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  1. #1
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    Default Vent Windows

    I've always liked the Birds/Cougars with the vent windows, but they definitely are in the minority. Anybody know why there were so few? Was it an expensive option? Were they just unpopular? Does it give them any more collectible value since there were so few? The car I'm considering buying (fingers crossed) is an '86 Cougar (not sure of trim level) with 3.8, C5, and vent windows. Has the typical options (PW, PDL, driver's PS, P/mirrors, rear defrost, 14" wheels with wire spoke covers). Anything about those options that makes it rare? I was just curious. It's tan with a darker cocoa-colored cloth upholstery. And, it's got black mirrors instead of chrome. I thought black mirrors were a T-bird thing. Thanks for any feedback.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by fordman3 View Post
    I've always liked the Birds/Cougars with the vent windows, but they definitely are in the minority. Anybody know why there were so few? Was it an expensive option? Were they just unpopular? Does it give them any more collectible value since there were so few? The car I'm considering buying (fingers crossed) is an '86 Cougar (not sure of trim level) with 3.8, C5, and vent windows. Has the typical options (PW, PDL, driver's PS, P/mirrors, rear defrost, 14" wheels with wire spoke covers). Anything about those options that makes it rare? I was just curious. It's tan with a darker cocoa-colored cloth upholstery. And, it's got black mirrors instead of chrome. I thought black mirrors were a T-bird thing. Thanks for any feedback.
    My personal opinion as to why the vent window option is not commonly seen on these cars is due to a couple of different factors.

    At the time that these cars were introduced to the market, “aero” was the big word of the day. It was a time of major change in the styling of the FLM products and was pretty futuristic to many at the time. I think to most people, the vent windows could be looked at as an old fashioned feature or one that interrupted the aero styling of the new cars.
    Secondly, the vent window option was a stand-alone option and while it could be added to all trim levels, it wasn’t part of any option package. Most dealerships tend to order their stocking inventory with option packages to keep it simple and to be at a more competitive level for customers that are lot shopping. A typical lot shopper is likely to consider a car that is a few hundred dollars cheaper than a nearly identical car that may have a few more individual options tacked on to it.

    For 1986, the sticker price for the Pivoting Vent Windows option was $82.00

    I agree, the vent windows are a unique and interesting option. I’m probably biased because my car has them, but if I were to do it all over again, I would have made sure to get an ’83-‘86 car with them. With that said, I do think that they would look out of place on the sleeker ’87-’88 cars so I think Ford’s decision to eliminate them was the right one.

    As to the Cougar you are considering, depending on the previous owner(s) tastes, many things could have been changed or altered in 32 years. But two easy tell-tale signs that you have a GS or an LS is the style of the door trim panels and the carpeted rear deck lid panel. A GS door panel will have the door lock buttons below the door handle towards the map pocket. The LS trim panel has it positioned on an upswept panel. The underside of deck lid on LS’s had a carpeted liner installed and GS's did not get the carpeted panel.

    Good luck on the purchase.
    1985 Mercury Cougar XR-7 - 5-speed
    One of 1,246 built

  3. #3
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    BCA,
    Thanks for the info. I have since found out by checking trim codes (the owner sent a pic of the data tag) that it's a GS. It is Light Taupe Metallic, with Taupe interior. And I wasn't entirely correct about the mirrors. On the driver's side the mirror is still chrome; on the passenger side it's got a black mirror, which probably tells me that at some point that mirror got knocked off and all they could find was a T-bird mirror. No biggie, but if I buy the car, I'd probably swap the chrome mirror for another black one. I'm not a huge chrome fan. Your theory about the vent windows is probably right. I am one of those people who likes not having the same thing that everybody else has. I like to find the quirky or oddball things that make a car different from the pack. Like a rare paint color (or combinations), non-standard wheels, odd engine/trans combinations, or just options that didn't normally come together, etc. I was surprised at first that this car didn't have AOD. It's been a long time since I saw any vehicle without OD, even going back to the 80's. I'm also not sure I've ever seen that Taupe interior before. I kinda like it. It reminds me of a cocoa color. It's got the 14" wheels with wire covers, which I plan to swap out for some Turbo Coupe snowflake 16's with some little fat 225/50R16 tires. I even have the Cougar center caps to put in the snowflakes. I also plan to put a Turbo Coupe steering wheel in it, which is sportier and has more meat to grip. To buy it I'm going to have to sell one of my other pieces of yard art first (a '98 VW Beetle that's sat dead for over a year). This buyer is pretty desperate to sell, and the car will need a trans. I've found a C5 on Craigslist in my general area for $150, assuming it's OK. Thanks again for the feedback.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by BCA View Post
    My personal opinion as to why the vent window option is not commonly seen on these cars is due to a couple of different factors.

