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post #1 of 36 (permalink) Old 07-09-2011, 07:35 PM Thread Starter
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My car likes to rock and roll

93 cougar the ride in this car sucks allways has.when I first got it replaced front struts and rear shocks ride was better but still sucks! if I drive over a speed bumb like in a shopping center it rocks side to side so hard Ive hit my head on the drivers window! so I need input on this prob. I was thinking front and rear sway bar bushings.
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post #2 of 36 (permalink) Old 07-10-2011, 05:08 AM
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Did you change the springs also?

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post #3 of 36 (permalink) Old 07-10-2011, 01:14 PM Thread Starter
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No I had a shop do the front shocks,I did the rears. the up and down shock dampening works fine on the car its the side to side movement that harsh.I guess if the coils were worn out it could cause the prob but I think its something else like worn out bushings like stabilizer bar links frt & rear. when I bounce front or rear bumpers car bounces once if springs or shocks are bad I would have 2 or 3 bounces that's what I've always been told.After reading thru some posts here other owners have the same problems and end up replacing everything I don't want to spend to much on this car.just fix the side to side movement .oh I do have a clunking sound from rear suspension
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post #4 of 36 (permalink) Old 07-10-2011, 01:38 PM
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Well the only way to see first hand is to get under the car and inspect the bushings. I know you don't want to spend a lot but any shot bushings need to be replaced.

I'm with Joe on this one though, your springs are old and worn out. if your other bushings are shot enough to make it rock like that then you probably need to replace a lot of them. Check the sway bar bushings would be a good start.

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post #5 of 36 (permalink) Old 07-10-2011, 02:25 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for input guys! this is my sons car .I used to drive it 3 or 4 years ago it wasant as bad then but now its a nasty ride.last time I checked the bumper bounce technique was 6 months ago.my bad sorry! I just went and checked it again and the front is defiantly bad 3 bounces and lots of side to side! so the shocks are shot I guess.they were replaced about 5 years ago or 15k miles .I think they were Monroe and I'm looking for the receipt to see what kind of warranty they have . the rear are still good
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post #6 of 36 (permalink) Old 07-10-2011, 03:24 PM
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Prob one shock totally shot for that side-side in the front. Stiill doesnt account for violent side to side, sway bar links are usual cause of that. Points to a broken link, as does the 'clunk in the back'.

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post #7 of 36 (permalink) Old 07-10-2011, 03:29 PM Thread Starter
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Here's some pic's of front suspension
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front coil D side
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post #8 of 36 (permalink) Old 07-10-2011, 05:30 PM
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UCA bushings need to be replaced, LCAs arent too bad but should be done in the next couple of years. Sway bar bushings arent too bad either, but you should get new end links. Yours looks better than my '89 did when I rebuilt it last year.

UCAs and and sway bar end links are pretty easy to do. I recommend Moog suspension parts.

Good luck.

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post #9 of 36 (permalink) Old 07-10-2011, 08:32 PM
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Agree with the UCA's and end links. Problem with having worn out/bad suspension parts mixed with good parts is the worn out parts cause the good parts to wear out faster. It's best to have everything in good shape.

-Kelly
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post #10 of 36 (permalink) Old 07-10-2011, 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by BlueEyes View Post
Agree with the UCA's and end links. Problem with having worn out/bad suspension parts mixed with good parts is the worn out parts cause the good parts to wear out faster. It's best to have everything in good shape.
Good point, I kind of had to do everything at once since it all looked like crap, but if the OP is short on money the UCAs and end links are definitely first.

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post #11 of 36 (permalink) Old 07-11-2011, 09:20 AM
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The UCA looks totally torn. We noticed this in our lemons tbird and under acceleration, we'd hear a serious "thunk". Good news is rockauto sells the Dormans as an entire upper control arm with bushing for only ~$20.

You might also want to check to see if your motor mount was blown. That was the source of the second "thunking" sound we found in the car. If your motor rocks significantly when you put it in drive, give it revs, and hold the brake, you likely have a blown MM.

