The little known facts about our cars thread. - Page 3 - TCCoA Forums

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post #61 of 475 (permalink) Old 09-12-2005, 09:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Great Obucina
have you ever seen "My Cousin Vinnie"? The Tempest had IRS.
Quote:
Originally Posted by wilson502
the corvair also had one. which was the first domestic car to have one i believe.
I was thinking the same thing about My Cousin Vinne!

And yes, the Corvair had IRS, though it was rear engined. The Corvair IRS was actually its downfall. Ralph Nader proclaimed it "dangerous", wrote a book about it, and the american public didn't buy the car. I've always kinda liked the Corvair, at least the second generation ones.


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post #62 of 475 (permalink) Old 09-12-2005, 10:24 AM
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those wheels look like the ones they used on the fox body continental and some of the early mark 7's

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post #63 of 475 (permalink) Old 09-12-2005, 11:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sir William
I know there is at least one left, I think perhaps two. I know where one of them is.
My car is a SVT! What's so special about it?? About a month or so ago I posted a question asking what that meant b/c that's what it says on my title.

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post #64 of 475 (permalink) Old 09-12-2005, 11:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetness45oh
My car is a SVT! What's so special about it?? About a month or so ago I posted a question asking what that meant b/c that's what it says on my title.

no its not. the SVT thing on your title is a registration screw up.

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post #65 of 475 (permalink) Old 09-12-2005, 12:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetness45oh
My car is a SVT! What's so special about it?? About a month or so ago I posted a question asking what that meant b/c that's what it says on my title.

That's shown up on quite a few people's titles...and Joe is right, it's a mistake. The SVT Bird was never produced, would have been a model year 1998 and had a supercharged DOHC 4.6.

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post #66 of 475 (permalink) Old 09-12-2005, 12:45 PM
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Almost got excited there...

Was it going to be a '98? I thought I read in a different Hot Rod article that it was slated to come out as a late '97. Oh well, doesn't matter now!
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post #67 of 475 (permalink) Old 09-12-2005, 01:20 PM
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late 97 = 98 model

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post #68 of 475 (permalink) Old 09-12-2005, 04:40 PM
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not always true , 64.5 mustang, 63.5 galaxie , 84.5 escort , titles say 64 , 63 , and 1984

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post #69 of 475 (permalink) Old 09-12-2005, 05:43 PM
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as *A* late '97 model. As in, after most of the other '97s come out, but still classified as a 1997 Thunderbird by Ford.
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post #70 of 475 (permalink) Old 09-12-2005, 06:01 PM
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Is the last date of production of the MN12 really 09-04-97? If so, then that would be a little known fact.

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post #71 of 475 (permalink) Old 09-12-2005, 07:09 PM
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The little UNknown fact is: where the hell is that last car? Or the last Cougar?
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post #72 of 475 (permalink) Old 09-12-2005, 07:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cb400f75
Man, that AWD SC would've been nice if they had made it...and those wheels on it look waaaay too much like the ones on a Porsche 928 from that year. .
Thoes are Porshe wheels on the car. Porshe was involved in part of the AWD design.

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post #73 of 475 (permalink) Old 09-12-2005, 07:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FastBird232
The little UNknown fact is: where the hell is that last car? Or the last Cougar?
if you're referring to the last T-Bird:
Final MN-12 Thunderbird, where is it?

as for the cougar, who knows. It's probably a Dr. Pepper can.

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post #74 of 475 (permalink) Old 09-12-2005, 07:29 PM
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does anyone have pics of the last Tbird because the ones in the link do not work.

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post #75 of 475 (permalink) Old 09-12-2005, 07:30 PM
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Yeah, and did anyone save the pics of the 1998 t-bird? The one's in the link no worky!

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post #76 of 475 (permalink) Old 09-12-2005, 08:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Palmguy
That's shown up on quite a few people's titles...and Joe is right, it's a mistake. The SVT Bird was never produced, would have been a model year 1998 and had a supercharged DOHC 4.6.

It wasnt a mistake.They were going to make an SVT bird in 96 but dropped it.The SVT bird was produced but never circulated to the public.
Chris

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post #77 of 475 (permalink) Old 09-12-2005, 08:15 PM
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No Chris, they made four SVE prototypes but the SVT was never produced.

