Many, many miles...

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Yorgle
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Many, many miles...

#1

Post by Yorgle » 27 Jul 2017, 09:11

Driving back from boy scout camp with my son, a couple other scouts, and a week's worth of camping gear somehow packed into my 68, I got to thinking back on the many miles my faithful cat has traversed since 2004-- 83,000 and counting. In addition to daily commutes through wind, rain, ice storms and snow, she's taken me to Kansas to dance with my daughter on Valentines Day. She rode a ferry to Madeline Island so my wife and I could have an anniversary weekend. She's been from one end of Wisconsin to the other countless times chasing after parts (did you know that an AOD can fit into the trunk of a 68?) She's been in parades, car shows, and sat sadly in airport parking lots. She's hauled groceries, lumber, pets and babies. An accident in 2015 took her off the road for about three or four months, but other than than, she's been in nearly continuous daily use since 2004. Not sure I would have done that with any other vintage car. I think it's a testament to the foresight that the designers had back in 68 that their creation would still be stylish and functional 50 years later.
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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1969XR7Vert
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Re: Many, many miles...

#2

Post by 1969XR7Vert » 28 Jul 2017, 10:56

:beerchug: Jody, you 'da man!!!
Isabel, the realization of a seven year long dream:



Canted--Texan on the351cforum: "One of my most impressive attributes is that.......a lot of people don't like me.....or the horse I rode in on"

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Don Rush
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Re: Many, many miles...

#3

Post by Don Rush » 28 Jul 2017, 11:18

That's awesome... I can vividly recall the day I bought that car outside Seattle in 2004. Lin, Neal and I had traveled together with a truck and trailer from Oregon to buy 3 Cougars, Lin trailered the non-runner and I drew the short straw and got the car that was iffy on whether it would make the 4 hr trip back to OR. No problem!

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badcatt
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Re: Many, many miles...

#4

Post by badcatt » 28 Jul 2017, 11:57

Don Rush wrote:
28 Jul 2017, 11:18
That's awesome... I can vividly recall the day I bought that car outside Seattle in 2004. Lin, Neal and I had traveled together with a truck and trailer from Oregon to buy 3 Cougars, Lin trailered the non-runner and I drew the short straw and got the car that was iffy on whether it would make the 4 hr trip back to OR. No problem!
As I recall, it was well after dark when we were heading back too. Not the best time of day for a first long trip in a unknown car.
Neal Jacobson.
1970 XR-7 White "Ginger"
1970 XR-7 Convertible Blue
1971 XR-7 Bright Blue with Blue "Up Beat" interior
1970 Standard 428CJ Competition Yellow The New Money Pit.
See ya on the hiways,
The political and commercial morals of the United States are not merely food for laughter,
they are an entire banquet
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- Mark Twain -

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Don Rush
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Re: Many, many miles...

#5

Post by Don Rush » 28 Jul 2017, 13:36

I chickened out and stayed at a motel, you guys motored on.

DallasG70
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Re: Many, many miles...

#6

Post by DallasG70 » 05 Aug 2017, 23:56

Great story, Yorgle. Just picked up my '68 XR7 in June and have plans to put a couple thousand miles per year on her creating some of those same kinda memories. The comments that followed your post reminded me of my first trip in the car after buying at the Mecum auction in Portland. She started and drove okay so I figured it'd be up for the 150 mile trip back to the Seattle area before shipping home to Virginia. My son and I rolled the dice not knowing the history of the car and made it to within 15 miles of our destination before overheating. It was a great first trip with a couple of "thumbs up"s on the way up the interstate. Looking forward to a long and eventful ride over the next few decades with this new addition to our family.

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1967 S Code
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Re: Many, many miles...

#7

Post by 1967 S Code » 06 Aug 2017, 09:29

Jody that is quiet impressive. Especially that you drive in the Wisconsin winters. Add some photos of those trips and daily commutes. You know how we like photos.
Steven
Image

Our Cougars

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1967 Standard
Dan Gurney Special

6.5 Litre, Black / Black, AC Whisperaire, Am/FM, Sports Console,
Front and Rear Bumper Guards, Clock

1968 XR7-G
302 4V, Lime Frost / Black Leather, AM/FM, Black Vinyl, Tilt-A-Way
Heavy Duty Suspension, Power Disc Brakes, Rader Wheels


1968 XR7-G Hertz
390 4V, Black Cherry/ Dark Red Leather, Black Vinyl, Sunroof, Tilt-A-Way,
Cruise, Rear Defrost, AC Whisperaire


1968 Convertible Conversion "Top Cat"
Standard, 302 4V, XR7G Console, XR7G Front Valance, XR7S Taillight Bars

Caleb
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Re: Many, many miles...