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post #12 of 36 (permalink) Old 07-11-2011, 10:06 AM
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if the OP is short on money the UCAs and end links are definitely first.
Yes those are the obvious ones.

Check Rock Auto like Gunn said, you can get UCA's and front end links shipped to your front door for $85 or so depending on what brands you get. You should check the rear sway bar end links too. When you have the tires off look at everything and you don't have to replace everything right now but keep in mind what needs to be done next.

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post #13 of 36 (permalink) Old 07-11-2011, 02:06 PM Thread Starter
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Found these on Amazon comp units.can I do this myself in the driveway?I've got 2 floor jacks,jack stands,air commpressor, with air tools.how hard is this to do? I dont think I have to mess with the compressing the spring since its all put together right?
Monroe 171845L Quick-Strut Complete Strut Assembly
http://www.amazon.com/Monroe-171845L-Quick-Strut-Complete-Assembly/dp/B000C59KHM/ref=au_pf_pfg_s?ie=UTF8&Model=Cougar|720&n=15684181&s=automotive&Make=Mercury|56&Year=1993|1993&newCar=1&carId=001
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post #14 of 36 (permalink) Old 07-11-2011, 02:07 PM
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Quote:
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Good news is rockauto sells the Dormans as an entire upper control arm with bushing for only ~$20.

The bad news is it won't last a week.

-Matt
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post #15 of 36 (permalink) Old 07-11-2011, 02:22 PM
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Personally I went with the Motorcraft arms. They were the most expensive but that's my preference.

As long as the spring is installed on the strut it shouldn't be too bad. But seriously, if you just change the shocks and don't fix anything else the shocks won't last long.

-Kelly
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post #16 of 36 (permalink) Old 07-11-2011, 02:23 PM
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Found these on Amazon comp units.can I do this myself in the driveway?I've got 2 floor jacks,jack stands,air commpressor, with air tools.how hard is this to do? I dont think I have to mess with the compressing the spring since its all put together right?
Monroe 171845L Quick-Strut Complete Strut Assembly
http://www.amazon.com/Monroe-171845L-Quick-Strut-Complete-Assembly/dp/B000C59KHM/ref=au_pf_pfg_s?ie=UTF8&Model=Cougar|720&n=15684181&s=automotive&Make=Mercury|56&Year=1993|1993&newCar=1&carId=001
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Easy with the tools that you have. Thats all I used.

Just knock the bolt out of the LCA, let everything drop, and unscrew the three little screws on the top. The Monroes arent too bad for a middle of the road shock, thats what mine had when I bought it.

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The bad news is it won't last a week.
Yeah, spend twice as much for the Moog and have it last 10x longer.

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post #17 of 36 (permalink) Old 07-11-2011, 02:40 PM
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The bad news is it won't last a week.
Hate to disappoint you but both sides have lasted a bit longer than that already.

It lasted for 3 solid on the Thunderhill track without any problems. Between driving to/from the track + commutes to/from my storage garage (~50mi from my house each way), I've put several weeks if not months of equivalent DD driving.

This is NOT a part I would pass on to my kids as a "as a family heirloom"; I hate to break it to you but a tbird isn't that kind of car as well.

This is a tool and the Dorman part is perfectly serviceable for a great price (I mean literally servicable, too. These are grease fittings on the top of the upper ball joints).


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post #18 of 36 (permalink) Old 07-11-2011, 02:50 PM
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Easy with the tools that you have. Thats all I used.

Just knock the bolt out of the LCA, let everything drop, and unscrew the three little screws on the top. The Monroes arent too bad for a middle of the road shock, thats what mine had when I bought it.

