February 2014 Ride of the Month is Rod's myhighschoolxr7 '67

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xr7g428
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February 2014 Ride of the Month is Rod's myhighschoolxr7 '67

Post by xr7g428 » 03 Feb 2014, 15:01

Can you imaging how cool it would be to have not just a Cougar, but a Cougar XR-7 when you were still in high school? Rod was that very lucky guy. To understand just why this was such a big deal, you have to understand the cultural impact of two words: British Invasion.

To most hearing the words "British invasion" might trigger memories of the Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show, or maybe the Rolling Stones "I can't get no satisfaction" on AM radio. But the invasion was bigger than just music, starting in about 1963 just about everything British was cool, and that surely applied to automobiles as well.. The best looking car was the Jaguar XKE, James Bond drove an Aston Marton, and real sports cars were called MGB's and Triumphs and Austin Healey's. And all this puzzled the auto execs to no end. To paraphrase one American auto exec: "To build a car like the Brits all we need to do is eliminate most of the technology, durability, and comfort and wrap what is left in leather, wool carpet and oil smoke". They simply could not figure out why Americans were buying British cars, but did notice that they were paying a significant premium to do so. Surely they could capture a bit of that easy money by adding more European flair to an American car. Buick paid homage with the Riviera, and Pontiac got Road and Track to compare their GTO with the Ferrari, but it was Mercury that would take direct aim with a new version of the Cougar, the XR7.

NEWS FLASH: At Mercury the development of the XR-7 was the job of John L. Eilertsen. Mr. Eilertson is also credited with the industry’s first production Racing Mirrors, Rear Deck Spoilers, Hood Scoops and Locks, and America’s first domestic production Moon/Sun Roof. And here is to the good news. I have reached him by email and hope to be able to interview him to complete this part of the story. Maybe we will finally find out what XR-7 really stands for! STAY TUNED!

In the mean time, Congratulations Rod! This car absolutely deserves to be our February Ride of the Month!

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Bill Basore, Editor / Publisher
Legendary Cougar Magazine
Currently in the Cat House
'67 XR7 GT 390 4 speed, AC, AM FM, Lime Frost Green
'68 XR7-G 428CJ C6, Tilt-Away, AM, Black Cherry
'68 XR7-G 390 4 speed, Sunroof, Cardinal Red
'68 XR7 GT-E 427 C6 AM Cardinal Red
'68 XR7 resto mod 351W, soon to be AOD, Black Cherry

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Re: February 2014 Ride of the Month is Rod's myhighschoolxr7

Post by mo2872 » 03 Feb 2014, 15:03

CONGA-RATS, ROD!!!!!!
T3
Yup, that guy, the hooligan.

Somewhere out there is a tree, tirelessly producing oxygen so you can breathe. I think you owe it an apology.

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Re: February 2014 Ride of the Month is Rod's myhighschoolxr7

Post by Jan-O » 03 Feb 2014, 17:18

Congrats Rod, very nice car :)

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Re: February 2014 Ride of the Month is Rod's myhighschoolxr7

Post by myhighschoolxr7 » 03 Feb 2014, 17:20

Thank you everyone! I wrote this up awhile back, and thought I'd just include it here in case you'd like to "hear" the story about my Cougar journey...

I am honored to be in the company of all the beautiful Cougars and their owners that I have seen here and met in person over the years. My Cougar story begins, as you might have guessed by my username, when I was in high school (1982 to be precise). Like a lot of guys, I had started looking for my first car before I even turned 16, and had started looking at Mustangs at first. But, a good friend of mine bought a Cougar and I quickly decided that was the car for me too. I started seeking out 1967 Cougars for sale and, if I found a likely suspect, I would talk my gearhead dad into coming along to give his blessing to the deal. It ended up taking quite awhile for us to find one that Dad would approve of. Yes, I had to buy it with my own money – Thanks to many summers of working on the various family farms - but Dad still got the final say to make sure I wasn't jumping in to something that would decorate the driveway more than it would get me from point a to point b.

My first Cougar – a 1967 XR7 with a 289 and an automatic transmission – only lasted me a couple of months. A guy blew through a stop sign and pulled out in front of me while I was traveling 50 mph or so, and that was the end of my first car.

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Above: The first Cougar, before and after shots. And, my friend's Cougar that started me on the path to being a Cougar owner (Yes, we were young and stupid.)

This is when fate took over. A few days after the crash, a good friend saw a 67 Cougar drive by his workplace. He hopped in his 73 Cougar right then and there and chased the guy down. He got the guy to stop and told him he knew someone who might want his car. Within a couple of weeks, the car was mine. This one, in significantly better shape than my first, an XR7 289 4 barrel car with a four speed. This was September of 1982, the beginning of my senior year of high school. A funny side note – the original owner of this car was my senior English teacher, and now I am a high school English teacher too!

It had a poor quality silver paint job, so I got it repainted in the summer of 83 – the original(ish) maroon color. Still, my budget only allowed a fair-quality scuff and shoot, but it looked great for a couple of years.

