Salt & Pepper’s Excellent Adventure (long)

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Salt & Pepper’s Excellent Adventure (long)

Post by 70b302cat » 14 Aug 2017, 14:04

As this was the 50th anniversary year for the Mercury Cougar, and not knowing what the future holds for any of us, I decided that I would attempt to attend all of the CCOA shows that would be in the United States. My desire was to bring two cars to each of the 5 shows. That was not realized as I was not able to find a trailer that fit my needs and also met my cost requirements prior to the Tulsa, OK show in mid-April.

I know some folks are saying, why do you need a trailer just drive them. While I do have an appreciation for the adventurous sort that will take on such an endeavor, such as Neal Jacobson and his 5,610 mile trip with Ginger, I did not feel that was appropriate for my cars without some modifications that I am not willing to perform. So, on April 17th with just Pepper loaded in my long time owned (2002) 28’ trailer, I set off for Tulsa, with plans to look at three 48’ trailers while in-route. I made arrangements to purchase one prior to arriving in Tulsa, so I would be ready for the rest of the shows.

On the way to Tulsa, I got to spend some time at Frank and Sharyn Bowers place as that is always an enjoyable detour and arrived in Tulsa on Thursday, April 20th, for what would be a wet weekend, but thankfully the show was inside. The show on Saturday was a resounding success inside the Convention Center closing with a wonderful banquet and awards presentation on Saturday evening. I did not get to depart until late on Sunday morning as Jerry Heasley was on hand and wanted to photograph three of the Cougars that were there. I was honored to have Pepper at a photo shoot on Sunday morning (bright and early) with Brian Carpenter’s “G” and Al Juraco’s “GT-E”. We took turns holding the reflectors for Jerry as the cars were moved in and out of “sweet spots”. The photographs of Brian’s car appear in the September 2017 Muscle Car Review that arrived in my mail box this morning. I arrived back home on April 25th having passed through 11 states and covering slightly more than 3,600 miles.

Next up was to pick up the 48’ trailer in PA. I purchased it from the original owner and it still had its original tires. I ordered tires from Tire Rack with a pickup in CT to save on shipping and made arrangements for installation at a tire shop close to the trailer pick up location. On May 22nd, I headed to Windsor, CT to pick up the tires than onto PA to sleep and pick up the trailer first thing in the morning. I picked up the trailer, went to the tire shop where the quickly changed the 6 tires as the only place where the trailer fit was blocking all but one of their 7 bay doors, drove the trailer home without any issues, however, next time I will include toll rates when I plan a route. Mileage covered was 780 miles with an $85.00 EZ-pass toll to cross the George Washington Bridge in New York.

Now I was ready for Carlisle. Salt and Pepper were loaded in the trailer with about 6’ of floor space left over. I left on Wednesday, May 31st, with the cars not planned to be returning to NH until after the Tacoma show in August. The trip to Carlisle was uneventful and I was there on Thursday, morning at which point Pepper was parked inside building “T”. Unfortunately, by the time all of the back and forth within the building to get it parked just right, it marked it’s territory by leaking brake fluid from the driver’s side wheel cylinder onto the concrete floor. Salt got pulled off of the trailer and parked in the Eliminator section of the showfield next to the tent where it would sit until Sunday. We were presented with an excellent turn out of Cougars on both Friday and Saturday, as we were given outstanding weather especially for All Ford Carlisle. On Sunday afternoon, I loaded Salt into the trailer while awaiting the release of Pepper from inside the building. Once they were both loaded and tied down, I headed west toward Michigan.

I arrived in Michigan on the afternoon of Monday, June 5th, and headed to Ray Bischoff’s house. Ray was gracious enough to provide parking for several of us. The Crowders were also planning to park their motor home and trailer there. I worked in Detroit for several years, so I had evening plans with old friends and former co-workers for most of the week nights. Returning Tuesday morning to Ray’s we then spent time working on the Crowders’ brakes and tires, Ray’s car and I rebuilt the rear wheel cylinders (factory original rear brakes) on Pepper in Ray’s driveway. The events planned and executed by the C.A.T.S. club were also outstanding culminating in the unforgettable show at Ford World Headquarters on Sunday, June 11th. The most memorable part of the Dearborn show was having a total of ten BOSS 302 Eliminators together at one time. The loaded trailer then went back to Ray’s house for storage while I drove just the truck home on Monday, June 12th, with the most one day mileage of 786 miles.

On June 18th, I returned to Ray’s and picked up the trailer to head for Cypress. Over the course of the next several days I visited with the Bower’s and Vic Yarberry while driving through some extreme temperatures with an arrival in Cave Creek, AZ on Thursday, June 22nd. I met up with Bill Basore who had offered accommodations and trailer parking. After scouting out the access to Bill’s new house, plan “b” had to be implemented as there was not sufficient width to safely get the trailer to his house without a potential cactus incident. On Friday morning for the first time I had a navigator as Bill and I headed to Cypress. We arrived at the hotel and got Salt and Pepper unloaded and parked. The group dinner that night was at the Mexican restaurant next door to the hotel and was a noisy enjoyable evening. The next day was the show in the hotel parking lot which was another excellent gathering of Cougars of which only a couple I had seen before. Many new friends were made and faces put with names. When I returned to the show field on Saturday morning, I was surprised to see Ray Reinertson’s Competition Blue BOSS 302 Eliminator also there, this would lead to Richard Truesdale wanting to photograph the three cars together. At the conclusion of the show, we took the three Competition Blue BOSS 302 Eliminators over to the Westchester section of L.A. where we had an enjoyable time driving around while Richard shot photos for a future Legendary Cougar article. We returned to the hotel and Bill and I then drove back to Cave Creek the next morning.

