Blast from the past: 2003 Mercury Marauder

 

By Jerry Robbin

Let’s set the stage for the evolution of the last muscular full-size body-on-frame sedan that still roams the earth: the 2003 Mercury Marauder.

The front clip of the 2003 Marauder is from the Grand Marquis, except for a black-finished grille, new bumper cover and Cibie driving lights. The headlamps have blacked-out bezels, giving the Marauder the appearance of wearing a sinister burglar’s mask.

Driving impression
The Marauder definitely has attitude. Whether you are an enthusiast with a family, who’re seeking to have a sedan with an emphasis on both thrills and utility, the Marauder can handle both jobs.

Fast, handsome and practical to boot, the Marauder has a ride that’s clearly designed to be more than just a one-trick pony. Acceleration is amazing and the handling is superb. The brakes are adequate for the Marauder.

Under the hood
The Marauder’s dual overhead camshaft, 32-valve, 281 c.i. V-8 produces 318 pound-feet of torque, which means that it not only sounds sweet, but you can also rocket down the road with more power and speed than almost anything else in its price range.

Inside
The interior is fitted with twin front bucket seats, a center console with auxiliary AutoMeter gauges for oil pressure and amps, brushed aluminum trim and silver-faced gauges. A 140-watt Alpine AM/FM/CD/cassette player is mounted into the dash.

Enthusiast drivers will appreciate the white-faced displays, which include a 140-mph speedometer, 7,000-rpm tachometer and full instrumentation with temperature, oil and voltage gauges.

Bright trim replaces the fake wood found in the Grand Marquis, adding a touch of attitude. A floor shifter juts out of the center console for a sporty feel, while the five seating positions are upholstered in leather with the winged god Mercury’s head embossed in the seatbacks.

“Marauder” is embroidered into the floor mats to remind the driver this is a special car.

Here are some of the Marauder’s features:
* Remote trunk release.
* Audio And cruise controls on steering wheel.
* Overhead console with storage.
* Front seatback storage.
* Cruise control.
* Leather steering wheel.
* Cargo net.
* Tilt-adjustable steering wheel.
* Climate control.
* Dual illuminating vanity mirrors.
* Speed-proportional power steering.
* Front and rear cupholders.
* Rear floor mats.
* Universal remote transmitter.
* Adjustable pedals.
* Front and rear reading lights.
* Leather trim on shift knob.
* Trunk light.
* One-touch power windows.
* Power mirrors.
* Remote keyless power door locks.
* Heated mirrors.
* Bucket front seats.
* Height-adjustable passenger seat.
* 8-way power passenger seat.
* Height-adjustable driver seat.
* Driver seat with power- adjustable lumbar support.
* Passenger seat with power-adjustable lumbar support.
* 8-way power driver seat.

Outside
The car sports 18 x 8-inch polished alloy five-spoke wheels, with the godhead stamped on the wheel caps.

At the rear, there’s a new fascia embossed with the Marauder name (the only other places the name appears is on the front floormats and the face of the speedometer).

The taillamps and license plate lights feature black-tinted lenses.

Safety Features
With its basis on the Grand Marquis, the 4,165-pound Marauder has all the standard safety features of the day.

Federal crash testing of the Grand Marquis has resulted in a five-star rating for frontal impacts and four-star ratings for side impacts.

The 2003 Marauder comes standard with four-wheel disc antilock brakes with electronic brake force distribution and panic assist, which applies the brakes full-force when a panic stop is detected.

Also standard is the Personal Safety System (advanced restraint and airbag systems) and seat-mounted side airbags.

Summary
The Marauder fulfilled its mission of offering family-car utility with muscle-car attitude.

The Marauder was priced at $34,495 and offered only two options: a $200 trunk organizer and a $350 trunk-mounted six-CD player.

When you purchased the car, you got a limited-edition black leather jacket with Mercury’s head on the lining, snaps and zipper, making you feel that you were part of an exclusive club.
The 2003-2004 Maurader is fast becoming a hot collectible.

Specifications
* Front head room, 39.4 in.
* Front hip room, 58 in.
* Front leg room, 42.5 in.
* Front shoulder room, 60.1 in.
* Rear head room, 38.1 in.
* Rear hip room, 58.7 in.
* Rear leg room, 38.4 in.
* Rear shoulder room, 60.3 in.
* Curb weight, 4,165 lbs.
* Length, 211.9 in,
* Height, 56.8 in.
* Wheelbase, 114.7 in.
* Width, 78.2 in.

 

By Rob May

This California convertible Cat, a 1972 Cougar XR-7 owned by Larry Hurt, makes its den in Oxnard, Calif., and has made appearances at Ventura Classic Car Club (VCCC) and Central California Mercury Club (CCMC) functions.

Born in Carthage Ill,. Larry Hurt has five brothers and two sisters.

“In 1984, I joined the Navy Seabees (Construction Battalion) and was a construction electrician for 22 years,” Larry said. “During the last part of my career, I was a part of the Mobile Utilities Support Equipment (MUSE) program and became a power generation technician.”

Larry met his wife, Rebecca, while in the MUSE program, and they have been happily married for more than 20 years.

“We have two beautiful daughters Katelynn (18) who started Ventura College in January 2020, and Sarah (14) who is a freshman in high school.”

Larry never expressed any “car guy” traits, so Rebecca was a little surprised when he told her about wanting a classic car.

“I decided I wanted a classic car between 1965-75, convertible and I was leaning towards the Cougars,” Larry said.

His Cat was found on eBay, and he negotiated with a dealership in Boise, Ida., without even seeing the car in person.

“The pictures sold me and it was just a matter of getting a fair price,” Larry said. “When I got the car delivered, all my mechanic friends said the car was in really great shape mechanically.”

The car was a restored 1972 Cougar XR-7 convertible, factory interior in great condition, nearly new black power top with glass rear window, and it already had a chrome air cleaner housing, valve covers and dual exhaust tips.

The original V-8, 351-2V Cleveland mated to its factory original Code X FMX 3-speed automatic transmission, now is upgraded with an Edelbrock aluminum 4-barrel intake manifold with a Holly 4-barrel carb.

“There is still a lot of little things I want to do, but it is more cosmetic and a personal thing than a mechanical one,” Larry said.

In the ’70s, car manufacturers had mostly designed the larger body style for the comfort to be on the road. The Cougar XR-7 was Mercury’s way to compete with the muscle cars of the era. This car is no exception.

It will still toss your head back when you step on the gas, even at highway speed.

The convertible look is a California classic design and the eye- poppin’ red color turns heads.

“Oh yeah, I get a lot of looks when they hear the Flowmaster duals rumbling,” Larry said.

The redesigned 2020 Ford Escape drops 200 pounds and gains second-row passenger space, making it best-in-class for the segment.

A completely refined and retuned suspension gives the Escape a smooth and comfortable ride. Co-Pilot360, Ford’s suite of driver’s assistance features, now comes standard and makes Escape a unique vehicle. Highlighting the exterior design is a performance crossover with a sloping roof line and a new front fascia.

Driving impression
The 2020 Ford Escape Titanium came equipped with power from a EcoBoost drivetrain, which has plenty of power to give this Escape the agility to get up and go.

The transmission for the EcoBoost is a new eight-speed automatic transmission that pairs nicely with the 2-liter. Shifts are smooth, well-measured and, paddle shifters make the drive more exciting and exhilarating.

The electric power-assisted steering feels effortless and with drive mode options on the Escape such as Normal, Eco, Dynamic and Sport makes the driving experience more unique. There are also modes for slippery, snow and sand conditions.

The suspension on the Escape is all new, including vibration-absorbing rear subframe mounts for a more comfortable ride.

The Escape is wider and lower than the previous generation, and cornering has vastly improved. Acceleration is quicker and the SUV feels nimbler.

Under the hood
My test drive came with the 2.0-liter EcoBoost motor. This motor never disappointed and had major personality. Its 250 hp and 280 lb.-ft. of torque propelled the Escape down the road with little effort.

Engine and Performance
• All-wheel drive.
• 4-cylinder engine.
• Turbocharged.
• Engine type: Intercooled turbo premium unleaded I-4.
• Displacement: 2.0 L/122
• Horsepower (Net @ RPM): 250.
• Torque (Net @ RPM): 275.
• Transmission: Automatic w/OD.

Inside
The 2020 Ford Escape has more cargo and passenger space inside then the 2019. There’s enough room in the back for four bags of golf clubs. The center-stack unique design is easy to use with touchscreen and physical buttons. Seats are supportive and comfortable, and visibility is excellent.

There is a sliding second-row seat that gives second-row passengers added leg room. With the recline function and supportive seat cushions, the Escape becomes a great road trip crossover.

Ford’s suite of safety and driver assist features comes standard across all trims, and includes post-collision braking, pre-collision assist with automatic emergency braking and lane-keeping assist.

My test drive had parking assist, adaptive cruise control with stop and go and lane-centering, and an evasive-steering assist.

Outside
The Escape had a major redesign this year. The new front fascia is more aerodynamic and the grille drops significantly with new slanted headlamps extending from the top corners.

The body has more curves and a more athletic shape. Even the roof racks are low profile to cut wind resistance. The Escape’s stance gets lower and wider with the crossover’s revised dimensions.

Safety features
• Driver air bag.
• Passenger air bag.
• Front head air bag.
• Rear head air bag.
• Front side air bag.
• 4-wheel ABS.
• 4-wheel disc brakes.
• Safety features.
• Brake assist.
• Electronic stability control.
• Daytime running lights.
• Child safety locks.
• Integrated turn-signal mirrors.
• Traction control.
• Blind spot monitor.
• Lane departure warning.
• Lane-keeping assist.
• Cross-traffic alert.

