The July 2017 Ride of the Month is Melissa and Ray Shereda's '68 Standard!

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xr7g428
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Re: The July 2017 Ride of the Month is Melissa and Ray Shereda's '68 Standard!

Post by xr7g428 » 12 Jul 2017, 21:45

Hey folks say hello to Melissa AKA 1 Meow. Welcome!
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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badcatt
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Re: The July 2017 Ride of the Month is Melissa and Ray Shereda's '68 Standard!

Post by badcatt » 12 Jul 2017, 23:31

1 Meow wrote:
12 Jul 2017, 17:57
Cgrhj50 wrote:
12 Jul 2017, 04:37
Trixie, apparently Melissa's Cougar suffered a cracked rear left driver's side steel wheel. This catastrophic fracture caused the loss of the rear wheel which came off the vehicle, which literally catapulted the car into the upside down position you see it resting in afterwards. Thank God this didn't happen at Highway speeds.
Trixie, unfortunately the accident happened at interstate speed of 70mph...
Melissa,
It was nice to have been able to have met you at the Dearborn Nationals. I can't wait to see what you get for your next Cougar.
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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Yorgle
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Re: The July 2017 Ride of the Month is Melissa and Ray Shereda's '68 Standard!

Post by Yorgle » 13 Jul 2017, 02:39

A well earned ROTM, Melissa. Congratulations. Glad to hear no one got hurt.
1968 XR-7 Augusta Green, J-Code, 5 litre, Autolite 6100, 5 spd, convertible with heated seats, cruise control and rear sway bar.

BTW, I think electronic ignition is pointless.

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zman
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Re: The July 2017 Ride of the Month is Melissa and Ray Shereda's '68 Standard!

Post by zman » 13 Jul 2017, 06:30

Congrats on ROTM.

Here is a 68 for sale locally.

https://greenbay.craigslist.org/cto/6210912387.html
69 Cougar 351W 4V, FMX Auto, PS,PDB, AC
55 Ford 2dr Customline 302 4sp
06 Ford F250 SC 4x4
2012 Ford Fusion SEL
97 Arctic Cat Cougar 550 L/C
99 Arctic Cat Jag 440

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Re: The July 2017 Ride of the Month is Melissa and Ray Shereda's '68 Standard!

Post by G68 » 13 Jul 2017, 07:41

Congratulations on a well deserved ROTM victory!

I have to say that every time I drive my '68 I am afraid something catastrophic could happen. I am most worried with the OTHER DRIVERS on the road, but this story shows that mechanical/structural failure can happen in the blink of an eye. Thank God you two are OK!
"I feel more like I do now than I did yesterday"

1968 Cougar 289 4V
2004 F-150 Lariat 4x4 5.4 L
2017 Mustang (Sally) 2.3L 310 HP EcoBoost

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R Code
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Re: The July 2017 Ride of the Month is Melissa and Ray Shereda's '68 Standard!

Post by R Code » 13 Jul 2017, 08:23

Congrats Melissa & Ray, welcome to CCC, and thank God you're OK after the wreck.

I had an original SS wheel crack on the R Code once. So Scary. Luckily for me, there was traffic & I was creeping along when I felt the steering wheel get wobbly in my hands, pulled right over, saw it before it failed completely & only had to change the tire.

Regards, and let me know if I can help with your search for a new cat.
- Chris

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

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Re: The July 2017 Ride of the Month is Melissa and Ray Shereda's '68 Standard!

Post by propayne » 13 Jul 2017, 08:26

Here is the banner that Melissa and Ray brought for everyone to sign and their stuffed Cougar all decked out for the 50th.

- Phillip
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Re: The July 2017 Ride of the Month is Melissa and Ray Shereda's '68 Standard!

Post by bmwhd1 » 13 Jul 2017, 08:34

We saw this beautiful cat in Tulsa. What a shame but glad everyone is OK.

So I've heard and read both that the tire failed first due to age and that the wheel failed first. Do we have a definitive answer as yet? Not that it really matters other than to reinforce the importance of monitoring both for signs of wear.

A common theme on the motorcycle boards I haunt is to never assume older tires are good just because they have tread left. Age alone can do them in. I assume that's the same for car tires.
Todd

'70 Conv, 351C-4V, T5
Lone Star Cougar Club Activities Chair

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Re: The July 2017 Ride of the Month is Melissa and Ray Shereda's '68 Standard!

Post by xr7g428 » 13 Jul 2017, 11:59

Pictures to come as I get time to update the write up!

Sometimes a Cougar sneaks up on you.



Melissa Shereda, wasn't looking for a Cougar, she was looking for a way to get to work. She didn't even know that her mom owned a Cougar (she actually owned two!) When Melissa told her mother that she was looking for a way to get to work her mother offered to let Melissa drive one of her Cougars. It came as a bit of a surprise. Melissa had no idea her mom even owned the cars. What made it even more surprising is that Melissa's mom was disabled by MS and had not been able to drive for some time. But disability didn't stand in the way of her love for the Cougar. She had owned one when she was younger and just going for a ride in a classic Cougar could take her back to better times.

The two Cougars had been tucked away in a hanger. Melissa borrowed the '68 standard and for the next ten months she drove it everywhere she needed to go. Good things come to an end and eventually Melissa's mom wanted her Cougar back. The Cougar would stay close to Melissa's heart. Years passed and in July of 2012 her mother decided it was time to give Melissa the keys and this time, for keeps.

