The February 2019 Ride of the Month is LegendaryLime AZ's 1969 Standard

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The February 2019 Ride of the Month is LegendaryLime AZ's 1969 Standard


Post by xr7g428 » 07 Feb 2019, 16:54

Simple Satisfaction

Edwin Thompson's timing was anything but lucky. He opened the Try-Me service station in 1929 right before the Great Depression would mark the end to the roaring twenties. In spite of the economic collapse, a belief in outstanding customer service made the business prosper.

In 1936 Edmund started selling used cars and later that year he established himself as Baltimore Maryland's newest Willys dealer selling new cars. In 1937 he added Studebaker. In 1940 the business had grown so much that he razed the original service station and built a new building. Shortly after completion WWII brought new car production to a halt. He returned to his service station roots and was able to keep the company going through the duration of the war.

He added Packard in 1954, and two of his sons joined the business. In 1956 the family would take a big step. Willys, Studebaker, and Packard, were becoming obsolete. They would drop all of their existing lines to become a Mercury dealer. The business prospered and in 1965 a third generation of Thompsons would join the business. When you bought a new Mercury chances are you were talking to a Thompson.

In 1969 buying a new car was a big deal. The neighbors noticed. the guys at work noticed. Of course your mom and dad would notice and be pretty proud as well. Remember the intoxicating "new car smell"? Maybe that is what closed the deal one early March day in the spring of 1969.

On Monday, March 3, 1969 Bob Jones visited Thompson Mercury and bought himself a brand new car, a Mercury Cougar. He must have been smiling from ear to ear, doing pretty good for himself at just 23 years old. He would take the new Merc home to 3004 Dunmurry in Baltimore Maryland.

For the third year in a row, color code I, medium Lime Metallic (called Lime Frost in '67 and '68) was the most popular color for new Cougars. So it is no surprise that the color would grace Bob's new car. Inside the seats were Ivy Gold, again the most popular color of all, only these were upgraded to nicer Decor version, code 2G. Under the hood the new H code 351 2V would provide ample power, standard equipment in the Cougar but four steps up the Mustang option list. The new to Cougar FMX transmission would deliver the power to a 2.75 : 1 ratio open rear axle. Both the most common choices in 1969. The Cougar had been ordered for stock, having been built toward the end of November 1968, so Bob would have been able to take the new Cougar home as soon as the paper work was complete.

Exactly how long Bob Jones kept the car is a mystery, but when it was time to part with it, it didn't go far. His sister became the next owner and she drove it cross country to Whidbey Island Washington where it would stay until 1991. The Cougars next home became Arizona. We can only guess why she decided to sell the Cougar but as an Arizonan I suspect that the lack of air conditioning might have something to do with it. The next owner would put only 600 miles on the car in 20 years time. For 50 years the Medium Lime Metallic Cougar passed from one owner to another traveling through time some how escaping the elements and accidents.

Frank Tressider lives in Peoria Arizona, a Phoenix suburb, with his very patient wife of 32 years. They have two grown children, two grandchildren and one Cougar. His job as a Superintendent for a large construction firm supports his Cougar habit. Although he had a strong automotive background including three years in High School auto shop classes, this is his first classic car and also his first Cougar.

In 2010, Frank was looking for Mustangs, and turning up mostly examples that were either over priced or not worth looking at. Then he spotted the Cougar on Craigslist, not far from his home. When he went for a look he found a very complete and un-molested car that with a shot of starting fluid, would start and run. On a short test drive he learned the brakes were about as effective as a foot dragging on he ground. He told the owner he would need to think about it, and went home.

The next week Frank got transferred to a project out-of-town and didn't think too much about the Cougar. Up on his return, a year later, he decided to contact the owner to see if by chance he might still have the Cougar. He gave him a call, and the Cougar was still for sale. The next day he bought it. Fortunately the Cougar was only a few miles from his home. The intervening year had done nothing to improve the brakes. On the drive home he followed his wife driving their truck; if he was going to hit another vehicle it might as well be his own. Franks luck held and the Cougar arrived home safely.

Frank started out by making the Cougar safe, rebuilding the brakes, and then made it reliable by rebuilding the carb and giving it a good tune up. A thorough cleaning removed years of accumulated dirt and dust. He could have stopped at that point but...

Frank tells us the REST of the story: "and then one day I got a wild hair and decided I was going to do a complete restoration, took it apart to pretty much the last nut/bolt. I had the entire car media blasted, had the machine work done on the motor, rebuilt the front suspension, did a disk brake swap on the front, and replaced all of the brake/fuel lines. I painted the underbody and engine compartment. I added AC by Classic Auto Air and a Rocketman Tach to the dash. The headlight doors got the electric motor treatment. Reitz Restorations in Avondale did the body/paint (fortunately there was very little rust and only one 4 inch square area with bondo on the tip of the passenger fender). Other than the body and paint I did everything else including several weekends polishing window, trunk, hood, and wheel well moldings."

