Parking Lot Spotlight – 1969 Mercury Cougar – Awesome!

I haven’t done a Parking Lot Spotlight in a while and this is a great car to pick the series back up with.  Check this one out!!!!!


Wheels look great!!!!


Love the chrome work and the wrap around backup lights. That two tone paint is pretty good looking too!!!

I find these to be such a great looking vehicles and dare I say in some cases even better than some of their Mustang cousins.  The hidden headlights and the full (nearly full) length tail lights make these so distinct and much more difficult to restore then the Mustang – as far as getting NOS parts.

I’m not alone in thinking that the new for 1967 Cougar was unique and that first year through 1970 were the best years.  After that they became cross-bred with a Marauder and then by the mid 70’s virtually indistinguishable from the squared off T-bird not to mention it’s overtly plushiness.

In 1969 you could get the Cougar with a 302, 351W  in either a V2 or V4 configuration or Boss 302.  Previous years a 289 was available and in early 70’s  the 351C, 351 CJ, and  351 Boss were options.  Those are the best engine Ford had to offer at the time!!! (May be ever!!)

For 1969 you could get the Cougar in the Coupe, Convertible with a standard trim, Eliminator or XR-7  packages. Production numbers totaled just over 100k units broken down like this:


Coupe –  66,331 Convertible – 5,796
XR-7 Coupe – 23,918 XR-7 Convertible – 4,024


Got a Cougar?  Let’s see it!!!!

Thanks for reading.


1973 Mustang SportsRoof

1973 Mustang Sports Roof


Readers Cars 01/03/2010

I enjoy seeing readers’ cars.  Here is a 1982 Mercury Cougar Stationwagon…..YES!!!  That’s what I said…”They did what????” Submitted by Steve Sears. There were 19,254 Cougar wagons built, in GS and Villager trim, in 1982. The only other year there were Cougar wagons was 1977 when 9,700+ built. I’d be willing to bet that …



Knock..Knock…Who’s There? It’s the bottom end of your 351 Cleveland!!! Rebuilding.

The option that, perhaps, makes the most sense is to rebuild the existing engine.   These days there are so many rebuilding scenarios, it can make your head spin and really lighten you wallet.  With each one of the scenarios brings with it even more decisions and a host of mathematical calculations.

The major concern is just how bad it might be in the block.  You can see much with just the heads removed, but what I could see of the cylinders and piston heads, seemed serviceable.  Scored cylinder walls – bad; just trashed bearings – not so bad.  This is the first unknown you need to know.  From this point you’ll know the cost of just making it run again and how much $$$ you need or have left in the budget for any upgrades.

For me I don’t think I’m in this for just a ‘repair’-  e.g. bad bearings – replace them and snap it back together.

Option 1: Rebuild it just like it is.  Simply get a $600.00 kit and replace everything and put it back together – same heads, same intake nothing changes other than the knock goes away.

Typical 351C Rebuild Kit

Typical 351C Rebuild Kit

Option 2:  Rebuild it better.  For my 351C  2v, the simplest way is to add the kit and give it more room to breath.  Add a 4 barrel carb and matching intake.

Option 3:  Rebuild it bigger.  Have the engine bore to 0.030 or 0.040 and find the matching kit (you can buy the rebuild kits to match the new bore) and add a 4 barrel carb and matching intake.

Option 2 and 3 give you more decisions you’ll have to make.  How much horse power and torque will this changes make?  Can you existing stall converter and transmission handle that increase? (My concern as I have  C6 automatic)  Will you need to change the gearing in the rear end to optimize the new power?  Will this new power impact handling or frame/body?  (The concern here keeping that body from twisting/rolling – my Mustang still has the sub-frame – being a unit body – installation of sub-frame connectors is on my list.)     You are looking at a few Benjamin’s to make this all happen like it should – all based on the basic rebuild direction.

So these are some of the considerations I’m weight now for #ProjectSportsRoof.

Give me your thoughts?

Thanks for reading.