Comfort and Convenience
• Alarm.
• Back-up camera.
• Cruise control.
• Adaptive cruise control.
• Heads-up display (optional).
• Vehicle anti-theft system.
• Fog lamps.
• Auto-off headlights.
• Keyless start.
• Luggage rack (optional).
• Automatic parking.
• Power liftgate.
• Hands-free liftgate.
• Remote engine start.
• Adjustable Steering Wheel.
• Steering wheel controls.
• Leather-wrapped steering wheel.
• Heated steering wheel.
• Trip computer.
• Remote trunk release.
• Universal garage-door opener.
• Intermittent wipers.
• Rain-sensing wipers.
• Variable-speed intermittent wipers.
• Keyless entry.
• Power door locks.
• Electrochromic rearview mirror.
• Heated Mirrors.
• Mirror memory.
• Power mirrors.
• Driver illuminated vanity mirror.
• Passenger illuminated visor mirror.

Entertainment
• AM/FM/CD stereo.
• Bang & Olufsen 10-speaker sound system with subwoofer.
• SYNC Voice Recognition Communications and Entertainment System with 4.2″ LCD screen in center stack, 911 Assist, AppLink and two smart-charging USB ports.
• FordPass Connect4 with 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot capability.

Exterior Measurements
• Width: 74.1 in.
• Height: 66.1 in.
• Length: 180.5 in.
• Wheelbase: 106.7 in.

Interior Measurements
• Front head room: 40 in.
• Front leg room: 42.4 in.
• Front shoulder room: 57.6 in.
• Front hip room: 55.2.
• Second-row head room: 39.3 in.
• Second-row leg room: 38.8 in.
• Second-row shoulder room: 56 in.
• Second-row hip room: 53.3.

Summary
If you are in the market for a unique crossover, then go to your local Ford dealer for a test drive today of the 2020 Ford Escape.

Aviator Grand Touring debuts advanced electrified hybrid technology, producing 494 combined horsepower and best-in-class 630 combined ft.-lbs. of torque

By Jerry Robbin

Lincoln is back and headed to the top of the class with the all-new 2020 Aviator SUV.

The well-rounded 2020 Lincoln Aviator Reserve is an all-new model that boasts a handsome interior, user-friendly technology and plenty of power.

Driving impression
Think fast, calm, composed and competent as the Aviator takes flight. It has power with a rigid suspension and the handling of a sport vehicle.

Highlighting my test drive was the available adaptive suspension that provided a comfortable, yet composed, ride.

The gigantic 22-inch wheels made handling impressive by providing sufficient control in turns and on the road.

Driving the Aviator was effortless and it had abundant power from 0-60 mph.

My test drive had the Dynamic Handling package with adaptive air suspension that lowers for improved aerodynamics, raises for clearance and constantly adapts itself using road conditions, as well as preview data received from a forward-facing camera.

Under the hood
The 2020 Lincoln Aviator comes standard with a 3.0-liter turbo-charged V-6 that produces 400 hp and 415 pd.-ft. of torque. The vehicle comes standard with a 10-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive, while all-wheel drive is optional. Fuel economy estimates 17/24/20 with AWD.

Inside
The interior of the Aviator has elegance in the cabin. Highlighting the interior are many styling cues, such as the rectangular air vents to the wide, thin accent of open-pore wood that stretches from door to door. The central touchscreen highlights the interior and a floating center console presents a set of controls at an easy-to-reach angle with space beneath for storage.

My test drive had the 30-way adjustable seats, which were easy to adjust and made me feel like I was the captain of a luxury liner. Second-row seats are spacious and can recline, tilt and fold flat, and even the third row proves comfortable for adults on shorter trips.

Below is a complete list of the creature features on my test drive.

Convenience and comfort
• AdvanceTrac with Roll Stability Control.
• Ambient lighting.
• Frameless interior rearview mirror with auto-dimming feature.
• Blind-spot detection with crosstraffic alert.
• Carpeted first- and second-row floor mats.
• Dual-illuminated visor vanity mirrors.
• Quad-zone climate controls.
• Front center floor console with armrest, deep storage bin, two cupholders and powerpoints.
• Lockable glovebox.
• 10.1-inch LCD touchscreen center stack display.
• Intelligent access with push-button start.
• Rain-sensing windshield wipers.
• Leather-wrapped steering wheel with cruise, redundant audio, climate and media controls.
• Power tilt/telescopic steering column with memory feature.
• Overhead console with sunglasses holder.
• Particulate air-filtration system.
• Remote start system.
• Universal garage door opener.
• Forward sensing system.
• Reverse sensing system.
• Electric parking brake.
• 360-degree camera.
• 110V power outlet (2nd row).

Optional
• Heated steering wheel.
• Heated VisioBlade wipers.
• Panoramic Vista Roof with powers unshade.
• Active noise control.
• Adaptive cruise control with trafficj am assist. Includes lane centering, stop-and-go and speed sign recognition.
• Active park assist plus.
• Wireless charging pad.
• Soft-close doors.
• Manual rear-door suns shades.
• Lincoln + Alexa compatibility.

Entertainment system
• SiriusXM satellite radio.• SYNC3.
• Voice-activated navigation with SiriusXM Traffic and SiriusXM Travel Link.
• Four USB ports.
• Lincoln Connect 4G LTE embedded modem with Wi-Fi hotspot capability.
• Revel Audio System with 14 speakers and HD Radio Technology.
• Optional, Revel Ultima 3D Audio System with 28 speakers and HD Radio Technology.

Outside
Lincoln designers gave the Aviator a unique and bold look with the new Lincoln DNA. You definitely know this is a new Aviator with its presence on and off the road.
As its name suggests, inspiration for the Aviator came from vintage aircraft and private jets.

The Aviator has a confident stance, designer horizontal lines and a gleaming mesh front grille that gives this vehicle a distinct personality.

Safety features
Besides the usual airbags and stability aids, the 2020 Aviator comes standard with forward-collision warning with pedestrian detection and automatic emergency braking, blind-spot and rear cross-traffic warning and lane-keeping assist.

A 911 Assist system with automat-ic crash notification is also included as part of the standard Sync 3 infotainment system.

The optional Lincoln Co-Pilot 360 Plus package adds reverse automatic braking, evasive steering assist for the forward-collision mitigation system, a 360-degree parking camera with front camera washer, front parking sensors, an automatic parking system and adaptive cruise control with lane-centering steering assist and stop-and-go functionality.

Safety features include:
• Brake assist.
• Integrated turn-signal mirrors.
• Daytime running lights.
• Blind-spot monitor.
• Cross-traffic alert.
• Lane-keeping assist and lane departure warning.
• Child safety locks.
• Stability and traction control.
• Driver restriction features.
• Driver air bag, passenger air bag, front side air bag, rear head air bag, passenger air bag sensor, knee air bag.

Exterior Measurements
• Width: 79.6 in.
• Height: 69.8 in.
• Length: 199.3 in.
• Wheelbase: 119.1 in.

Interior Measurements
• Front head room: 40.3 in.
• Front leg room: 39 in.
• Front hip room: 58.5 in.
• Front shoulder room: 61.5 in.
• Rear head room: 39.7 in.
• Rear hip room: 58.5 in.
• Rear leg room: 39 in.
• Rear shoulder room: 61.5 in.

Summary
If you are in the market for a unique vehicle that can seat the entire family, then go to your local Lincoln dealer for a test drive today.

By Jerry Robbin

The 2019 Ford Transit Connect boasts numerous improvements versus the 2018 version, including a newly available engine and updated driver-assistance technology. It is a unique vehicle for the entire family.

Driving impression
Driving the 2019 Ford Transit Connect Passenger feels like you are driving a car. It gives you the ability to fit in any size parking space and the steering is very responsive.
The Transit Connect pick up is impressive and the brakes can stop you easily, even with a maximum payload. The vehicle is easy to maneuver and has minimal blind spots.

Under the hood
The Transit Connect has a 2.0-liter Duratec I-4 gas engine, with the option of a 1.5-liter diesel engine. The Duratec operates at 169 hp. Its mileage is rated at 24 mph city and 29 mph highway. It has a 15.8-gallon fuel tank capacity.

Inside
The interior feels like a crossover SUV and my test drive had the long wheelbase (LWD), which had a third row of seating. The controls are easily accessible and the seats are extremely comfortable.

The seats in the back rows can flip, fold or even be removed, so this passenger version still offers a lot of cargo-people flexibility. My test drive was a Titanium, which had a pair of captain’s chairs in the second row. The total amount of occupants it can handle is six.

Outside
The 2019 Transit Connect looks a lot like a van with a car front end. Ford’s signature grille spotlights the unique vehicle front and the signature rear tail lights highlight this unique people mover. It brings a little style, which is then followed by a boxy body that provides all that cargo space and-or headroom enjoyed by those within.

Safety features
• Side curtain airbags (covers all rows in wagons, depending on number of rows.
• Frontal airbags, drive and passenger.
• Front seat side airbags, driver and passenger.
• Rearview camera.
• Tire pressure monitoring system.
• Curve control.
• Torque vectoring control.
• Safety Canopy System.
• Trailer sway control.
• Emergency brake assist.

