The December 2017 Ride of the Month is Don Stratemeyer's '69 XR-7 Convertible 428 SCJ 4 speed

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The December 2017 Ride of the Month is Don Stratemeyer's '69 XR-7 Convertible 428 SCJ 4 speed

Post by xr7g428 » 06 Dec 2017, 17:46

Don Stratemeyer is a car guy. Most of us would trade a body part or two to own just one of the cars that have passed through his hands. Today he is retired, but he made his living running his own auto parts store and managing them for others. He lives in southern California and has two grown daughters and two grandchildren.

Twelve Thousand Miles, 1/4 mile at a time...


Sometimes even the simplest thing can change the direction of your life. For Don, it was the purchase of an AMT 1967 model Cougar kit. Once the bug bites...

Don tells us it all began in earnest like this; "I purchased a new 1968 Lime Frost F code standard with deluxe interior, disc brakes and AC. I put 36K miles on it in 6 months and then traded it for a 1968 390 4 speed Javelin that was heavily modified by the AMC dealership. My next step up was way to the top, when in 1970 I purchased a used 427 XR7/GTE with17k miles on it for $1750. This was a Nordic Blue over dark blue leather car with a white vinyl top. In addition I had also acquired a 1968 GT500KR convertible 4 speed, a 1967 GT500 4 speed and a 1950 Mercury 4 door.

In 1984 a divorce forced the sale of all of the cars. "By today's standards I pretty much gave away all four cars. The 68 Shelby bringing the most at $1450 and the GTE $850." Don we sure wish we had known you back then!

The next two decades were spent collecting and restoring MOPARS. Don had not forgotten his true love and had searched for years to find another GT-E. He came close a couple of times, barely missing out on two occasions. Then in 2003, through new internet connections he came into contact with Jim Pinkerton the GT-E registrar and with his help bought a Wellington Blue GT-E.



But why stop there? Don tells us what happened next; "Using the net I also discovered the San Diego Cougar club and found out they had their annual show coming up. Upon attending that show I saw a stunning white 12K mile 428scj 4 speed XR7 convertible. I fell in love immediately and told the owner should he decide to sell give me a call. A few weeks later the phone rang and it was the the big cats owner and he was ready to sell or trade. He was interested in MOPARS so I invited him to come and see if there was one of mine that interested him. The only MOPAR he was interested in was my 44k mile 1970 426 hemi Challenger R/T. After some discussion a deal was reached where I would get the SCJ Cougar and a wad of cash and he would get my Hemi car."



"The car it's self was ordered new by an east coast drag racer named Eddie Merkel. It was campaigned both as a 4 speed and an automatic. The team color was black so for a time the car was painted black. The Merkel family is not very forthcoming with much in the way of photos or time-slips."



"I have since sold all the MOPARS and replaced them with Ford and Mercury products with the exception on a lone AMC Javelin and my two dodge trucks. I have now 4 cougars. In addition to the SCJ Convertible, I have the GT-E, a Wellington blue XR7-G, a 69 XR-7 390 4 speed with factory sunroof. Two other interesting Mercurys I have picked up are a 29K mile 69 Cyclone CJ 4 speed and a 68 Cyclone GT that was a factor show unit.






The SCJ Cougar convertible was so nice that Don really didn't have to do much. "I Replaced the carpet with correct aqua and added an aqua boot, Mechanically I sourced a correct carb fuel line. I also had to replace the rear diff. yoke as the one in the car was too short causing driveshaft vibration. This having been installed when the 4.30DL pumpkin was replaced with a 3.50TL by the prior owner. I did receive the 4.30 pumpkin with the car an will be reinstalling it in the future."



The author got a chance to see Don's Cougar at the Cypress California SoCal Cougar Club CCOA 50th Anniversary event. I have to admit that if I had the chance, I would drive it like I stole it... because I would definitely steal this car! I am sure that Don keeps the keys in a very safe place. You might get a chance to see this incredibly rare Cougar if you attend shows in the Southern California area. Don tells us; "I have attended several car shows with the SCJ Convertible including several national Cougar shows as well as being in the special display area at the Fab Fords show. The car always seems to draw plenty of attention. From those that think it's really neat to those that claim they never built one."



Well they did build one. Exactly one. This is the only XR-7 Convertible SCJ 4 speed with the 4.30 Detroit Locker.

