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Discussion Starter #1
First off I just wanted to say hello to everyone here. I will probably be around quite a bit so I wanted to introduce myself.

Ok This is going to be long.
About 11 years ago when I was 15 my dad bought a 1970 Cougar, 351CL, 58K miles, in beautiful original shape. It belonged to a friend of his who has it stored for 8 years after her husband died. The purpose was to fully restore and give to me as a 16th birthday gift. Anyway we worked on it all the time and before it could get finished the car got trashed by vandals. The leather seats were cut up, windows smashed, headlights kicked in (they killed the hideaways), and various other cosmetic damage. After this happened we tried replacing the damaged parts with no luck. After about a year we put the car into storage.
Life went on and we both kinda forgot about the car. 2 months ago I questioned him on whether or not he had it still. He told me it was still in storage. So I went and got it out, deciding to finish the project we had started years ago.
Here is the problem.
The entire passanger side of the car is shot from door to rear bumper. Rust really ate away at it causing the trunk to pretty much rot out on one side. The roof has peeled and cracked badly. The dash has been cooked by years of exposure. Every seal and bushing has dried up and long since disapated. The suspension is gone completely. I am sure it has many more problems associated with sitting for so long barely protected by the elements.
Here is my dillema. I love that car for sentimental reasons. It was the first real project my father and I ever worked on. I learned how to fix and build on that car. I really want to get it back to it's former glory. But is it possible? What is the aftermarket community like for these cars? Are there still body panels kicking around anywhere for these cars? Is it really going to be worth the money to restore? Or should I just give up?
My immediate budget will be around $4000 to get it running and sort of patched up. That includes a full engine overhaul (done by me) and body work (done at a shop). After that I will be slowly building her up.
Any tips, advice, or help finding parts resources would really be appreciated. Sorry for going on so long but I am pretty torn over what to do at this point.

Shep
 

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Shep

Welcome (from the other side of the world).

How much you spend depends on what you want to do with the car, how long you want to spend getting it done and how much money you have.

With so much panel damage and rust, your $4000 won't go far, particularly if it is CDN (sort of like my $Oz). Check to see if the floors, sills and torque boxes are still sound. If they are OK then quarter panel rust can be fixed with a replacement panel. They can be hard to find and you will have to get one from wreck. Try Don Rush at West Coast Classic Cougars

Sounds like it is an XR7 convertible you have (CL with leather seats). They only made 1997 XR7's in 1970 - so it is a reasonabley rare care to start with and probably worthy of restoration. Unfortunately in the state you described you probably won't get much change from $US10,000.

Can't offer much more advice on the decision. I'm pretty lousy at that anyway that's why I've got three that I own and two more waiting for me to pass some folding stuff to the current owners

There maybe someone on this service who live near you in Canada who might be able to look it over and provide better advice

Good luck
 

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Hi bud... Having had the pleasure of trying to restore muscle cars back when I lived in Edmonton, I can tell you $4000 canadian isn't going to get your very far at all unless you're planning on doing alot of the work yourself.

Unfortunatley, most of the parts supply is down here in the US, and the exchange rate will kill your budget. There are a couple options though. Ray from Victoria (He's on this board), may be able to help, here's a cougar parts vendor out in Victoria, BC. There's also the FordNutz Cougar club in Vancouver who probably have members who can help.

Other than that, most of your replacement parts will need to come from the states unless you can find a donor car. Which is the way I did it when I was up there. To restore one car, I'd buy a cheap, unrestorable car and use the parts from it to make one decent car...

Good luck man.
 

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Hey Shep, welcome to the best Cougar forum. There is a place for Cougar panels (not much though) in Ont. Canada, here's the link.


http://www.crosscanadaparts.com/cgi-local/SoftCart.exe/cgi-bin/pagegen.pl?U+scstore+hbsj8167ff188118+hbsj8167ff188118+533

They also carry Mustang stuff. The torgue boxes and frame rails, and trunk drop offs fity the Cougar with abit of tweaking, Im in the same boat you are sorta. Sit down hard and think about it. If its to sell later on, you probably wont make your money back if its thrashed and need alot of work, but.. If it is sentimental, and plan on keeping it for along time, dont let anyone tell you not to do it. My Cougar has sentimental value too, I brought my son home from the hospital in it (todays his birthday, yeah April1st.)and I plan on giving it to him on his 19th birthday. (The way things are going right now, it might not be dne tll then,lol.)
If I can help out at all, give me a shout, I live in Kamloops,BC, and as Logan says, Ray in Victoria is awesome to talk to.
Good luck, do you have any pictures of the state its in now so we can see.

