Back From Paint and Body Work
With paint and body finally completed, we tow trucked the QSC back home to begin the reassembly. Loads of work remains to be done to get the car back on the road. This is the part where satisfaction is measured daily as the pieces and parts start to go back on the car and it starts returning something that begins to look like a car.
Progress Is Slow
When I finally had the car back from Paint and Body back in late '98 I had no idea it would take another 6 years before it finally found it's way back to the asphalt. There was a C4 transmission to rebuild. A new motor to buy because with the current motor disassembled it was a determined it was too far gone to justify the investment in a rebuild. Remember from earlier in this story the original motor was no longer with the car so this motor didn't hold that much value to us. We decided to purchase a 350hp 302 motor from the Engine Factory to replace the now deceased 289. So much for a chance at a puritan level restoration - the focus now was to create a fun driver that while not entirely original, maintain an original look. So what changed after the engine decision? Not much really, we now had a new crate motor so we decided we didn't absolutely need the oringinal AC compressor and went with a Sanden compressor and converted to 134a. Seats, the ones that came with the car when I purchased it were more of a mustang pattern, we returned them to the original pattern in Vinyl. Maybe leather is in the upholstery future when funds permit. The headliner, when I purchased the car it was an incorrect parchment color, now it is back to the original saddle tan moongrain pattern. New windshield - non-carlite. New carpets (ACC). Electronic turn signal box. NOS emblems. Original '68 styled steel wheels (not a repop).
Removed from the car was the after-market luggage rack, the aftermarket tan vinyl roof and riveted trim work, the door ding guards, and the donor "perfect circle" cruise control that was also not original to the car.
This part of the QSC story ends here. There is other information and photos of the car in other sections of the QSC website. I learned quite a bit about what is involved with this sort of restification (not exactly a restoration) even though compared to some I am still a complete novice. I've developed an opinion about practically every vendor and some so called vendors that deal in Cougar parts. I know pretty much where to go to get the true poop and I can usually spot a bluff when I see it. What is good about the internet is also what is bad about it. It makes it very easy to get information about your car and project but it also is a haven for bad information and rip-offs. When sprucing up a car like a Cougar you are frequently forced to deal with more individuals than you would if you were restoring a Mustang for example. With a Mustang you have a plethora of parts dealers to utilize, where often times with a Cougar you are buying directly from individuals who happen to have the rare part you need. Descriptions of condition vary greatly in everyones mind I think. What is good to some is crap to others.
I guess the main thing is to get your hands a little dirty, do as much of the work yourself as you are capable of doing and enjoy yourself and your project. When it's time, and you turn that key and the motor fires up and the transmission shifts into gear and you pull out onto the road for a cruise in a car you brought back to life it will give you a nice sense of satisfaction. And satisfaction is a good thing because I'm fairly certain we'll spend much more money than we anticipated and when and if it comes time to sell, well, chances are the money spent won't all come back, but I'm sure the memories will.
First Sunlight In Many Years - Summer 2005
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