The February 2020 Ride of the Month is BlueStuff's '69 Convertible

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xr7g428
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The February 2020 Ride of the Month is BlueStuff's '69 Convertible

#1

Post by xr7g428 »

Thank you for the honour of being car of the month, it is among some nice cars for sure.



My name is Peter Ingram. I live in New Zealand. I am in my early 60's now, and I guess retired? I live in the southern suburbs of Auckland, NZ's biggest city of about almost two million in a country of five million. Aukland is mostly situated between to large harbours on the north island of the two major islands. The country is just a tad bigger than the UK, but a fraction of the population.

We are always told its a very green country, but one assumes those visiting are just being polite, its not until one goes to other places in the world we understand just how green we really are.
I've traveled a lot, mostly Asia, and can testify NZ really is green and normally lush vegetation.
We currently are having a hot spell with temperatures around 30 degrees C which is a shade under your 100 F.

Driving around in a convertible can be great, except when you stop and get fried by the hot sun.
I don't know what you see of NZ thru TV or news etc, so its hard to say if its accurate or not.
We have a unique claim that you can snow ski in the morning, and water ski in the ocean in the same afternoon, as every part of the country is no more than 2 hours from the coast. We are however, as far away as you can get from anywhere short of the south pole. In fact Heathrow Airport in London is probably exactly opposite on the globe. Economically speaking, we rely greatly on international trade and tourism. China has just overcome USA as our biggest trading partner, so when China sneezes, we catch a cold LOL! EG: since our biggest tourism comes from China, this virus has stopped every thing dead in its tracks!



Were do we sit on the world stage? As we are declared a nuclear free country, we don't get the status of ally to the US, but every US president states we are really , really, Really, REALY, good friends to America. Ironically, due to the international dateline, we were the first country to declare war on Germany and Japan,,,,,.......go figure...LOL!

In fact a mountain on our east coast is the first bit of country to see the new dawn every day.
The cost of living in NZ is probably higher than some country's because we have to import most consumer goods, although basic foods are probably a bit cheaper than some highly populated countries.

We drive on the left hand side of the road which is the right side of course....
Our car park is mostly Japanese cars, American cars are very expensive to convert to RHD but the Mustang is now available from factory in RHD and has proved very popular.

Fortunately my investments made over the last 20 years enable me to give up work because I can, not because I have to, although a heart attack two years ago make me cautious about attempting anything too physical.

I have been around cars, specifically Fords, all my working life. In fact my first job was parts boy at the local Ford Dealership in the town I still live in . My enthusiasm for cars and Ford started when my farther took to me to a nearby race circuit, were I would watch Boss Mustangs in 69, race against and dominate the Camaros and others . I think I was only about 13-14 then but they made a lasting impression on me. It helped that we always had Ford at home as well....

Strangely , my first car was actually a VW. After that soon became a British Ford Escort, then my first V8 Falcon. From then on I always had a V8 Ford in my life.

When I was watching those Boss mustangs racing I was determined to have one myself. It took me a few years, but I bought a 69 Hardtop mustang, but it didn’t look right so I got the fastback Mach-1 yippee! I did a ground up restoration on this car, I couldn’t resist it.
I had this car for 25 years, but it was so modified [nothing drastic though] that it was a dog to drive on the road. It did manage a 12.2 @ 110mph 1/4 mile on street tyres so I was proud of that .

Then one morning I woke up and decided it was time for it to go.... I advertised it on the Saturday, it was sold on the Tuesday, delivered on the Friday. I think it was way too cheap, but whatever.....
The upside was that I was then mortgage free on my own house, that felt good .

I've had a number of other cars before and since but they were just transport.
One itch I've always had was a Cougar, I saw it in "Her Majesties Secret Service....."
You know the one. I always thought they were understated compared to the go fast Mustangs. And ironically, rarer than most go fast Mustangs...!!

