The April 2018 Ride of the Month is Brian Carpenter's Track Cat!

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The April 2018 Ride of the Month is Brian Carpenter's Track Cat!

#1

Post by xr7g428 » 10 Apr 2018, 17:22

The April 2018 Ride of the Month is Brian Carpenter's Track Cat!



From humble beginnings...

In 1967 Aaron Baker's dad bought a brand new Cougar. It would be his fathers daily driver taking him to work in Seattle until they moved to Michigan in the late 70s. And the timing was perfect for Aaron as he had just received his license and the no-longer-new Cougar would still be a cool car to drive to school. Until, after driving for only a few months, Aaron hit a deer.

While terribly unfortunate for Aaron, it was possibly the best thing that could have happened to the Cougar. Like most teenagers, Aaron's stated intent was "to drive the wheels off it!". As it was, hitting the deer in November meant the Cougar wouldn't see a Michigan winter on the road, sparing he car from the ravages of road salt. Aaron started gathering the pats he needed; a grill, hood, and one fender, but he never got around to fixing it. Girls and life got in the way and the Cougar repair was never completed.

By April of 2012 Aaron was operating his own successful home building business. He was married with two girls. He had always been convinced that some day he and the kids would fix up the old Cougar. As the years passed he had finally come to grips with the realization that his two daughters would never share his interest in rebuilding the Cougar, and it was time to sell.

Brian Carpenter, had his own ideas about a father son project with his son Mitchell. When he found Aaron's old Cougar he wasn't sure whether it could be rebuilt or maybe just parted out. Once they got it home, and added some fresh gas and a battery, the Cougar fired right up. No smoke, no drama, it ran well enough to drive around the yard. It was as if the old cat still had a few lifetimes left to give. Sure, the trans was weak, but the Cougar did show promise.



Although the Cougar had been off the road, there were still plenty of rust issues to deal with. Interior floors needed patched, the trunk panels were shot, and the quarters would require patches as well. If the car had been rare, it might have made sense to return it to original condition, but a better option would be to turn it into a fun track car. Brian's work allows him to drive on OEM test tracks (think Detroit area automotive proving grounds). Having his own track Cougar had always been a goal.



Brian describes the build this way. "After rust repairs were complete, and some strength added to certain areas, the Auto Power 6 point cage was installed. The TCI (Total Cost Involved) three link rear suspension was added along with TCP (Total Control Products) front suspension and Wilwood disc brakes."





"I had a 351 Windsor so we built it into a 408 stroker, targeted to make between 550 and 600 hp. The stroker feeds a Tremec TKO6 road race five speed transmission. We also used an aluminum flywheel and driveshaft to reduce mass and keep inertia low so the rpm’s will rise quickly when exiting a corner on the track. And of course, an Eaton TruTrac rear end with 3:89 gears puts the power to the ground."



The complete build story can be found here: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=1084

On the outside the color was changed from what appeared to be gun metal gray back to white. "Ford performance white was chosen and accented with Ford Fleet gray. We figured white would be easier to fix if we had a fender bender on the track. The build was completed in June 2015 but didn’t get track time until September. We had a consistent rear main seal leak on the engine that took a few attempts to get it sealed up."



"We’ve had it to the track about seven times and have done improvements each time. We added inner axles seals and made custom axle retainers to limit brake pad knock back. An improved crank case breather system on the motor and a catch can to the rear end keep the track tidy. An engine oil cooler and some door panels are also recent additions. Being a race car it will never be finished as it will always need maintenance and improvements."



Brian's son Mitchell hasn’t had much time lately for car projects as he is finishing his sophomore year at Western University studying mechanical engineering. He is also working at Eaton in the advance valve train group, following in his fathers footsteps.

The Track Cat represents well for the Cougar community, watch out for those claws!

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 April 2018 Ride of the Month is Brian Carpenter's Track Cat!

#2

Post by berns68 » 10 Apr 2018, 17:39

Congratulations Brian on another ROTM win! I remember this car at Dearborn last year.
Mike

1968 Standard Hardtop, Nordic Blue
302 F code, updated to 4V
Originally 1 of 2
ROTM May 2014
viewtopic.php?f=33&t=3854
C.A.T.S. Classic Cougar Club member #16-10
CCOA member #9618

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Re: The April 2018 Ride of the Month is Brian Carpenter's Track Cat!

#3

Post by COUGRR » 10 Apr 2018, 23:44

Congrats, Brian!
1968 Standard Dan Gurney Special Convertible Conversion

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Re: The April 2018 Ride of the Month is Brian Carpenter's Track Cat!

#4

Post by SPLINEHEAD » 11 Apr 2018, 04:12

Congrats, looks good on the track as well!

Gary Hill
Pole Cat
1969 XR7 390 S code 4bbl C6 3.0 TrueTrac rear end

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Re: The April 2018 Ride of the Month is Brian Carpenter's Track Cat!

#5

Post by mo2872 » 11 Apr 2018, 07:50

What a hoot to drive, I bet!
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Re: The April 2018 Ride of the Month is Brian Carpenter's Track Cat!

#6

Post by R Code » 11 Apr 2018, 18:39

Love it, congrats Brian!
- Chris

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

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Re: The April 2018 Ride of the Month is Brian Carpenter's Track Cat!

#7

Post by 1967 S Code » 11 Apr 2018, 18:52

Congratulations Brian. You've scored another ROTM. Well done! Great choice on white, it makes your Cougar look lean and mean.
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, XR7S Taillight Bars

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Re: The April 2018 Ride of the Month is Brian Carpenter's Track Cat!

#8

Post by Roger M » 13 Apr 2018, 08:27

Nice work! Good to see that brought back to a new life.

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Re: The April 2018 Ride of the Month is Brian Carpenter's Track Cat!

#9

Post by badcatt » 13 Apr 2018, 10:19

Congratulations Brian, Great story. The Track Cat also makes a sweet looking header picture.
Neal Jacobson.
1970 XR-7 White "Ginger"
1970 XR-7 Convertible Blue For Sale.
1971 XR-7 Bright Blue with Blue "Up Beat" interior For Sale.
1970 Standard 428CJ Competition Yellow The New Money Pit.
See ya on the hiways,
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Leroy R
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Re: The April 2018 Ride of the Month is Brian Carpenter's Track Cat!

#10

Post by Leroy R » 13 Apr 2018, 10:33

Congrats, that's one beautiful race car.

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