MN12 Named The "Meh Car Monday" Pick This Week - TCCoA Forums
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-14-2018, 08:05 PM Thread Starter
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MN12 Named The "Meh Car Monday" Pick This Week

This is a feature that Jalopnik does most Monday's. This week they chose the MN12 for their pick for "Meh Car Monday". I don't agree with it and of course it was disappointing to read but the articles are done as fun. I didn't read all the reader comments but I was happy to see that many people disagreed and I posted a comment myself.

Meh Car Monday: The Tenth-Generation Ford Thunderbird Has Way More Bird Than Thunder
https://jalopnik.com/meh-car-monday-...d-h-1828316097
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-14-2018, 09:49 PM
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But the author is so quirky, a 1973 VW Beetle, 2006 Scion xB, 1990 Nissan Pao, 1973 Reliant Scimitar and a 1977 Dodge Tioga RV? This guy knows cool!
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-14-2018, 09:49 PM
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Interesting story. Thanks for sharing.

Meh indeed. That's why I like my sleeper so much. Jaw dropping performance tucked away in a meh car.

Now if I can just get this E85 tune dialed in ...

Standing by for the Fluidyne radiator and cooler temps to head back to Rob's for tune tweaking and ultimately to the Dyno for some new numbers ...

Mods? Yea, I got mods ...
Air silencer delete, warp drive, dilithium crystals, flux capacitor, Slingshot Rubber band power adder, Moonshine & Gas, Leaf Blower Supercharger, Hamster Wheel & Hamster, Energizer Bunny generating 1.21 gigawatts, Mr. Fusion® Home Energy Reactor, hover conversion and a sextant celestial navigation system (The original GPS)
Best 1/4: 1,320 nanoseconds @ 670,616,629.2 miles per hour

"There isn't that much difference anymore between spacecraft, aircraft and modern automobiles..." - Keith Henry, NASA's Langley Research Center
See a list of my real mods and pictures of my car HERE. The true performance of my car was made possible by the Carolinas Crew Chief, RobertP at Rob's Tire & Auto
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-15-2018, 03:19 PM
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This already made the rounds in the Facebook group. We pretty much eviscerated the author over there. Even a vast majority of the comments on Jalopnik have said that the author doesn't know what he's talking about.

If you ignore the idea that the author wrote this more for entertainment than substance, it's still clear he did no research at all. He doesn't mention the existence of the SC and gets every ignorant assumption wrong because it's obvious he's never driven an MN12 and is purely making judgments based on old Ford TV commercials, which is so damn lazy that it's a step below tabloid journalism.

I will say that the '90s were a weak decade of automotive history overall. Truth be told, I would not be happy if I had to drive a stock MN12 these days, because I've had certain mods for so long that I don't remember what life was like without them.

That said, these cars brought a lot to the table for their time. Getting the IRS a full decade before the Mustang (and even then, Cobra-only) was a big freaking deal, as was every suspension and performance mod that came with the SC. Most of the criticisms of this platform weren't unique to this platform. Every damn Ford was underpowered in the '90s. What's left to complain about? Size and weight? Has anyone compared the dimensions of an S550 Mustang to the MN12 lately?

Then the way he goes on about how great the 11th generation Thunderbird was when it was a total sales flop is a joke. Nobody in the early-2000s was excited by an underpowered $40K Thunderbird that looked like a symmetrical bar of soap when the Mustang Cobra went for $35K and in the last two years came with one of the most legendary American-built engines ever from the FI era.

Now, I can understand why these cars—especially in stock form—would be considered "meh" by modern standards, but then what do you call most other cars from that era? Meh is something that can't be improved and doesn't have a Mustang-inspired/assisted aftermarket. Meh is something that still keeps you anonymous if you're seen driving one 25 years later. Save that BS for the likes of a 1993 Toyota Camry or a 1997 Chevy Malibu.

And that is why I said in the Facebook thread that all anyone really needs to do is to drop a picture of OxmanWI's car with the hood open in the Jalopnik comments and tell Torchinsky to eat a bowl of shit.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-15-2018, 03:58 PM
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The thing that struck me after skimming through his reasoning is how incomplete and wrong his history is, he goes on to say how the Tbird got way larger but still had presence before the 80s, but the picture posted is of a 63 bullet bird brochure. Sorry, but it started going downhill in 68 with questionable styling and body configurations, and nosedived in 72 when the Tbird became a badge engineered “budget” Lincoln Mark IV, then Torino in 77, then Fairmont in 80. And the Tbird went downhill AFTER those?