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post #78 of 475 (permalink) Old 09-12-2005, 08:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cougar_guy04
if you're referring to the last T-Bird:
Final MN-12 Thunderbird, where is it?

as for the cougar, who knows. It's probably a Dr. Pepper can.
Gee, that thread looks familiar!

I remember the upshot of it was it was sold by the museum to persons unknown. I couldn't find anything on the Cougar.
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post #79 of 475 (permalink) Old 09-12-2005, 08:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by 8ate8
That's because they are Porsche started the joint venture with ford to first develop the AWD 'bird, but Ford decided their method was too expensive, so they went with Dana.
Quote:
Originally posted by Jason Miller
Thoes are Porshe wheels on the car. Porshe was involved in part of the AWD design.
Indeed, and I think the wheels look pretty good on there, they have a nice european look, so I thought maybe a person could buy a set used for a 928 and cover up the Porsche symbol and run them on a bird, but I checked into it and the 928s use a 5x130 bolt pattern...It's just too hard to find wheels to fit these cars Oh well so much for that idea...

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post #80 of 475 (permalink) Old 09-12-2005, 10:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShadowDragon
No Chris, they made four SVE prototypes but the SVT was never produced.

I stand corrected.But isnt that the reason why the 96 title and insurance say LX/SVT on it though?
Thanks,
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post #81 of 475 (permalink) Old 09-12-2005, 10:37 PM
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Nope, even 94-95's had "SVT" depending on what insurance provider you had.

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post #82 of 475 (permalink) Old 09-12-2005, 11:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LX-Tasy
It wasnt a mistake.They were going to make an SVT bird in 96 but dropped it.The SVT bird was produced but never circulated to the public.
Chris
It's a mistake that so many garden variety stocker 2v 4.6 LX's have "SVT" on the title.

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post #83 of 475 (permalink) Old 09-12-2005, 11:07 PM
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Kinda like the insurance companies thinking XR7 meant anything in the later years.

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post #84 of 475 (permalink) Old 09-12-2005, 11:13 PM
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lol when the Cougar was offered in only XR-7 trim, the insurance for those years is alot higher than for a year older LS with the exact same engine etc.

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post #85 of 475 (permalink) Old 09-12-2005, 11:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Earl
Here's another "little known" I just remembered it....this was written by the "j" and it goes a little something like this...

"For 1998 there would be three models of the Thunderbird, the Base, Sport and the SVT. The V6 would be dropped from the line alltogether, and the base V8 would have been slightly more aniemic than the previous year's model, having a SOHC 4.6, a single exhaust, etc. It would have been comparable to the base model Crown Victoria of that year.

The sport model had a 4.6 SOHC V8, Mustang GT exhaust manifolds, true dual ehxuast, higher-flow mufflers, larger brakes all the way around to solve the warped rotor problem, and a re-worked interior (slightly new cup holders which prooved to be better than any of the previous designs. The rear end of the car was to be designed wtih sequential turn signal tail lights, and the front end was completely re-designed (new headlights, grill, bumper, etc) --That's about all I remember from what I read, I have it on my computer somewhere, I'll try to dig it up & post it....it's good stuff.
sorta, here is what he said, copied right from his post.

Quote:
jerry
The '98 bird was not canceled until may or june of 1997. We were all done with the development of the car and even built the first wave of prototypes at Lorain Assembly Plant.

Here's what we missed out on.

They dropped the 3.8L from the T-Bird completely. There were two 4.6L engine options available for the car. The base one was a little more anemic than what the 96/97 car was. It was a single exhaust, normal taillights and directionals (you'll understand in a minute), pretty much the same 4.6L that was there is '97. But remember, this was the base car.

The Sport car was this. The engine was a modified 4.6L engine. It had different cams, different exhaust manifolds, a conical air cleaner and 80mm air meter. It was basically the Mustang induction system and exhaust manifolds. But it had different cams and a TRUE (yes I said true) dual exhaust. The engine made 230 HP (fudged higher by typical Ford standards). It came with the 11" converter an aluminum shaft and 3.55 axles. It had H rated tires and was speed limited to something like 120 MPH. The rear fascia on the car had cut outs in the bumper for the chrome tipped dual exhaust pipes. The front fascia had foglights (similar to the old S/C). The directional's on the rear were sequential like the old Cougars of the 60's. It had the same spoiler that the 97's came with. It was monochromatic paint scheme to the color of the car. Had 11.5" front rotors and aluminum dual piston calipers.

