Heading for Dearborn "Ginger's great advanture"

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Re: Heading for Dearborn "Ginger's great advanture"

Post by ccarney69 » 18 Jun 2017, 17:56

You are the man!! Can't wait for the recap.
1968 GT-E 427 Standard Nordic Blue/Black Décor, driver
1969 XR7 R Code 4 Speed Yellow/Black Top Black Interior, current project no.1
1969 XR7 Q Code C6 Green/Black Top Dark Ivy Green Interior, current project no. 2
CCOA #8275

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Re: Heading for Dearborn "Ginger's great advanture"

Post by badcatt » 19 Jun 2017, 02:47

Well, as most of you know, I headed out on this trip on June 1st for this once in a lifetime trip. But the planning started much earlier. Well be for the first of the year I was thinking about how to do this. My first plan was to get the Blue 71 XR-7 up and running and do Carlyle as well. But I found I was not making the progress I needed to to have it ready I went to plan B. Ginger would be the car to take.
I also decided in April that Carlyle would not be in the plan. Time and money would only permit going to Dearborn. A a route needed to be worked out. I prefer state hi-ways to Interstate Freeways. So, looking at the map I realized that US-2 would take me in to Michigan and to an area I wanted to explore. I had lived in several places close to this hi-way when I was a child. Thus giving me a chance to see how things had changed. So, the eastward half of the trip was set.
Coming home would be somewhat different. I had a time constraint. I would only have 5 days to cover some 2800 miles This is my biggest regret of the trip. It meant few side trips and even fewer photo opportunities. The reason for the time constraint is a personal one. But any of you who are grandparents, and those that are parents will understand. My granddaughter had her dance recital on Saturday June 17th. I could not moss this. It was worth the long drive home.
So, this trip I covered 5610 miles all together. I took 7 days and covered 2803 miles going out. I drove in 12 states, Minnesota, Montana, Idaho and Washington twice. I cannot count the number of people I talked to because of the car. Ginger was her own rolling car show. She is not the best Cougar, she is a true 10 footer. But she has class. If you have been following along you know I had one mechanical problem that could have ended the trip in a ball of flames. I was lucky. Ginger was even more so.
On the way out, I was able to save a lot on lodging by finding mom and pop hotels. I had some help here from a friend who did some research on them as IO was traveling. Many big name hotels cost $130 to $180 a night for a drop in. But the places I stayed were usually under $75.00 a night, Some had as good of Breakfasts as the bug name places, Some did not offer that service. But I never spent more than $18,00 for one. That kept the costs down. This also allowed me opportunities to talk with the owners and get help finding interesting places to stop.
This also led me to a Wednesday evening car show in Indian River MI. Something I was not expecting or truly prepared for. I dropped my luggage off in my room and went to the show with a car covered in dead bugs. I should have spent 10 minutes giving her a quick clean up. I still would not have won anything. But I would have had a nicer looking car.
I also have a regret from that evening. I was invited to go see Robert ‘s 428CJ Eliminator project, but due to being tired I declined. I am glad he decided to come down to the show with his note book with the pictures of it. I also hope he gets all his chrome back so he can finish it.
I arrived in Dearborn about 2:00 pm Thursday afternoon. Just in time to start to over load on the cougars. I met so many great peop0le and was finally able to put faces to many I have known since the days of Yahoo List serve. While it is still around, it is not used much with this forum and Mercury Cougar dot net. The dinner put together by Brett Irick was fantastic. Italian food is always good.
Friday I was enjoying the visit to the F-1509 factory and the Henry Ford. But for some reason I forgot I had paid to go over to Fairlane. Opp’s, I massed a great opportunity. I wish I had a couple days to really tour the Henry Ford, Greenfield village and any other displays. There is so much history there. The meet and greet was fun, I ran in to Royce Peterson. I had met him aback in 1997 when my club hosted a 30th nationals calibration in Bellevue WA. As well as many others.
On Saturday we had the drive over to Roush Museum and to Northville. This was a true rolling Cougar show with 101 Cougars cruzing the Dearborn area. We rolled past a car show going on somewhere along Ford Road and I swear everyone at this show had thumbs up to us. What a sight. When we arrived at the Roush Museum I sis a quick walk around counting only the1970 Cougars, I found 22 in all including 7 Eliminators. I don’t think I have ever seen that many 70’s in one place before. But the over all number of Cougars was astounding. After our stop here we moved on to Northfield. I found this town to be quite charming. It has a nice downtown setting with a park and brick lined street center divider. As this is the 50th anniversary of the Cougar’s introduction, 1967 and 1968 Cougars had center stage downtown. The rest of us found ample parking in a lot of the side of the street we came in on. I wish it had more draw to the public, but Not a big problem. We later returned to the Hotel and those who had reserved a spot at the diner were off. I had procrastinated and ended up missing out.
Sunday, The Cougar overload hit critical mass as 205 Cougars converged on the Ford World headquarters. What a sight. Cougars of almost every year made were present. The display Cougars, WOW! Ed Shartman’s Funny car, Dyno Don’s Boss 429 Cougar, set up as Don raced it with a 427 SOHC in it. Cougar II concept car. I have always liked the lined of that car. Kevin Marti’s 67 Convertible, Vic Yarburry’s Trans Am car and Jim and Elaine Pinkerton’s Cougar 1. John and Dee Bowman’s Cougars, and the other. All the cars involved in the show. I tried to get pictures of all of them. But I am afraid I failed. Someone told me there were 10 Boss 302 Eliminators. I only saw 2 with 351s. But I may have missed one. The Big year Cougars were well represented as well. With one, 1978 Villager wagon.
It was a hot and sunny day. Fortunately Ford Motor company has installed several Solar panel arrays over the lot we got to use giving many of us shaded parking. But it was still a day to have plenty of water on hand. The awards ceremony went like most do, some participants had headed out early for varied reasons and were not there to receive there awards. The hose club did a good job getting through this part of the show. It is not always the easiest thing to do. Awards can ger mixed upo and names can be hard to pronounce, But I think it all went well.
After the show many of us took the opportunity to photograph our cars with the Ford World headquarters as a back drop. I defiantly was no exception. Getting pictures from the back side and from the front.
