- Custom 2500 rpm stall converter
- Thunderbird Turbo Coupe 8.8" rear axle with 3.73 gears
Brakes + Suspension
- 13" Cobra front disc brakes with Brembo cross-drilled rotors
- PBR C4 Corvette-style calipers
- NAPA Ceramix brake pads
- Russell stainless steel front brake lines
- Bilstein 2000 Cobra R struts
- Stock front springs
- FRPP Mustang A-arms
- Steeda X2 ball joints
- SN95 Mustang spindles and hubs
- Maximum Motorsports bump steer kit
- Maximum Motorsports caster/camber plates
- Thunderbird Turbo Coupe front sway bar
- 11.65" Cobra rear vented disc brakes
- CHE Performance tubular rear upper and lower control arms
- Thunderbird Turbo Coupe rear sway bar
- Moog cargo coil rear springs
- Bilstein Cougar/Thunderbird shocks
- Full welded subframe connectors
- Steeda 2-point G-load brace
- 17" x 8.5" Y2K Cobra R Wheels
- BF Goodrich Comp T/A 245/45HR17 tires
- 3.5" cowl hood by U.S. Body Source
- Xenon front air dam and rear valance
- Custom side exhaust covers
- Modified BMW M3 rear spoiler
- Custom grille, molded to smoothed header panel
- Shaved door handles and locks
- Custom front side markers with Cougar logo
- Sequential turn signals from Cougars Unlimited
- LED H4-style headlamps and fog lights
- Full LED lighting conversion
- 1995 Mustang GT front seats, custom covered in leather, suede and perforated cloth
- Narrowed stock rear seat, custom covered in leather, suede and perforated cloth
- 1985-86 Regatta Blue carpeting, floor mats and dash cover
- Brushed aluminum custom-cut interior accent panels
- Auto Meter analog gauges
- Full LED interior lighting
- Electochromic rearview mirror
- Rear backup camera
- Custom painted dash panels
- Custom console
- Added stock floor shifter
- Smoothed sill plates
- Custom rear panels covered in leather
- Custom leather top boot
- Alpine iLX-107 deck with wireless Apple Carplay
- 8 total front and rear speakers
- Kicker 12" subs in custom trunk box
- Approx. 800 watts total power
A rare moment with the top up.
Close-up of the embroidered cat head logo sewn into the cloth top.
Detail of the custom grille.
The engine bay with lots of custom touches everywhere.
Tall valve covers required a lot of custom work but it was well worth it.
The interior received as much customization as the exterior.
Full Auto Meter custom gauge assembly.
The combination of the off-white main color with darker blue carpeting and light blue seat accents is something that really sets this interior off.
Custom door panel detail. The factory LS-style electroluminescent coach lamp lights up at night.
The Cougar logo was also stitched into the seats.
A first, at the time, for a Fox Cougar: the infamous Bullitt pedals.
Front brakes with Corvette-style PBR calipers and cross-drilled rotors.
Rear brake showing through the 2000 Cobra R 17" rim with custom carbon-fiber center cap.