Time Slips Away
The QSC sat for a couple of years, time was not available to dedicate to the repairs needed to get the car back on the road. I did find a some time to attend a few swap meets. Most notably the Columbus Spring Swaps and the All Ford Carlisle events. When I did finally have time to start working on the car in the mid 1990's, one thing led to another and before long I had the Cougar torn down to what you see in the picture above. So I went from needing to repair the brakes and the heater to full blown strip down. You know how it is, you crawl under the dash to fix one thing then see another thing that needs fixing and so it goes until you're on your way to a full blown restoration. This was the first time I attempted something like this and I was worried about being in this over my head. I've heard it said that about 90% of these Cougar and Mustang restorations start as a simple heater core replacement.
I took this photo at one of the All-Ford Carlisle events I attended.
These are Cougar fans in front of Randy Goodlings booth.
For me the fun part of working on the Cougar restoration was trying to be the good detective and locating all the parts I want or need for the car. Good Cougar parts were and are tough to find and it takes a lot of patience to locate what you need at a price you can afford. Prices have really sky rocketed in the past few years, thanks in part to the internet but equally because these old cars are becoming more popular. I bought my first NOS quarter emblem for $34, my second one was closer to $80. I think they hit around $350 or $400 for a pair before someone began remaking them and selling those for around $200 a pair. I spent a lot of time in salvage yards in Colorado, Arizona and California and I pretty much can remember where I found each part that I'm using on the car now.
A Paint and Body Deal is Struck
Having now stripped the QSC down as far as this novice was prepared to take it I set out to find a place that could and would do the necessary body and paint to bring this Cougar back into original like condition. Finding people to do body work when there isn't insurance involved is tougher than I thought it would be. Eventually a deal was struck with a local hot rodder (Cliff C.) who did body and paint in his backyard shop. Three payments at pre-defined milestones of approx $2,000 each was the agreed to plan (a bit more than the $800 the previous owner paid for incorrect paint). The car was at the painters for about 6 months which was fine with me as I was busy travelling for my job. It was also nice to have the QSC stored and out of my garage for those months. I was fairly pleased with the results, the body was straight to begin with but I needed to have those vinyl top trim holes repaired along with the rivet holes from those door ding strips along each side. I did find a few things I wish he would have done a little better but no one ever notices them but me. The body job and polar white has received a lot of compliments and I see now that the back yard painter has his own restoration shop in its own building. Maybe he figured out how easy it is to make some money off of novices like me but I'm sure it was because he really did do a good job and his services are now in big demand.
|QSC Home Page||
QSC Story Page 4
QSC Story Page 2