The November 2017 Ride of the Month is Scott Christian Sava's '67 XR-7

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The November 2017 Ride of the Month is Scott Christian Sava's '67 XR-7

Post by xr7g428 » 10 Nov 2017, 17:38



It seems that if you once owned a Cougar you are destined to own another.

Cougars have some sort of secret gravitational pull. Sometimes, it can pull money right out of a closed wallet. Other times it can attract flashing red and blue lights. But it can also bring people together and in a few choice instances even fathers and teen-aged sons. November 2017 Ride of the Month winner Scott Christian Sava tells us his story of how a Cougar is doing exactly that.


But for the love of my kid...

Once upon a time there was an artist named Scott Christian Sava. He lived in Franklin, TN with his wife Donna and his twin boys Logan and Brendan (14). Not long ago, Logan started showing interest in cars and wanting to see how they worked. Now if you have ever raised teen aged boys you will already know that it can be hard for a father to find common ground with his newly testosterone charged offspring. And so Scott started looking into a project….

For those of us with gasoline running through our veins, looking for a project car is almost second nature. Scott faced a different challenge.

"I’ve never been a “car enthusiast” beyond Hotwheels, Mario Cart, and the old CARtoons magazine (anyone remember them?). While my father (an engineer) would fix up old MGBs or Jaguars in his spare time, I never participated and never really learned anything about cars (always with my head in the clouds and a sketchbook in my hand).

"I know people say ‘if I can do it… anyone can”. And you always think “well… I’m sure you’re not as unskilled as I am…” but in this case… the answer is YES. I am literally that unskilled and as uneducated as one can be. "


"But, for the love of my kid, and a bit of sense of adventure, I’m learning. And what I can’t handle… I have family, the forum, and even the local Firestone mechanic who’s given me a hand here and there."

Cougar 1 / BMW 0.

"It wasn’t until about 3 years ago, when one of my books (I wrote about a dozen comics/graphic novels for my kids over the years) called Animal Crackers got financing to be made into a movie, that my life kind of changed to where we are now. You see? I had to fly out to Los Angeles about 2 times a month to meet with investors, actors, studio execs, and the like and I was spending a ton of money on car rentals. Like a LOT of money."

"A funny thing about Hollywood. People judge you by your car. They will literally walk you out to your car to see if you’re driving a BMW, Mercedes, Tesla, etc. This tells them that you’re “someone important”. It’s stupid. But it’s Hollywood."

"I wanted to do something different. Something that was ‘cool’ but different. So, I bought a no frills basic '67 Cougar off of Craigslist for $9k and handed it over to my cousin to prep it for me for when I would fly in. He’s a mechanic in LA who specialized in restoring vintage Ferraris and was happy to help me “arrive in style” for my meetings."



"I named her Esmerelda after a character in my movie. A Fortune Teller played by Harvey Fierstein (Mrs. Doubtfire, Independence Day) and for a few months… it was a blast. Everyone loved the car and I was doing well. Until my cousin was in a bad motorcycle accident and was hospitalized for months."

"Poor Esmerelda (still in need of a lot of work to handle LA traffic regularly) languished at his apartment, and I had to give her up."







Esmerelda casts her spell.

Flash forward two years. Perhaps Esmerelda could do more than just see the future? Or maybe Cougar gravity was kicking in..

"When my 14 year old son told me he wanted to learn about cars. My search for a '67 or '68 Cougar similar to Esmerelda (I loved the Burgundy) began. I spent several months on Craigslist and Ebay. There were cars selling for $60k and up that would need essentially “no work” and I was tempted to invest in one being that I knew NOTHING about cars. But my son really wanted to learn and I eventually opened the search up to cars that were in GOOD shape… but would need work (unlike the first Esmerelda)."

I knew I wanted an XR-7 since the first Esmerelda had no options. I also found I really liked the vinyl roof. And tan interior. When this '67 XR7 came up on Ebay… I knew she was the one.



The ONLY thing she didn’t have that I was looking for was a MANUAL TRANSMISSION. I wanted to teach my boys how to drive a stick. But… that may be a project we undertake one day (or maybe at least pay someone to do). We’ll see.

From the paperwork we were given it seems the car was purchased in Georgia and was driven for 79,000 miles or so over the years. But after 1995 (when she got new tires)… she sat. I say this because when I got her… the tires (which they stopped making back in ’95) were still new.

While she’s technically “Esmerelda 2”, we just call her Esmerelda. I think Harvey would be proud.



She arrived in September and we’ve been learning how she works and have been making a list of what we want to do to her. Fortunately, she came in great condition. But she had trouble starting. Our first order of business was replacing the starter solenoid and she starts up great now.



Next, one of the 20 year old tires went flat and in my haste to get her to the tire store on the spare (which I found out didn’t fit well) I ruined the studs and had to replace them. That was kind of a big thing because I had to disassemble the hub and brakes and everything. But… with the help of friends on the phone… I did it. Yay for me.



The rest has been small things like fixing the side mirrors, replacing radio (a Sony cd player) with the original AM radio (found on Ebay for $25), replacing the package tray with carpet… then finding out (thanks to the great guys on the forum) that originally it came with a black Masonite textured package tray. So we went out to Home Depot and purchased a slab, cut it, and painted it to match. Looks great.