The interior was similar to the 94/95 S/C. But it had better cup holder than the '97's had.

Unfortunatly, someone decided that they needed the 4.6L engines for trucks rather than make T-Birds and in never seen production

I think I can come up with a picture or two over the next few weeks. If I do, I'll post it here.

So, thanks to some ^%$# bean counters, the best MN-12 was never produced.

I don't remember what the performance numbers were on the car, but it was slightly slower than the auto GT's in 1998 (not that we ever raced them).

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post #86 of 475 (permalink) Old 09-13-2005, 12:13 AM
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did jerry ever get any pictures of the 98 car?

The only pics i remember seeing is that black magazine spyshot or whatever.
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post #87 of 475 (permalink) Old 09-13-2005, 05:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XR7 as hell
If those wheels on that tbird look like any wheels, i would think they look like the SVO wheels that came on the turbo mustang
They look similar to the SVO wheels, but if you look closely they are identical to 928 wheels. The wheels in your picture have 10 holes; the 928 wheels have seven.
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post #88 of 475 (permalink) Old 09-13-2005, 08:39 AM
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Quote:
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They look similar to the SVO wheels, but if you look closely they are identical to 928 wheels. The wheels in your picture have 10 holes; the 928 wheels have seven.
Look at my post, #58. That SC test mule looks like it has something like those SVO rims on that SC.

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post #89 of 475 (permalink) Old 09-13-2005, 03:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidCougar
As far as facts go, I heard somewhere that during the years the MN-12 was being manufactured at Lorain it was one of the top rated auto plants in the country. Perhaps someone could elaborate on this?
Yup. #2 for quality in the world. Read it on BlueOvalNews. I'll try to dig it up.

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post #90 of 475 (permalink) Old 09-13-2005, 05:51 PM
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This is the article I was talking about...

The Demise of Lorain Assembly,
Three and a Half Years Later

March 1997......the words were as chilling as ice. An announcement, made just after profit sharing, would change many lives forever. Ford Motor Company's decision to squash two popular, classic nameplates was a shock to all. For some, it was the end of many chapters of their lives; for about 600 others, it was a new beginning in an unknown state, a beginning they would have never chosen.

The workers, many faithful to Ford Motor for more than half of their lives, were told that the Thunderbird/Cougar line was officially rendered discontinued. Where would the workers go? Just which workers would get to transfer to commercial and build Econoline vans? Would Ford bring a new product in, to take the place of the soon-to-be defunct T-bird/Cougar?

In the wake of the announcement, Ford officials had stated that Lorain Assembly was on "warm idle" status. When questioned, they defined "warm idle" as meaning that there was a great chance that another product would replace the empty lines. On the other hand, Ford officials were quoted as saying, in a meeting with almost 1600 employees, that they "Could close ALL North American plants, and it wouldn't cost Ford a cent". That's a pretty harsh statement, when a person considers the effect just one shutdown had on many people.

Following the news, the town of Lorain and its outlying areas were torn apart. The men and women who would relocate made plans to find housing and toured Louisville, KY with their families to get used to this place they would now call "home". The employees who were fortunate enough to remain in Lorain couldn't help but feel sympathetic towards those who were being displaced, and those who didn't have a job at all.

The town of Lorain pulled together in an attempt to get Ford to change their mind. Then-mayor Joseph Koziura even had a meeting with FoMoCo Execs, promising tax-breaks for the plant if they would reconsider. People begged and pleaded with Ford, explaining the hardships this would create. These workers had devoted so much of their lives to Ford, and this is what they would get in return. All the efforts were in vain. Ford's decision was going to stick, no matter how many families and individuals it destroyed.