Somehow I missed the part about the 02 birds. They look more like bloated retro reincarnations of a MGB than they do a 55. They flopped because the only people they appealed to had severe cataracts.


Funny thing with the author, ever notice people with an attraction to the eclectic and quirky cars as cited in his profile are always pretentious snobs? I know of a few other car bloggers like that, but usually they are better writers and researchers to back up their biases.

-Matt

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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-15-2018, 04:12 PM
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Yeah, that stood out to me as well. You couldn't build a bigger Thunderbird if you tried after the 6th and 7th generations, the 8th generation was a total flop, and this guy wants to call the 9th and 10th generations uninspired?

Hipster garbage like this was the downfall of Jalopnik. Most of the actual writing talent fled to other sites years ago.

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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-15-2018, 04:21 PM
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The Hofmeister kink on our birds should certainly be worth more than a meh.

Do you realize you were just passed by a NASCAR? I didn't think so.
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-15-2018, 04:26 PM
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I agree. An American car heavily inspired by the BMW 6 Series is interesting by default.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-15-2018, 04:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irv View Post
I agree. An American car heavily inspired by the BMW 6 Series is interesting by default.
I don't care what Jalopnik says. I agree with this article:
Hooniverse Parting Shot: The 10th Generation of the Ford Thunderbird; A Bargain you should know about.*|*Hooniverse

Do you realize you were just passed by a NASCAR? I didn't think so.
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-15-2018, 04:54 PM
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That's funny, because Hooniverse was one of the sites that I've said all the talent (both writers and commenters) from Jalopnik went to after their downfall. The other was TTAC.

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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-15-2018, 05:04 PM
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I don't know how Jason motivates himself to write about most of the cars in this "Meh Car Monday" series. I almost always agree with his selections and criticisms, but man oh man this one was a swing-and-a-miss.

But as is often the case with Jalopnik, the comment section really came through. I usually don't hear much about MN12s beyond TCCOA, and it was great to see so many folks coming to defend its honor. Heck, I don't even own one myself anymore, but I'm still fond of it, enough to keep checking in here from time to time.
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-15-2018, 07:09 PM
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Meh is something that still keeps you anonymous if you're seen driving one 25 years later. Save that BS for the likes of a 1993 Toyota Camry or a 1997 Chevy Malibu.
Heh.

Funny part is, I owned a 2000 Malibu when we bought Ruby Jean (our 1991 Cougar XR7).

The Malibu IS a very anonymous car; I never got stopped in it by the police.

The Cougar, OTOH, gets stopped every 3rd or 4th trip through Texas, always for some bullshit reason.

Oh, I know what they're looking for - illegal levels of Mexicans!

But I've been stopped for "Your license plate lights are blue." Well, no, they're cool white - another reason why now they're WARM white.

I'll say the Malibu, with proper upgrades, was a fun car to toss around curves on the roads at speed.

OTOH, compared to the Cougar, it's snoozeville. I MUCH prefer Ruby's ride and handling; even with the beefier anti-sway bars and rear discs that the Malibu had.

(Do notice, the Malibu's only name was FPOS when I was working on it ... Ruby's a lady, and will savage you as only a Southern Lady can, if you don't treat her right! But treat her right, and she's SO MUCH MORE FUN than them Yankee dweebs. )

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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-16-2018, 10:03 AM
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I will say that the '90s were a weak decade of automotive history overall.
I can't agree less with this. However, the 80's were a decade of piss-poor performing cars.

With the 90's came a real performance comeback. Japanese pocket rockets such as the Eagle Talon turbo, RX-7 turbo, 300ZX turbo, Supra turbo, etc. Chevy stepped up their game with hot V8's in the Corvette and new Camaro. Could go on and on. The horsepower wars were on.

The current century of cars are real garbage. Reptile-faced plastic cars that all look alike. Recall after recall because they are made poorly. These are not cars you can pay off and keep for a long time because of the expensive electronics you can’t afford to replace. You have to treat them like everything else made today – just trade it in every 5 years. Sure, the new electronic features are nice, but at what cost?

Al
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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-16-2018, 10:13 AM
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Heh.

Funny part is, I owned a 2000 Malibu when we bought Ruby Jean (our 1991 Cougar XR7).

The Malibu IS a very anonymous car; I never got stopped in it by the police.
Around these parts, a local driving school had a thing for that generation of Malibu. Even after it was redesigned in 2004, they picked up some leftover Classics. Those drivers are not only anonymous to me, they're anonymous beginners.
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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-16-2018, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by T6Rocket View Post
I can't agree less with this. However, the 80's were a decade of piss-poor performing cars.

With the 90's came a real performance comeback. Japanese pocket rockets such as the Eagle Talon turbo, RX-7 turbo, 300ZX turbo, Supra turbo, etc. Chevy stepped up their game with hot V8's in the Corvette and new Camaro. Could go on and on. The horsepower wars were on.

The current century of cars are real garbage. Reptile-faced plastic cars that all look alike. Recall after recall because they are made poorly. These are not cars you can pay off and keep for a long time because of the expensive electronics you can’t afford to replace. You have to treat them like everything else made today – just trade it in every 5 years. Sure, the new electronic features are nice, but at what cost?

Al
You're right. When I wrote that, I was thinking of what the American big three was mostly still putting out in the first couple of years in the '90s. The mid-'90s brought on everything you mentioned and brought the fun back after we got a decade of 302s with a whopping 140HP. The SC doesn't get enough credit for kicking off a few performance-minded trends half a decade before everyone else.

The '90s started off slow but finished strong. The '70s and '80s were mostly terrible. The 2000s and 2010s are both mixed bags for different reasons, but I certainly don't care for several contemporary trends in cars today.

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post #16 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-16-2018, 03:47 PM
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I always considered MN12s 80s cars despite the model years, they aren’t very far removed stylistically from the 83-88s, and the BMW E24 they emulated was from the mid 70s. A-ok with me since I consider the 80s the last time brands/country had distinct identities in their designs and the technologies that came out that is taken for granted today all owe their roots to the climb from malaise during the 80s. Yeah the performance sucked, but that’s easily fixed. With a few exceptions like sports cars(which I think looked better than ever) 90s designs to me are where plasticy anonymous cars started, 1998 sedans and SUVs blend right into 2018 traffic.

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post #17 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-16-2018, 06:24 PM
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Organizing design eras by decade is an imprecise task, but I think of the '80s as the quintessential three-box design era, with the emphasis on box. The Taurus seems to get the most credit for breaking the mold in '86 and it took other models a few more years to reach the end of their design cycle. Everything before that featured sharp angles and in some cases, copious amounts of chrome trim.

The '90s were the rounded design era. The 2000s were the slab-sided design era, featuring the beginnings of thick wheel arches and corporate grilles. The '10s are the overwrought creases era, featuring KILL TOYOTAS WITH FIRE.

The MN12's design was ahead of its time, and that follows an '87 refresh of the previous generation Thunderbird that aligned it stylistically more with the Taurus than the LTD. The Thunderbird was also several years ahead of the Mustang yet again, this time in terms of not looking like a box.
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post #18 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-16-2018, 06:57 PM
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The box era started in the 70s though, the Fox Fairmont debuted in 78 with the Mustang in 79. The 86 Taurus was very heavily inspired by the 1982 Audi 100/5000(MN12s borrowed a lot of cues from these too) and overseas Ford previewed the rounded jellybean themes of the Taurus with the 1982 Sierra, which we’d later get as the Merkur XR4/Scorpio. The 83 Tbird/Cougars and Tempo/Topaz moved away from boxy too, and the 84 Mark VII was the first domestic Ford with aerodynamic headlamps.

The MN12 was definitely way ahead of its time as far as chassis is concerned, the underside of every modern RWD car including the Mustang resembles it, but styling wasn’t anything new, the major departure from the 88s was the heavily raked windshield(which the Taurus did first) and thinner headlights, but they were still much more in the Aero realm of 80s Ford’s than the rounded 90s era that brought us the likes of the 96 Taurus(once again, good.). MN12s got rounded features like the 94-97 dash, and puffy cladding, but they were kind of afterthoughts for the basic body shape. They aged better than most 90s cars though, but that’s because they were outliers.

-Matt
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post #19 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-16-2018, 08:26 PM
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Ford completely fucked themselves with these cars.

They appealed to everyone who wasn't a Mustang Guy, because they brought Class to Performance.