Rick
 

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Shep,
I would try and get a body shop to look it over befor you put much in to it to make sure you can repair the rust reasonably. Look in "Old Cars Price Guide" to get an idea as to what it would be worth repaired/restored. Most of us here will put far more in to our toys than we could get out, so that is not a real big thing unless the rust repairs cost $20,000 on a car worth $2000. If it is a convertable it is worth far more than that 2K. But the thought is you may find a nice one for far less than repairing yours. Of corse the fact that your dad and you started thia car will and should weigh in on what you finaly do. Now get it is side so it will stay dry. I do have a 70 XR7 parts car, I'll try and post a link to the pics in the photo forum If this does not work just go to the Forums click on Photos and look for "the aqua 70 XR7" Good luck, Neal.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks to everyone that replied.
Here is what I have come up with in the last 24 hours. The floor pans are good. I crawled under it and checked. I also peeled back the carpet and everything seemed ok. Just a little surface cancer, nothing I can't sand off.
The interior, aside from the front seats being slashed is salvagable. Everything was freshly done before storage so most of it just needs a good cleaning. Except for the dash, which I mentioned.
I had a guy I know who does body work come over and he gave me a ballpark figure of about $3500 to do all the body work. Including the bad panel, and a sweet paintjob.
The car is actually a hard top so the vinyl roof will be pulled off and painted. There is no way to salvage it.
The brakes will have to be completely rebuilt. That will be done over a weekend by me. So it is just parts cost.
The engine rebuild will be all done by me. So the only real big cost on the car is the body work.
I will post some pics when I get them developed. I am going to fully document the restoration if I do decide to go through with it. Which I am thinking I will because the car does mean quite a bit to me. I will wait untill I get the engine out and really take a closer look at everything.

Thanks again
Shep
 

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welcome aboard!!!! first of all i would reccoment that you keep the car. you will regret it very much if you let it go. how many people keep a car for longer than 10 years nowadays? you are already ahead of the curve as far as that goes. as for bodywork, why not take a crack at most of that while you can? pull the major dents and maybe fill some of them up and save you at least a little cash before you take it to shop hell. at least they will be able to give you a nice paint job. either way, what do you need for the car?? i do my damndest to find junkyard cars and when i do i take all i can off of them. its been slow lately but they do come up. and ill give the people here first shot at the parts before the land of Ebay gets them.
 

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That's the spirit! Money be damned, just do it anyway! :)

We'll happily encourage you. When I started my resto, I started out telling the wife "It'll only take a couple thousand to fix er right up"... That was $14000 ago.

My problem is, I still have to spend about $3500 on 'er... Sigh...
 

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really?? wow, well i bought my Cougar for $3000. since them ive put another 3-4 K into it. and that includes the paint for both times. its not perfect by any means, but still all i wanted was a nice driver.
 

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Mine is kinda going for that "perfect" spot... I've replaced darn near everything on the car so far... including the entire interior from top to bottom and most of the exterior trim.

The motor has been professionally built from top to bottom. Balanced, blueprinted, expensive rods, pistons, crank...sigh... It really doesn't take much effort to spend alot of money.
 

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well it helps that i have a really nice original interior and an engine strong enough that a rebuild isnt in the immediate future. i would like a valve job, but i cant afford it. but thats mainly to replace the valve seals. when i changed the valve covers out, i saw a few pieces of what looked liked it was a seal at one time. but one day, not now, im poor and out of work :D
 

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I agree with what Logan said, you have to use parts cars if you have a limited budget. Good luck with the resto, can't wait to see another good lookin' classic cat.
 

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Welcome aboard shep.
You said the floors and frame are good, that's a big ++ to start. I would go for it if I were you. Just do a little here and there as time goes on. Doesn't hurt the wallet so bad! At least it doesn't seem that way.
Good luck and I'm sure anyone here will be happy to answer any questions you may have along the way.

Bert
 
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