Comfort and Convenience
• 12-volt front and rear powerpoints in center console.
• 12-volt single powerpoint in rear cargo area.
• Four-spoke leather-wrapped steering wheel with satin chrome accents.
• Auto-dimming rearview mirror.
• Carpeted floor cover, first and second row.
• Cruise control.
• Door pockets.
• Glovebox.
• MyKey.
• Driver sunvisor with vanity mirror and ticket strap, passenger sunvisor with mirror.
• In-Cluster Message Center.
• Overhead sunglass holder and child observation mirror.
• Premium carpeted floor mats, second row.
• Premium carpeted front floor mats.
• Rear cargo-third row carpeted floor cover.
• Premium front center closed console, includes two cupholders, front and rear 12-volt powerpoints, 110-volt power converter and storage.
• Rear overhead courtesy lamp.
• Rear window defroster.
• Remote keyless entry with two key fobs.
• Instrumentation includes speedometer, tachometer and trip computer.
• Steering wheel, manual tilt/telescoping.
• Dual front map lights.
• Intelligent access with push-button start.
• FordPass Connect.
• FordPass Connect telematics modem.

Entertainment
• AM/FM/CD stereo.
• SYNC 3 with 6.5-inch LCD touch screen.
• SiriusXM Satellite Radio 911 Assist, Applink, Apple CarPlay compatibility, Android Auto compatibility.
• Two smart-charging USB ports.
• Wireless charging.

Exterior Measurements
• Width: 84.1 in.
• Height: 71.6 in.
• Length: 190 in.
• Wheelbase: 120.6 in.

Interior Measurements
• Front head room: 47 in.
• Front leg room: 41.5 in.
• Front shoulder room: 58 in.
• Front hip room: 54 in.

Summary
If you are in the market for a unique vehicle that can transport your whole family, along with cargo space to spare, then go to your local Ford dealer for a test drive today.

 

By Galynn Ferris and Cy Schmidt

The 2019 IMOA show in Dayton, Ohio, Aug. 1-3, was a great success. Hopefully you were able to join us.

The saying “Time flies when you’re having fun” rang true with this year’s show.

There were more than 70 Mercurys in attendance, ranging from Texas to Ontario, Washington to Connecticut. It was one of the largest turnouts in years.

The host hotel was the Marriott at the University of Dayton. The hotel staff did a great job hosting this event. The staff, food and service were great.

Colleen from the Marriott was in charge of our event and went out of her way to accommodate our requests. About 10 days prior to our show, the planned Saturday restaurant canceled on us. They were under construction and a group our size just wouldn’t fit.

A quick call to Colleen and she offered to host the pasta dinner at the hotel at the same cost of doing the pizza and salad bar.

Another detail that I need to mention is that when Ron from the Convention Bureau was asked about who to use to make some posters for our event, Ron simply said he would take care of it – he just needed a copy of the artwork. These were very popular and all disappeared within minutes after at the end of the show.

Members started arriving Wednesday evening. On Thursday, we lined up and drove to the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. Thanks to Lynn and Rob Furderer for making arrangements and leading the group to the museum.

This large complex houses aviation history from the first Wright aircraft ordered by the Army Signal Corps to the SR-71 Blackbird. One popular attraction was the Presidential aircraft from Harry Truman’s “Sacred Cow” to the Boeing 707 where President Johnson took the oath of office. We later held a “Circle of Friends” at the hotel.

On Friday, we caravaned to the Gale Halderman Museum, which was a suggested visit by John Clor, of Ford Performance.  Gale Halderman and his daughter, Karen, run the museum and it was a treat to visit. Lots of Ford and Mercury history, and artwork were there. This attractive collection of vehicles and memorabilia is located in the family home where Mr. Halderman grew up. He and his daughter were gracious hosts as they shared stories of automotive history.

Mr. Halderman was involved with styling many models for Ford and Mercury during his career, with the most famous being the original Mustang, He was also the lead on the 1968 and ’69 Montego/Cyclone.

John Clor was able to make our visit as a guest speaker, making it that much more special with a slide show presentation. Thanks John!

The next stop was T.J. Chumps for lunch. The staff there handled our group quickly, and we had a good lunch with a chance to catch up with many friends.

Then on to America’s Packard Museum. After a short detour around a construction site, we arrived and took it all in. Some of our group split off for the Wright Brothers Cycle Shop National Park. The British Transportation Museum and Carillion Historical Park were also on the tour. The day ended with another Circle of Friends.

Show day on Saturday dawned bright and sunny, with the promise of another typically hot August day. Comet Club East held their show in conjunction with IMOA, and several cars were honored with awards from both clubs. John Clor entertained participants with stories and presented flags to Mercurys that he admired.

Thanks to all who volunteered during this event. Without the volunteers, it would not be possible to run a show of this size. Thanks to all who helped with registration, judging, selling raffle tickets and awards.

Again, thanks to the Marriott for their help. They provided reserved parking for participants, large overflow parking for trailers, extra security and a large wash area. Thanks to John Clor with Ford Performance for making this meet special, and also thanks to John’s Classic Cougars.

Lunch was provided by the hotel and again, they did a great job. After awards were passed out, we enjoyed a pasta dinner at the Dewberry restaurant in the hotel, followed by the Circle of Friends.

It’s all too easy to focus in on your favorite cars, and gloss over the diverse years and cars that make up our club. It was great to see so many cars represent the Mercury brand. They were all there, from stock restorations to highly modified customs. Remember to get out there and shine them, drive them and repeat.

We all love our cars, but more importantly, it’s about the people and friends you make through the car connection.

We hope to see you at another show or cruise soon, including the 2020 IMOA show in the Greater Denver, Colo., area.

Here are some comments by attendees of the show:
* Wow, what an exciting time! This was our second IMOA show. The committee that planned the Dayton show went all out. From the Air Force Museum to the Packard Museum, and meeting Gale Halderman, the designer of the Mustang (a once-in-a-life time opportunity).

We managed to find the British Transportation Museum as well which was amazing. It was great to see so many cars this year. All in such great shape it was difficult to judge.
The hotel was beautiful and so accommodating to all of the club’s needs. The hotel’s recommendations of restaurants were all very good and the adventurous rides that the hotel van provided added to the fun.

It was so good to visit in the circle of friends every evening. We are looking forward to next year. Hope to see you then, David and Erica O’Brien.
* Dayton was a great convention. The hotel was lovely. The show was great because of the planning. The museums were fantastic. This was our second show. I was surprised how many people remembered us from the first – it has been a few years. The circle of friends was enjoyable. It was fun watching the circle grow and grow and grow. Keep driving those Mercurys! Marsha McGlothlin.

* We look forward to the event each year. Had a great time as usual. Places visited were very interesting. Just love driving our Mercury along- side other Mercurys. Look forward to meeting same friends and meeting new. Cherish the memories every year. Larry and Karen Valihora.

* We loved the location. Marriott Hotel is the best. Lots to see, close to great eating places. Best of all, just the right distance to drive. Great attendance. Loved it. Shirley Moots.

* This was the first time attending an IMOA gathering. I was very impressed with the event and the organization. Offering pre-show events for members is an excellent idea. Enjoyed going to the various events in a caravan of Mercurys. The choice of hotel was great, both the location and the property itself. The only suggestion I have in the interest of making the event better would be to organize the cars on the day of the car show. Maybe according to year or model. Steve Casselman.

* Comet East was really happy to attend this event. Got to meet members of our club (C/E) that we knew only by phone, etc. Also got to meet and greet new Comet owners. The IMOA event people were very gracious to us Cometeers. Weather was fantastic, could not be better. Hats off to all that attended, and traveled and trailered many miles to make this a happining.Thanks to Jerry Robbin for welcoming us on board. Looking forward to see where the next IMOA event will be held. Maybe we can do this again, as the IMOA members where happy to see us attending their event. Rock and Roll! Pete Girard.

The Comet East trophies were awarded as follows:
Modified, First Place, Fred Akers with a 1964 Comet convertible.
Second Place, John Gotshall with a 1965 Comet convertible.
Third Place, Chester Dlugolecki with a 1965 Comet Caliente.
Stock, First Place, Robert Thorpe with a 1964 Comet Cyclone.
Second Place, Kathy Orcutt with a 1970 Cyclone Spoiler.
Third Place, Cy Schmidt with a 1969 Comet Cyclone.
Peoples Choice, Jerry Fry with a 1961 Comet.
Tim Morely Eye Catcher, Wayne and Judy Miller with a 1963 Meteor S-33.

Note from the editor: There were, of course, many other cars on display at the show. Because of space limitations, these will run in the Winter 2020 issue of Quicksilver.

 

Best of Show: Gary and Beth Baehmann, 1969 Cyclone CJ 428

Participants choice: Jay Williams, 1970 Cougar Eliminator

Best in Class: Jerry and Kathy Orcutt, 1970 Cyclone

Best in Class: Lynn Mahncke, 1987 Cougar LS

Best in Class: Fred and Linda Akers, 1964 Comet

Best in Class: Tom and Fran Harrington, 1966 Comet Cyclone

Best in Class: David and Barbara Kohler, 1949 two door

Best in Class: Paul and Sheila Voyles, 1954 station wagon

Best in Class: Larry and Carol Parks, 1967 Monterey convertible

Best in Class: Steve Casselman, 1977 Grand Marquis

Best in Class: Larry and David McFarland, 1960 Parklane

Best in Class: Steve and Patti Tukos, 1956 Montclair

Best in Class: Gene and Dianna Oliver, 1957 Turnpike Cruiser

Best in Class: Mike Peters, 1978 Grand Marquis

Long Distance: Mike Lough, 1956 Montclair convertible,  distance of 1,230 miles from Dryden, Ontario, Canada

Hard Luck Award: Steve and Patti Tukos, 1956 Montclair, lost a hubcap

Special award from John Clor: Gene and Dianna Oliver,  1957 Turnpike Cruiser

Ford is making its iconic F-150 Raptor – the ultimate high-performance off-road pickup – even better with upgraded technology including class-exclusive, electronically controlled FOX Racing Shox, new Trail Control™ and all-new Recaro sport seats.