The results speak for themselves. Frank is particularly happy with the color and stance, and the way it sounds even at idle. Frank describes it this way: It's a very nice driver with enough punch to burn the tires through 1st and 2nd gears. The interior, except headliner and carpet, is all original, I also have the original owners manual with the date of delivery and signatures of the original owner and the salesman that sold him the car."

As we all know, Cougar ownership is special. "I have attended quite a few shows and it is very interesting how many people will stop/look and talk about the relative/friend or themselves that have had a Cougar in the past. My son attends pretty much every show with me, and my Grandson (age 2) cant wait to go sit in the car whenever he is at the house."

Frank's Cougar isn't super rare. In fact it is exactly the opposite, being almost a perfect example of what was most popular. However, it is the only Cougar in his garage and the only one that he personally restored, and that makes it a one-of-one in our book.

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 February 2019 Ride of the Month is LegendaryLime AZ's 1969 Standard


Post by badcatt » 07 Feb 2019, 17:03

Congratulations Frank. I may have looked at this car when it lived on Whidbey Island. I was living there at that time.
Last edited by badcatt on 07 Feb 2019, 19:03, edited 1 time in total.
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,
The political and commercial morals of the United States are not merely food for laughter,
they are an entire banquet
- Mark Twain -

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Re: The February 2019 Ride of the Month is LegendaryLime AZ's 1969 Standard


Post by Cougars_R_Grr8 » 07 Feb 2019, 18:29

Thompson Lincoln - Mercury Inc

1000 Merritt Blvd
Baltimore, MD.
'68 Standard Cougar - 302 4v J Code 4 spd (1 of 536) *SOLD*
'73 F250 XLT Ranger - 390 *Also SOLD*
'63 F100 Stepside - *NEW PROJECT*
'14 Camaro SS vert

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Re: The February 2019 Ride of the Month is LegendaryLime AZ's 1969 Standard


Post by DieselD » 07 Feb 2019, 21:10

Love it, beautiful cat. Surprised I have not seen it around Peoria since I’m a local Peoria resident as well.
1968 Standard, 302 2v, 3 speed.

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Re: The February 2019 Ride of the Month is LegendaryLime AZ's 1969 Standard


Post by 68gurney » 07 Feb 2019, 23:16

Nice car Frank. And Bill great write up again
1968 Cougar - Dan Gurney Special, Polar White/Black Decor, 302 J-code, PS, PB, AC, AM/FM

1969 Cougar - XR7 Convertible, Dark Aqua/White, 390 S-Code, 4 Speed, PS, PB, PW, AM-8 Track

1970 Cougar - Std Coupe, Augusta Green, Med Green Comfort Weave Decor, 429-4V, TKO 5-SP, PS, PB, AC, AM/FM




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Re: The February 2019 Ride of the Month is LegendaryLime AZ's 1969 Standard


Post by ssava » 08 Feb 2019, 06:37

Great story and beautiful car!
'67 Cougar XR7 purchased September, 2017 to work on with my twin (14) year old boys
Franklin, TN

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Re: The February 2019 Ride of the Month is LegendaryLime AZ's 1969 Standard


Post by scottfzeller » 08 Feb 2019, 08:51

Congrats on the ROTM honors! Well-deserved!
Scott Zeller
1969 Cougar XR7
CCOA Member# 9559
ROTM December 2016: ... =33&t=7055
C.A.T.S. Classic Cougar Club - Club Services Director

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Re: The February 2019 Ride of the Month is LegendaryLime AZ's 1969 Standard


Post by mo2872 » 08 Feb 2019, 09:04

She's a beaut, Clarke.....:thumbup:
Yup, that guy, the hooligan.

Somewhere out there is a tree, tirelessly producing oxygen so you can breathe. I think you owe it an apology.

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Re: The February 2019 Ride of the Month is LegendaryLime AZ's 1969 Standard


Post by SPLINEHEAD » 08 Feb 2019, 09:13

mo2872 wrote:
08 Feb 2019, 09:04
She's a beaut, Clarke.....:thumbup:
LOL, yes she is, congrats!

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

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Re: The February 2019 Ride of the Month is LegendaryLime AZ's 1969 Standard


Post by 1970puma » 08 Feb 2019, 10:40


Great job on the write-up and that is one fine looking car - just goes to show that you can take a more common version of these Cougars & do great things with it. Hope you enjoy it for years and get to bring your grandson along to the shows - maybe even drive it one day. Need to get young blood interested in these classics & his Snoopy shirt won over my vote....

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