Yeah, spend twice as much for the Moog and have it last 10x longer.
If you have one near you, Autozone rents spring compressors for free. I've used these several times as we were adjusting our front shocks/springs.
http://www.autozone.com/autozone/acc...mString=search


Once you have the car jacked up and the wheel off, here's a time that will make the process go much more quickly.
1) Attach the spring compressors to the spring as best you can. Make sure they are balanced (on opposite sides)
2) Knock off the bolt holding the UCA onto the knuckle.
3) Use a second jack to compress the knuckle. This will also compress the spring.
4) Tighten the spring compressors.
5) Lower the jack that is compressing the knuckle. the spring compressors, if they are short enough, should relieve the pressure the spring is exerting on the knuckle.
6) When you remove the top 3 bolts and the bottom bolt holding the strut assembly to the knuckle, you should be able to lift the whole assembly out w/o any fuss.

Also, watch out that you are NOT unduly stressing your front brake lines. I was worried we were gonna snap our SS lines a few times.
-g

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post #19 of 36 (permalink) Old 07-11-2011, 02:51 PM
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Hate to disagree but considering the track record of actual daily driving (a smooth race track isn't that) the elcheapo junk tends to have a failure rate of ~6 months. I in all good conscience would never recommend something like that on a street car.

Oh and thanks for breaking it to me I forgot family heirlooms these days were ****ty Hondas/Acuras.

-Matt

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post #20 of 36 (permalink) Old 07-11-2011, 07:31 PM
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Do NOT, I repeat, do NOT use spring compressors on the front springs! You do not need to compress the springs to remove the coilover assembly! There's never any need to compress those springs unless you're removing the spring from the shock, but use a wall compressor for that.

Get the wheel in the air and get the tire off. Unbolt and remove the pinch bolt at the upper control arm to spindle. I find these can be stubborn; once the nut is off soak it in blaster, then use a crescent wrench on the head of the bolt to rock it back and forth until you can knock it out with a hammer.

Next get the upper ball joint out of the spindle. Most of the time it goes without much fuss with a big whack to the UCA with a good sized sledge, but in the event it doesn't, I've used these to help coax them along:


Once the upper ball joint is out of the spindle, the lower control arm will drop a bit as the shock is fully extended by the spring. Next you have to get the bolt out at the bottom of the shock. This can be a royal pain or it can be a breeze. I didn't bother with it the last time I did work; I removed the coilovers with the LCAs as a unit since the LCAs were being replaced anyway. Might not be a bad idea for you either, if they ball joints aren't shot yet they will be soon. Not to mention the strut rod bushings.

Then out come the three nuts at the top of the shock tower in the engine bay, and it'll slide right out.

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post #21 of 36 (permalink) Old 07-11-2011, 07:41 PM
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This is NOT a part I would pass on to my kids as a "as a family heirloom"; I hate to break it to you but a tbird isn't that kind of car as well.
-g
I've seen a few passed on down the family here and just like any other older car it's value depends on what it means to you personally. Maybe you wouldn't pass it on but others have and do.

There is also a huge difference between function and application here. The reason you got a Tbird 8 months ago was to strip it down and race it. Once your race is over it will more than likely go to the crusher. Some of us have been driving these cars every day for 15+ years and know what will hold up and what won't. Maybe Matt exaggerated the life span of the Doorman UCA but he was trying to make a point to someone who is going to keep the car and keep driving it.

-Kelly
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post #22 of 36 (permalink) Old 07-11-2011, 08:15 PM
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I've seen a few passed on down the family here and just like any other older car it's value depends on what it means to you personally. Maybe you wouldn't pass it on but others have and do.

There is also a huge difference between function and application here. The reason you got a Tbird 8 months ago was to strip it down and race it. Once your race is over it will more than likely go to the crusher. Some of us have been driving these cars every day for 15+ years and know what will hold up and what won't. Maybe Matt exaggerated the life span of the Doorman UCA but he was trying to make a point to someone who is going to keep the car and keep driving it.
Exactly.

Also agreed as far as not needing a spring compressor for the front at all, use a wall compressor for that, but if you are getting a whole coilover unit than you dont have to even bother.

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post #23 of 36 (permalink) Old 07-11-2011, 08:25 PM
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Quote:
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I've seen a few passed on down the family here and just like any other older car it's value depends on what it means to you personally. Maybe you wouldn't pass it on but others have and do.