By Jerry Robbin

The 2019 Raptor has upgraded suspension and new Fox Racing adaptive dampers that automatically adjust in real time as driving conditions change.

The Raptor gains a low-speed cruise control called Trail Control, that makes climbing rocky terrain and other off-road obstacles easier for the driver. Other updates include new paint colors, a new wheel design and optional Recaro front seats for added support and style.

Driving impression
The new Trail Control feature is a cruise control for off-road trails. The system limits the speed and ranges only from 1-20 mph, though it allows you to set half-mph-intervals for better precision when climbing over obstacles.

The transmission delivers quick shifts and enhances the drive experience. The different drive modes — normal, sport, Baja, rock crawl, deep snow/sand, towing and weather — affect the transmission differently, with Baja and sport mode holding shifts until the last moment, and normal mode keeping the engine’s rpms down to conserve fuel.

The new suspension keeps the Raptor stable over bumpy terrain. The steering is responsive and the brakes can stop the Raptor at any speed.

Under the hood
The 2019 Raptor has a high-output twin-turbo, intercooled DOHC 24-valve, 3.5L EcoBoost engine with port fuel and direct injection, paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission that generates a massive 450 hp and 510 lb.-ft. of torque.

Inside
The Raptor’s interior features heated and cooled front seats, leather seating surfaces and unique color choices that add a touch of luxury. Its touchscreen infotainment system Sync 3 is easy to use and the controls are laid out well. The system supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The Raptor’s 5.5-foot cargo bed is as useful as those of its short-bed rivals, and its interior cubby storage is the best among rivals.

Outside
The 2019 Raptor is nearly 500 lbs. lighter than the previous generation with its high-strength, military-grade, aluminum-alloy body, but what really sets it apart is the tech underneath, with its Trail Control and Terrain Management System.

The bold grill, Raptor signage and rear tail gate set this unique truck apart from its sibling F150.

Safety features
• Standard forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking.
• Available lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist.
• Available blind-spot monitor and rear cross-traffic alert.
• AdvanceTrac with Roll Stability Control.
• Airbags – Front, driver and passenger.
• Airbags – Front, driver and passenger seat-mounted side.
• Airbags – Safety Canopy side curtains.
• Curve Control.
• Four-Wheel anti-lock brakes.
• Safety Belts – Active Restraint System (ARS), Three-Point Manual Lap/Shoulder Belts with Height. Adjusters, Pretensioners and Energy Management Retractors on Outside Front Positions.
• Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS).
• Rear View Camera with Dynamic Hitch Assist.

Comfort and Convenience
• 110-Volt/400-watt power inverter, instrument panel.
• 110-Volt/400-watt power inverter, rear flow-through console.
• 4.2-inch productivity screen.
• Pre-Collision assist with automatic emergency braking.
• Automatic high beams.
• Black carpet flooring with rubber front and rear floor mats.
• Cruise control.
• Delayed accessory power.
• Dome light.
• Fade-to-off interior lighting.
• Flow-through center console with floor shifter.
• Fully flat load floor.
• Gauges and Meters – fuel, oil pressure, transmission temperature and engine coolant temperature; speedometer, odometer and tachometer.
• Grab handles (A-Pillar) – Front, driver and passenger side.
• Horn, dual-note.
• Intermittent windshield wipers.
• MyKey.
• Outside temperature display.
• Overhead console with six auxillary upfitter switches.
• Power door locks with Flip Key and Integrated Key Transmitter Keyless Entry, including Auto-Lock.
• Powerpoint, 12v, Front
• Powerpoint, 12v, Rear.
• Rearview mirror, auto-dimming.
• Reverse sensing system.
• Steering wheel, leather wrapped, sport style with thumb pads and paddle shifters.
• Steering wheel, manual tilt/telescoping.
• Ford Performance aluminum scuff plates.
• Unique interior trim accents.
• Visors with driver- and passenger-side covered mirrors.
• 360-degree camera with split-view display.
• 8-inch productivity screen.
• Adaptive cruise control with Stop-and-Go.
• Ambient lighting.
• Intelligent access with push-button start.
• Lane-keeping system.
• Power-adjustable pedals.
• Power-adjustable pedals with memory.
• Pro Trailer backup assist.
• Rain-sensing wipers.
• Seats – Front, heated and ventilated.
• Smoker’s pack with ash/coin cup.
• Steering wheel, heated.
• Steering wheel, power tilt/telescoping with memory and electronic locking.
• Universal garage door opener.

Entertainment
• AM/FM/CD stereo.
• SiriusXM Satellite Radio.
• SYNC 3.
• FordPass Connect with WiFi hotspot.
• Kicker subwoofer.
• Bang & Olufsen sound system.
• Voice-activated Navigation with SiriusXM Traffic and Travel Link.

Exterior Measurements
• Width: 79.9 in.
• Height: 77.2 in.
• Length: 231.9 in.
• Wheelbase: 145 in.

Interior Measurements
• Front head room: 40.8 in.
• Front leg room: 43.9 in.
• Front shoulder room: 66.7 in.
• Rear shoulder room: 65.9 in.

Summary
If you are in the market for a performance truck with some real get-up and go, then go to your local Ford dealer for a test drive today.

Ford is making its iconic F-150 Raptor – the ultimate high-performance off-road pickup – even better with upgraded technology including class-exclusive, electronically controlled FOX Racing Shox, new Trail Control™ and all-new Recaro sport seats.

By Mark Sherman and Rob May
Photos by Georgina Garcia May and Mark Sherman

Light Aqua Mercury cars are the inspiration for this issue’s collectibles article.

By no means is this a complete list; however, Mark and Rob teamed up to share some of their favorite Mercury miniatures in Light Aqua/Blue (related colors are discussed as well). The focus will be on diecasts and plastics.

Not shown are AMT 1/25 promos, due to the quantities of year and model. There are plenty of paper products, as well, including original dealership brochures, post card promotions, Papercraft folding model kits, magazine ads and posters.

Mark provides us a glimpse of his numerous years of collecting Mercury diecasts and plastics.

“From the start, I have been in a Ford family,” he said. “My dad and his two brothers always had cars and trucks from FoMoCo. One of my uncles collected Model A’s and Model T’s, but his pride and joy was a 1953 Mercury.

“My other uncle was a master mechanic, owned his own Gulf service station and had two stock cars that he built and drove at the local race track (1949 Ford bodies). My dad and mom had station wagons, mostly (the 1964 County Sedan sticks out in my mind), except for the 1957 Fairlane coupe and the 1965 Mustang coupe (which was my mom’s car). My mom’s sister had a 1961 Comet that I loved – can’t beat those fins.

“My very first (real) car was a high school graduation gift from my parents. It was 1975 and the gift was a 1963 Comet. It was an automatic, beige with a white top, four-door. I loved that car and those little fins.

“As a kid, I loved collecting Match Box and Hot Wheels, and I was thrilled when there was a Ford/Mercury/Lincoln that was like one my family had. I had three carry cases full of them and took them everywhere. As a teenager, our house was burglarized and they took the car cases with the other stuff they stole.”

Mark was devastated. He didn’t start collecting again till he was out on his own.

“My favorite color is blue,” he said, “and I love the ’50’s and ’60’s Light Blue, Aqua and Turquoise from that mid-century era, and decided that would be all I collect.”
It is tough, as not all diecast come in those colors, but the search was on.

Mark collects all scales (1:87, 1:64, 1:43, 1:32, 1:25 and 1:18). He has diecast, as well as plastic promo cars and models.

“My friends and family know this, and they are also on the hunt for me.” he said. “They have given me some wonderful gifts, like my 1:24 1957 Montclair from The Danbury Mint.”

Picking favorites from all of Mark’ s Mercurys is difficult, but he loves the afore mentioned 1:24 1957 Montclair, the 1:87 1960 Comet, the 1:18 1964 Marauder, the plastic 1967 1:18 Cougar promo and the 1:18 1956 Montclair convertible.

“Sunstar is one of my favorite manufacturers and many of my 1:18 cars come from them.” he said. “Johnny Lightning and M2 Machines are my favorite 1:64 makers. So, as I am heading into my 40th year of collecting, I am still on the hunt for those Light Blue, Aqua and Turquoise cars.”

Rob May’s Cougar background pairs up well with Mark’s collection. In 1986, Gary May bought Rob his first car – a 1969 Cougar in Light Aqua (E color code). This car has been featured in a previous Quicksilver magazine, along with several examples of collectibles from the May museum (a 40-plus year collection).

Manufacturers of Light Blue Mercury items in this museum include, but are not limited to, the following: Marx, Hot Wheels, Matchbox, Autoworld, Johnny Lightning, M2 and AMT models. The plastic promo cars (both the 1/18th scale Gay Toys Inc and 1/64th F&F/JVZ cereal cars) have been highlighted in prior issues, as well.

While there is a wide variety of blue Mercury Hot Wheels Cougars, a rather unique item is the Japanese “Sweet Rods” premium series 1968 Cougar.

In addition to Cougars, Hot Wheels offers numerous Mercury cars. Examples include: from the 2011 Boulevard series – 1956 Mercury, ’69 Cyclone and Classics’ ’49 Mercury.

