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Topic: There's Another Cougar in Town! (Read 1258 times) previous topic - next topic

There's Another Cougar in Town!

I was at my local station gassing up the other day when I looked across the street at the custom wheel/brake shop and saw a familiar outline of a car parked around the back of the shop.  Just when I thought I might have had the only Fox Cougar in my little town, there's a silver '86 that looks to be in almost perfect exterior condition (you know I had to drive over and be nosy and look it over).  It's an LS, not one bit of rust I can see or body damage, gray leather interior, 5.0, and the holy grail is what I believe to be the rare factory sunroof.  It has the 14's with whitewalls and wire covers.  The most current sticker on the tag read 2009.  It 'appeared' to have new tires (yes, 14" whitewalls) on this 10-yr-off-the-road car.  I have no idea of its running condition or if it's a customer's car being serviced, or it's for sale, etc.  I intend to do a little more inquiring.  I'll keep everyone posted.

Re: There's Another Cougar in Town!

Reply #1
Well, I called the shop and asked about it.  It is a customer's car getting brake work done.  It was towed to the shop.  He's fairly sure it is not for sale.  He thinks he heard it's been sitting in a garage on blocks for a while, which might explain why the whitewalls still look new.  I went back and read Eric's option descriptions, and if it really is a factory sunroof car, it must be pretty rare.  It does not look like a hack job.  From the inside I could make out the sliding cover that matched the headliner color.  Couldn't see where the controls were (I was looking at it in the dark with a cellphone flashlight).  I asked the guy to tell the owner that there was someone in town who really liked her car and would love to talk to her about it.  Anybody else ever seen a sunroof car?

 

Re: There's Another Cougar in Town!

Reply #2
Worth chasing!
1988 Thunderbird TC, 5spd
Stinger single exhaust, Cone Filter, Adjustable Cam Pulley, Ranger roller cam conversion,
'93 Mustang Cobra replica wheels on 235/50R17

'16 F150 XLT 5.0
'17 Husqvarna TX300

Re: There's Another Cougar in Town!

Reply #3
I love the 86 5.0 cars!  Good luck.

Some different wheels and it would look killer.

What part of the country you in?
Mike

Re: There's Another Cougar in Town!

Reply #4
1986 sunroof car wouldn't have sliding shade for sunroof would it?  I had always thought factory sunroof up to 86 was the manual flip up or take it out style similar to what was used in the Mustangs until 93 (although they use a slightly different glass panel in both shape and size)  The factory sunshade on these was a louvered black plastic piece that fastened to the underside of the glass using quick finger release twist-locks at each corner.

The 87-8's went to an electric retract sunroof with the sliding shade.

Re: There's Another Cougar in Town!

Reply #5
@fordman3 : Awesome! Glad you found another one in your area. I hope you can get some pix...love to see that for sure.

@Vintage : There were power moonroof cars in late ‘86. They are incredibly rare, to the point where I’ve documented less than a handful in 30+ years. Most parts carry an ‘86 Ford part number. Now a lot of dealers offered aftermarket moonroofs but few, if any, had a sliding sun shade.

More info on them here:
https://www.coolcats.net/modelyear/1986.html

Re: There's Another Cougar in Town!

Reply #6
Thanks for the info Eric.  Its interesting to find out how Ford phased in and out changes or options spanning model years.  Makes you wonder if the reason the sunroof cars are so rare was because the dealers didnt know they could order it, or if Ford just wasnt interested in pushing it as an option unless a buyer really insisted.

Re: There's Another Cougar in Town!

Reply #7
I've always felt that Ford really wanted to have a power moonroof option in the 1983-86 body style a lot sooner than they did. Their competitors (GM G-bodies) had the T-top option which was certainly unique. But in a lot of ways, these cars also competed with GM's other luxury cars (Riviera/Toronado/El Dorado) which did offer a power moonroof a lot earlier than Ford. The flip-up sunroof, while a nice option, was not really luxury-oriented. Ford seemingly does things with no real rhyme or reason though.

Back a long time ago (like, when parts for these cars were still relatively available at Ford dealers!), I remember going through a parts book at the dealership. I befriended the parts counter dude and he let me peruse at will whenever I stopped in....learned a lot of stuff that way. Anyhow, I was looking at roof panels for my old black '86, because at the time I thought maybe replacing the roof panel with one for a flip-up sunroof would be smarter, instead of getting an aftermarket sunroof installed (which I eventually did). I remember being surprised to find out that for 1986, three roof panels were available: one solid, one for a sunroof, and one for a power moonroof. I'm like...hrmmm, never saw one of those last ones before, must be a mistake or maybe a part that was produced for a car that never existed.

Well, here we are. Now we know there were real factory power moonroof cars for late 1986. Too bad we didn't know about them sooner, we could have been on missions to save them all. ;)

Personally, I think they were a test bed for the upcoming 1987 models. Ford was supposed to have changed the body style for 1986 but they delayed it a year. The power moonroof was certainly one of the things they wanted to add then, which could explain why all the power moonroof parts have 1986 part numbers. Plus, the Mark VII was also slated to get the same parts around that time also. So with all the parts engineered and ready to go, installing them in late '86 kind of made sense in a "public beta" sort of way. From what I know, the factory power moonroof option for 1987 cars wasn't produced until Nov. 1986, so even that was delayed a bit. It's definitely a scattered timeline but interesting nonetheless.

Re: There's Another Cougar in Town!

Reply #8
To whoever asked my location, I'm in Madisonville, KY.  To Eric, would you like me to ask if I could take some pics of the car that maybe you might want to include on your page?  It would be great if I could do that with the doors open, but of course I could only do that with permission.  I feel only slightly guilty when poking around it in the dark with no one obviously watching, and even then I'm probably still on a camera somewhere.  Of course the doors are locked, so I wouldn't be getting in without someone allowing me to anyway.  I have no idea of its mileage, but there is literally not one speck of rust I can find anywhere, at least on external sheetmetal.  I'm betting the miles are low.  The leather interior looks crack and wear free.  If it were for sale, and the owner knew the rarity and considered its condition, I couldn't touch it anyway.  So Eric, if it were the 1986-only power roof option, would it have the sliding sunshade?  I could make out what looked like a single power switch right in front of the power window in the roof.  This is the only Fox Cougar I've ever seen with a sunroof, so I have no idea what original or aftermarket looks like.

P.S.  My name is also Eric, even though most members here go by usernames.  I just thought I would share.  Sorry if that's breaking protocol.

Re: There's Another Cougar in Town!

Reply #9
If you can get photos and some more info, that would be awesome. And if you can, the VIN...that might be handy to have in the future when referencing moonroof vehicles.

As far as I know, the 1986 moonroof cars were equipped exactly like their later counterparts. Factory moonroof cars have a roof console between the sun visors, with a single open/close switch and two push on/off map lights. The sun visors are shorter, and don't have the extension in the middle of a regular sun visor. I believe they were always lighted visors as well. The headliner will have a headliner-colored rubber perimeter around where the moonroof is. The sliding vent shade has a bunch of slits to let heat release. It should be the same color as the headliner although I've seen them in other colors. On the outside, the moonroof will have a bright (chrome) ring around the perimeter, and when closed it will sit absolutely flush to the roof. Aftermarket moonroofs were smaller and sometimes would stick up a bit.

The headliner is also different, it's lower to allow the moonroof slider assembly and motor, but that's difficult to discern by just looking through the windows. The other options above are a better determining factor.

Re: There's Another Cougar in Town!

Reply #10
Eric,
I'm going to call the brake shop back and see if they'll give me the owner's name/number, and see if she would let me take some pics.  I'm sure that's going to sound like a weird request.  The car seems to be covered in dried grass (odd if it's been kept indoors).  I thought maybe I could offer to wash the car in exchange for some photo ops.  What us car fans will do for our favorites, huh?

From memory, I don't recall seeing a roof console with switches in it.  Just a single toggle switch, maybe.  The sunshade I saw had no slots for ventilation.  It was solid fabric-covered, just like the headliner.  Like I have in my '05 Merc Mountaineer.  It did have the color-matched rubber or vinyl trim around the opening.  I couldn't tell if the entire headliner was lowered or not.  Is it possible that this is a very high-quality aftermarket unit?

First I'll ask for contact info, try to get permission for pictures, and see what history or other info I can get.  It's going to be interesting, for sure.

Re: There's Another Cougar in Town!

Reply #11
Eric,
One more thought/question.  Would the factory power roof option have a unique code that I could find somewhere, assuming I get to poke around in the car?  Old GM cars used to have all their option codes in the glovebox as I recall.  Thanks again.

Re: There's Another Cougar in Town!

Reply #12
VIN and the buck tag on the radiator core support are all I know of.
Mike

Re: There's Another Cougar in Town!

Reply #13
Hmmm...that's sounding more like an aftermarket moonroof, from the description. But you never know. I like your enthusiasm to just get info, reminds me of my youth LOL.

The VIN number on our cars, unfortunately, don't tell much of a story. Even the trim levels were generic until 1987, when they finally got broken down per model. As mcb82gt mentioned, the buck tag should have the MOONROOF letters stamped in if it's factory.

Re: There's Another Cougar in Town!

Reply #14
Eric,
The crazy thing is, I might be older than you (I'm 50).  But when it comes to my favorite cars, I've been known to do some unorthodox things as if I was a whole lot younger.  By that I mean, I'm still doing them!  If I see any car I'm interested in (sitting on a lot, I mean), the first thing I do is check the doors.  If they're crazy enough to not lock them, I'm looking inside.  I don't mean or do any harm, it's just how curious I am.  It may get me shot one day, who knows?  I figure, they left those doors open for me to check it out.  That said, if I do get good pics of this sunroof car, it will only be after I get authorization.  If it is aftermarket, it's a super good job.  I'll keep you posted.