Spring boarding off Thunderbolt - Land Cruisin

I ranked the top ten cars I’ve owned, totally arbitrarily. No official scoring models used, just the fond memories of cars gone by.  

10. 2000 Mercury Cougar

Nothing extraordinary about this one, just a mildly unique ride. It was a base model, but with the v6 and a 5 speed. This model cougar stirs up the original model fans as it’s a total change in platform, It was mildly entertaining to drive. Bought it from coparts with a wrecked passenger fender, cracked lower front bumper, and in need of a radiator. I think what put it on the list for me is that you don’t see a lot of them

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9. 2006 Acura TSX

First experience with a Japanese car - not that it really matters, just only one I’ve called my own. Little write up I did on it

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8. 2002 Buick LeSabre

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I don’t have any good pictures of this one. It’s was a Buick LeSabre after all. I low key love the styling of these and the motor is rock solid. I was gifted this one. It was my half sister’s who I helped get in to a Focus and the Buick was my thank you. It needed quite a few things to make it reasonable. Fun times working on a car in the parking lot of the condo I used to live in. It turned in to the money that bought me quite a few other cars on this list, which is another reason it’s made the top ten list

7. 2009 Ford Focus SES Coupe

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This was my first NEW car. My grandmother purchased it for me as a graduation gift from high school. I had a lot of firsts in this car. First - speeding ticket, at fault accident, autocross, road trip, college job, adult carerr, cold air intake and other ricer mods, and the list goes on. The Focus got me through to my first job out of college working for the company I had on my grill. the dealership I traded it in at actually sold it to someone I work with. I was able to get my # 14 poolball shift knob back thanks to finding the guy in the work parking lot.

6. 2002 Land Rover Discovery

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I wanted a Disco for a very long. I knew it would be a headache, but I had to have one. This was the second car purchased from the Buick being sold lineage. I ended up trading it for a 2004 Audi A6 with what turned out to be the dreadful 3.0 v6. The disco was a blast to toy around in. I did loads of typical douche bag stuff with it and had no regrets. It attempted to leave my wife and I stranded thanks to a frayed wired going to the third brake light blowing the fuse. A safety feature it turns out is the car won’t go in to drive if the brake lights are out. I am VERY proud to say my wife was the one who found the answer to why we couldn’t leave dinner that evening and figured out what fuse I needed to replace to get us home. End result I cut out the wiring for the third brake light. Its big flaw was that the blower motor wouldn’t turn on. The AC worked, but it wouldn’t blow. I took a road trip from Nashville to Indianapolis for the Indy 500 with it like that...it was warm. I eventually tracked down an issue at the fuse box and replaced it. Shortly after that it started to pour electrical fire smoke out the air vents while I was on a test drive attempting to sell it. Surprise, those folks didn’t buy it.

5. 1994 XJ6

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This started my love affair with Jaguars. This one particularly had a 350 swap done to it. I was young and hungry, ended up driving the freshly built motor too hard and blew it up. Fun while it lasted though!

From there I had a 1996 XJ6 and a 1998 XJ8. I loved the XJ6 and would own another one in a heart beat. Such a smooth ride with a 4.0 inline six upfront purring along. The 98 was after Ford stuck their hands in the pot and mucked it all up. The 4.0 v8 was a turd. It constantly had problems; pcv valve went bad, thermostat stuck (my high school prom night), timing chain guides failed (high school graduation day), and so on. I got my moneys worth out of AAA that year.

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4. 1990 Ford Bronco

This was the first purchase with the money from selling number the Buick LeSabre. Picked it up for only $1500, no major mechanical issues. A ton of small stuff though. I repainted (spray painted) the flaking paint on the passenger door, replaced the window regulator on the passenger side, four new speakers all around, rewired the fogs, rewired the rear window and replaced the dash switch (it worked, one of maybe ten that had a working rear window *sarcasm*), replaced the worn out seats and tie dye headliner with better junkyard parts, and many more small things.

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tie dye headliner

Rear main seal was starting to slowly leak as were the valve covers. Did the valve covers and a few additional gaskets. Installed a train horn with a 3 gallon tank in the center console. Loved that! I would love one in my current daily if I had the space.

3. 1987 Mustang 5.0 LX

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This was my first car. A terrible choice by my parents looking back on it. No air bags, no ABS, no traction control, and if you’ve ever driven a fox body in the rain you know you’re always just one small slip up away from a tailspin hydroplaning death. Yet that car and I survived. My dad helped me make this thing great. Bought it with an intake and exhaust otherwise she was totally stock engine wise. Swapped on a GT hatch, clear headlights, redid the red interior in white leather with red piping. It contrasted with the red carpet and accents so nicely. Major pain to keep clean however. I still regret selling it, but that’s the game I guess.

2. 2013 Fiat 500 Abarth

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You can read the write up I did on life with my Fiat below. In short, I fell in love with the Abarth the first time I drove one. I had to have one. It was in the top if not number one on my realistic cars to own one day list. It’s had plenty of things that should ding it in the overall car quality category, but dammit I love this thing. I’ve had it from 6/8 months now and every day it puts a smile on my face

1. 1996 Audi Cabriolet

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I love this car. Plain, simple I love this car. It holds the title for being the car I owned the longest, closely followed by the 2009 Focus. I learned so much about cars and this car/brand particularly on this one. I experimented with in car entertainment, subs, underglow, interior glow, OEM alternative options, and so on for the first time with this car. I replaced the sun worn leather with an amazing Black and Tan combo.

Swapped to winter package wheels. I met someone from the UK and over the course of about a year we finally trusted each other that we pulled the taillights off our cars and swapped them - straight up. All about getting the things you can’t have I guess?

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North American Standard Split Taillight set with white reverse lights
UK single piece taillight with red reverse lights and rear fog lights

And so you have it. My top ten cars I’ve owned ranked based on how I feel about them.

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To finish up the sales story of the Buick. It went as so:
Buick - $CASH$ - Bronco - $$BIG PROFIT$$ - Land Rover - Audi A6 (trade, all the regrets) - trade in A6 and Focus for 2012 MKZ - MKZ was sold and money went to some used car quick flips that ended up with some change that went down on the Abarth which is my current daily driver.

Honorable mention:
2012 Lincoln MKZ first car loan
2015 Lincoln MKC first lease
2012 Ford Escape first joint piece of credit between my wife and I