Nothing like "your flashy Mustang gets eaten alive by this Luxury Car with bolt-ons".

(That probably happened to some Asshat Ford Executive; that's why they were cancelled.)

These engines were way ahead of the curve; even with all the cost cutting they did, they last 300k with minimal maintenance.

I got 230k out of one that had been very badly maintained; if it hadn't spent its life with Quaker State, it might not have dropped a valve at 6500r's on a LOonnie Tune, lol.

Lazarus has spent minutes bouncing off the revlimiter, when the throttle stuck; the oil pressure or compression were unchanged, and no debris in the oil. (That was unexpected, to say the least.)

Ford fixed all that longevity with the mods they did to the timing stuff in the early part of the last decade; beware of those tensioners and guides, they are garbage until at least '06.

How many other Ford cars get this type of miles, without problems? I don't know of any. Mustangs copied us in 96 and 97, so they count as the same, but only over those years.

Red '96 Cougar XR-7 240k mi. '02 4R70W, PST DS : '03 PI engine, 04 maf, 24lb injectors, 2.5" exhaust, '02 4r70w + Jmod, DirtyD0g TC + cooler + 3/8" lines, 255 walbro fp. Alpine system.
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post #20 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-16-2018, 08:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grog6 View Post
Ford completely fucked themselves with these cars.

They appealed to everyone who wasn't a Mustang Guy, because they brought Class to Performance.

Nothing like "your flashy Mustang gets eaten alive by this Luxury Car with bolt-ons".

(That probably happened to some Asshat Ford Executive; that's why they were cancelled.)

These engines were way ahead of the curve; even with all the cost cutting they did, they last 300k with minimal maintenance.

I got 230k out of one that had been very badly maintained; if it hadn't spent its life with Quaker State, it might not have dropped a valve at 6500r's on a LOonnie Tune, lol.

Lazarus has spent minutes bouncing off the revlimiter, when the throttle stuck; the oil pressure or compression were unchanged, and no debris in the oil. (That was unexpected, to say the least.)

Ford fixed all that longevity with the mods they did to the timing stuff in the early part of the last decade; beware of those tensioners and guides, they are garbage until at least '06.

How many other Ford cars get this type of miles, without problems? I don't know of any. Mustangs copied us in 96 and 97, so they count as the same, but only over those years.
94-95 4.6s werent as good as 96+, the valve guides and seals sucked, literally, and the intake is a heavy, hard to work on, carbon trapping mess. Mustangs got the 4.6 after the beta testing on these was completed. Thanks Ford. Not that it really mattered since npi Mustangs are redheaded stepchildren of the Mustang world, just above the Mustang II. Course there was also that pesky little issue of every last plastic intake manifold failing, luckily Ford replaced them.... after the class action lawsuit.

-Matt
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post #21 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-16-2018, 09:38 PM
No, Mr. Lemmywinks, No!!!

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Lazarus had the replacement plastic manifold, installed in 00.

By me, after I broke the OG one, with 5k rpm shifts.

Remove the drivers side bolt in the mount, and it won't do that, lol. That hole wasn't there in the replacement manifold.

It has a PI intake now, with METAL!

Yeah, we were the test bed for these, but if you look at even the 94-95 4.6, it's 2x better longevity than earlier motors, and the valveguide replacement at 200k is still cheaper than a rebuild.

My valveguides are getting toast on Lazarus, but he's getting close to 300k. That reminds me, I need a speedo, mine is way off since the gear repair.

The Tbird, at 130k, had no oil in the cats when they were removed. (my muffler guy showed me how they reclaim the expensive metals; the internet is cool!)

Ford never meant to make a car who's primary method of Death is Rust!

Red '96 Cougar XR-7 240k mi. '02 4R70W, PST DS : '03 PI engine, 04 maf, 24lb injectors, 2.5" exhaust, '02 4r70w + Jmod, DirtyD0g TC + cooler + 3/8" lines, 255 walbro fp. Alpine system.
Black '96 Cougar XR-7 (Lazarus) 210k mi PI Intake, '02 4R70W, Jmod, PST DS, GrogTune, Konis, Mark LCA+Poly, racecougar Custom Engine Chain, and JL and racecougar Bracing.
Black '97 Tbird Limited Edition, '02 4R70W, 255 walbro, PST DS, PBR Brakes&SS lines, Toicko Blues & Springs, GrogTune.


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