After selling the Mach 1, I was missing something. There was still something unfulfilled in me I guess. Long story short, I bought a one owner Australian 71 Falcon Ute [pickup].
I did a ground up on that, as well as fitting a 351W and Single rail 4 speed, four wheel disc brakes, and bolted on a Fairlane front clip, Magnum 500s etc. etc. And painted it Venom Red [AU Ford colour] Darn it though, it was too pretty to drive on anything other than sunny days or else I would have to wash it and polish it again .... As a result, it to sat in the garage for long periods. Soooo....you guessed it , I sold it, again too cheap.

Time passed, and yep! I got the itch still. I was wondering thru Mr Google and started looking at Cougars. BUT, it had to be a '69 and a convertible. I found one in Colorado: a one owner car originally from California so should be rust free ! Prices were all over the place, so I wasn’t sure if it was a good price or not @ $17,000 USD It had done a zillion miles but at that age so have I, a 351W 2v, FMX , and A/C. Not very much rust, but not as good in real life as the photos.



At this point I employed a sale agent to get a pre-purchase check done on it, arrange the sale, and get it shipped to the shipping co in LA.

ALL SELLERS ARE LIARS......
From the time I paid for it, till it was picked up, this 90 year old had creased every panel on the right hand side. He denied it, until he was shown photos taken by the truck driver when he picked it up, so no more denying that . His attitude, you got the car, I got the money, don’t care no more ...Grrrrr....



A few months later it arrives in Auckland inside a shipping container along with a few thousand dollars of parts. In NZ we have to go thru a sometimes ridiculous inspection to be sure it is safe to be driven on the road. No pass the inspection = no registration = expensive ash tray.

With out to many boring details I had to pay an authorized body shop to strip back all the welds on the left rear 1/4 and right rear 1/4 and all the welds on the sills, apparently USA body shops are renowned for cowboy repairs .

The body shop guy showed me a $100,000 Chevelle that had looks perfect, but was found to have chicken wire and glass mat stuffed in the sills....OMG ! I had to pay a fair bit to get all this done so I could register it and get it home. This process took about 4-5 months.

Thus began the renovations, I call it renovation rather than restoration, because I elected not to go that far, or it will be another garage queen! Of the many parts I brought with the car in the shipping container (shipping parts to NZ is killing me $$$$) I got a front suspension and steering set from I think was North West Suspension, or a name like that. I replaced all the bushes, top and bottom arms, tie rod ends. Drop arm, idler arm, rear shackle bushes etc. etc. . Then I replaced all the power steering components, trans and diff seals, radiator hoses fan belts,
As I mentioned earlier, I can't tackle the physical stuff anymore, so I had to pay a local workshop (specializes in USA cars) This essentially doubles the cost of the parts.

I had to put it on a chassis alignment machine and was pleased to see it was millimeter perfect!
Then I got it home and the clean up started, removal of 50 years of neglect, and built up crud.
I don’t know where to start the list at this point, but it was and still is considerably long.
But it is now at a level I am happy to drive around in.

At some point I will open a restoration page and show off what I've done so far, and what I'm thinking of in the future. It's not so much about owning something, but more about the personal satisfaction of creating something that will always be mine even if I sell it, it will always be my creation, unless of course a subsequent owner drastically changes it? Would I sell it? Have you got a DB9 to swap?

One regret is I didn’t discover some of the suppliers I now use earlier. Such as Don Rush and his crew at WCCC , their catalogue is consistent reading ....lol

Did I mention this was an actual "Barn Find" ....photo coming .
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

Bluestuff
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Re: The February 2020 Ride of the Month is BlueStuff's '69 Convertible

#2

Post by Bluestuff »

A barn find ...