#8

Post by Caleb » 07 Aug 2017, 18:56

Yorgle you probably do more miles than most in their classic cars. What to you has been the best investments you've made in the car to keep it enjoyable as a daily driver?

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Yorgle
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Re: Many, many miles...

#9

Post by Yorgle » 08 Aug 2017, 14:57

Yorgle's top 10 recommendations for an enjoyable daily driver classic Cougar:

10. Start with a solid car. Daily driver use is brutal and the car is going to start rusting soon enough. It's a lot easier to deal with new rust than old rust.

9. Solid state electronics, like ELFI and Pertronix. 'nuf said. Avoid the repop ignition products (regulators, solenoids, etc.-- they look good but don't last).

8. Skip the performance tires and go for whatever the local grey-beards are running on their Town Cars and Grand Marquis. Think Michelin and Tiger Paws, here. Quiet rollers keep things smooth and comfortable.

7. Tell the NAPA guy to put the Flowmaster catalog away. You're not after noise. Tell the parts guy you want "old man" mufflers.

6. Comfy seats. I wasn't in the mood to drop thousands on repop leather for seats that were uncomfortable to begin with, so I retrofitted Jaguar seats into my 68. Heated seats are a bonus.

5. Halogens with Rocketman's relay kit for the headlights.

4. Engine bling. I get asked to pop the hood at just about every gas stop so it's worth it to have something to show folks. In my case, I get much ooh and ahh from the 3 carbs, oval air cleaner and finned rocker covers.

3. Rear anti-sway bar. Adding this to my 68 made a HUGE improvement in ride stability.

2. Overdrive. Whether you get it from an AOD, T-5 or GearVendors add-on, keeping RPM's below 2500 at speed is an absolute must. Even if you can stand the noise churning away at 3500RPM on the interstate, you soon won't be able to afford it.

1. Invest the extra few minutes of time and spare change to keep all the little stuff working. Nothing kills the fun of driving more than an annoying squeak or rattle in the suspension, leaky weatherstrip, or a gauge or light that just sits there, dead on the dashboard. Cars with smoothly operating door locks and working clocks just seem to start better and run smoother.

A few bonus tips:

Keep in mind that working on these old cars is fun in itself, so the extra bit of maintenance required to keep a driver reliable isn't really work. I usually schedule two or three "car spa" weekends per year to take care of maintenance stuff like oil changes, tune-ups, suspension lube, etc. At least once each fall I spend an hour or so underneath with a wire brush, some goggles and can of chassis black and deal with any emerging rust.

Take care of any body issues the instant they appear-- don't fall into the trap of waiting until the next total repaint. By then, those small issues will have become major body work.

Keep the shiny side of the car clean, but leave the underside a greasy mess. Nothing preserves metal quite like good old grease and grime. Trust me, all that time spent on cleaning and painting control arms and springs is time wasted-- they will be a rusty mess after a single winter in Wisconsin. But if you leave those same parts coated with grease, come spring, you'll still have shiny metal underneath.

The sun is your enemy, even more so than snow. Keep your dash covered as much as possible.

Remember that to have an enjoyable driver you have to actually drive it, which means you are NOT going to be restoring it. As soon as you go down the restoration path, you're daily driving days are numbered. Avoid reading through build threads like ECI Bob and Steven's convertible conversion. They will just depress you because there's no way you are going to do anything near that level of quality and still be able to drive your cat to work the next morning. Learn to live with "that'll do it" and "good enough."

Most importantly, remember that your wife's van is NOT your backup vehicle. Anything you do to your car MUST be finished by morning!
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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xr7g428
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Re: Many, many miles...

#10

Post by xr7g428 » 08 Aug 2017, 15:34

Very good points there. We gray beards might know a thing or two... LOL!
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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