1973 Mustang SportsRoof

1973 Mustang SportsRoof













1973 Mustang – Project SportsRoof – Compression Test Part I

I’ve done all the clean up and all the adjustments necessary to get a good reading on the health of the ’72 351C engine in my 1973 Mustang. The next step is to check the compression. First up was to warm the car a bit and then pull the plugs. Here’s what the …

1973 Mustang – Project SportsRoof – Compression Test Part II

This is the wrap up on the compression testing for the 1973 Mustang w/ a 1972 351 Cleveland power plant. You’ll might have notices that I referred to the remote tester, which is my code for remote starter…yeah…that’s it!!! All of these tests were dry test and I should have done a …

Hey…A Car Show!!! Mustang II

It’s pretty cool to happen upon a car show in the course of running weekend errands.  I normally have a calendar event for the major shows and/or the ones I plan on attending.  But now and then I see one in passing, and of course I am compelled to stop and usually do.  Sometimes there are some real gems.  By gens  I mean  cars you don’t see at the average car show as they may not be in top condition or even restored at all (that doesn’t stop me) and the owners would enter them.

You don't need shiny paint to go to a car show. Here's #ProjectSportsRoof at it's first car show.

You don’t need shiny paint to go to a car show. Here’s #ProjectSportsRoof at its first car show.

A couple of weeks ago I picked up my son at his place and we took care of some business.  I always have my ‘old car’ radar on and it went off as we passed a little church.  We had finished all of our tasks so I stopped.  There may have been 15 cars in the parking lot with hoods up and doors open.  True to form there were a few cars that one rarely sees at a car show.

This awesome Fox-body Mustang Vert was in the line-up:

Fox-Body Vert

Fox-Body Vert w/ Whale Tail!

Oh MAN!! Look at that plumbing!!!!

Oh MAN!! Look at that plumbing!!!!


There was this 1964 Chrysler 300 K.  You don’t see many of these at a show.  Love that it’s a 2 door.

'64 Chrysler 300 K

’64 Chrysler 300 K

Cool Steering Wheel!!

Cool Steering Wheel!!

Here is a rare sight!!!  Mercury Comet Caliente VERT!!!!

This Comet is in O.K.shape

This Comet is in O.K.shape


This cars is nicely preserved and a little body work has been done, but still very nice car.

But this next car was my favorite as unlikely as that may seem, I’d buy this car and I’d show it big time!!!  Check out this 1974 Mustang II:

I think it's a sharp little car!!!

I think it’s a sharp little car!!!


Nice wheels!!!!

Yeah..that's a V8 - 302!!

Yeah..that’s a V8 – 302!!

Still lots of room under that hood.

Still lots of room under that hood.

Interior is so awesome.

Interior is so awesome.


You can tell that this car was stripped and restored.  It was painted with, even the interior,  with a white rhino lining/satin like paint.  It is just amazing and I’m was impressed.

Thanks for reading.


Check out these other post for Mustang II:

The Mustang II – Say What?

Mustang Muscle in the Mid 70’s

Feature Car – 1978 King Cobra



Injury Time Out – 1973 Mustang SportsRoof

Other duties happen outside of working on #ProjectSportsRoof…like yard work!!!!!   While attempting to tame the foliage in the backyard on Sunday, my electric hedge clippers became self-aware and in true Terminator fashion, exacted revenge on two fingers on my left hand – index and middle.   (Yes I have pictures and no I won’t post them here.) Pretty sure I taught the neighborhood new curse words.

Of course this necessitated a trip to the ER, much to my dismay and my wife’s.    It took the doctor a fair amount of time sew them up – 31 stitches and to pass the time the doc and I discussed cars – specifically his new Tesla.   So over all it was a nice break from the average weekend routine and I scored some pain meds to boot!!  (HA,HA).

I’ll be out of commission for the next couple of weeks so maybe I can catch up on some blogging.  Might be a bit optimistic, considering how long it has taken to just type this post!!!

Note to self:  Don’t throw out the next door hanger for a landscape service.

I am slurring my typing, meds are kicking in …..SO…thanks for reading.



restorable classic cars | Tumblr

Thanks for checking back on #ProjectSportsRoof. I’m about the finish the cuts and
fitting for the right rear foot-well that was rust all the way!!!! Final Fit for foot-well …


restored classic | Tumblr

Thanks for checking back on #ProjectSportsRoof. I’m about the finish the cuts and
fitting for the right rear foot-well that was rust all the way!!!! Final Fit for foot-well …
1973 Mustang Project SportsRoof – Exterior Walk-Around

Welcome back to #ProjectSportsRoof.  I run my car projects much like I run my IT projects.  You always have to know where to start and know the end game.   As with any project that isn’t being built from scratch, in other word, you have to work with what you’ve got, …

Knock..Knock…Who’s There? It’s the bottom end of your 351 Cleveland!!!

After spending $$$ to get my 2v heads done right and after driving my 73 Stang for about 50 miles, the Cleveland has developed  a knock in the bottom half of the engine.

It’s not uncommon when restoring cars that an undiscovered issue pops up and changes the entire project plan.  But the dilemma I have now has multiple facets.

First there’s what to do about the engine.  Rebuild it if possible? Replace with a short block, reusing the 2v heads?  Buy a crate engine? Or set it on fire in the driveway?  Each one of these options have it’s own inherent hurdles and impacts the timeline differently.

Second there’s issue with the old conundrum “Well as long as….I might as well do the ….”  In this case it read like this… “As long as the engine out, I should, really, redo the engine bay.”  That’s has is own timeline with the cleaning and sanding and priming and painting and replacing clips/fastener….etc.

So let’s discuss the engine.

There are a few “known knowns” (thank you Donald Rumsfeld!!!):

  1. The current 351C engine isn’t original to the car – in fact the car was born with 302. Why is that important?   I don’t have to worry about the matching numbers thing,  that ship sailed sometime ago.  Basically anything goes.
  2. Not rebuilding/replacing is not an option.
  3. Budget.  Although there is no set dollar amount, there is restraint how much can be spend in a given time.

Then there are the “known unknowns”

  1. Is it the cam?
  2. Is it just the bearings?
  3. Are the cylinder walls serviceable?
  4. What do I want this engine to be?

Options:  (just a few)

Option 1:   A friend of mine suggested a crate engine – just order one from Summitt Racing or Jegs.  Make all the power I want.

Ford Racing 363 C.I.D. 500 HP Boss Crate Engines

Ford Racing 363 C.I.D. 500 HP Boss Crate Engines – $8439.97

– Discussion:  $$$ (Could stop right there with this one.)  Getting a 400+ HP turn-key crate would be just awesome.  In my option that is what these Mustangs were meant to be. (ching-ching)   Getting tons of power to the rear wheels with the current  automatic C6 transmission will required a possible rebuild and an upgraded torque converter.  (ching-ching again).  But having a Cleveland in the engine bay is way cool!!  I grew up in GM family… there weren’t a lot of discussion about Ford product and anytime I heard “Ford talk” a 351 Cleveland engine was mentioned.   I do like the look of it under the hood the are wider than the Windsor family of motors.  Keeping it a 351C V2 will be less expensive and you can make good power from it if you do it right.

– Conclusion for Option 1:   Not gonna happen!!

Option 2:  Find a good used 351C and install that

– Discussion:   This is a good possibility.  That’s already happened to #ProjectSportsRoof.  The 302 was replaced with a 351 (whether it was a Windsor or Cleveland is not known) as this was the engine the previous owner hauled it out of a field with.  As it turned out that engine was seized and the current engine was found and installed (along with the used C6 trans).   It may be tough to find one.  If and when you do the mileage shouldn’t be a known unknown and you need to determine the condition as best you can by listening to it run.  If it is just sitting on the shelf,  would you perform a “trust-fall” with the seller?  Bottom line is a used engine “is like a box of chocolates”…you might end right back up where you are now.  Frankly this would be my last option.

-Conclusion for Option 2:  A weak maybe.

Coming up next – the Rebuild option.

Thoughts? Suggestions?




Preservationists’ outcry, demolition begins on iconic Phoenix Studebaker Dealership | Hemmings Daily



Old Studebaker dealership buildings tend not to attract the attention of big-city mayors or generate headline news these days. One in Phoenix, however, has proved the exception to that rule when demolition began on it earlier this month, prompting preservationists and that city’s mayor alike to condemn the developer responsible.

Designed by architect W.Z. Smith and built in 1947, shortly after Studebaker introduced its new postwar cars, the Stewart Motors Co. building – named after the dealer that built it in the heart of Phoenix’s Auto Row along Central Avenue – incorporated a turntable in its glassed-in corner showroom along with numerous Streamline Moderne elements all rendered in brick, with nary a wagon wheel in sight. As described on Modern Phoenix, the building created “a joyful dialogue with the streetscape, which is pleasant to enjoy both on foot or by car.”

Many Phoenix residents, however, probably know the building better for its subsequent tenant, Circles: Discs and Tapes, a locally-owned record store that put go-go dancers on the turntable to attract teenagers cruising the Central Avenue strip during the Sixties and Seventies. Despite leaving many of the original features intact during renovations to the building, the owners of the record store never applied for historic status for the property before closing it in 2009.

In an effort to preserve the building, the city’s Community and Economic Development Department and local preservationists began to negotiate with Empire Group, the developer that intended to place a 19-story apartment complex on the site. According to Downtown Devil and Robert Graham’s City Views, Empire had earlier in the year proposed a design that maintained the street-facing facades of the Stewart Motors Co. building, meanwhile asking the city for a tax break for its project, but threatened last month to tear the entire building down as a negotiating tactic.

“While the developer denies that they have any plans to demolish the building within the 30-day life of the permit, they made clear in a public meeting… that they would seriously consider complete demolition of the building if their request for property tax incentives from the City is denied,” Graham wrote.

See the rest of the article:

Source: Despite preservationists’ outcry, demolition begins on iconic Phoenix Studeba | Hemmings Daily

This isn’t the only dealership left.  The A.E. England Motors Inc. (1926) was remolded and is now part of the ASU campus and had a few other business operation from there. Like wise with C.P. Stephens DeSoto Six Motor Cars (1928). $250K was spend on that and it’s now called DeSoto Central Market and has bar and restaurant housed there. The old Lincoln Mercury dealership (built in 1947) has a automotive repair conducting business there.


Thanks for reading.


old studebaker dealershipsold studebaker dealerships

1973 Mustang SportsRoof – Floor Pans Getting To It! – Part Four

Thanks for checking back on #ProjectSportsRoof.   I’m about the finish the cuts and fitting for the  right rear foot-well that was rust all the way!!!!

Final Fit for foot-well.

Final Fit for foot-well.

This video is pretty comprehensive so I’m just going to just let it roll.


A couple of things worth noting.  The “flap” what was clearly not going to work and leaving the sheet metal running up the side of the transmission/drive shaft tunnel was going to give too much flex in that panel, as the welds would be pretty high.  It’s important to have that solid because as most must guys and gals know the Mustang of this vintage only have sub-frames which lease the floor as the most important body stabilization part of the car.   I will eventually put sub-frame connectors under this beast.

In case you are wondering what that electrical wiring is to the right of foot-well that is for the seat belt switch which when pressure is applied to the seat bottom there must be a connection completed by the seat-belt male end and female end to turn off the “Seat Belt” light and or buzzer.

I have a lot more coming up on the floor pans so stay tuned!!!!

Thanks for reading.


1973 Mustang SportsRoof

1973 Mustang SportsRoof






vintage muscle car | Tumblr

Welcome back to #ProjectSportsRoof. We beginning the actual work on the vacuum system on the projects 351C starting with the valve assembly distributor ( the …

1973 Mustang SportsRoof – Floor Pans Getting To It! – Part Two

Hey, welcome back to #ProjectSportsRoof (1973 Mustang).  We are working through the rusted floor pans and I’m about to make the cut for removing rust from the right rear foot-well.

Quick note about the video sequence.  As executive director, camera guy (well smart phone guy) and film editor (is that still a real thing?), I don’t always plan out the steps like you might see on a TV show.  (There goes my chances of being on Counting Cars – I’ve got a better chance of being a walk-on-the-set zombie on the Walking Dead – I love both of those shows!!!! ) Perfect example is in the next few posts and videos.  Instead of stripping out all the carpeting, I made a cut along the tunnel on the right side and just removed that carpet.  You can clearly see that.   Then I removed the rust from the foot-well (you’ll see that below) and then worked on cutting the re-pop floor patch.

That went so well, I felt confident enough to remove the driver’s seat and the rest of the carpeting.  So when I show that video you’ll notice both patch panels on the right side are fitted.  There just no ‘do overs’ on this project.

Here are the next two videos.  By the way you can see all the videos on my YouTube channel  just search for #ProjectSportsRoof and you’ll find most of them.



Once again in the video I mention getting the replacement pan for under the rear seat – above the muffler.  However, as I mentioned previously that portion of the floor is not reproduced.