After the photo opportunity we moved back to the hotel for Pizza. Once again thanks to the host club. Classic Cats Cougar club did a first rate job for the full weekend. I cannot thank them enough for the grand time.
Well Monday morning rolled around and it was time to pack the car up for the trip home. It was kind of sad leaving knowing I still wanted to spend time at the Henry Ford and other venues. But I had to go. I had made plans to see a buddy o mine for lunch in Goshen Il. It was nice to get caught up with Ed over a good meal. He is a Minnesota boy, but he and his wife had found this town and fallen in love with it, and I can see why. It is a charming place. Well time flies and I had to get back on the road. This was to be the last day I had planed to drive on state roads as I worked my way to Rantoul Il. Another town I had lived in. But here I could not recall what part of torn we lived in. So I only planed to look around for a little while Tuesday morning before heading out. But that plan went out the window when I was getting in to my hotel room and met the guys form Worldwide Aircraft Recovery. They were moving some aircraft from Rantoul to Detroit. There had been a aircraft Museum at the old air base that had closed. It was a sad affair having lost a partner that had used half the hanger and not having a good revenue stream. Many of the smaller and best planes had already been moved. Including a B-47 Bomer, that the same group had moved to Seattle’s Museum of Flight”. Marty, the owner of Worldwide Aircraft Recovery invited me out to take pictures in the morning. So looking for a house I barely recall went out the window.
I took over 90 pictures and could have spent a lot more time and took many more. But I had to get on the road. I headed back in to w=town and found my way on to Interstate 57 South bound to Interstate 74 West bound. Here I started seeing a lot of nice older cars heading East. I found out a little later this was Hot Rod’s Power Tour 2017. Somehow I made the transitioned on to Interstate 55 North. I didn’t notice this for some time, When I did I thought I was closer to I-74 then I was and turned around and went back. Had I looked at my map I would have realized I was closer to Chicago then I-74 by a sizable amount, I lost about an hour and a half. But persevered on, I made it in to Iowa and was still seeing the cars from the power tour. I also cut off the Interstate at Cedar Falls and took US-218 up to Interstate 90. I spent the night in Blue Earth MN. I watched a lighting storm to the north of me. It looked like it may have been 50 or so miles away. It also rained over night.
It was now Wednesday morning. I got going as early as I could. My plan was to get as far as I could in to South Dakota with plans to stop for the night just west of Rapid City. I was also feeling a little fatigued fro the freeway driving. I still mad good time and made some stops. I had lunch in Plankinton S.D. I was invited to stay for the day and attend there weekly car show. This sounded a lot like the one in Indian River MI I went to last week, But I had to get back under way. Miles down the road I stopped at the rest area near Chamberlain S.D. having been drawing in by the statue of Sacajawea, of the Lewis and Clark expedition. This statue is 50 feet tall. I took the time to take many pictures here of this statue and of the tee-pee like structure to the south side of the rest area. I really like the way this looks with the cotton ball clouds. I got back on the road and later found another reason to stop. “The Pioneer Auto Show & Prairie town” I again needed a reason to get out of the car. I put down the $9.50 for admission and spent about an hour enjoying the exhibit. It may distress a car collector to see how some of the cars are stored, Not many are restored and have a lot of incorrect things about them. But none the less I found it interesting.
I made it to the hotel I had planned to stay at a little earlier then I thought even with the stops. But not a lot. I got my room and then went for dinner. I came back and hit the hay. I got up early, had a bite to eat and hit the road. Today would be a long one. In hind sight I should have gone an hour more the day before.
I went to Missoula MT a little later then I had hoped. But all in one piece. I found a hotel and checked in. I had no idea at the time that 2 couple’s form my club had also checked in here. I didn’t notice the trucks with enclosed trailers parked in the outer lot. Jim and Elaine Pinkerton and Heather Whittaker and Scott Ferguson were also here. I ran in to Jim and Elaine at breakfast. We had a nice conversation and they headed out about 20 minutes before I did. I’m sure I passed them someplace. But I don’t know where. Maybe they were getting fuel. Heather and Scott were going to head out later and stop in Coeur D’Alene for the Car D’Alene show. It was a rainy morning throughout Montana and Idaho. It was not as much so in the Spokane area but I still got wet in Eastern Washington. I hit the worst traffic as I neared the Cascade Mountains, It took me over 45 minutes to go about 15 miles. It was a construction back up. I got over Snoqualmie pass and took a back road north to miss the Seattle and Bellevue areas. This went fairly well. I made a stop in Monroe to see some friends. I only spent a few minutes here and on to home. I used the same route as when I headed east only going the opposite direction. I made it home well before the granddaughter; She had a dress rehearsal of her recital. She was pumped up for the show to go on.
That is her on the left front row with her arms out. The dance school does the recitals as a show. Lillian’s class was later in the second part. She did well and looked like she had a great time.
Back to the trip, the car over all did perform well for a 47 going on 48 year old car. I had no break downs other then the carb issue. It didn’t get the fuel mileage I would have liked, but I think getting the rear gears done will help. And maybe some carb tuning too. I did notice a new vibration that is dependent on engine RPM later on my way home. I will need to look in to that ASAP. When I do take a long trim in her next I will need to do a few things differently. I had a 209 piece tool kit in the trunk. I will remove all the metric tools from it to save weight. I had extra set of belts, a lower radiator hose and a gallon of 50/50 premixed coolant, I think they will stay. I had a 12 Volt air compressor and a 12 Volt power supply that is suppository able to start your car. They will stay. I had a Triple A platinum card, My VISA card and some cash. I had a budget for the trip and a back up budget in case I broke down. I did not spend the full amount I had budgeted, mostly due to the Mom and Pop motels I stayed in, fuel costing less than I thought(even using more then I wished to have) and having less expensive meals. I would recommend doing a trip like this at some point in your life. It is a true American adventure. I know a street roder who, with his wife just took a longer trip in a 34 Ford Cabriolet street Rod and put on more miles than I did. And it is not there first run around America,
So remember, I’ll see ya on the hi-ways, and thanks for coming along for the ride.
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
- Mark Twain -

