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Bought my 95 LX off of a car lot in 1998 with 60K miles on it. It's been my daily driver/trip car since.
I started out keeping it completely stock, but when OEM parts started to dry up I went with performance pars. I've wound up with an aluminum drive shaft, stiffer rear sway bar, chassis stiffeners in front, Tokiko Blue shocks, dual piston front brake calipers, rear disc brakes from a 97, full suspension rebuild, a Ford remanufactured engine, a couple of transmission rebuilds, The interior got Super Coup seats, leather seat covers, and a console cover from a 97. The odometer broke in March of 2000 with 137,000 miles so I don't know the total mileage, but it has to be somewhere north of 300,000. It's still my daily driver, and it this stupid COVID thing ever settles down, I'm driving from Central Texas to the Carolina coast to visit my brother.
Do you maintenance and they'll last forever.
Forgot to add true dual exhaust system sometime between adding the aluminum drive shaft and the brake mods.
 

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Not since I converted it over to antique plates early this year. And had just bought a new truck. But I still take it up and down the parkway and do some unofficial errands two or three times a week. If I can ever get up off my best intentions and do a little bodywork and get it into the paint booth at the local community college auto body class I'll convert it back over to passenger plates and drive it more often.
 

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The Parts Guy
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Kind of. I typically take one of the Jeeps, the Mustang, or the F150 to work, but I drive the Coug, Skylark, and C10 to the gym five days a week. I use those three to run errands, pick up hardware/groceries, or just cruise in, too. While I don't take them to work, its a rare occassion when all three haven't had at least one turn on the road in a week. Heck, I had the Skylark out in the sleet and snow a few days ago.
 

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SuperNewbie
1995 Thunderbird LX 4.6 red
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Kind of. I typically take one of the Jeeps, the Mustang, or the F150 to work, but I drive the Coug, Skylark, and C10 to the gym five days a week. I use those three to run errands, pick up hardware/groceries, or just cruise in, too. While I don't take them to work, its a rare occassion when all three haven't had at least one turn on the road in a week. Heck, I had the Skylark out in the sleet and snow a few days ago.
You daily drive with choices...
 

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I am daily driving my '97 Cougar...91k miles and I will be driving the '91 32v UnderBird on weekends very soon(well come spring time)
 
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1997 Thunderbird LX
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I am daily driving my '97 Cougar...91k miles and I will be driving the '91 32v UnderBird on weekends very soon(well come spring time)
Hey stranger, long time no see! :)

Joe
 

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The Parts Guy
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1997 Thunderbird LX
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8,491 Posts
I'm not on Facebook though.

Joe
 
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I am daily driving my '97 Cougar...91k miles and I will be driving the '91 32v UnderBird on weekends very soon(well come spring time)
Hey Joe ! Yeah I know I need to be more active on here...damn FB lol The UnderBird is ALMOST finished...my friend who was supposed to finish the car fucked a bunch of stuff up 😡 Justin Wood has the bird now. We are figuring out what to do with the exhaust so might go with Kooks headers but not 100% sure yet.
 

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As we draw to the close of 2020, I'm curious to know how many of us on the forums still daily drive our MN12s (or FN10s).

The newest MN12 is now 23-1/2 years old, and parts (especially OEM parts) are becoming harder to find. The aftermarket so far is continuing to support our most vital needs with "functional" parts, but even then a number of manufacturers are selling off their stock and new production runs are becoming a thing of the past. Things like high-longevity or a wide selection of suspension parts to suit the preferences of the driver are history, and "one application fits all" parts are starting to become the only choice for those of us still racking up the miles.

My answer: Yes, my daily driver is my Mark VIII. This year it only saw 14k miles, but in years past 20-22k would be typical. The air suspension was progressively completely replaced in the 2-1/2 years since I've had it, but it's otherwise been reliable and trouble-free. Since I got the car the average fuel economy has been 23 MPG, with a mix of about 70/30 city-highway miles - fortunately for work (the majority of my driving), I get 42 cents/mile in travel reimbursement which more than covers that. I drive the wife's 2017 Fusion Energi when it's available or if we go somewhere together because of the vastly reduced fuel costs. Not using any gas to do all the in-town errands is nice!

I can't put my finger on an exact date, but I stopped daily'ing the 97 T-bird in stages, starting in 2011, with the purchase of a dedicated winter-only car (the 94 Cougar). At that point the T-bird was my "no salt or snow" daily driver - from April/Mayish until the middle/end of November. After I sold off the Cougar in spring of 2014 I got a 96 Mark VIII which took over year-round daily driver duties of the T-bird, relegating it to "nice weather" only - which is how it's driven now. Despite that, it still sees a few thousand miles each year.