    At the time that these cars were introduced to the market, ďaeroĒ was the big word of the day. It was a time of major change in the styling of the FLM products and was pretty futuristic to many at the time. I think to most people, the vent windows could be looked at as an old fashioned feature or one that interrupted the aero styling of the new cars.
    Secondly, the vent window option was a stand-alone option and while it could be added to all trim levels, it wasnít part of any option package. Most dealerships tend to order their stocking inventory with option packages to keep it simple and to be at a more competitive level for customers that are lot shopping. A typical lot shopper is likely to consider a car that is a few hundred dollars cheaper than a nearly identical car that may have a few more individual options tacked on to it.

    For 1986, the sticker price for the Pivoting Vent Windows option was $82.00

    I agree, the vent windows are a unique and interesting option. Iím probably biased because my car has them, but if I were to do it all over again, I would have made sure to get an í83-Ď86 car with them. With that said, I do think that they would look out of place on the sleeker í87-í88 cars so I think Fordís decision to eliminate them was the right one.

    As to the Cougar you are considering, depending on the previous owner(s) tastes, many things could have been changed or altered in 32 years. But two easy tell-tale signs that you have a GS or an LS is the style of the door trim panels and the carpeted rear deck lid panel. A GS door panel will have the door lock buttons below the door handle towards the map pocket. The LS trim panel has it positioned on an upswept panel. The underside of deck lid on LSís had a carpeted liner installed and GS's did not get the carpeted panel.

    Good luck on the purchase.

    Lots of good points and I agree with you on the factors. Definitely would look out of place on the 87-88's but I really like the windows on my 83 and used them a lot. $76 option in 1983.
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    Does anyone have any idea where to get the weather stripping/seals/wipers for these cars equipped with the vent windows? The channel between the door window and vent window I only have 3/4 of the seal left so when I roll up my driver side window I get rained on still.

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    Try SteeleRubber Products. They sell some kits for these cars( not sure on those with wing windows). Do a search on here, I think someone did write up on this years back. Good luck and post up some pics of the car.
    87 Tbird LX w/Factory floor shifter 3G upgrade. Tinted Windows...85 Mustang GT steering wheel(non-cruise) 17'' Saleen SC style wheels,Front/Rear TC sway bars/poly bushings & Mustang GT steering rack...'05 Mustang V6 springs...93 Cobra MC & booster, MM adjustable C/C plates, Work In Progress....... ( On The Shelf---HO computer, 19lb injectors, HO cam, BBK headers, Explorer Intake, Cold Air Intake ,Phantom Gauges, Stinger stainless exhaust pipes )

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    I used a Ford Ranger channel run for my car with a vent window. It was years ago, but I got it through JC Whitney at the time. The 1980s Rangers also had vent windows so it was a perfect match. Hope that helps.

    EDIT: Rock Auto seems to carry a set, might be worth a shot...
    https://www.rockauto.com/en/catalog/...+channel,12412
    Last edited by EricCoolCats; 06-26-2018 at 03:54 PM.

  8. #8
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    Did A/C ever become a standard feature on these cars?
    If you opted for a no A/C car you probably would have wanted the vent windows.

  9. #9
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    For the Cougar, A/C was standard beginning in 1987. Before then it was optional on every model and trim level, but it was also in several popular PEP packages so a lot of cars had it.

    The "value leader" 1983-86 models (stripped cars) that dealers used to carry were often found with vent windows. You could get vent windows with crank windows as well. Just think how rare that has to be...

  10. #10
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    I really, reeaalllly want a vent window 83-86 Bird. Really.
    2015 Mustang GT Premium - 5.0, 6-speed, Guard Green - too much awesome for one car

    1988 5.0 Thunderbird SOLD SEPT 11 2010: TC front clip/hood ♣ Body & paint completed Oct 2007 ♣ 3.55 TC rear end and front brakes ♣ TC interior ♣ CHE rear control arms (adjustable lowers) ♣ 2001 Bullitt springs ♣ Energy suspension poly busings ♣ Kenne Brown subframe connectors ♣ CWE engine mounts ♣ Thundercat sequential turn signals ♣ Explorer overhead console (temp/compass display) ♣ 2.25" off-road dual exhaust ♣ T-5 transmission swap completed Jan 2009 ♣

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