Johnny Lightning follows the same footsteps as Hot Wheels, with both Cougars and other Mercury 1/64th diecasts such as the 1971 Montego. Blue Mercury slot cars are also found. Not to be missed is the 1/64th scale AFX Mercury Stock Car and Cougar Thunderjets.

Vintage items besides the promos, Cougars can also be found in light blue. Marx “Mini Blazers Bulldog” is the smallest. Not to be missed is the 1/64th scale AFX Mercury Stock Car for slot-car racing. AMT produced a 1/43rd scale “Mini” model of the 1969 Cougar that is molded in Light Aqua, matching Rob May’s Cat! (A similar AMT “mini” was produced for the first-generation Cats).

Rob reminds everyone, “Always place a miniature version of your car on the dash at all car shows to gain more points!”

While the same color paint may be found on a particular year Ford/Lincoln/Mercury, the name of the paint varied. In addition, each year offered a chance to change the name or the shade of the paint. This article highlighted Light Aqua/Blue Mercury collectibles. Clearly, other shades of aqua/blue Mercury items are available as well.

“Aqua” examples include Hot Wheels ’69 Mercury Cyclone, Hot Wheels Classics series – Purple Passion (’49 Mercury) and Ertl’s, owned by Racing Champions at the time (2001), American Muscle series ’49 Mercury.

Diecasts, plastic promos and paper products can all be added to your blue Mercury collection!

By Jerry Robbin

The all-new 2019 Ford Ranger is making a strong bid to be the No. 1 mid-size pick up this year. It is definitely a serious player in the mid-size truck segment.

Nearly everything is new about the 2019 Ranger and it leads the pack with its unique design and amenities.

Driving impression
The Ranger uses a heavily revised version of the architecture Ford uses for mid-size pickups built and sold around the world.

The steering is quick and responsive, but doesn’t feel jittery over rocks or plowing through mud.

Ford’s engineers developed the steering and chassis with great off-road characteristics.

The on-road ride is smooth with a full load or empty. The payload is 1,560 pounds for the 4WD crew cab.

The Ranger’s EPA fuel economy ratings are also competitive. Rear- drive models scored 21 mpg in the city, 26 on the highway and 23 combined, while four-wheel drive notched 20/24/22.

The Ranger’s front has a slight dip, which helps its handling on the road and is meant to improve its driving dynamics. Ranger’s front end gives the truck a more horizontal stance. It can be parked and navigated into some tight parking spaces.

Under the hood
Power comes from the proven 2.3L turbocharged four-cylinder engine Ford already uses in the Mustang and other vehicles. This motor has 310 pound-feet of torque with amazing acceleration and towing capability. The Ranger comes with a 10-speed automatic transmission.

Inside
The interior design and controls of the Ranger are straight out of the F-150. Highlighting the Ranger is a big touch screen; dials and buttons for climate with an excellent voice recognition system.

The seats are very supportive and comfortable. A rotary knob controls the state of the 4×4’s transfer case, and it includes a neutral tow mode to enable four-down towing behind a motorhome.

Buttons to enable Trail Control and hill descent control and the locking rear differential are nearby. The 10-speed’s console shifter employs a straight-pull design, that makes the Ranger unique in the mid-size truck category.

The centerpiece of the infotainment system is Ford’s impressive Sync 3 architecture, and among other things, that means the Ranger will support Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There are two console-mounted USB ports.

Other options include Ford+Alexa enhanced voice control, built-in navigation, and a B&O Play by Bang & Olufsen premium sound system.

Automatic emergency braking comes standard along with lane departure warning with lane keeping assist, a reverse proximity alert system, and a blind-spot monitoring system than can be configured to account for an attached trailer.

Highlighting the suite of safety features in my test drive Lariat was adaptive cruise control and enhanced automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection.

Outside
The 2019 Ranger features a rounded front fascia that shares its basic theme with the Ford Edge crossover SUV. Headlights protrude out from a wide grille highlighted with a big Ford blue oval and the word “Ranger” stamped into its plastic.

A deep cut into the lower doors gives the Ranger more visual flair from the side than its slab-sided competitors. At the rear, its tailgate features the big Ranger logo. Our test vehicle was a crew cab, which featured a 5-foot bed and front-hinged rear doors.

Safety features
• Airbags – Dual-stage driver and right-front passenger front.
• Airbags – Front-seat side.
• Airbags – Safety Canopy System with side-curtain airbags and rollover sensor.
• Automatic Emergency Braking.
• Anti-Lock Brake System.
• MyKey (XLT).
• Rear-view camera.
• Remote Keyless Entry with remote tailgate lock (XL and above).
• SecuriLock® Passive Anti-Theft System
• SOS Post-Crash Alert System.
• Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS; excludes spare).
• Trailer sway control.

Comfort and Convenience
• 110-volt Power Outlet – Rear Flow-Through Console.
• Dual 4.2″ Productivity Screens.
• Pre-Collision Assist with Automatic Emergency Braking.
• Blind Spot Information System with Cross-Traffic Alert.
• Ambient lighting.
• Automatic high beams.
•Color-coordinated carpet with carpeted floor mats.
• Floor Mats – Carpeted with Nubuck edge and Ranger Logo.
• Locking Glove Box.
• Cruise control.
• Delayed accessory power.
• Dome light.
• Fade-to-off interior lighting.
• Flow-through center console with floor shifter.
• Grab handles (A-Pillar) – Front, Passenger-side.
• Horn, dual-note.
• Intermittent windshield wipers.
• Lane-Keeping System.
• Outside temperature display.
• Intelligent access with push-button start.
• Powerpoint, 12v – Front, Two (2).
• Powerpoint, 12v – Rear.
• Rearview mirror, Auto-dimming.
• Forward and Reverse Sensing System.
• Steering wheel – Leather-wrapped.
• Steering wheel, manual tilt/telescoping.
• Visors with driver- and passenger-side illuminated, covered mirrors.

Entertainment
• SiriusXM Satellite Radio.
• Speakers – 6 Audio Speakers.
• FordPass Connect with 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot.
• 911 Assist.
• Applink.
• SYNC 3.

Exterior Measurements
• Width: 73.3 in.
• Height: 71.8 in.
• Length: 210.8 in.
• Wheelbase: 126.8 in.

Interior Measurements

• Front head room: 39.8 in.
• Front leg room: 43.1 in.
• Front shoulder room: 56.7 in.
• Rear head room: 35.9 in.
• Rear leg room: 34.5 in.
• Rear shoulder room: 56.3 in.

Summary
If you are in the market for a mid-size truck, head down to your local Ford dealer for a test drive of the new Ford Ranger truck today.

By Jerry Robbin

There is nothing like the new Ford Edge ST. As far as true performance SUVs at this price point, the Edge ST is really a one-of-a-kind vehicle.

The new 2019 Edge ST replaces the outgoing Edge Sport. The ST has a more potent engine, sport-tuned suspension and a sporty aesthetic.

Driving impression

The Edge ST has 335 hp and 380 lb.-ft. of torque with its 2.7-liter V-6. It is capable of 0-60 mph in under six seconds.

The Edge ST has crossover-ground clearance, making it capable of traversing terrain.

It comes standard with 20-inch or optional 21-inch wheels and low-profile performance tires. The steering is very responsive and the braking is without exception the best in its class. The Edge is a very capable of holding the road at any speed.

Inside

The ST seats are very supportive and hold you in place at any speed. It comes with unique sport seats, as well, wrapped in black leather and micro suede. Both of the front seats are also adorned with an embossed“ ST” logo. The controls are easily accessible, functional and easy to use. With 39 cu. ft. of cargo room behind the second row and 73 cu. ft. with the second row folded, the Edge is capable of handling luggage or groceries. It is a reasonably priced performance-oriented station wagon.

The Edge ST also offers just about all of the modern driver-assistance tech and infotainment features you could want as well, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, multiple USB ports, a wireless charging pad and available 4G LTE with Wi-Fi connectivity.

Outside

The ST has the unique Ford DNA with new front and rear bumpers, and a host of ST badges inside and outside. It features sporty styling, highlighted with a front that has a wide mesh grille for optimal cooling and subtle Shelby GT350 cues on the lower front fascia.

The huge grille allows 70-percent more airflow. The ST has rockers that featured deep-side skirts and the rear gets smart-looking dual-exhaust outlets.

Safety features

• Personal safety system.

• Side-impact airbag

• Front and second-row safety canopy side-curtain with rollover sensor.

• SOS post-crash alert system.

• Belt-Minder  front safety belt reminder).

• Child-safety rear door locks.

• Lower anchors and tether anchors for children.

• Individual tire pressure monitoring system.

• Rear-view camera.

• Driver knee airbag.

• Glove-box door-integrated knee airbag.

Comfort and Convenience

• Ambient lighting.

• Manual tilt/telescoping steering column.

• Leather-wrapped steering wheel with cruise, secondary audio and 5-way controls.

• Front console with armrest, storage tray and two cupholders.

• Overhead console with holder for sunglasses.

• Auto-dimming interior rearview mirror.

• Dual-illuminated vanity visor mirrors with sliding feature.

• Driver and front-passenger seatback map pockets.

• Cupholders (8).

• Cargo management system.

• Four 12 volt PowerPoints.

• Power windows with up/down driver’s side window feature.

• Power door locks with autolock feature.

• Front and rear map lights.

• Front and rear dome and cargo lamps, second row dome LED lights.

• Battery saver.

• Unique carpeted floor mats and Ford Performance scuff plates.

• Four grab handles

• Cargo net.

• Liftgate assist handle.

• Easy Fuel capless fuel filler.

• Memory feature for exterior mirrors.

• Compass.