What about the rest of you? Do you still DD your MN12 or FN10, or have you moved on to something newer?
Hey everyone, been stalking the site for years but this is my first post. Proud to say that I drive my '97 Sport to and from work every day. She's got 260,000 miles on the chassis and 30,000 on a rebuilt 4.6l with PI heads. She doesn't leak a drop of oil and sounds like heaven with the custom side-exit exhaust. The exhaust sounds so good it's literally impossible to get any kind of decent mileage with it, the noise pedal is too much fun. Don't care about drone, I like it loud so I can't talk on the phone while driving. Grew up 20 minutes away from the Lorain, OH plant where she was built by my best friends from back home until they shut down production. This bird has led a rough life but after 23 years, it's still comfortable enough that my almost-50 year old self can drive it all day and my bride loves going cruising in it. Long live the T-Bird!
41356
 

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1994 Thunderbird LX 3.8
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I daily drive mine the 15 miles to work and back. That was the plan when I bought it a year ago with 23k miles, so the mom taxi ('05 Freestyle aka Cobalt [rip 😭]) would last longer. Birdy has 30k miles on her now and the new mom taxi is a '10 Edge my son is learning to drive. Birdy spent two months waiting on a head gasket and weeks having the transmission investigated, so I'll probably be putting closer to 10k miles on her this year. I do drive the Edge if the weather is looking dicey, but in NC, that means torrential rain more often than snow.
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1997 SPORT Laser Red. Restored May of 2020.
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Welcome, may your '97 'sport' run forever.
 

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Grew up 20 minutes away from the Lorain, OH plant where she was built by my best friends
Grew up on the East Side of Lorain, lots of friends and family worked at that plant. You still in the area?

if the weather is looking dicey, but in NC, that means torrential rain more often than snow.
Yup calling for some snow tonight though.

To answer the original question, I brought my 97 30th with me when I moved to NC as a daily driver. Had to spend my last Ohio winter driving her & PO had driven her in the snow also. She rusted out on me and I spent ~3 months to find my next DD; My 96 smurf, been daily driving her for ~4 years now; 60 miles/ day & have no interest in driving anything else.

@brandon: how do you keep that Mark from rusting out after 20+ years? It's good to get 10 years out of a DD up there.
 

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1997 Thunderbird 4.6, 1998 Mark VIII LSC
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Discussion Starter #37
Hah! Yeah, really. Of course you know my story - grew up in Avon Lake (other side of the county, about 20 miles east of the plant) and recently moved here to North Ridgeville (10 miles south of AL). I worked with a few of the old plant workers at a previous job I had in retail, and the contractor who added on to the in-laws' place about 8 years ago knew a lot of the guys at the plant too. He was even able to ID a few of the guys in the "last T-bird coming off the line" photo I posted here a while back.

The story of the Mark is that the original owner (in Michigan) only logged 37k in the 10 years he drove it. His nephew inherited it and started driving it to/from Texas and racked up almost 100k more miles that way. I bought it from someone local to those two who bought it to flip it.

Based on what I've seen of the car, the nephew blacked out the trim, installed a remote start system and Magnaflow mid-mount resonator in place of the factory 3rd cat, and had the windows tinted. My guess is that the guy I got the car from, bought it from the nephew because there were remote start issues he couldn't fix/didn't care to fix due to the car's age. He ripped out the remote start to get it running, then I bought it. I had to replace a few damaged interior bits and the neon ballast but it was otherwise in really great shape.

As far as the lack of rust - one of the POs had the underside coated/treated before I took possession. It's also possible that the first owner didn't drive it in winter. Last year I had a guy (why do I always get shady body guys??) do a little more work on the rockers to keep them from rusting - he cut them open and ripped out the foam and sprayed treatment inside.
 

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I remember reading about the bad body work, did you ever find someone to fix it? I know a good body shop in Akron, well at least they were good ~6 years ago.
 

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1997 Thunderbird 4.6, 1998 Mark VIII LSC
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Might as well send it over so I have it handy if I need it. The orignal dude did eventually (reluctantly) fix it, probably to get me to stop harassing him. :)
 

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1994 Thunderbird LX 3.8
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I remember reading about the bad body work, did you ever find someone to fix it? I know a good body shop in Akron, well at least they were good ~6 years ago.
Funny! I grew up in Strongsville. My parents are from Massillon, and moved back there when Dad retired.

Looks like we're not getting snow after all. My youngest is disappointed, but not surprised 😂
 
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