The September 2014 Ride of the Month is: Mike's '69 CJ XR7

The Classic Cougar Community Hall of Fame. This is the place to nominate your favorite Cougar, or Check out some of the finest Cougars in the world.
User avatar
xr7g428
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 4424
Joined: 23 Dec 2010, 21:02
Location: Cave Creek, AZ
Contact:

Re: The September 2014 Ride of the Month is: Mike's '69 CJ X

#21

Post by xr7g428 » 07 Sep 2014, 12:09

We don't know much about the original owner of the Cougar but we do know it must have been cherished. The condition of the Cougar tells us it was always garaged and very well maintained. The block is not original to the car, it was a service replacement that must have been installed very early in the life of the car. The heads and manifolds all bear the appropriate dates and codes to identify them as original to the car. Every indication is that this was a one-owner car until it was purchased by a dealer from Iowa, and subsequently offered in a Mecum auction.

Mike Johnson's first car was a '57 Chevy, in a time when it seemed that everybody's first car was a '57 Chevy. Growing up in the small New Mexico town of Roswell, the cars he lusted after were Stingrays and Shelby's. But those were cars you almost never saw in a small New Mexico town. Mike would go on to become a Petroleum Geologist, working for Conoco, building a career that would take him far away from rural New Mexico. The pull of New Mexico never faded, and Mike found a piece of land north of Sante Fe where he decided to retire and enjoy a few of the cars he had dreamed of as a kid.

There would be a succession of Corvettes, Mike still has two, a '67 and and a '64, and he is very active in concours Corvette restoration circles. They would be joined by Shelby GT500KRs and rare 68 1/2 Cobra Jet Mustangs. But it was a friend's 428 Cobra Jet Eliminator that stirred his interest in Cougars. He had admired that car for several years, but when it came up for sale he was too late to learn about it in time to buy it. His search for the perfect Cougar led him to a Mecum auction in December of 2013 where there were three Cougars. On was small block '67, then there was a '69 Eliminator complete with the 428 Cobra Jet, but what really caught his eye was this beautiful black-over-saddle XR-7 CJ. The car had been offered previously in Des Moines but had not met reserve. This time would be different: a few bids later the car would belong to Mike.

Image
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

User avatar
xr7g428
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 4424
Joined: 23 Dec 2010, 21:02
Location: Cave Creek, AZ
Contact:

Re: The September 2014 Ride of the Month is: Mike's '69 CJ X

#22

Post by xr7g428 » 07 Sep 2014, 12:27

A familiar is an animal that helps a witch or sorcerer: the black cat wrapped about the ankles of a witch dressed in black... While helpful, a familiar is also full of mischief. This Black Cougar would soon prove to be exactly that.

Following the inspection Mike carefully examined the Cougar for condition. He checked the oil, the transmission fluid, the power steering fluid and even popped the brake reservoir. Everything checked good, and the car looked ready for transport. December of 2013 was one of the coldest on record int he central US, but Mike was not worried as the car had spent almost o year in Des Moines Iowa, where the winters were bitterly cold. It was bitterly cold when the car arrived at Mikes home in New Mexico, far below zero. Well, the battery might need a jump but that is no big deal.

It was hard to get the car to turn over, find of like the water pump was frozen up.... A look under the car revealed ice sickles hanging down from the freeze plug locations. Off came the radiator cap revealing a solid block of ice. That's not good. Mike was able to get the car into the garage and thawed out. After draining the fluids he confirmed his worst nightmare: a cracked block. Apparently. this Iowa car was running nothing but water for coolant. It was during this time that Mike also discovered the fact that this was a replacement block. Still not a good thing but it took away some of the sting. While not exactly a blessing, Mike would take this an an opportunity to obtain a correct date coded block to bring the car back closer to exact original specs.

