I'd like to introduce you all to my beloved 1986 Cougar LS, Serge. Am I the only person to give their car a name? I should certainly hope not; it adds to their personality!
Serge is a french name, meaning "servant." This is appropriate, because I bought Serge in June of 2005 to serve as my beater car. I no longer wanted to rack up miles on my 1989 IROC-Z, so I needed something else to use as my daily driver.
My fiancÚ had recently bought a 2001 Cougar, which I thoroughly enjoy. I decided that I wouldn't mind having a Cougar as well, so I did a search on Autotrader.com for local cats. Most of the search results were of the 99-02 generation of Cougars, but then, at the bottom of the page, there he was...1986 Cougar LS. The first thing I thought was, "Oh my god, that car is ugly. Hideously ugly." Being ignorant to the history of the Cougar and having been exposed only to the 99-02 run, I couldn't believe that something so boxy and cumbersome could bear the Cougar name. Forgive me for being so uneducated!
The next night, my IROC was involved in a parking lot accident, and I was mad as hell about it. I decided that I needed to buy something that I could drive anywhere and not care if it got dinged up IMMEDIATELY. The very next day, I drove out to the dealership where the Cougar sat. Remember how ugly I thought he was at first? Yeah, well, did I mention that I have an affinity for ugly, tacky things? The minute I was in his presence, I fell head over heels in love with the big, blue cat. Luckily, the price was right - $1650 - and I could pay for him in cash. I think when he drove him off the lot, he had around 88k miles...not too shabby for a nineteen year old car.
Now, I do love my Serge, but this is not to say that he's without his faults. I remember when I took him for a test drive, I thought to myself "WOW, this car has pickup!" No, he doesn't. He has the acceleration of a handicapped snail, and I feel like it's getting progressively worse. I should probably get that looked at. Also, he's proven to be quite the money pit on wheels...the catalytic converter actually blew up. Not cool. Also, he was leaking rear differential fluid, his motor mount was broken, his brakes were metal-to-metal, his tailpipe was totally rusted out, his latest deal is that he's leaking oil, and I'm sure there are things that I'm forgetting to mention. Needless to say, I'm envious of those of you who refer to your car as having "1XXk trouble free miles." Really? You haven't had to replace anything major? If so, that's great! People ask me why I keep fixing him each time he breaks down...well, for starters, I can deal with having to shell out a few hundred bucks every couple of months. It beats paying a car payment each month, not to mention my insurance rates would rise. However, the primary reason is because I LOVE THIS CAR. He's got such character. He turns heads; people in other large-sized ghetto cruisers honk and wave at me. Plus, you'll never lose one of these cars in a parking lot...that no-slope back window sticks out like a sore thumb. I love it.
As long as my financial situation permits it, I am going to keep fixing Serge each time he breaks down. He turns 20 on May 22nd, a week and a day after yours truly. I hope I see him live to 30!
I need to buy new tires, does that count? Other than that, nothing. I got rid of the old radio for a pretty sweet Alpine head unit, however, I failed to hook him up with newer, better speakers. Now if I try to listen to rap, he doesn't bump, he more or less crackles. It's rather amusing.
I doubt I'll do anything to the exterior, and I think my flaming seat covers top off the interior rather well.