Oh. We also fixed the rear driver’s side window. Needed new regulator rollers (purchased on Amazon for like $5) and we watched a youtube video showing us how that’s done.



All in all… we’re loving learning together and we have a laundry list of things to fix. The headlight covers go up… but not down. The headlights are dim. The sequential turn signals don’t work… etc. Should be fun.

I love the interior. It’s clean. It’s fun. There’s still a lot of work to do. And I like that too. I like having little projects we can pick off on the weekends.



It’s been a lot of fun and I feel a sense of accomplishment you don’t get by purchasing a new car. A sense of pride. I do get stopped all the time on the road by people who love her. She’s a beauty.


We have to agree. Esmerelda is a beautiful Cougar, and the start of a great adventure.


About Esmerelda:

From the door data tag we can tell:
She is a 1967 model, Built in Dearborn Michigan, and an XR-7 (7 F 93 )
She came with a 289 cubic inch V8 equipped with a 2V (7F93 C)
She was the 89,899 Mercury vehicle scheduled for production in the Dearborn plant. The highest Mercury VIN in 1967 for the Dearborn plant was 651,900.
Body style 65B means XR7 with bucket seats
All of this was expected.
Then we have this:
Color 6 is Fawn. It turns out this red head was originally a blonde!
Trim 6F means saddle leather bucket seats.
Date Code 18D means the car was scheduled for production on April 18th 1967.

It isn't over until the ............. well I really don't know if Esmerelda sings or not!

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 October 2017 Ride of the Month is Scott Christian Sava's '67 XR-7

Post by BossElim69 » 10 Nov 2017, 19:19

It looks like you’re month behind their Bill. Should be November. That’s cool. I can take a Cougar apart and put it back together pretty much with my eyes close. But I wouldn’t have a clue how to do a movie. Congrats on ride of the month.
Brian Carpenter, President CATS classic Cougar club
67 Cougar road course racer
67 Cougar project car
67 Cougar GT
68 XR7-G trailer queen restoration.
68 Restomod
69 Boss 302 Eliminator
69 XR7 390 survivor
69 XR7 428CJ 4spd
70 Boss 302 Mustang
1993 Harley Davidson
2004 F250 diesel
2004 Jeep Overland 4.7L H.O.
78 Ford F 150 Ranger
08 Cobalt SS

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1967 S Code
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Re: The November 2017 Ride of the Month is Scott Christian Sava's '67 XR-7

Post by 1967 S Code » 11 Nov 2017, 00:31

Great story. Scott enjoy the experience of sharing this adventure with your children. Congratulations on your Cougar being chosen as ROTM.
Steven
Image

Our Cougars

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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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ssava
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Re: The November 2017 Ride of the Month is Scott Christian Sava's '67 XR-7

Post by ssava » 11 Nov 2017, 06:38

Thank you Bill! It was such a pleasure talking to you and chatting Cougars and kids and stuff.

Such an honor to be chosen. Hope to do you all proud over the next few years of working on Esmerelda.
"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 October 2017 Ride of the Month is Scott Christian Sava's '67 XR-7

Post by ssava » 11 Nov 2017, 06:39

BossElim69 wrote:
10 Nov 2017, 19:19
That’s cool. I can take a Cougar apart and put it back together pretty much with my eyes close. But I wouldn’t have a clue how to do a movie. Congrats on ride of the month.
Ha. Thanks. I'm not sure I wouldn't trade you on that one. It's still greek to me looking under the hood.
:)
"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 November 2017 Ride of the Month is Scott Christian Sava's '67 XR-7

Post by ssava » 11 Nov 2017, 06:39

1967 S Code wrote:
11 Nov 2017, 00:31
Great story. Scott enjoy the experience of sharing this adventure with your children. Congratulations on your Cougar being chosen as ROTM.
Steven
Thanks Steven. Really appreciate 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 November 2017 Ride of the Month is Scott Christian Sava's '67 XR-7

Post by xr7g428 » 11 Nov 2017, 08:35

The great thing about a father son project is that you can let the car do most of the teaching. The car will let your kids know when they are "doing it wrong". My cars are still teaching me new things on a regular basis.
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 November 2017 Ride of the Month is Scott Christian Sava's '67 XR-7

Post by xr7g428 » 12 Nov 2017, 12:49

I have to ask. I think everyone is thinking this.... is there a Cougar in the movie? Extra points if it has wheels.
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 November 2017 Ride of the Month is Scott Christian Sava's '67 XR-7

Post by ssava » 12 Nov 2017, 16:26

xr7g428 wrote:
12 Nov 2017, 12:49
I have to ask. I think everyone is thinking this.... is there a Cougar in the movie? Extra points if it has wheels.
Sadly, no.
I'll have to rectify that if I ever get to make another film.
"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 November 2017 Ride of the Month is Scott Christian Sava's '67 XR-7

Post by R Code » 13 Nov 2017, 09:04

Congrats on ROTM!
- Chris

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

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