Image
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

User avatar
xr7g428
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 4424
Joined: 23 Dec 2010, 21:02
Location: Cave Creek, AZ
Contact:

Re: The September 2014 Ride of the Month is: Mike's '69 CJ X

#23

Post by xr7g428 » 07 Sep 2014, 12:49

The new block was installed and the car was back together. All is well that ends well. It hadn't ended just yet. A mysterious bubble refused to find its way out of the cooling system resulting in erratic cooling problems. Finally after much sorting, and drilling of holes in the thermostat, the Cobra Jet was running right.

With only 58K original miles, the last thing you would expect to need to rebuild would be the single component even the hardest of hard core Chevy guys consider to be bullet proof: the nine-inch Traction-Lok differential. But that is exactly what failed next. This back cat seemed to live on mischief. New spider gears and a complete rebuild later the Cougar was back on the road.

Having dealt with fire (overheating anyway) and before that ice, it was time for trouble of a different nature: electrical. As all Ford lovers know, hidden deep under the dash is a very important wire that is designed to do its job by almost, but not completely, burning up: the ignition resistor wire. Over time the constant heating and cooling of this wire tends to make it brittle. Ordinarily a broken wire is at least visible. But the not resistor wire, it is concealed in a sheath of insulating fabric. The one thing that is guaranteed about the resistor wire is that when it fails, you are not going any where. Once again the Cougar left Mike at the side of the road.

Thankfully, Mike's wife saw the Cougar for the mischievous, but beautiful beast it really was. She named the Cougar Pyewacket after the familiar black cat in the book Bell book and Candle.

Image
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

User avatar
propayne
Registered Member
Posts: 1305
Joined: 14 Nov 2011, 14:46
Location: Richmond, Virginia
Contact:

Re: The September 2014 Ride of the Month is: Mike's '69 CJ X

#24

Post by propayne » 07 Sep 2014, 13:42

LOL! - Great name!!

User avatar
R Code
Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Posts: 998
Joined: 27 Apr 2012, 10:26
Location: Boston Burbs

Re: The September 2014 Ride of the Month is: Mike's '69 CJ X

#25

Post by R Code » 08 Sep 2014, 13:54

Great story & cool car, congrats Mike!
- Chris

1967 Std 4 speed conversion
1969 XR-7 "R Code" Convertible
1989 Merkur XR4Ti

User avatar
xr7g428
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 4424
Joined: 23 Dec 2010, 21:02
Location: Cave Creek, AZ
Contact:

Re: The September 2014 Ride of the Month is: Mike's '69 CJ X

#26

Post by xr7g428 » 08 Sep 2014, 16:00

That car looks amazing up in the corner!
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

User avatar
propayne
Registered Member
Posts: 1305
Joined: 14 Nov 2011, 14:46
Location: Richmond, Virginia
Contact:

Re: The September 2014 Ride of the Month is: Mike's '69 CJ XR7

#27

Post by propayne » 16 Jul 2015, 10:42


User avatar
xr7g428
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 4424
Joined: 23 Dec 2010, 21:02
Location: Cave Creek, AZ
Contact:

Re: The September 2014 Ride of the Month is: Mike's '69 CJ XR7

#28

Post by xr7g428 » 16 Jul 2015, 10:52

Sure looks like it is...
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

User avatar
1969XR7Vert
Registered Member
Posts: 3533
Joined: 24 Dec 2010, 06:52
Location: Brick, NJ

Re: The September 2014 Ride of the Month is: Mike's '69 CJ XR7

#29

Post by 1969XR7Vert » 16 Jul 2015, 11:51

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"

rcode
Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Posts: 331
Joined: 18 Aug 2015, 17:51
Location: The arm of Taxachusetts, Cape Cod

Re: The September 2014 Ride of the Month is: Mike's '69 CJ XR7

#30

Post by rcode » 03 Sep 2015, 08:11

I just purchased it. Man, am I excited! Hope Mike reads this!

Phil J
(rcode)
69 XR7 CJ Black plate Triple R car, original selling dealer:
Star Lincoln Mercury, Glendale, CA
03 Cobra (ordered new)
LaBelle Ford LaBelle, Fl
"Tonight, We Ride"!

Post Reply