More floor panel work coming up.  If you have comments or tips/hints use the comment box below.  Love to hear from you.

Thanks for reading.



Out and About!!! #ProjectSportsRoof

Out and About!!!







1973 Mustang – Project SportsRoof – Compression, Rods and Heads

Thanks for check in on #ProjectSportsRoof. If you remember a of couple months back, shortly after bringing the ’73 Mustang home, I conducted a compression test on all the cylinders.  The 351C was running rough (to put it mildly) and smoked like a pile of tires on fire (only the smoke …



1973 Mustang Sports Roof – Floor Pan Discovery – Part Two – Incidental Find

As with most car restoration projects discovering what needs to be worked on and to what extent is an experience to say the least.  Sometimes that discovery is a bit disheartening like the rust to floor pans on the right side, sometimes is a major relief  and sometimes it’s cool.

As I began removing carpet – which I’m now sure was 33 years old, it uncovered the normal dirt, pens, papers (no build sheet… bummer) and just about all the normal things that slide between the seat cushions and work their way under the carpet.  That can show a lot about its previous owners and how the car was used.

Among these things are coins and #ProjectSportsRoof had an abundance of lost change.   The first coin I found was a nickel.  It was under the underlayment which I found to be a tough place for nickel to have worked its way.   Interesting enough it was dated 1973.

1973 Jefferson Nickel.  Placed by a a worker at the factory?  hmmmm....

1973 Jefferson Nickel. Placed by a a worker at the factory? hmmmm….

This reminded me of an often told tail of auto workers leaving tokens of some sort in an inconspicuous place.  Wouldn’t that be interesting.

Over all nearly $30.00 in coins were found and of those 3 were from 1973 (a nickel, a quarter and a penny).  With a huge cap between 1979 and the 2005 (perhaps indicating it’s break in service when the car was left in a field, junked and then saved.

Someone in the Ford factory back in the day leave this 1973 Jefferson nickel so that someone years later might find it?   Interest thought!!!

Thanks for reading.



1973 Mustang Sports Roof – Floor Pan Discovery – Part One

2 days ago Thanks for following along with #ProjectSportsRoof. Over the next couple of weeks (giving myself a lot of time to get this all down in the blog) …
restored-cars | Tumblr

Welcome back to #ProjectSportsRoof. We beginning the actual work on the vacuum system on the projects 351C starting with the valve assembly distributor ( the …


1973 Mustang Sports Roof – Floor Pan Discovery – Part One

Thanks for following along with #ProjectSportsRoof.  Over the next couple of weeks (giving myself a lot of time to get this all down in the blog) I’m going to take you through my process for repairing the floors in the 1973 Mustang.  I’ll be interrupted by  (air quotes)REAL (end air quotes) work and a couple of car shows between now and then.

As much as I’d like to say I was aware of the rust on the floor of the Sports Roof, I can’t.    I really missed seeing the extent of the damage.  Needless to say I was a bit depressed when I brought it home and climbed in the back seat and notices the floor seemed a bit….’crunchy’.

Take a look at these videos:

You might be able to tell by my voice that I wasn’t overjoyed with the condition of the passenger side floor.  To make matters worse I eventually found out they don’t reproduce a patch for under the rear seat for the 1973 Sports Roof.  More to come on that in a future post.

Just to issue a reminder as you might be wondering why you see the back seat now in the car as in the previous video it was out, but my goal is to have this as a rolling project and able to at least speed on down to the local petrol station fill it up and grab a Pepsi. (You just can’t work on a car without a Pepsi!!! – Hey maybe they’ll sponsor this rebuild and I’ll change the license plate to read “1973DrinkRealSugarPepsi”.)

O.K. so if you were listening closely you’d realize that I started the floors back in Dec (2015) and it’s now the last day of the Feb 2016 and I’m just getting to post this up now.  So it’s taken me a good chunk of time to do this all by hand – including all the cutting with just a hand-held dremel and some metal snips.

I appreciate any and all comments so let ’em fly!!!!

BTW day on this Leap Year day – we’ve surpassed 20,000 registered user on this blog, thanks everyone!!!

Thanks for reading.





1973 Mustang Sports Roof – Vacuum System Part IV

1 day ago This will be a longer post as I finish up the vacuum system on #ProjectSportsRoof , the 1973 Mustang Sports Roof. We have to make a repair, …