On Monday morning at Bill’s house he and I had to pretend to be plumbers. I spent the rest of the week at Marti Auto Works sorting through boxes for Kevin before flying back to NH on Friday, June 30 while leaving Salt and Pepper parked at Kevin’s museum where they would stay until August 1st.

On Tuesday, August 1st, I flew back to PHX and headed to Marti Auto Works. After putting Pepper on Kevin’s lift, so that he could get some underneath photos of it, I loaded Salt and Pepper into the trailer and headed to the PNW. On Thursday evening, I arrived at WCCC, where I parked the trailer for the night. The next morning, I unloaded the two cars, where, Don and I spent some time with Andrew filming, going over the two cars. I also took Andrew for a short ride in Salt. Expect the video to be on Don’s site later this year after Andrew applies his magic. I then drove to Tacoma, WA and met up with Neal Jacobson in the lobby of the hotel.

Saturday, was the cruise, museum tours which were very interesting. While the two museums only had 2 Cougars total, there were many more that were parked in front of them. Sunday was the 5th domestic CCOA show at Griot’s garage which was another excellent show at a great venue. This was the third show that I was at which also included Jim and Elaine Pinkerton’s Cougar 1, Vic Yarberry’s Trans Am car and Scott Ferguson’s G car. Rob and Steve Crowder were also there as they managed to bring a Cougar to all 6 North American shows including the one in British Columbia.

Monday morning, I stopped to visit with John, Susan and Cameron Benoit and Cascade Classic Cougars before leaving the State of Washington. My journey home would also include a stop at Perkins Restoration in Wisconsin, where I spent some time with Bob looking at some of the awesome parts and cars in his collection.

I arrived back home on Saturday, August 12th, having driven a little over 14,800 miles with close to 13,000 of that with a trailer and an additional 4,800 airplane miles. I drove through 24 of the states in the country and enjoyed countless memories.

Thank you,

Eliminator Registrar
Mercury Cougar Eliminator Registry

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70 Convertible 351C 4V Close ratio
70 Cyclone Spoiler 429 SCJ 4 speed Drag Pak
70 Eliminator B302 4V Close ratio
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85 Capri ASC McClaren 5.0 5 speed

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Re: Salt & Pepper’s Excellent Adventure (long)

Post by xr7g428 » 14 Aug 2017, 14:31

WOW! what a great adventure that was! It was great having you in AZ but I am pretty sure the heat and bad plumbing were not at the top of your list...
Bill Basore, Editor / Publisher
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Re: Salt & Pepper’s Excellent Adventure (long)

Post by Don Rush » 14 Aug 2017, 14:49

Very much looking forward to our new WCCC-TV upcoming episode #5 "What to look for when Buying a 1970 BOSS". So glad you took the time to stop by!

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Re: Salt & Pepper’s Excellent Adventure (long)

Post by jcbingcougar » 14 Aug 2017, 21:02

Awesome review, Dave. It was wonderful seeing you again in Dearborn and here in the great Pacific Northwest. You are the ultimate road warrior!
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Re: Salt & Pepper’s Excellent Adventure (long)

Post by badcatt » 15 Aug 2017, 00:52

It is inspiring what Cougar lovers have done to meet up all over for the 50th celebrations. I enjoyed meeting you at Dearborn and in Tacoma. You are a true "Cougaraholic"
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,
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they are an entire banquet
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Re: Salt & Pepper’s Excellent Adventure (long)

Post by R Code » 15 Aug 2017, 07:24

Great adventure Dave, glad you were able to make it happen. Logistics. It's what we do. ;)
- Chris

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Re: Salt & Pepper’s Excellent Adventure (long)

Post by cj750 » 15 Aug 2017, 08:04

Thanks or sharing that. I hope to someday be able to spend a summer doing something similar. Maybe by the time the 60th rolls around...
Anyhow, was good visiting with you in Tulsa. Really enjoyed seeing your car as well.

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1969 Cougar Eliminator 351 4V, yellow
1970 Cougar Eliminator 428SCJ, black

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Re: Salt & Pepper’s Excellent Adventure (long)

Post by Mike_B_SVT » 16 Aug 2017, 12:26

An incredible journey! It was great to see you again ~ and to finally see a few of your Eliminators in both Dearborn and Tacoma!
Mike B.
CCOA # 9553

1970 Cougar Eliminator (Competition Gold / Black Decor Interior)
1 of 70 with 428SCJ, Ram Air, 4-speed.
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Looking for an Eliminator? Then be sure to check out the "Eliminators on the Market" thread in the Classic Cougars For Sale section of the forum!

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Re: Salt & Pepper’s Excellent Adventure (long)

Post by BossElim69 » 16 Aug 2017, 13:28

It was great hanging out with you as usual. Doing the photo shoot in Tulsa and working with Jerry was a new experience. See you in Chicago in November.
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Re: Salt & Pepper’s Excellent Adventure (long)

Post by GLC » 18 Aug 2017, 21:40


It's awesome that you could undertake such an adventure. Glad you were able to accomplish it with such a great pair of cars. Great to see you again in Tulsa and thanks for the pix of the SS car in Williamsburg.


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