Labor of Love (aka money pit)

Both Jene & I always wanted to own a convertibles. He’s a Cougar kind of guy, me I would have preferred a Mazda Miata – zoom, zoom or Alfa Romao’s Spider Veloce.

When Jene started searching the internet for Cougars, I thought what the heck. He bidded on a few and lost on ebay. Searched Craigs’s List… We drove out to Poppi’s in Long Island, Jene took the 1970 red convertible for a spin, liked what he felt and I wrote a check for $$$$. It’s an XR7, not in the best of shape but pretty rare commodity as only a 2,322 convertibles were manufactured that year. We got the paper work and a week later drove that baby (along with some new floor pans and some extra parts) back to Jersey.

Took the car to a few body shops and settled on a place in Wayne who’s price was reasonable… took twice as long to do the driver’s side floor pans and cost twice as much as expected. (hence – the money pit) Jene was not thrilled about the quality of work and pulled the car out before the passenger’s floor pan was touched .

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Still searching for an autobody shop, we drove to Frankie the floor guy in LI. Great work, but he didn’t want to give Jene an estimate until we had found the new doors, and quarter panel. Thanks to the internet an easier search for suitable body parts. Jene drove to Carlyle, PA (major Ford/Mercury car show) & bought a quarter panel from a guy he found on the web. The 2 doors were going to be sent via Trailway bus from CA. We picked them up at Penn Station in Newark on the 20th.

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… and I helped. we took the passenger door off and put the new (used) one on after taking it apart, cleaning all the mechanisms and putting the pieces back together. Tried to align it, taking it off and putting it back on a few times before realizing that the easier way to adjust the hinges was to take off the fender. No problem! except the fender had been tack welded on. At every turn we opened pandora’s box.

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Anyone who has restored an old car or house, can relate. Bolts got twisted off. Drill bit broke when trying to get the broken bolt out… So we have spent the past 2 weeks working on the car in between doing whatever it is we artists do.

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Jene’s first baby … 1967 Mercury Cougar that has been with him for over 20 years. This one was a California car – NO RUST !

Another weekend is upon us and if the weather would cooporate, we can get the other door on and put the fenders back on.

Learning new skills. My father would be proud of me. I’ll keep you updated as we make progress.

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Filed under 1970 Mercury Cougar, labor of love, XR7 collectable car

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