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Re: Heading for Dearborn "Ginger's great advanture"

Post by leonbray » 19 Jun 2017, 03:25

Thanks Neal. Really enjoyed reading your posts
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Re: Heading for Dearborn "Ginger's great advanture"

Post by 1969XR7Vert » 19 Jun 2017, 07:50

Was great taking the virtual ride along with you Neal, thanks!
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Re: Heading for Dearborn "Ginger's great advanture"

Post by Tomcat » 19 Jun 2017, 08:34

Neal, so glad I got the chance to talk to you in Dearborn. (think green 1970 Eliminator with 351c and WI plates). You truly embody the spirit of the American pioneer in modern times. I can understand how you find yourself living as far west as you can get in the continental United States. Really happy you completed your quest safely and on schedule. Thanks for sharing it.
1970 Eliminator purchased new 11/20/69

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Re: Heading for Dearborn "Ginger's great advanture"

Post by 93RGTE » 19 Jun 2017, 11:37

Thanks for taking us along on your adventure!

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Re: Heading for Dearborn "Ginger's great advanture"

Post by R Code » 19 Jun 2017, 11:50

Thanks for sharing the experience w/us Neal!
- Chris

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Re: Heading for Dearborn "Ginger's great advanture"

Post by DieselD » 19 Jun 2017, 12:11

great trip and pictures. Awesome being able to do it in your cougar!
1968 Standard, 302 2v, 3 speed.

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Re: Heading for Dearborn "Ginger's great advanture"

Post by SPLINEHEAD » 19 Jun 2017, 13:21

DieselD wrote:
19 Jun 2017, 12:11
great trip and pictures. Awesome being able to do it in your cougar!
I love to do it in a Cougar.

Gary Hill
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Re: Heading for Dearborn "Ginger's great advanture"

Post by guitar74 » 20 Jun 2017, 09:52

Awesome job on documenting your trip. Thanks for the great photos.

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