• Intelligent Access with push-butt on start.

• BLIS (Blind Spot Information System) with cross-traffic alert.

• Power tilt/telescoping steering column.

• Intelligent oil-life monitor.

• Locking glove compartment.

• Outside temperature display.

• Cruise control.

• Perforated leather steering wheel with city silver stitching and ST logo.

• Lane-keeping system.

• Aluminum brake and accelerator pedal covers.

• Two (2) driver-configurable 4.2-i nch LCD displays in cluster.

• Smart-charging USB ports (2).

Entertainment

• SYNC 3.

• FordPass Connect with Wifi Hotspot.

• B&O Premium Sound System by Bang & Olufsen.

• Audio input jack.

• SiriusXM radio.

Exterior Measurements

• Width: 75.9 in.

• Height: 68.3 in.

• Length: 188.8 in.

• Wheelbase: 112.2 in.

Interior Measurements

• Front head room: 40.2 in.

• Front leg room: 42.6 in.

• Front shoulder room: 60.3 in.

• Rear head room: 40.3 in.

• Rear leg room: 40.6 in.

• Rear shoulder room: 60.5 in.

Summary

If you are in the market for a high-performance CUV , then the ST is meant for you. It stands out most with its impressive balance as a sporty, yet comfortable mid-size CUV that makes it unique in its category. Visit your local Ford dealer for a test drive today.

By Tom Maruska

Sometime in April of 1954, Ford Motor Co. designer John Najjar made a proposal to build a couple new show cars, one of which was the XM Turnpike Cruiser.

For those who don’t know, the “XM” stands for eXperimental Mercury.

Najjar was also the key designer of the 1954 Mercury XM-800 concept car that I restored a few years ago.

Unfortunately, no one in its past ownership history, including the Mercury Division of Ford Motor Co., took care of this important design concept vehicle.

It sat outside its entire life after the show circuit of 1956, exposed to the harsh climate of Detroit, Mich.,in its early years, and then in California’s relentess sun until I purchased it in the summer of 2018.

While sitting outside in the back parking lot at Ford’s headquarters, vandals broke the door windows, allowing the elements to get in the car and begin its deterioriation.

If you look at the early pictures of the XM-TC in its prime, you’ll notice that the hood “peak” is barely noticeable. Look again at the current pictures with the replacement hood, and you’ll see that the peak is quite enhanced from the original version.

I intend to completely fabricate a new hood in the original style during the restoration.

The XM-TC evidently had a few rust holes in the front of the quarter panels, just ahead of the rear wheels on both sides.

The hood was apparently damaged or rusted beyond repair at some point, as a replacement hood was fabricated by one of the former owners who owned a body shop.

The condition of the repairs to the quarters and to the replacement hood are a testament to the quality of workmanship the XM-TC has received under prior ownerships.

At right, notice the “butterfly” roof sections over the driver and passenger seats, These are clear plexiglass sections that open automatically when the doors are opened, and close again automatically when the doors are closed.

They are activated by micro switches in the door jambs and are powered by electric motors at the rear of the roof under the headliner panel, which are connected to the “butterflys” by drive shafts.

The XM-TC was lower than any car of its era, which was done to give more headroom getting in and out of the car.
A 1955 Mercury coupe rolling chassis was sent from Ford to Ghia Carozzeria in Italy to construct the XM-TC on top of. Ford also sent along a 3/8 plaster scale model for Ghia to work off of.

Ghia built the XM-TC from the chassis up. In other words, the chassis was first modified to accomodate the plans for the car in that there was an extension added to the rear of the chassis because the XM-TC was to be longer than any production car of the day.

It was also built much lower than any other production car of the day, standing only 52.4 inches high. This was accomplished in part by cutting approximately four inches off the top of the chassis at the foot well areas.

Cutting that much out of the chassis would severly weaken it and surely cause problems, such as doors binding.

This was compensated for by adding additional frame rails inboard from the main rails. These new rails were on either side of the drive shaft.

The new structure was added and then the floors were welded into place on the new chassis. The rest of the body was subsequently built from there on up.

There was also additional strengthening structure added at other areas under the floor.

In order to begin the restoration, I have to separate the body from the chassis. To accomplish that, I’ll first weld trusses inside the body to keep it rigid while I cut the floors away so I can separate them.

I have a rust-free 1955 Mercury Coupe chassis to use for the restoration and I’ll modify that to match the original and build the floors on top, as Ghia did in 1955.
As you can see, I have my work cut out for me.

Ed. Note: Tom has many more images of the original and current XM-TC on his website at www.tommaruskacars.us. There is also video footage dating back to 1956 showing the car on tour with the Big M Van-O-Rama.

By Rob May

In the last issue of Quicksilver, we detailed 1/64th- and 1/43rd-scale promos in the cases where Mercury joined with other entities, including a third party, to their mutual benefit in advertising.
Typical hard-plastic promo models are 1/25th-scale cars and trucks. Cougar dealer models were never offered in this size (although AMT offered a kit in hobby stores). Instead of this common size, we will discuss the larger 1/18 soft-plastic Mercury Cougar promotional representatives.

These collectibles initially were a Mercury dealer product that later merged into the toy market.

In 1967, Mercury dealerships utilized Gay Toys Inc. to advertise. A mail-away offer and direct-dealer placement introduced the new Cat in 1/18th scale. In this case, there was no third-party product involvement. One could walk into the Mercury dealership and acquire this soft plastic item or wait for one to be mailed to their home.

Details were fairly accurate. The white interior included a steering wheel, which is often missing through the years. A clear plastic piece formed the windshield and rear glass. Side roof posts are commonly found bent when the clear plastic is missing.

Colors offered were light blue, green and dark burgundy red. License plates indicated “1967,” although blank plates are found indicating the transition to the next model year.

For 1968, these Mercury Cougar advertisement items continued. All part molds were the same as 1967, with a couple distinctive differences: license plates now had “1968” and the side marker lights are clearly on the body (versus the rear emblem found on the ’67).

All colors from 1967 carried over; in addition, a darker blue, yellow and red were added to the regular line.

Initially produced for Mercury as advertising material, Gay Toys Inc. transformed them into a toy, as well.

Instead of blank mailing boxes, these Cats were placed onto colorful display platforms. Along with the regular line, a “Drag Kat” version with hood scoop (GTE style) was presented in a box platform.

Interiors for the scoop version were now in white and black. Bumpers are black. Exclusive to this version is an additional orange body color.

The 1967 Cougar promos are fairly common, although ones with boxes are highly desirable. The ’68 versions are much harder to find, with the Drag Kats less seen than their regular counterpart.

By far the rarest Gay Toys Inc. 1/18th piece to find is the “Sportster” set 790 that includes a Cougar pulling a trailer with a pair of motorcycles.

A yellow “hitch” attaches to the rear bumper, enabling the car to connect to the trailer.

Beyond 1968, no Cougars were offered by Gay Toys Inc. GT40 models were produced in the 1/18th scale. Other Ford products were made in smaller scales, but no other Mercury vehicles.

All photos are by Georgina Garcia May Photography and all cars will remain the May family museum.

By Jerry Robbin

Ford has totally redesigned the all-new 2018 Lincoln Navigator, which is now the leader of the luxury large SUVs.

Highlighting the Navigator is comfort and performance. Ford started the category years ago and now they are back as the leader of the segment.

Driving impression
The Navigator gets decent gas mileage with a 16 mpg in the city rating and 23 mpg on the highway, using regular gasoline.

It has an exceptional ride and a small turning radius with little body roll around turns.

The Navigator can tow up to 8,700 pounds, which can pull a trailer or a boat. Handling is exceptional for such a large vehicle and the brakes can stop at any speed. Driving the Navigator seems effortless on the road or in the city.

Under the hood
The Navigator comes with a 450-hp, twin-turbo V-6 mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission. The engine is more powerful and accelerates the Navigator with ease. There’s minimal turbo lag and the transmission shifts effortlessly.

Inside
The Lincoln Navigator L Reserve seats seven adults with the second-row captain’s chairs. All three rows of seats have enough space for adults to ride comfortably, and the seats are very supportive on long trips. The 30-way power-adjustable seats are the best in the class.

The Navigator’s interior features an abundance of premium materials and feels totally luxurious.

This Lincoln is a class leader in cargo space with 103 cubic feet of space. There is enough room for some large outdoor gear, plus adults and children.

My test drive was the Reserve Navigator L, which has even more cargo space, with over 34 cubic feet of room behind the third row and a maximum capacity of about 120 cubic feet.
Standard features include tri-zone automatic climate control, six USB ports, a Wi-Fi hot spot, a 14-speaker Revel audio system, satellite radio, and the Sync 3 infotainment system.

The infotainment system includes a 10-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility (not standard in every competitor) and navigation. My test drive featured a panoramic sunroof, wireless device and a 20-speaker Revel audio system.

Outside
The 2018 Lincoln Navigator signature grille highlights the front end of the vehicle. There is a LED-backed Lincoln badge in the middle of the grille and dual LED accents under the headlights scroll on and off.

In back, there’s Lincoln’s signature LED taillights spanning the hatch, and LINCOLN spelled out in giant letters. The silhouette has unique details that make the Navigator distinctive.

Inside
The Lincoln Navigator L Reserve seats seven adults with the second-row captain’s chairs. All three rows of seats have enough space for adults to ride comfortably, and the seats are very supportive on long trips. The 30-way power-adjustable seats are the best in the class.

The Navigator’s interior features an abundance of premium materials and feels totally luxurious.

This Lincoln is a class leader with 103 cubic feet of space. There is enough room for some large outdoor gear, plus adults and children.

