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I think (and this might be unfounded) I read in a few places that the MN-12s were always detuned below their potential power and performance levels to say inferior to the Mustang, even when the pony car was pathetically underpowered and handled poorly (that goes along with the SC engineers being reprimanded for the Car of the Year honors).

Which makes sense. I mean, why would the T-Bird, being larger than a Mustang and therefore requiring more power, get a motor with fewer horsepower than the GT? And no manual trans, other than the SC? They could have raided the Mustang's parts bins and really built a screamer of a T-Bird Sport that actually lived up to its name.
 

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Anyone else notice the SVE tbird above has the 96/97 body cladding but the headlights and side marker lights are pre 96/97. I wonder if it's just due to the hood they used being shaped for the older headlights or ???
 

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Ford had to have been somewhat proud of the Car of the Year honors.

See this vid.

<iframe title="YouTube video player" width="640" height="510" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/6VYnw0r7DgQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
 

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The project was started before the 96 model year. Notice also the front bumper is different than the 96/97 and the non-color matched handles. They apparently decided to reuse the trim with a different front bumper and different headlights when they moved to the 96 model year.
 

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lightevergreenfrost said:
Ford had to have been somewhat proud of the Car of the Year honors. See this vid.

If you got the award, you might as well show it and try to sell cars with it. Otherwise, people will know that you hate the car.
 

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Earl said:
Here's something I've been thinking about the mustang....WHAT MORE CAN THEY DO WITH IT?
Many styling cues have always been passed from one generation to the next. some generations look more like some previous versions then others. The current one takes a lot of cues from the early stangs but so did the one preceding it, it just had a boxer look to it.

As for the future it will just be one more iteration of the stang, a little more modern looking with cues from the past whatever.

I don't think the fact the current iteration takes so many cues from the past means it's doomed? Obviously the next one won't be a new version of the next old previous version. LOL

The beetle, hello the original was very similar for decades so who knows what happens with the next iteration of the "new one". LOL

The new tbirds seem more of a retro car then the new stangs to me. I mean the stang has always retained some of it's heritage in it's looks but the tbird has bounced all over the friggin place styling wise so going back to styling cues from a previous early generation date its look much more.

Anyway I think the current stang is a hell of a lot better styling then some of the styling pigs they've produced over the years. LOL

especially with hindsight some are just very old and dated looking IMO. I think the Mustang II's and following 80's Stang aren't to great looking these days and I was disappointed with the early to mid 90's ones too but got used to the styling as they tweaked it over the years. My least favorite styling these days is probably some of the uglier 80's iterations... :rolleyes:

Those 90's ones seemed to sit really high too, compared to a mn12 it's like your sitting in a Ford Ranger or something! LOL I never liked that. They don't look it from outside but when I'm sitting in one it's like dam why am I up so high?

ShadowDragon said:
The project was started before the 96 model year. Notice also the front bumper is different than the 96/97 and the non-color matched handles. They apparently decided to reuse the trim with a different front bumper and different headlights when they moved to the 96 model year.
I noticed the bumper was different but didn't catch the old door handles...

edit: I just noticed it has the old black rain gutter caps on it too.

Color coded mirrors though...
 

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It may be heavier, but what other car can ya buy in that price range that can compare to the handling and comfort of the MN-12? I had an 86 Capri (Mercury Mustang) in grade 11, it was fast and fun , but it could never compare to the Cougar. Ford (Nassar) really ****ed up when they killed the TBird Cougar, had they played up the car of the year, sales would have been much better, and the MN-12 is still better than the Chevy mid-size products, my buddy has a 2000 Monte Carlo SS, and my old 90 handles better, and the seats are way more comfortable for long distance driving.

Now that Chrysler is going back to RWD, and GM put the GTO back out there, Ford is really ****ed now that they have nothing to offer in a class that the MN-12 could have dominated with the demand for RWD mid size cars.

One thing I would like to know to is WTF was Ford thinking with that "Euro" styled Cougar? There was no market for a car like that. All that did was run a proud name for Ford into the trash.