Bill Basore, Editor / Publisher
Legendary Cougar Magazine
Currently in the Cat House
'67 XR7 GT 390 4 speed, AC, AM FM, Lime Frost Green
'68 XR7-G 428CJ C6, Tilt-Away, AM, Black Cherry
'68 XR7-G 390 4 speed, Sunroof, Cardinal Red
'68 XR7 GT-E 427 C6 AM Cardinal Red
'68 XR7 resto mod 351W, soon to be AOD, Black Cherry

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Re: The December 2017 Ride of the Month is Don Stratemeyer's '69 XR-7 Convertible 428 SCJ 4 speed

Post by 1969XR7Vert » 06 Dec 2017, 18:09

Very cool and Congrat's Don! Interestingly, I used to work at a garage about 1 mile north of Irwin LM and I bought a Capri RS hood scoop there that I cut the front out of (so it was functional) and installed on "Cleveland Rocks", my '70 HT from back in the day. But, I digress! Congrat's again Don!
Isabel, the realization of a seven year long dream:



Canted--Texan on the351cforum: "One of my most impressive attributes is that.......a lot of people don't like me.....or the horse I rode in on"

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Re: The December 2017 Ride of the Month is Don Stratemeyer's '69 XR-7 Convertible 428 SCJ 4 speed

Post by SuperCJcat » 06 Dec 2017, 18:57

Very Cool Cat, congratulations!!!
69 SCJ Eliminator
86 SVO
97 Cobra
67 Shelby GT350
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Re: The December 2017 Ride of the Month is Don Stratemeyer's '69 XR-7 Convertible 428 SCJ 4 speed

Post by jcbingcougar » 06 Dec 2017, 20:49

Great car! Congratulations!
Jeff Bingaman
1970 Cougar
1956 Ford F100
1960 Dodge Phoenix
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http://www.cascadecougarclub.com

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Re: The December 2017 Ride of the Month is Don Stratemeyer's '69 XR-7 Convertible 428 SCJ 4 speed

Post by 1967 S Code » 06 Dec 2017, 21:06

Congratulations Don that is one beautiful Cougar. The rest of your Cougar’s and collection are pretty nice by anyone’s standard as well.
Steven
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1967 Standard
Dan Gurney Special

6.5 Litre, Black / Black, AC Whisperaire, Am/FM, Sports Console,
Front and Rear Bumper Guards, Clock

1968 XR7-G
302 4V, Lime Frost / Black Leather, AM/FM, Black Vinyl, Tilt-A-Way
Heavy Duty Suspension, Power Disc Brakes, Rader Wheels


1968 XR7-G Hertz
390 4V, Black Cherry/ Dark Red Leather, Black Vinyl, Sunroof, Tilt-A-Way,
Cruise, Rear Defrost, AC Whisperaire


1968 Convertible Conversion "Top Cat"
Standard, 302 4V, XR7G Console, XR7G Front Valance

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Re: The December 2017 Ride of the Month is Don Stratemeyer's '69 XR-7 Convertible 428 SCJ 4 speed

Post by ssava » 09 Dec 2017, 16:25

Gorgeous cars! Love it!
"Esmerelda"
'67 Cougar XR7 purchased September, 2017 to work on with my twin (14) year old boys
Franklin, TN

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Re: The December 2017 Ride of the Month is Don Stratemeyer's '69 XR-7 Convertible 428 SCJ 4 speed

Post by Mike_B_SVT » Yesterday, 13:38

Awesome car, Don! Congrats on Ride of the Month!
Mike B.
CCOA # 9553

1970 Cougar Eliminator (Competition Gold / Black Decor Interior)
1 of 70 with 428SCJ, Ram Air, 4-speed.
Cat Bites Man!

Looking for an Eliminator? Then be sure to check out the "Eliminators on the Market" thread in the Classic Cougars For Sale section of the forum!

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Re: The December 2017 Ride of the Month is Don Stratemeyer's '69 XR-7 Convertible 428 SCJ 4 speed

Post by badcatt » Yesterday, 15:03

Great Cougar Don. Understated Muscle. Love it.
Neal Jacobson.
1970 XR-7 White "Ginger"
1970 XR-7 Convertible Blue
1971 XR-7 Bright Blue with Blue "Up Beat" interior
1970 Standard 428CJ Competition Yellow The New Money Pit.
See ya on the hiways,
The political and commercial morals of the United States are not merely food for laughter,
they are an entire banquet
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- Mark Twain -

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