My test drive was the Reserve Navigator L, which has even more cargo space, with over 34 cubic feet of room behind the third row and a maximum capacity of about 120 cubic feet.

Safety features
• Four-wheel disc anti-lock brake system (ABS).
• Driver and front-passenger Dual Stage airbags.
• Side Impact Airbags.
• Safety Canopy with Roll Over Sensor.
• Belt-Minder.
• Child-safety rear door locks.
• Crash Severity Sensors.
• LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tether Anchors for Children).
• SOS Post-Crash Alert System.
• Personal Safety System.
• Individual Tire Pressure Monitoring System (excludes spare).
• Brake and Engine-Actuated Traction control.
• Emergency brake assist.
• 360-Degree Camera
• Rear view camera with washer.

Comfort and Convenience
• Reverse Sensing System.
• Genuine Wood Trim: Center Console and Door Panels.
• Leather-Wrapped Steering Wheel with Audio and Speed Controls.
• Coat Hooks, (2) Second Row, (2) Third Row.
• Cargo Area Floor Mat.
• Carpeted Front and rear floor mats.
• Cup/ Bottle Holders.
• Instrument Cluster, 12″ Configurable LCD Display.
• Ambient lighting
• BLIS (Blind-spot Information System) with Cross-Traffic Alert.
• Rear-window defroster.
• Reading Lamps.
• Auto-dimming rearview mirror.
• Power-Adjustable Brake and Accelerator Pedals.
• Power Tilt/Telescoping Steering Column with Memory.
• Power windows with front one-touch-up/down.
• 2nd Row One-touch-up/down rear-windows.
• Fixed Rear Quarter/Power Front Quarter (Glass Hinges and Vents).
• Hands-Free, Foot Activated Liftgate.
• Power door-locks with autolock.
• Universal garage door opener.
• Intermittent Rear Wiper.
• Tri-Zone Electronic Automatic Temperature Control.
• Overhead Console with Sunglasses Holder and Conversation Mirror.
• Front console with winged armrests and storage.
• Glove compartment- Lockable, Dampened.
• Remote start system.
• Cruise control.
• Push-Button Shift.
• Intelligent access with push-button start.
• 110V power outlet.
• Heated steering wheel.
• Rain-sensing front wipers.
• Windshield wiper de-icer.
• Wireless Device Charging Pad.
• Personal Profiles (Audio, Climate, LDC, Seat, Mirror, Pedal memory).
• Embedded 4G Modem with WiFi Hot Spot Capability.

Exterior Measurements
• Width: 93.8 in.
• Height: 76.4 in.
• Length: 210 in.
• Wheelbase: 122.5 in.

Interior Measurements
• Front head room: 41.8 in.
• Front leg room: 43.9 in.
• Front shoulder room: 65.2 in.
• Rear head room: 40 in.
• Rear leg room: 41.1 in.
• Rear shoulder room: 65.1 in.

Summary
Inside and out, the redesigned 2018 Navigator is an ultra-luxury vehicle. It has an upscale look and feel you want from a luxury vehicle. Go to your local Lincoln dealer for a test drive today.

By Rob May and George Woehlke

The International Mercury Owners’ Association welcomes George Woehlke from Santa Maria, Calif., and his 1967 Mercury Cougar XR-7.

He is one of three founding members of Mercury Stray Cats – Central California. George is the MSC Central CA’s top active car show member, having participated in the most car shows, including but not limited to St Patrick’s Day Santa Maria and Warbirds Paso Robles Fullerton SCCC. George has been promoting the need for a Mercury Cougar class at all shows.

George shares his story: “My first car I ever owned was a 1957 Ford Fairlane 500, which I purchased for $275 when I was 17 years old in 1966. I owned this car until I was drafted in 1968.
My sister’s girlfriend had a 1968 Mercury Cougar. She would allow me to drive it and that is when I decided to buy a Cougar when I got out of the service.

Unfortunately, when I was discharged in 1973 from the USAF, I spent two to three years going back and forth to the Veterans Hospital in Los Angeles, having surgeries for injuries that occurred while I was in the military.

I got married and my thoughts of owning a Mercury Cougar went to the wayside for many years.

When I separated from my wife in 2001, I started searching for my dream car, a 1967 Mercury Cougar. After several long years traveling through the good old USA, I decided to find one locally because I could not afford to travel in order to see one-sided Cougars (one side looks good in the picture, the other side is all messed up).

In 2005, I finally found my 1967 Mercury Cougar XR-7 in San Luis Obispo County. This Cougar had only 69,269 miles. It was built in San Jose, Calif., and sold to an elderly lady in 1966 from Fresno. When she passed, she gave the car to her son, who did not want it.”

George was living in an apartment then, so he made arrangements with the manager of the apartment complex to lease another spot so that the Cougar would be covered from the weather.

“I would work on the car on my days off from work from sun up to sun down,” George said.

While fixing the little rust on the car, he decided to have the car stripped down and repainted.

“The original color was called Lime Green Gold, which I really didn’t care for,” George said. “The color I picked was a 2007 Ford Freestyle Color called Moss Green.”
He chose that color because he wanted to help show off the interior of the car.

“Shortly after getting my Cougar back from the body shop,” he said, “I was just beginning to have engine problems.”

Author Rob May (at left) and Cougar owner George Woehlke celebrate awards they were given at a recent car show.

A friend of his named Kevin owns a shop called Mustangs Limited in Arroyo Grande, Calif.

“Together, we took out the engine and found out that my timing chain took a tremendous dump, with only one plastic tooth left on the timing chain. We were both amazed the car still ran.”

Kevin then pointed out that rebuilding the engine would cost way more than a new Crate engine (there were no guarantees on the rebuild of the original engine, which was a 289).

“At that point,” George said, “I asked him to order a 351 Windsor engine and Headman Headers.”

George enjoys driving his Cougar at least once a week or more, driving in luxury and comfort (like riding in a Lincoln with comfortable luxuries and being safe).

Next up is the All Ford Orcutt California Sept. 8 event, with a newly added Mercury Cougar class.

Also, Mercury Stray Cats Central CA hosts Mercury Cougars, Comets and Cyclones on Saturday, Oct. 6, at the Radisson in Santa Maria, Calif. This is an all Mercury event – any and all condition Mercurys are highly encouraged to join us!

Images for this story provided by Georgina Garcia May and George Woehlke.

 

 

By Jerry Robbin

The 2018 Ford Fusion Sport features all-wheel drive, which is a great addition in the Snow Belt area like Chicago.

Driving impression

The 2018 Ford Fusion is one of the few mid-size sedans available with all-wheel drive, and features a sporty-feeling suspension and sharp steering. It has a twin-turbo 2.7-liter V-6 with 325 horsepower, which is impressive on the highway. The steering is very responsive and the braking stops in any situation without any fading.

2018 Ford Fusion interior

Inside

The Fusion interior features an upscale design and use of high-quality materials. There is plenty of passenger and cargo space. The easier-to-use Sync system improves the driving experience and there is a host of easy-to-use tech systems and features. The seats are comfortable and supportive, and the center stack and controls are easily accessible. The dash is well laid out and the Fusion Sport has a unique interior.

The following is a list of the interior features found in the 2018 Fusion Sport:

Entertainment

• AM/FM stereo.

• Auxiliary audio input.

• CD player.

• HD radio (optional).

• MP3 player.

• Satellite radio.

• Premium sound system (optional).

• Wi-Fi hotspot (optional).

• Smart device integration.

Heating and cooling
• Climate control (optional).

• Dual-zone A/C (optional).

• A/C.

2018 Ford Fusion interior

Navigation and communication

• Navigation system (optional).

• Onboard hands-free communications system.

• Wireless cellphone hookup.

Seats
• Leather seats.

• Premium synthetic seats.

• Cooled driver seat (optional).

• Heated front seats.

• Driver lumbar.

• Passenger lumbar.

• Seat memory.

• Power driver seat.

• Power passenger seat.

• Pass-through rear seat.

• Second-row bench seat.

• Bucket seats.

Outside
The 2018 Ford Fusion Sport’s styling has the Ford signature logo on the grill, unique fog lights, a mesh grille and charcoal-colored wheels. The Fusion is easily identifiable as it travels down the highway with its unique design cues.

Exterior Measurements

• Width: 72.9 in.

• Height: 58.1 in.

• Length: 191.7 in.

• Wheelbase: 112.2 in.

Interior Measurements

• Front head room: 39.2 in.

• Front leg room: 44.3 in.

• Front hip room: 55 in.

• Front shoulder room: 57.8 in.

• Rear head room: 37.8 in.

• Rear hip room: 54.4 in.

• Rear leg room: 38.3 in.

• Rear shoulder room: 56.9 in.

Summary

If you are looking for an all-wheel drive sporty and stylish sedan, visit your local Ford dealer for a test drive of the Ford Fusion.

Safety features

• Driver air bag.

• Passenger air bag.

• Front head air bag.

• Rear head air bag.

• Front side air bag.

• 4-wheel ABS.

• 4-wheel disc brakes.

• Brake assist.

• Electronic stability control.

• Daytime running lights.

• Child safety locks.

• Traction control.

• Blind spot monitor (optional).

• Lane departure warning (optional).

• Lane-keeping assist (optional).

• Cross-traffic alert (optional).

• 4-wheel disc brakes.

• Brake assist.

• Electronic stability control.

• Daytime running lights.

• Child safety locks.

• Traction control.

• Blind spot monitor (optional).

• Lane departure warning (optional).

• Lane-keeping assist (optional).