I think its kinda funny that someone in my family has owned a gen. of the Cougar, my uncles had a 68, another had the boxy 81 and my aunt had a fox, my dad had the huge 75 XR7 and then theres my 90. LOL and everyone hated the FWD POS that came out.
 

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A long long LOOOONG time ago on the old SCCoA board they did a contest to see who could name a BMW part used in birds (mn12's i guess). WHoever named it would get a free tshirt. Man, that was a random part. Lets see if anybody by any chance remembers it :0). AFter reading about this AWD thing im thinking there might be more.
 

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CaifanSC said:
A long long LOOOONG time ago on the old SCCoA board they did a contest to see who could name a BMW part used in birds (mn12's i guess). WHoever named it would get a free tshirt. Man, that was a random part. Lets see if anybody by any chance remembers it :0). AFter reading about this AWD thing im thinking there might be more.
Its the motor for the sunroof. I just yanked one out of a parts car.

you need to get way more technical than that because i have an mn12 problem.
 

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WEll you would have gotten your self a free tshirt my friend! Congrats! I thought it was quite random, i remember naming brake and engine parts before thinking of the darned sun roof.
 

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Southpaw said:
edit: I just noticed it has the old black rain gutter caps on it too.
Not to split hairs or anything, but the Birds never lost the black gutter caps. I asked why, once, but no one had a good guess.
 

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Wind tunnel tests were done on the completed car at the Lookheed plant in Marietta Georgia on May 7, 1996.
Sweet, history on my bday!!
They were the focus of attention not because of the lap times but because it was a Lincoln Mark VIII. NASCAR officials said they would allow the Lincoln Mark VIII to be used in Winston competition, but Ford asked the team to stop the development program. "Ford's foremost objective is to sell cars," stated Michael Kranefuss, who has a 30 year association with Ford.
I could be wrong, but last time I checked NASCAR is a HUGE promotions fest outside of the actual racing. Maybe if Ford didn't have their heads so far up their butts they would've realized a MK8 in NASCAR would've been great promotion to a younger generation
 

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Black_97_LX said:
Not to split hairs or anything, but the Birds never lost the black gutter caps. I asked why, once, but no one had a good guess.
Hmmm if you say so, I never noticed that about them. I've only had 89' and 97' cougars.

Last bird was and 85'

CaifanSC said:
WEll you would have gotten your self a free tshirt my friend! Congrats! I thought it was quite random, i remember naming brake and engine parts before thinking of the darned sun roof.
Presumably that was because they both used the same sun roof OEM? :)

It sounds like it was just a third party electric motor that both manufacturers used, as opposed to it being a "BMW part". ;)

So was the last MN12 off the line the documented "final thunderbird" or a cougar???

I guess nobody cares about the highest VIN 4.6L Cat judging by the lack response. LOL

It would becool if someone new if the last one was a v-6 or a v-8 but short of prying it out of ford it looks like nobody knows.

Anyone ever come across reliable looking production numbers for 97 Cougars?
 

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I just dont understand, im sure that bringing back a two door rwd chassis car would be alot of unwanted work for Ford, but have they not been paying attention to Chevy's success with the monte carlo? I see tons of them out on the street with no signs of slowing down.
 

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Discussion Starter #137
Southpaw said:
Hmmm if you say so, I never noticed that about them. I've only had 89' and 97' cougars.

Last bird was and 85'
The Cougar lost them after 92 (I think) and the Bird had them up til its death. My 95 has the gutters and my old 93 Cougar did not.
 

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Rally said:
WHOA! The Mark VIII was almost in NASCAR?! :beek:

NASCAR Mark VIII

But of course, Ford put the nix on that, and even broke the rules of NASCAR.. :rolleyes: What a surprise.
If you think about it, Ford only did what any other company would do in that situation. Dodge had the Intrepid, which was never 2 door and now they have the Charger in NASCAR. Chevy was the only company that has a stock car that is actually really 2 door. I always thought it was weird that they chose the Taurus but now I know why. It would have been cool to see a Mark VIII in NASCAR.
 

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this might not be well known, there were 5 short wheel base tbirds produced, from what i heard the reason was because ford was toying with the idea of using a modified mn12 platform for the fox mustang replacement. they also did 1 mark viii using two wrecked ones.
 
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