As humans are wont to do, it's easy to look backwards and see what shaped us, what we drove, why cars were important to us at that particular moment in time. Below are the cars that became an influential part of the COOL CATS world, for one reason or another.
This is the car that started it all: our very first car, a stunning 1984 Light Cadet Blue Metallic Cougar GS V6, purchased in May 1987. While not a stellar performer, it had everything in the looks department and we were inseparable. It took us through college, back and forth to our first real job, a few vacations, and many in-town excursions with friends. There were only a very few instances where the car left us stranded (broken inertia switch, broken ball joint) but otherwise the car remained trouble-free for over 100,000 miles of use. After finding the '86 V8 car (see below), though, we knew the days of this car in our care were numbered, so we found a family that needed a first car for their daughter, and the transition couldn't have been smoother. Essentially everything on this site is the culmination of knowledge that began with this very car.
This was our second car overall and it become a daily driver immediately after purchase in 1992. It's also the first V8 car that we'd ever owned. Although the car had seen better days it was reliable enough for daily duty. And it provided a platform for my experimentation, both mechanically and visually. But it was truly a black Cat in every sense of the phrase. We were glad to buy it and just as glad to see it go.
This 1988 XR7 was purchased in February 1998. It desperately needed wax but otherwise was in decent shape for daily driving duties. As such, we vowed not to sink too much money into this one and we kept that promise. It turned out to be one of the most trouble-free Cougars we've ever owned. It was sold in October 2001 with 154,000 problem-free miles on the odometer.
Ever since the Blue Max Editions were brand new we'd always wanted one. As luck would have it, in July of 2000 we were able to get one, albeit damaged. The car had been driven off-road and into a tree. Structurally the car was mostly fine but it needed some new fenders, a new header panel, and a new radiator. Unfortunately there were also a few other issues that we felt were unfair to pass onto someone else, therefore we salvaged what we could and scrapped the car. They can't all be saved.
In the fall of 2002 we happened upon this Twilight Blue '88 Blue Max Cougar V8 locally via eBay. The original plan was to use this car as a daily driver. When we got the car home we discovered that it needed a lot more work than planned. It spent the winter of '02 and spring of '03 in storage, and in the summer of '03 we finally got a few things fixed on the car in time for show car season. As time moved on, though, we reassessed our vehicle situation: we liked this car but were never really in love with it. In the summer of 2006 it was sold to a very worthy family.
The only non-Cougar daily driver Fox that we owned was a 1988 Ford Thunderbird V8 Sport. It was a great deal—sitting in the salvage yard, it was mostly complete and after we made an offer, it was accepted and we got it towed home. We didn't know the transmission was completely shot. But we quickly found a new one, got it replaced, and just drove it as-is. While it ran pretty well, it was definitely lacking in the power department. In February 2002 the car was treated to an HO conversion with a modified exhaust system. Our mechanic had the HO parts literally laying around, and he did the engine and exhaust work himself. The car idled so smoothly that it was sometimes difficult to tell that it was even running. The car saw daily driver duty through summer 2005. With a shift in priorities in life, we decided to sell the Thunderbird in September 2005.