There is also a huge difference between function and application here. The reason you got a Tbird 8 months ago was to strip it down and race it. Once your race is over it will more than likely go to the crusher. Some of us have been driving these cars every day for 15+ years and know what will hold up and what won't. Maybe Matt exaggerated the life span of the Doorman UCA but he was trying to make a point to someone who is going to keep the car and keep driving it.
Thank you!!

I inherited my car from my dad after I started putting money into it to fix it up since he couldn't afford it. I intend to keep it on the road as long as I possibly can, eventually making it the "summer cruise" car and keeping it indefinitely. I don't like to cheap out on parts if there's any chance I'll never have to replace them again.

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post #24 of 36 (permalink) Old 07-11-2011, 09:31 PM
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That UCA is toast, I replaced mine with Raybestos ones from Rock Auto over a year ago and have not had any issues with them. I would replace the UCA's, then check the lowers and see if there's movement in them.

Clunking in the rear is more than likely the sway arm endlinks. A rubber mallet is your friend diagnosing clucks. Take it and LIGHTLY start banging on things till you get noise. noise = failed part. Being that your car is a 18 years old, many things in the suspension are due to be changed if they have not been already.

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post #25 of 36 (permalink) Old 07-12-2011, 01:43 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the info folks! I think I need to get the wheels off and do a better inspection will post pic's when I can. right now I'm leaning toward shocks with springs unit. I don't like compressing anything! also the UCA and wherever else I find to be bad.Eventually I will replace this car with something newer and more efficient but for now its fine.I know the car pretty good .whats been done and what needs to be done. and I want it to ride smooth and safe. heck if I was to put 600 or so into the suspension its cheaper than hassling with finding another car
Here's the front of the car. Cheers!
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post #26 of 36 (permalink) Old 07-12-2011, 11:28 AM
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Thanks for all the info folks! I think I need to get the wheels off and do a better inspection will post pic's when I can. right now I'm leaning toward shocks with springs unit. I don't like compressing anything! also the UCA and wherever else I find to be bad.Eventually I will replace this car with something newer and more efficient but for now its fine.I know the car pretty good .whats been done and what needs to be done. and I want it to ride smooth and safe. heck if I was to put 600 or so into the suspension its cheaper than hassling with finding another car
Here's the front of the car. Cheers!
Nice Cougar.

Heck, your car would be worth holding onto just for the fact that it drives better than most newer cars anyways. Get the coilover units, UCAs, and sway bar end links and you will be good.

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post #27 of 36 (permalink) Old 07-12-2011, 12:23 PM
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I've seen a few passed on down the family here and just like any other older car it's value depends on what it means to you personally. Maybe you wouldn't pass it on but others have and do.

There is also a huge difference between function and application here. The reason you got a Tbird 8 months ago was to strip it down and race it. Once your race is over it will more than likely go to the crusher. Some of us have been driving these cars every day for 15+ years and know what will hold up and what won't. Maybe Matt exaggerated the life span of the Doorman UCA but he was trying to make a point to someone who is going to keep the car and keep driving it.
Perhaps I was being a bit flippant here but I'm not saying the car is not worthy of passing down to your kids to drive (sorry for the double negative here). I know several of you folks have the MN12 across multiple generations and theres nothing wrong with that. At the end of the day, it may be a car you personal like but it's still a depreciating asset. Is the MN12 a "store of value" like a Piaget watch, a ferrari, a 911, or even a 60's mustang? Nope.

Market prices have illustrated this as you can just see what a pretty sweet tuned MN12 will go for today. "****ty Hondas/Acuras" are the same way. There's the value inherent in the vehicle as a vehicle but it's not like they are climbing in value. The good thing is that there is quite a bit of supply so if you crash your tbird (i've seen a lot of these threads here), another tbird you can put all your bits onto isn't that far away.

