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Discussion Starter #1
I finally got my ‘97 out of winter storage yesterday, drove about 200 miles to use up last year’s gasoline, refilled with fresh premium, and washed the car at home this afternoon. During the course of today, I got compliments from three different guys in three different places, one of whom took pictures. I’m used to hearing something nice about my car most times that I take it on an outing, but other than at car shows I don’t ever remember getting three compliments in one day! It seems that people remember these MN12 era cars fondly, and feel moved to say something when they see one still in good shape.

Are others having similar experiences?
 

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Ive had a couple people over the years compliment my 96 when I dailyed it. My 89 got me my first trophy at a car show, in its 3 weeks on the road.

But, my ratty Tbird has gotten a crazy amount of attention. People taking pictures, thumbs up while driving, people telling me about Birds or cougars they had and wished they hadnt gotten rid of, even had a cop ask me to do a burnout once. Hell I took a trip out to mikes today and on the way back I had someone gave me a thumbs up.

But 1. Thats the only car Im driving right now. My truck is broken, my 89 is being built, and my 96 isnt presentable. So it gets the most time out thus the most attention. 2. Its loud. Not sound wise, visually. A bright red car with a black hood and a silver motor sticking out doesnt go un noticed. Even though it is beat up. And that brings me to 3., its ratty. If it was clean it might get more attention, but whos to say. Roadkill did a test between a rat rod and lambo to see which would be more popular, iirc the rat rod won.


Either way, they are getting noticed. When I post a picture of my car Im no longer getting "no one cares about your ugly ass cars" comments, when I go to car shows they get crowds like the others.

Who knows. Maybe they will start to be appreciated more. But on the same token, they will get more expensive. Idk if Im ready for that.
 

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1997 Thunderbird 4.6, 1998 Mark VIII LSC
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Yeah, I'd say that's the case. Even around here - they were built like 10 miles away - I get some compliment or comment about it at least once every driving season - and I don't typically interact with people either. It's fun when I get people who used to work the line who comment on it too.

I've been known to get the same thing with the Mark VIII even, though less frequently. Those who know what they are will speak up more frequently, I'd say one in 3 or 4 don't know anything about them, find it interesting and want to know more.
 
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Discussion Starter #4
I agree that color is a factor. My ‘97 is Laser Red, which looks really good in the sun (especially when clean). And sound is another factor. My exhaust is noticeable but not really loud unless I’m pushing it hard. People like the sound of a (not crazy loud) V8, I think in part because there are so few cars with them anymore. Nearly everything new has a four cylinder or at most a V6.
 

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1997 SPORT Laser Red. Restored May of 2020.
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Same here. The 97 Thunderbird brochure states:
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"HOW MANY CARS ON THE ROAD TODAY CAN YOU IDENTIFY AT A GLANCE, WHOSE BADGE ELICIT INSTANT RECOGNITION AND ADMIRATION? THERE CERTAINLY AREN'T MANY, BUT ONE SHOULD CERTAINLY COME TO MIND. IT'S THE FAMILIAR WIDE WINGSPAN THAT SYMBOLIZES FORD THUNDERBIRD."
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All caps are in the brochure. Notice the "ONE" is italicized.
 
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1994 Thunderbird LX 3.8
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One of my customers made my day yesterday. Most of our interactions have been via email, and she sent me adorable pictures of her parrot (I work at a pet bird supply retail/wholesale operation) and said Gracie was spending her retirement income, so I told her my money was going to a different kind of Bird. She had responded that I'm super cool if I drove a Thunderbird (ha! If only she knew ;-)). So naturally I sent her a picture.
 

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1994 Cougar XR7 DOHC/5-Speed
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I got 3 compliments in one day in traffic last year, that was a highlight, I don’t often attend car shows or cruise nights and I have noticed a big difference in attention it gets since I’ve had it, there were like 5 people looking at it and in it at once at the Roselle cruise night last august, I was worried it was on fire or something lol Last time I brought it there in like 2014 think I saw maybe one person stop. These cars looked like space ships when they were new when most cars were super boxy and they look like space ships again now that everything is a crossover.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Good point - shapely cars seem to almost be a thing of the past now.
 
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So true, the body style is timeless IMHO. I've also gotten several compliments in traffic over the years. I get a lot of "That got a Coyote in it?" or "Is that a five-oh?" or "I used to own one of those" so, you know those people really appreciate the Tbird/Cougar style.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I get a lot of the “five-oh” questions because I have fender badges that say that. So, I have to explain that it is neither a Windsor nor a Coyote, but it is five liters displacement.
 

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I get a lot of the “five-oh” questions because I have fender badges that say that. So, I have to explain that it is neither a Windsor nor a Coyote, but it is five liters displacement.
When I get the five-oh question I just say nah, it's a four point six. :sneaky: ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Life would be simpler if I had an engine that Ford or Lincoln actually built at some point.
 

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I get a lot of the “five-oh” questions because I have fender badges that say that. So, I have to explain that it is neither a Windsor nor a Coyote, but it is five liters displacement.
I expect the same after I do the 331ci/5.4L stroker in Ruby, and slap some "5.4 High Performance" labels on the side 😝 😝

RwP
 

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Discussion Starter #17
So, that car wasn't actually destroyed at the end of the movie?!?

I suppose that like most movies featuring cars, they had several on hand for different tasks.
 
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Where the car went off the cliff is a really pretty area, Dead Horse Point State Park in Utah, close to Canyonlands NP. I recognize Arches NP in a couple other scenes. Then there are other scenes that are supposedly in the same general area that are not.

Al
 
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