Occasionally, however, I see something that helps me believe that at least one person in the American auto industry was using his brain for more than 10 consecutive minutes.
Today that gem in the junk heap was this '88 Cougar XR7. I'm sure some of you know of the Cougar, Mercury's small-ish coupe. The car has quite a storied history, stretching from way back in 1967, when it was the kin of the Ford Mustang, all the way to its anticlimactic demise in 2002 because of slow sales. The XR7 nameplate has for most of those years signified the high(er) performance version of the Cougar, and is a tad rarer than the base Cougar.
For some reason, clean, low mileage performance cars from the past, even if the performance too is indicative of the past, appeal to my sense of adventure. Would an '88 Cougar be a sensible car for a young family? No. Would it be a wise use of my non-existent money? No. Would it help me save the planet and lower my gas bill? Perhaps, if I drove only down steep hills. But something about it grabs my curiosity and won't let it go. It's big, it's loud, and it's red. And I want it.
Forgotten. Full ad
Creepy Cougar ad from 1987: