Unlike many of my friends, I was unable to afford a motorized vehicle, of ANY type during my high school years. I got around with friends, by jogging, or by riding my bicycle! But while I was in Panama, I decided to save some money and buy a new car when I returned to the states. In December 1983, I purchased a new 1983 Mercury Capri RS. IT was Mercury's twist on the Ford Mustang GT! A hatchback, with a 4-barrel carburetor, 302 V-8 engine, and a 5-speed manual transmission; although it had an actual higher top speed and nicer interior than the Mustang, they never sold very well. Probably due to the slightly higher price Lincoln-Mercury charged for them. I'll have to dig up a picture and scan it in one of these days...
In the spring of 1986 I then bought a new fire-engine red 1986 Mercury Capri, but with an automatic transmission and fuel efficient 6-cylinder engine. Nothing great, but when it DID run, it was serviceable as a family car. Unfortunately, between the burning wires, leaking air conditioning system, and some other problems this car had, it only lasted two years...
It was then replaced by a used white 1985 Chevrolet Camaro Z28, bought from a friend who was leaving Little Rock Air Force Base. It was then replaced by a blue 4-door, 1985 Pontiac Grand Am LE family style car; followed by a white 2-door 1988 Pontiac Grand Am SE, semi-sporty, but still a family car. I had to say goodbye to this car when I gave it to my ex-wife.
It was during the time frame that I owned the 1985 Grand Am when I purchased my first motorcycle. I had just reenlisted and when I was given my bonus check for re-enlisting, I realized I could buy another vehicle. I had to decide between a used car or a new motorcycle. The bike won and I bought a 1985 Honda CB600SC, the Honda Nighthawk.
After going through the normal acclimation process to learn how to drive a motorcycle (which is a nice way of saying this bike got dropped and abused while I learned how to operate and drive one well).
Finally I decided to get something faster (don't we all?) and purchased a 1988 Honda CBR600. Yes, the well known Hurricane! I loved the commercials Honda ran during this time frame, pictures of the Ninja man running from the stormy force of the Hurricane. Not very well hidden, but Kawasaki had apparently been Honda's target and the shot was a bulls eye!
The small CBR became my daily driver for over 2 years, in ALL kinds of weather, as my only form of transportation! Unfortunately I had to go overseas in 1990, for a while, and decided to sell this bike and buy another one when I returned!
I came back in late 1991 and had sticker stock at the prices for new bikes! Since I couldn't talk myself into buying another bike at the current dealer prices, I did without. Fortunately I had a friend who was now going overseas for awhile, and since we rode often together on our bikes, he asked my to take care of his car for a year!! What a guy!! So, I had his 1991 Plymouth Shadow to drive for a year while I convinced myself to buy another bike,
When I got back to the states in December 1993, I went to the Honda shop to see what had happened, caught up on the bike changes and discovered sticker shock! It took me two years to talk myself into buying another motorcycle. I picked up a new 1993 Honda CBR1000F, yep, the big Hurricane, but now called the CBR1000F. When I want speed, this is my vehicle of choice; and on good weather days, my commuting choice as well!
As I left the military and started out in the civilian world I decided I would need another four-wheeled vehicle for bad weather days (as now I didn't have the ability to keep all my clothing at the office) and during my long term vehicle search I found a used 1993 Ford Thunderbird SC. The big, yet semi-sporty Thunderbird in Super Coupe trim. Yes, I became a fair weather rider with the purchase of this vehicle!
My girlfriend owns the 1999 Ford Taurus SE, it is a very nice car for traveling for 2 people. She got rid of her older Toyota Corolla for this car (very good decision in my opinion)! The Toyota had problems getting out of its own way... <g>
When we had the occasionally need for a pickup, I either borrowed one or rented one. But I was ALWAYS on the lookout for a nice truck and after about a year and a half of looking, in November 2000, I found a 1995 Ford F150 XLT. A nice looking custom truck, done over by Choo-Choo Customs out of Tennessee. It has become my current daily driver during bad or inclement weather vehicle.
While not seriously in the market for a vehicle, I am ALWAYS looking for a good deal. I recently came across a little information about the 2003 Mercury Marauder. The cousin to the Ford Grand Marquis, but a cousin with an attitude! But I'll bet it will be expensive! Perhaps MORE than I would spend on a vehicle, besides, I'd have to give it a year to see what bugs and defects are present (and more importantly, how they are fixed by Ford)!!
In the meantime, turns out I found something to replace the 1995 Ford F150 XLT with. On April 20th, 2002 I became the proud owner of a 1999 Ford SVT F150 Lightning, #2565 of a build of 4000. It was in great shape with only 12,100 miles!!
Although I was happy with the 1995 F150, but it was a very tight squeeze getting it into the garage!! It fit in the garage (when I pulled it in by hand) with about 1.25 inches of clearance in the back and a little over 2 inches in the front (it just BARELY cleared the garage hinges as the door closed)...
I was concerned I might end up hitting the interior back wall if I ever came in with wet tires from a rain storm or during extreme cold (and ice). Needless to say, NOT very much room for error!
The SVT, so far, has been awesome. Turns heads everywhere and gets compliments any time it is stopped somewhere. Check out the SVT information via the link to see the pictures and what changes have been done. Since I like stock vehicles, there won't be much!