I have a love affair with Ford Mustang Convertibles. The story ends with me today owning the car of my dreams, pictured here, and yes its a Cougar XR7, the better looking and performing sister of the Mustang.
My Dad owned great cars in the early 60s. A 2 seater MG-a black with red interior, and then he owned the fastest car of its time, the Mercedes 190sl, 2-seater black with red interior. I use to sit in those cars in the garage as a little boy for hours. Dream cars and I had dreams.
The Mustang has taken me many places. I know all of these cars flaws. The lousy, noisy, bouncy suspension. The blow-by problem when the head goes bad. The awesomeness of the space working the 289 v8, and the ever sagging leaf springs. Then while I was a day camp, I was 7 sitting in 1966 in the back seat of my counselor's Mustang convertible, listening to "Satisfaction" by the Rolling Stones, driving down Sunrise Hwy on Long Island. I remember it like is was yesterday. I knew this was the car I wanted to drive.
When I was 17 in 1977 my Dad bought me my first car. A light blue, black interior 1969, 289 Mustang convertible. I loved that car. My friends loved that car. I loved kissing my girlfriend in that car. I took it up to college with me, Rochester NY to attend RIT. I remember dropping 2 50lbs bags of sand in the trunk to keep the back end from bouncing around aka rabbit hopping. It ended up rotting out, but it made it time and time again, Long Island to Rochester that 8 hour trip, the LIE, the CIP, over the Throngs Neck, to the Cross County, to the Thruway to Harriman to the Quick way 17, all the way to Rochester.
Ten years ago, when I'm 45, I missed my Stang. I looked at many old Mustang cars to buy. I did not want to deal with rust, after I saw mine rot away and did not want to pay $50K for a Stang, so I opted for this Cougar pictured here, the Mustang's more elegant 5" longer sister. I found her in Northern CA, not an ounce of rust, second owner with 90K miles on her. I rebuilt the entire suspension with great thicker improvements that make the car stiffer and better handling than the car ever felt. She's the classic Blue Teal color and the famous 351Windsor, doesn't burn any oil and she's mine. My past is still in my future, in my garage.