1982 Mercury Cougar GS Wagon

Somehow I’ve stumbled across another one year only wagon, this is the 1982 Mercury Cougar wagon.  It’s the sister car to the 1982 Granada wagon that I found a while back.  I spotted this guy down near the Mexican border and the Granada out in California, I’ve never seen one around Phoenix.  There’s always something special about seeing an older boring car out on the road for normal use.

1966 Mercury Monterey Sedan: Ford’s Middle Child

Back in the 1900s, an Austrian psychotherapist by the name of Alfred Adler came up with an interesting idea. Adler believe that one’s birth order was a major influence on the personality of a person.

For example, Adler believed that in a family with three children, the oldest and youngest children received the most attention from the parents with the middle child often being “forgotten.” Although Adler didn’t have any scientific research to support his theory, the idea of birth order is still well-known today.

So what does all this have to do with cars? Well for a long time, the Ford Motor Company was a family of 3 brands: Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury. Ford was the original and the oldest brand with the largest offering of cars, including entry-level vehicles. Lincoln was positioned as the luxury brand, maker of the finest vehicles that Ford had to offer. Then there was Mercury, the brand caught in the middle. Continue reading

1966-70 Ford Falcon Wagon

This is the “better parts of a lesser car” that America’s famous pony car was built off of. Well, not exactly this generation, but it was this model that spawned a crazed motoring youth. It forced General Motors (with some nudging from a close-minded, attention-seeking, young political activist) to abandon the Corvair, and to move the early BOP Y-bodies to a body-on-frame A-body platform. We’re talking about a car that kick-started the golden age of horsepower somehow by just taking grandma safely to her bingo games. The good ole harmless Ford Falcon. This particular Falcon is the last of it’s kind, and is the embodiment of everything it was meant to be.

Let me explain why: Continue reading

Hella-tyte wagon

I love wagons so much, so it pains me to see this very attractive Accord wagon with these Jet-Set-Radio looking stickers on the back, rocking some wheels that were probably brand new when the car was. Don’t you wonder what connects our generation’s enthusiast to the utilitarian wagon?

One of my favorite cars I owned was a 1994 Mercury Sable wagon with a 3.8L V6. I got rid of it after it blew a head gasket (don’t act surprised) but man did I love mobbing that thing around town with it’s torque-steer inducing big six (compared to the 3.0L Vulcan) and the back seats folded flat. I would love to have another, it’s just too bad that the front transaxle would probably spew its guts if I did anything to hop up the Essex underneath.

UPDATE 05/23/13:

After posting this article on facebook it’s gotten a lot attention. Mostly negative towards me and my dislike for all things big-wheeled and ground-dragging. To each their own, I suppose. However, the owner Brian Salamunec has a pretty good sense of humor and enjoyed seeing the article. For those interested in this kind of car, I’m providing some links to the above 1996 Accord Wagon, and an even further modified 1997 wagon that was completed approximately a decade ago according to the owner.

1997 Accord EX Wagon link 1

1997 Accord EX Wagon link 2

1996 Accord Wagon Link 1 (the above car)

 

1978 Ford Granada ESS Coupe

When things got weird in the 70’s with gas prices and emissions laws this little guy came around. It was one of the more luxurious compact cars around with the intent of easing people who were used to large cars into smaller cars. These first generation (1975-1980) Ford Granadas were based on the 4 door Maverick (the second generation Granada went on to ride on the Fox platform like every other Ford). There were 4 engine options, two I6 models, a 302, or a 351 Windsor. I don’t know too much about these cars and I wasn’t able to track down the owner (not sure if they work at the smoke shop, Goodwill, Kmart, or the pizza place.. but let’s not judge) so who knows what is going on under the hood. I’m not even certain what year this car is but they did switch to square headlights for the 1978-1980 model years, so it falls somewhere in there. 

This car is the ESS (European Sport Sedan) model, even though it’s obviously a coupe. The ESS trim level is basically just a couple of blacked out body parts, some fancy wheels (not pictured), buckets seats, and possibly a heavy duty suspension setup.

I like that this car is daily driven, I see it all the time. I also like that it is not beat to piss or modified in any sort of ridiculous way, although that hood scoop is pretty atrocious. It makes me happy to see an old car being driven around fulfilling the simple duty of just being an old car.

In an interview with AAA president Obama mentioned that his very first car was a Granada:

“The Ford Granada was not the peak of Detroit engineering .. It rattled and it shook, and I don’t think the girls were particularly impressed when I came to pick them up in a Ford Granada .. But you know what? It moved and so I have fond memories of the fact that it got me to where I needed to go. That’s about all I can say about the Ford Granada.”

I don’t have much to add to that, he summed everything up nicely.