Melissa and her husband Ray live in Riverton, in central Illinois, not far from Springfield. They fondly refer to Riverton as a hick town, but it sounds like the perfect place to live for those who would prefer not to attend HOA meetings. The Cougar is not their only classic car, they also have Starsky and Hutch styled Torino. Together they are very active in the classic car hobby attending as many shows as time and money will allow.

After receiving the Cougar from her mom, Melissa mostly just drive the car. It got a lot of thumbs up but it was mostly a great driver that was beginning to show its age. The decision was made to take the Cougar in to the body shop, and is so often the case with central Illinois cars, it turned out that this was not the first time that the Cougar would benefit for rust repair. As it turned there was evidence that the roof had been cut off the car at once in the past, and it needed it again. At some point a very heavy layer of bondo had been liberally applied. In some places on the roof C pillars it was at least 1/2' deep. This time the Cougar would get fixed right.

Melissa is not you average Cougar enthusiast, her friends have nick named her the crazy cat lady. And her Cougar would not be average either. When it came time to paint the Cougar Melissa insisted the color had to be exactly right. She knew what she wanted and together with Ray they searched every car show in the area trying to find a car painted the color that she had in mind. Eventually the painter started blending his own color and after several revisions they finally hit upon the exact shade of silver that would grace the Cougar. In the end the Cougar became known as the silver bullet, because of the clean silver that Melissa chosen.

Under the hood was the original numbers matching engine, behind it, the original numbers matching transmission. An oval Cougar running cat air cleaner and matching cast aluminum valve covers finished off a very clean engine bay. The silver Cougar was ready to roll and made the extended drive to the Tulsa Oklahoma CCOA Mid America & LSCC Anniversary Event.

A long drive in a classic Cougar gives you plenty of time to think about the things that you would like to do to make it better. This drive was no exception. A full on effort was made to bring the silver Cougar to and even higher standard before the next event in Carlisle PA. A complete suspension overhaul would include new rear leaf springs, a completely new front steering and suspension and even the addition or front disc brakes. Even the interior would get a once over including a new set of seat covers.

Ray privately cussed the car. It seemed that everything was at least twice as hard as it should be and he had to fight for every inch of progress. Even simple things like a new set of brake calipers would take multiple trips to finally find a set that worked properly. But by the time they were ready to head to Carlisle, for the CCOA, DCC, DELMARVA, & CCNJPA, 50th Anniversary Event, the Cougar was ready. The drive would be uneventful and the show was incredible. The silver Cougar would take home the trophy for best display.
They didn't leave Carlisle until about noon on June the 5th. The weather was fine and the Cougar was running great. Ray was finally satisfied that he really had the Cougar running and driving the way he wanted. At about 4;30 PM they crossed into Ohio, and then about 20 miles in their world would change in the blink of an eye.

Many people say that in an accident everything slows down as if moving in slow motion. Melissa tells us that there was nothing slow motion that day. Every thing happened in a very big hurry and there was simply no way to say for sure what happened when. It began with a blow out of the left rear tire. Eyewitnesses saw it all unfold. The tread peeled off the tire in big chunks and the immediate loss of pressure caused the Cougar to veer out of control. Ray recalled seeing that they were headed for trees and tried to correct. Then realizing that on coming traffic might be a worse problem attempted to correct back onto the highway. He might have made it, if not for a very large rock. Trying to manage a blow out is one thing, trying to drive on just three wheels is a whole different challenge. The wheel already minus most of the tire struck the rock and having had enough fun for one day decided to pick its own exit, separating from the car completely. While it is impossible to say for sure what happens in the blink of an eye, it appears the rock also launched the car into the air, and eventually landing on its roof.

Incredibly, no one was seriously injured. No other cars were damaged in the accident. Both Ray and Melissa were able to walk away. The Cougar, did not fare so well.

Melissa described what happened after the accident like this: "So many people from the cougar community called me offering to come get us and take us home to IL (from the WV hospital). But a couple that we met in Carlisle that had seen the accident on FB and offered to bring a truck and trailer (after driving home to KY from Carlisle). The were willing to get back on the road and come get us and my cat and take all 3 of us home to IL. Greg and Joann Conway from KY are a couple of Cougar peeps that need a shout out for their help! (he has a pretty awesome story about his cougar too!)

Melissa and Ray have the kind of spirit that is an example for all of us. In spite of what happened, they loaded up the Silver cat and brought it to Dearborn Michigan to attend the CCOA, C.A.T.S Club event. There has never been a more deserving winner of the Wounded Cat award! Through it all, they kept their sense of humor talking about how this was the first time they ever brought a car to a show in trailer!

For everyone in the Classic Cougar Community we are happy that you are safe and well. We are sad about your beloved Cougar. We are reminded of just how precious every moment is. We are hastened to not take anything for granted. And we can't wait to see you in your next Cougar!
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 July 2017 Ride of the Month is Melissa and Ray Shereda's '68 Standard!

Post by G68 » 14 Jul 2017, 07:19

Excellent write up as usual Bill. Reading it reminded me of years back (1990?) when I had a blowout of the left rear tire on my '87 Cougar at 60 mph. My experience that day, though it seemed traumatic at the time, was nothing like what Melissa and Ray went through! I'm sure that 20 years of advanced engineering helped that Cougar to more easily maneuver to the side of the highway than our older Cougars.
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"I feel more like I do now than I did yesterday"

1968 Cougar 289 4V
2004 F-150 Lariat 4x4 5.4 L
2017 Mustang (Sally) 2.3L 310 HP EcoBoost

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