In the last months of the Thunderbird/Cougar epic, strange things happened. Many walked around in a trance-like state, hoping that the announcement was just a bad dream, longing for the moment they would be awakened. Others scurried about to buy a T-bird or Cougar, some even traveling out of state to make the purchase. Was it to buy a piece of history? To own a token of the fall of Lorain Assembly? Or was it yet another shot at changing Ford's decision.....an effort to show them that the cars still had sales potential? Nobody will ever know for sure. Just weeks before the final cars rolled off the line, Jim Bass, owner of Mike Bass Ford in nearby Avon Lake, was quoted as saying "These things are selling like hotcakes.....I can't get enough of them to meet the demand. People are really going after these cars". Not bad for a couple of cars that had no profit to offer Ford.

Meanwhile, there was much speculation about the plant. Workers heard a myriad of myths, ranging from the scaled down Explorer, now known as the Escape, to the redesigned Thunderbird, coming to Lorain for a production run. They wondered and waited. Those who were displaced (a majority of them were relocated to Louisville, KY) hoped a new product would enable them to return to the only homes they have ever known. Sadly, three and a half years later, it has not happened.

There are some very unpleasant facts about the Lorain saga. It is a little known fact that Lorain Assembly was #2 in quality in the world. Yes, you read it right.....the WORLD! Industry analysts blamed lagging sales, along with a delay in redesign for the demise of the Ford cousins. Others tried to reason the lack of demand for rear-wheel drive vehicles. All of the above statements are completely untrue. Look at the Mustang. The car ran on the same platform from 1979-1993, and when it was redesigned, it contained virtually the same chassis.

The Mustang is a very popular rear-drive car.....if there was no demand for RWD, wouldn't Mustang sales have slipped as well? Another interesting fact is that in both 1996 and 1997, The Thunderbird and Cougar outsold their Chevrolet competition, the Lumina and Monte Carlo. Case in point, lagging sales were not the problem. In a sense, Ford turned over their entire mid-size market to Chevrolet and Chrysler. Do the pieces of this puzzle fit?

In 1999, a rumor (that I adamantly believe) began circulating in the very quiet Lorain Assembly plant. Somehow, the workers were informed that the Thunderbird/Cougar line was squashed to set an example. You see, in 1997, the workers were hesitant to sign the new contract that had been put together for them. They wanted more than was being offered, hence, they were reluctant to agree. The union, bargaining committee, etc, were up in arms to get everyone to sign on the dotted line. Ford didn't like this, needless to say. Apparently, the lines were ceased to "prove a point". To show what Ford "could do". The integration of a multi-million dollar paint shop had hopes high, but it's like Ford put it there to tease. Doesn't it all fit? Number two in quality, two cars that had slightly lagging sales but were still competitive in the market, state-of-the-art paint building....kind of makes you think... doesn't it?

It has been nearly four years since that fateful announcement. Lorain has gone through many changes in the years following the demise of Lorain Assembly. While there are still familiar sights and sounds, you can tell something is missing. The town isn't the happy-go-lucky place it once was. The blow that Ford dealt hit hard, and the wound is still fresh. Many people still have hope that prosperity will return to Lorain, while others remain sullen and pessimistic when it comes to Ford. I doubt that Ford knows, or even cares for that matter, what they have done.

Walking through the Lorain Assembly plant is horribly depressing. When one walks in the main entrance, where once sat a fleet of completed Ford Thunderbirds/Mercury Cougars, there is nothing but darkness and an empty (yet capable) assembly line. Where people used to laugh, friends used to talk, and cars used to reach the line's end, there is just an old assembly line. It saddens me when I reflect on all the smiling faces I used to see upon entrance. I have to wonder to myself just how many of those workers who would greet me are no longer there.

The one thing that really irks me, is the mistruths that Ford conveys to its remaining workforce. Ford, as a company, really needs to stop lying to these poor men and women. The workers are in a denial of sorts. You can see it in their tired faces! These people are holding on to every chance that a new product will come in. Hoping it will bring back the old faces they were accustomed to, even some new faces, just to put some "spirit" back into the place. They long for the day that they can look at the old T-bird/Cougar line and see a new product.....not a constant reminder of how much Ford really cares for its workforce. FoMoCo needs to either put a new product in place, or stop the run-around. It's taking its toll on the town, the people, and those Lorain Assembly workers who have been through their own private hell, yet strive to be the best they can be.

Jason
2003 SVT Mustang Cobra #5364
2001 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP
1991 Mercury Cougar XR7 5.0L - SOLD!
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