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ssava
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Re: The February 2020 Ride of the Month is BlueStuff's '69 Convertible

#3

Post by ssava »

Great read! Beautiful car!
Congrats!
"Esmerelda"
'67 Cougar XR7 purchased September, 2017 to work on with my twin (14) year old boys
Franklin, TN

0F94M
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Re: The February 2020 Ride of the Month is BlueStuff's '69 Convertible

#4

Post by 0F94M »

Congratulations on the ROTM.. Love the color combination! My 70 vert came from Colorado too, sold new in California.
That is one destructive vehicle inspection... here in Michigan if you can hang a plate on it it’s good!
Nice Falcon and Ute too!
1971 XR7 429 CJ
1970 XR7 convertible 351 4V comp orange
CCOA and CATS member

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BossElim69
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Re: The February 2020 Ride of the Month is BlueStuff's '69 Convertible

#5

Post by BossElim69 »

Congrats and enjoy your Cougar. Hope to make it to New Zealand one of these days.
Brian Carpenter, President CATS classic Cougar club
67 Cougar road course racer
67 Cougar project car
67 Cougar GT
68 XR7-G trailer queen restoration.
68 Restomod
69 Boss 302 Eliminator
69 XR7 390 survivor
69 XR7 428CJ 4spd
69 standard convertible
70 Boss 302 Mustang
1993 Harley Davidson
2004 F250 diesel
2004 Jeep Overland 4.7L H.O.
78 Ford F 150 Ranger
08 Cobalt SS

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pellets4fuel
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Re: The February 2020 Ride of the Month is BlueStuff's '69 Convertible

#6

Post by pellets4fuel »

Congrats on ROTM Bluestuff. I thought that guy with the green car was going to be up there forever..... :mrgreen:
Sounds like it's a real bugger to get a car to pass an inspection there. So don't you need to convert to RHD as part of the requirements?
You really have it in great shape now compared to what you described in the write up, and it's still in the generations of Cougars that have headlight doors which I'm personally fond of.
Any before and after pictures?
Congrats again!
David Siedschlag
#16306 1967 Lime Frost S-code, Ivy gold interior built 11-1-66
3.25 Limited slip, 4-speed. Courtesy lights, sports console, whisper-aire, AM-8track, deluxe belts.
1989 Toyota truck, woodgas powered
22re 4x4

Bluestuff
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Re: The February 2020 Ride of the Month is BlueStuff's '69 Convertible

#7

Post by Bluestuff »

Generaly, cars over 20 years old are classified as “classic cars” thus are not required to be converted to RHD.
Technically, you would have to prove its a low volume car that was never available in NZ.
As long as it wasn't too unusual then the 20 yr rule would be the default rule to go by.
There are lots of inconsistencies between each certifier as to how hard they adhere to the rules.
EG, i had to put a third high stop light on the back of the car, but i know of another Cougar that came in with out requiring this addition.
Also not all cars have to go thru this invasive inspection.

We are at the wim of how the guy feels on the day as to how closely he looks ....lol

Is my car supposed to be on the home page top left hand ?

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xr7g428
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Re: The February 2020 Ride of the Month is BlueStuff's '69 Convertible

#8

Post by xr7g428 »

Is my car supposed to be on the home page top left hand ?
Actually it is there. You may have to hit Ctrl + F5 to clear the cache on your computer. Or try reloading the page. It's there in the feed from the site but your computer saves some parts of the page to speed things up. It will automatically clear the cache according to how it is set up every few days or so in the worst case.
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

Bluestuff
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Joined: 04 Nov 2018, 01:11
Location: NewZealand

Re: The February 2020 Ride of the Month is BlueStuff's '69 Convertible

#9

Post by Bluestuff »

Dont know how to refresh the cach on my iPad, but the ctl-f5 did the trick on my home PC Bill,
thanks for the editing..

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Mike from NH
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Re: The February 2020 Ride of the Month is BlueStuff's '69 Convertible

#10

Post by Mike from NH »

Congrats on RotM!

I think you bought the car in 2018? I’m glad it got the home it deserves!
1969 convertible 351W

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