My wife has a '99 with the V6 A/T. I have an '01 with the V6 5spd.
Stay away from the 4 cyl models - those are complete dogs, especially the AT ones. Don't waste your money on a ZN model - that's nothing more than Zinc yellow paint and custom wheels. Mercury never came out with the HO options that they promised for the V6.
If you can find one with a V6 and the manual trans then that's the one to get.
They are not hotrods, but they are dependable and fun to drive.
Definitely not a Classic Cougar by any stretch of the imagination.
Yeah, the thing is, I like the body style of the 98+. I am not looking for a hot rod, and I am not planning on a 4banger either. I think the Lincolns are a little out of my price range, and like I said, Im not really looking for power anyway. I would dump the money into my cat, but in about a week there will be no more cat....*runs*
I had to make a decision...let me start off by saying that I log a lot of miles on my car. The Cat is my only vehicle. Because I am having to use premium fuel @ $1.97/gal I am spending over $30 a week on gas. I only make $150-220 a week, so $30+ is a lot for gas. Sure, the insurance is only $50 a month...but then I have maintenance. Things are going to happen to this car that I am not sure I will be able to afford. At this point, a reliable car is CRITICAL. I dont have ANY extra money to spend on some cheapy economy car so I can hang onto the cat. I think that I may buy my friends CRX (I know, I know...) and stash away the extra few grand for later. I guess what it comes down to is that I am not at the point in my life (money-wise nor time-wise) where I can have a classic car.
Alex, I admire your maturity. But I must tell you the rest of the story. I made the same choice when I was twenty or twenty-one. Was newly married had a kid in the oven. Had to make a choice hot-rod or diapers. I made the "right" choice but you must know this, four kids and TWENTY years later I've finally got another hot-rod. A very cool "69 SS I might add! The desire for a classic car NEVER left and it was very tough to see a great deal and know that I couldn't jump on it, and a million other senarios, that made me regret selling my car happened along the way. Unless you've got money, ( which I'm guessing you don't by your job disciption ), you should be prepared to WAIT on a car. If I could do it all over again, I would have parked my car, put a cover on it and bought a beater to drive. At least that way I'd had it to tinker with all these years. I can't help wondering though, (being as I have a 21 and 17 year old and I see the way they think), is it possible that the idea of a rice grinder has some appeal to you at this stage in your life? Hey it's your life, but if you really love your cougar, think about storing it for later. Hope this helps. If not, at least I feel better warning you.
I always appreciate the advice of someone who has been in a particular situation before me. I love the look, the feel, the style, the meaning of classic American cars. I just don't love the lack of money that I have to support one. I would love to park it and hang onto it because it really is a good car. I think that rice rockets, when done tastefully, can be very nice cars. Whenever someone devotes time into a vehicle, whether it be designing the perfect graphic for the side, or tuning it just right until you can break into the 10's...I dont care what kind of car it is, but I repect that. Its a different story when I see a kid go get hooked up with a tank of nitrous on a stock engine, or put a bunch of stickers on a car for products they could never afford on their car....I am not going to "rice it out" I am just looking for better fuel efficiency and reliability....
Alex, you have the rest of your life ahead of you, we only got our first 'muscle car' a couple of months ago and I have two kids older than you, they drive a golf and a corolla. They would love to have a CRX, so go for it, you will always have the memories of your first cat and when finances improve you can get another one.
We always wanted a V8, preferably Ford, but with 5 kids it was an impossible dream, now we've got the time altho' not really the money to enjoy our cougar. You sound like you have a good head on your shoulders, do what you think is best for you.
Well now for my .02.....
I let go my first cougar (a 73) when i was 20(1978). 'cause I was going overseas with the navy. When I got back I bought a 77 mustangII with a 302 4 speed. great car but traded it in for a 1981 datsun 310GX cause I wanted a gas saver.. (first kick in the head) got married, got kids, needed house, sold datsun for down payment on house saved some cash out of the sale bought 73 cougar (woo Hoo) opps got more kids, trade in 73 cat for ....gulp.... minivan...this all happened in the span of about 6 years 78-84.
fast foward to 1998 .... saw the red cat, kids grown, have more cash, buy Redcat... 2002 go to cougar nats got bluecat.... anyway ... a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do...... things always are always changing in your life and you never know what's gonna happen next... So don't dispair... you'll probobly always be a cougar person and there will another cat however it will be more expensive and the rice burner will have lost most of it's value... my humble .02
it really is a shame but you have to do what you got to do but i wonder what your going to pay for insurance? how about all that smog equipment when it goes out, and it all go out together can you afford the car payment plus the insurance and a 500.00 bill for maf, ox, throttle, sensors? Also what do you think a classic cougar is going to cost you when you finally do manage to buy one? price is going up and they arent getting cheaper or more plentifull. shame to is you live in the one place you can drive a classic year round pitty mark and those that can only take their cats out in nice weather.