Like everyone else said, I only have 160k miles on mine, it starts up immediately, doesn't smoke or use oil, had to replace the head gaskets, but don't know if that was cause or effect (the hose to the overflow maybe came off, so it is possible it was dumping coolant out that and eventually ran low, causing it to overheat, or from the design and aluminum heads on cast iron block the gaskets wore out), and the AOD, but that also went out in a spectacular fashion (emergency stopping from 85 MPH with an Explorer cart wheeling towards me on the interstate, guy behind me doesn't start slowing, I have to go off the side of the road, decelerating and braking on the serious rumble strips, then no more OD).
I have no problem with my wife and two kids getting in and driving it, it doesn't do long trips but that is because we have a 2000 Grand Marquis for that, but I wouldn't hesitate to take it on a 2k mile trip in the heat of the summer or anytime or weather. I wouldn't likely buy it for her to drive though, but since I have had it for 11 years, I know everything about it, no real suprises. I would probably buy some econobox craptacular car like a 3 year old Taurus or Corolla if I was buying for someone like that.
Since I took the time to do the head gaskets, and took it in the shorts with the AOD, I am keeping it around and on the street for as long as I can. I am even going to put money in it, and I put the 16 inch 7 spoke Cougar Sport wheels (early XR7 wheels) on it from my 97. I still drive it as much as I do as the 97, it is a dream to drive compared to even 2 year old economy cars.
97 Mark VIII LSC/Silver/Gray leather
97 Cougar 4.6 Sport/White Opalescent Tricoat Metallic /Gray leather down but not out?
89 Cougar LS 3.8/Oxford White/Gray velour/HG need replaced AGAIN
00 Grand Marquis LS/Vibrant White/Gray velour
63 Falcon 302/black and rust/shed isn't moving
82 F-150/Oxford White/dumb VV carb doesn't pass emissions