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Above: The day I got the silver Cougar - knobby knees and all (Just got home from cross country practice - Napoleon Dynamite?!). And, after getting it painted in summer of 1983. Lots of air in those air shocks!

A few years after high school, it seemed that college, work, and life in general meant the Cougar got left behind for awhile. I talked of selling it, but my dad convinced me I’d regret it. Unfortunately, however, we really didn’t have anywhere decent to store it, so it sat outside for many years. Very sad.

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Above: This picture was taken around 2003.

Finally, in 2003, with the help of family and friends, the process of restoring the Cougar began. Luckily I’ve got a friend who does amazing body and paint work, so my Cougar got to be the first car in his new shop and paint booth. (This is the same friend who first bought a Cougar back in high school.) I’ve got friends who are great with welding, mechanics, the works, so we help each other out with our projects, which keeps costs down. Some highlights of recent years include replacing the interior, a trip to Reno for Hot August Nights, converting the front to disc brakes, and the XR7G style exhaust. She is a very reliable car and I don’t hesitate to take it pretty much anywhere. And, while I would prefer not to drive her in the rain, the reality is that I live in Oregon so it’s going to get wet from time to time unless I want to just admire the car in the garage. My buddies and I go to lots of cruise-ins and car shows, and the Cougar even wins an award from time to time.

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(Not my house, just so you know.)

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If you want to know more about the car and the restoration, I encourage you to take a look at my blog (lots and lots of pics). The address is in my signature line below.

And again, thank you!

Rod

P.S. - Here's one more pic. I have a talented artist as my neighbor, and he did this for me (colored pencil):

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Re: February 2014 Ride of the Month is Rod's myhighschoolxr7

Post by mo2872 » 03 Feb 2014, 23:39

Great story, Rod, knobby Napoleon knees, and all! Your car is great, and long overdue as ROTM. Congrats, and enjoy seeing that banner for the next month!
T3
Yup, that guy, the hooligan.

Somewhere out there is a tree, tirelessly producing oxygen so you can breathe. I think you owe it an apology.

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Re: February 2014 Ride of the Month is Rod's myhighschoolxr7

Post by Blitz » 04 Feb 2014, 11:04

Congrats Rod! Great story and write-up and pics. That's a bummer about your first car, but it's a good thing you didn't give up on Cougars.

PS - We should probably meet up and do a photo shoot sometime, methinks you could probably find your way into the 2015 Calendar....
-Andrew Chenovick
Photo/Video guy for WEST COAST CLASSIC COUGAR, INC.
Side Gig: FLYING A PHOTOGRAPHY


RIDES:
-1968 Mercury Cougar: original family owned, Polar White, 289-2V, auto, AC / "Snowball" view project thread
-1973 Opel Manta: 1.9L, 5-speed (restored)
-1991 Mazda Miata: fun driver
-1986 Volvo 240: dependable beater / "Goldilocks"
-1979 Volvo 245: magnificently ugly brown wagon

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Re: February 2014 Ride of the Month is Rod's myhighschoolxr7

Post by Yorgle » 04 Feb 2014, 11:40

Congratulations. That's a great looking car. It reminds me of my high school 67 standard. Mine was even maroon for a while and got smashed in the front (my mom backed into it with a pickup truck). Yours is definitely calendar material.
1968 XR-7 Augusta Green, J-Code, 5 litre, Autolite 6100, 5 spd, convertible with heated seats, cruise control and rear sway bar.

BTW, I think electronic ignition is pointless.

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Re: February 2014 Ride of the Month is Rod's myhighschoolxr7

Post by zman » 05 Feb 2014, 11:06

Congrats Rod.
One of the purrtiest Cats out there.

The colored pencil drawing is excellent.
69 Cougar 351W 4V, FMX Auto, PS,PDB, AC
55 Ford 2dr Customline 302 4sp
06 Ford F250 SC 4x4
2012 Ford Fusion SEL
97 Arctic Cat Cougar 550 L/C
99 Arctic Cat Jag 440

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Al Bundy
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Re: February 2014 Ride of the Month is Rod's myhighschoolxr7

Post by Al Bundy » 05 Feb 2014, 14:25

Long overdue for sure. Congrats.
1974 Dodge Dart - daily driver
1963 Thunderbird Z code - raven black/red
1968 XR7 F code - diamond blue/blue
1968 XR7 J code - black/red
1968 J code - madras blue/aqua
1968 XR7 X code - lime frost/dark ivy gold
1968 GT-E XR7 W code prototype no. 500033 - cardinal red/black

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Re: February 2014 Ride of the Month is Rod's myhighschoolxr7

Post by CatsRock » 05 Feb 2014, 16:47

Congrats Rod, nicely done :beerchug: Would have congratulated earlier but had access issues :smoke:
08 Suburban
1973 XR7 351Q Vert
EX 1975 Cougar XR7
EX 1972 Cougar XR7 Vert
EX 1967 Cougar

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