not all shadows are dark, 2011 Mercury Cougar nationals

wow it’s been over a month since i’ve had time to sit down and write about my life and photography. here is the reason, i’ve been working so hard on this ‘ THE CAR PROJECT ‘ and it’s taken over our life.

1970 xr7 convertiable

1970 xr7 convertible

i would suggest if you’re ever thinking of restoring a classic car you pinch yourself until you come back to the real world. everything i’ve heard from people who’ve done this is buy it all ready done.

that’s certainly my advice having spent years crawling around over & under this car spilling my blood in places i never dreamed of, never mind making up new and original curse words. they say let the professionals do if and i probably would if i can find any. there are very few craftsmen out there working on rebuilding classic cars, but they are out there they are few and far between.

not sure how we did it but the last piece of the car came to us, well last piece might be a misnomer as there are always more things you can do, on tuesday before the friday 2011 national cougar car show, in bridgewater nj hosted by the Cougar Club of NJ/PA.

mary drove the xr7 down with me following with the cat behind her, i could just see her head sticking up above the seat but couldn’t get any pictures, oh well. i thought this was pretty cool with both of us going to the show as i never had anyone in my life interested in doing this with me.

Parking lot

i remember my only other national cougar show in 2003 where i was alone which isn’t half the fun. no matter where or when these are always given in parking lots which on hot days aren’t too much fun standing around, but mary came prepared.

mary's umbrella and xr7 convertible

at least the hotel had a swimming pool which we soaked in daily helping to refresh ourselves before dinner.

the first night we arrived there was a cruise through somerville nj which during the summer has a huge impromptu car show with people parking their classic and antique cars along main street along with a dj in front of the church.

main street

1958 impala

we ate a mediocre italian dinner in a restaurant that had signs saying it was a famous nj restaurant. oh well so much for signs unless they come with lightning bolts. but back at the campgrounds and car show.

2011 cougar nationals

more cars

eliminator line

but this post is about our experience at this show. what with all the time spent on judging the cars with mary learning all she didn’t have on the car i.e. stickers and autolite rubber hoses along with some of the wrong parts, not even ford parts. so buyer beware. see the winners pdf list here or offical pictures here.

mary & i

the kiss

we did go to the awards dinner with me not expecting anything because it after all just a learning experience. the hotel offered some strange choices for dinner we kept with chicken which was pretty good considering how lacking in taste everything else was. i always do like to win door prizes as they can be quite nice. when it came to judging my category Daily driver i was completely surprised the Cat won. woo hoo. personally i’d rather gotten the chrome valve covers but hey can’t have everything.

the cat

but this story is about the xr7

1970 xr7

1970 mercury xr 7 cougar convertible

1970 mercury xr7 cougar convertible dashboard

so if you’re driving around the country side and see a red 1970 mercury cougar convertible go by wave and say hello. there aren’t too many of them out there, only under 500 out of 1700 produced.

next is the hard part figuring out where and when we will drive around across the United States and what to see when. we haven’t yet named the xr7 other than SHADOW in memory of our beloved dog who we wanted to share this adventure with. old age and pain had diminished her life where it just wasn’t as much fun anymore. we all have that to look forward to.

Cougars aren’t all that popular with the muscle car people like cameros & mustangs but i love my cars. here is a testimonial from a cougar owner.

I LOVE that cougar! Just that one time that the old lady with the walker (with tennis balls on the feet) and the arthritic fingers (she must have been at least 80 years old) stopped in the middle of the Casey’s parking lot while following her husband into the store and gave me a thumbs up, convinced me that it really is a special car. If I did the math right, that gal most likely was about 25-35 years old when my car was new. And she still thought enough of it to risk letting go of her walker. It just made my entire year…LOL! I laughed on the way out of the parking lot, reflecting on her jesture…her thumb was so bent from arthritis she might have been trying to hitch a ride with me…it really wasn’t straight up in the air, kind of bent off to the side…but I got the message. Every single time I go out in it, somebody tells me how much they like it. Just the fact that they don’t make them any more makes them more valuable to me than any Mustang could ever be.

as that old singing cowboy sang……………’ happy trails to you’



2 Responses to “not all shadows are dark, 2011 Mercury Cougar nationals”

  1. Mary Durante Youtt Says:

    Yes, it was a learning experience to say the least. Having most of the work behind us feels so good and it is a really great looking car. Three years, a lot of sore muscles, blood and sweat. Keeping us hydrated and in the shade of an umbrella was my job along with fetching tools, holding up the other side of fenders, doors and hood. Cleaning 40 years of dirt, grime and grease from all the parts Jene dismantled, spraying rust inhibitors before painting. Grinding down the welded seams, sanding, shining and buffing chrome. The guys at Gavin’s Auto Body parts and I are on a first name basis. Then there was the massaging cramped legs, hands and aching shoulders.

    Seeing you beam when other Cougar owners admired both the cars was worth it.

    Sharing a dream of getting it road ready – PRICELESS. We DID IT! YAY…

  2. make a car Says:

    Nice post. I learn something more challenging on different blogs everyday. It will always be stimulating to read content from other writers and practice a little something from their store. I’d prefer to use some with the content on my blog whether you don’t mind. Natually I’ll give you a link on your web blog. Thanks for sharing.

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