As for the future of my tbird post-race, I'm not sure. I hope it doesn't go to the crusher as I think there is a fair bit of life left in this chassis. 4.2L swap or M5R2 might really wake this car up.
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post #28 of 36 (permalink) Old 07-12-2011, 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by S4gunn View Post
Perhaps I was being a bit flippant here but I'm not saying the car is not worthy of passing down to your kids to drive (sorry for the double negative here). I know several of you folks have the MN12 across multiple generations and theres nothing wrong with that. At the end of the day, it may be a car you personal like but it's still a depreciating asset. Is the MN12 a "store of value" like a Piaget watch, a ferrari, a 911, or even a 60's mustang? Nope.

Market prices have illustrated this as you can just see what a pretty sweet tuned MN12 will go for today. "****ty Hondas/Acuras" are the same way. There's the value inherent in the vehicle as a vehicle but it's not like they are climbing in value. The good thing is that there is quite a bit of supply so if you crash your tbird (i've seen a lot of these threads here), another tbird you can put all your bits onto isn't that far away.

As for the future of my tbird post-race, I'm not sure. I hope it doesn't go to the crusher as I think there is a fair bit of life left in this chassis. 4.2L swap or M5R2 might really wake this car up.
-g
5 speed swap is the best performance mod you can do for your money, which is why I'm doing one.

MN12s arent really old enough yet to begin appreciating. But as the oldest ones (like mine) reach 25+ years old and the ghetto junkers leave the road I think they will.

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post #29 of 36 (permalink) Old 07-12-2011, 02:34 PM
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At the end of the day, it may be a car you personal like but it's still a depreciating asset. Is the MN12 a "store of value" like a Piaget watch, a ferrari, a 911, or even a 60's mustang? Nope.

Begone with your worthless piece of automotive machinery, my watch is more valuable than your car !!
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post #30 of 36 (permalink) Old 07-12-2011, 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by S4gunn View Post
Perhaps I was being a bit flippant here but I'm not saying the car is not worthy of passing down to your kids to drive (sorry for the double negative here). I know several of you folks have the MN12 across multiple generations and theres nothing wrong with that. At the end of the day, it may be a car you personal like but it's still a depreciating asset. Is the MN12 a "store of value" like a Piaget watch, a ferrari, a 911, or even a 60's mustang? Nope.

Market prices have illustrated this as you can just see what a pretty sweet tuned MN12 will go for today. "****ty Hondas/Acuras" are the same way. There's the value inherent in the vehicle as a vehicle but it's not like they are climbing in value.
And this effects our ability to pass these down why? If being a collector asset was the only thing that determined that, all we'd be left from the muscle car era would be 65-68 Mustangs, 69/70 Boss/Mach 1s, 69 Camaros, 69 chargers, and 70-71 Challengers and Cudas.

Ford Torinos, Mercury Cyclones, Mercury Cougars, AMC Javelins/AMXs, Even Dodge Cornets/Superbees ect. ect. are all cars that rarely hit $20k at an auction, most stall under 10. So are the people who've kept cars like those those alive for 40 years somehow wrong in doing so when such small minority is interested in seeing them and even less are interested in buying?

I've been around those high dollar collector car crowds since my dad took me to car shows/museums as a toddler, one thing that is common with most owners of Ferraris, Porsches and the cars I first mentioned is they generally don't know the first thing about them except the factory statistics, what options it came with and primarily how much they're worth. They'll hang with the groups of other "collectors" and talk about their investments and the next car or cars that are ripe for it.

In contrast, You swing over to the groups where the uncommon/obscure cars are and the conversation amongst the owners is usually about... the cars they own!!! And when you butt in and ask them about their cars, do they give you factory statistics? No!!! they will discuss in great detail literally every conceivable nuance associated with them and how it's better/worse/rarer/ect.

Those of us who've held on and continue to hold on will fit the latter, No we're not going to get rich doing so but that's not what being an enthusiast is about at all. It's about having a deep seeded appreciation of the automobile as a whole and the drive to continue preserving the piece of history, common, rare, stock, modified ect. you own.

-Matt

Last edited by XR7-4.6; 07-12-2011 at 03:55 PM.
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