• Cross-traffic alert (optional).

 

Ed. Note: Story and images courtesy of Carlisle Events.

The 2017 Carlisle Ford Nationals show is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Mercury Cougar, including the appearance of the serial No. 1 Cougar.
The will be held Friday-Sunday, June 2-4, at the Carlisle Fairgrounds in Carlisle, Pa.

The special Cougar will be on display in Building T, along with dozens of special Cougars, including the XR-7, GT, Eliminator, Dan Gurney Special, Sports Special, XR7-G, XR7-G Hertz, GT-E, Cougar 500, Ski-Pac Special, Calypso Coupe, Rocky Mountain Special, Hounds-tooth Top (both white and ginger colors), R-code Cougar, 429 Equipped Cougar, Blue Max Cougar, 25th Anniversary Cougar, 30th Anniver-sary Cougar and the Roush Cougar.

The serial No. 1 Cougar has its origins in 1966. Ford Motor Co. put in a deepwater shipping facility on the Bay of Fundy in New Brunswick/Nova Scotia.

Lee Iacocca and other Ford executives were present for the dedication. Dryden Motors, of Moncton, New Brunswick, which was the oldest Ford-Lincoln-Mercury dealer in Canada at the time, sent their dealer principal to the event.

He had the opportunity to talk to Iacocca to try and get his Mercury Cougar orders in quicker after finding he was way down on the list for fulfillment.

Iacocca agreed to send him a factory show car to put in the showroom. After a call to Special Vehicle Operations, Iacocca had a vehicle for Dryden Motors.

However, he was unaware that they were sending him Cougar One and it turned out it couldn’t be sold because it didn’t have the Manufacturers Statement of Origin. Dryden Motors then put it out on a closed-end lease to the owner of a local car wash across the street from the dealership.

After returning the lease to the dealership 35 months later, Cougar One was parked at the dealership until 1979. After the dealer principal died, the dealership lost its personal service contract with Lincoln Mercury, the dealership filed bankruptcy and the car was auctioned off.

Local hardware dealer Dale Garland won the auction and tried to sell the Cougar in 1982 in Cars and Parts magazine, with no luck.

The car sat in a Quonset hut south of Moncton until 1994, when Cougar Club of America member Mark Ogden found the old issue of Cars and Parts at a swap meet and saw the old classified ad.

He was able to contact Garland and found the car was still in storage in the hut.

Fellow club member Jim Pinkerton found out about the Cougar through Ogden and drove to New Brunswick to check the Cougar out.

After digging some snow out of the way of the door, Pinkerton made his way into the hut and inspected the car, finding that all the numbers identifying the car were still available.

Pinkerton offered Ogden the first chance to buy the car, since he was the one who originally found it. Ogden purchased the Cougar and owned it for about nine months, but decided the cost of restoration would be too much for him.

Ogden offered the car to Pinkerton for the price of what Ogden had put into the car, with the agreement that Pinkerton would restore it to the way it should be.

Pinkerton contacted Bob Lutz at Lincoln Mercury and made an agreement with them to lease the car for $1 for 30th anniversary events of the Cougar if Lincoln Mercury would pay to have the car restored.

The car was restored in time for the 30th anniversary after it was acid dipped and had many NOS parts purchased to replace old parts.

 

By Roy Lange

If you own an early Mercury or Ford, as I do (1953 Mercury), you have the vacuum wiper motor built by Trico that was installed by the factory in your car.

For those of you that live in the flatter portion of the U.S., the wiper worked well enough until you got caught in a rainstorm and wanted to pass the car in front of you.

Then you pushed on the accelerator and your wipers stopped in place on the windshield. Not exactly what we have come to expect from our wipers today.

My issue is that I live at an 8,300- foot altitude and since most of the car shows and cruises are in the Denver area, when I come home I am climbing 3,000 feet in a 13-mile stretch of the highway. So the accelerator pedal spends most of the time closer to the floor.

If it was raining, I relied on Rain-X to do the job of removing the rain from the windshield. A little-known fact is that Ford offered electric wipers in their trucks as early as 1948.

A little over a year ago, I was at the Tri-State Swap meet in Denver, with the goal of seeing if I could find said electric wiper motor and brackets with the thought of installing them in my Merc.

As I went through the swap meet, I asked if anyone had the early electric wiper motors and one vender said he did. He returned with what turned out to be the Electro-Vac vacuum pump. I really had no idea what it was from, but I asked the price and when he said $10, I thought I couldn’t lose. I bought it and took it home to see if I could get it to work.

I recommend that you remove the motor from the unit to free up the pump when cleaning it, then reassemble it before testing it with the motor.

After taking it apart, I sprayed WD-40 into the pump to help free it up, then used a drill on the pump shaft to turn it over until it turned freely. I then reassembled the motor and the pump, and now had a working Electro-Vac vacuum pump that I tested with a vacuum gauge.

All well and good, but now where did it all go? I contacted Trico and they were kind enough to send me diagrams showing how and where to mount and service the unit. These diagrams would have been provided in the box with a new unit when they were originally being built and sold. They also sent me original ads for the unit.

Trico apparently figured out, probably from customers’ not-too- happy feedback, that their wipers had a few shortcomings. Subsequently, they created the “fix” and made it available to the general driving public, since their wipers seemed to be the standard in most vehicles of that era.

The diagrams showed the unit being mounted on the passenger side of the engine compartment. Mine was a bit full already, so I decided to mount it over on the driver’s side next to the voltage regulator, as there was ample space.

The unit I bought did not come with the switch, so I searched until I found an original switch that came with the unit. Since none were available on the Internet, I did have a switch that was almost identical.

I proceeded to first paint the switch the correct color and used transfer letters to finish it. It does have a light bulb behind the switch that lights up when the switch is turned on, so the paint was a light coat to allow the light to come through.

The final step was to recreate the label. Trico was also kind enough to provide me with a high-resolution picture of a not perfect, but very useable and patina-appropriate label.

I then printed it on sticky-back, water-resistant photo paper. Overall, it turned out not bad.

The completed unit was installed in the car and forgotten about, until I was returning from a cruise in Golden, Colo., and it began to rain.

I turned on the wipers and since I was climbing back up the hill, the wipers immediately stopped in the middle of the windshield.

I looked down and there was the pump switch just sitting there, waiting to be turned on. I turned it on and, low and behold, I had working wipers again!

So, the next time you are in the rain with your classic car and the wipers stop, remember there was a fix created by Trico back in 1948 (I have a copy of the original drawing for the bracket dated 8/3/48).

The next time you are at a swap meet or on E-bay, keep an eye out. They come in 12- and 6-volt models. They are not hard to install and they do work. At the end of this are some of the diagrams I received from Trico.

Ed. note: Roy Lange is an IMOA member who resides in Conifer, Colo.

 

 

A 1957 Turnpike Cruiser convertible Indianapolis 500 pace car brought a winning bid of $110,000 at the Barrett-Jackson auction held Jan. 14-22 in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Overall, the auction garnered $102.5 million and set 40 world auction records. The consignment of 1,719 vehicles was the most in the company’s 46-year history.

The Charlie Thomas Collection, featuring 146 vehicles, sold for just over $1.7 million.

From Barrett-Jackson’s auction listing of the Turnpike Cruiser:

This 1957 Turnpike Cruiser convertible Indy 500 pace car was restored to concours condition in 2000 with 32 test miles since the completion. It is factory-equipped with front and back Mercury-only deluxe seatbelts.

It’s also equipped with optional factory air conditioning, which was installed on less than 1 percent of all 1957 Mercurys built.

It was the winner of eight national awards, including International Mercury Owners’ Association Best in Show, Hilton Head Concours Best of Class, Vintage Weekend Best of Show, AACA Grand National First and Senior.

It was selected by Ford Motor Co. to return to the Indy 500 track in 2004 to pace 50 new 2004 Mercury Marauders for a TV commercial.

It also comes with a signed photo from Sam Hanks, winner of the 1957 Indy Race with Pace Car. It’s equipped with a V-8 engine and automatic transmission.

By Roy Lange

This is for all of the people that have cell phones and want to charge them while driving their classic Mercury.

If your car is 12 volt, it is not an issue, because all you need to do is get a cigarette lighter adaptor (pictured at right), plug it in and you are good to go.

The plug reduces the 12 volts down to the 5 volts required to power/charge the phone. But, if you are dealing with a 6-volt positive ground, it is slightly more complicated, but still not too difficult.

I have a 1953 Monterey convertible that is a 6-volt. I bought a USB kit from eBay (look for it searching for “motorcycle USB ports”).

I decided to install it in the ashtray. I wasn’t using it anyway, since I gave up smoking when cigarettes went from a quarter to 35 cents from a machine.

I located mine in the ashtray, but you can put yours wherever you want. I had another ashtray in the extra dash that I have hanging on the wall.

First, I drilled a hole in the bottom of the ashtray and put a rubber grommet in it to make sure the metal wouldn’t rub, cut the wire and create a short. The best thing about these USB units is that they are all plastic, so there are no grounding issues.

I took the plastic rectangle that came with the unit (one of the reasons I bought this USB plug) and cut it down so that it fits directly in the top of the ash tray.

Since I have a 6-volt positive ground car, I remembered that the “+” side of the plug goes to ground and the “-” side of the plug goes to the hot lead, controlled by the ignition switch (mine is still 6-volt positive ground in the 1953 Merc).

The red wire goes to the power source (ignition switch), while the black wire goes to wherever you want to ground it.

This unit reduces the 6 volts down to the 5 volts required to power or charge the phone. It works great and is not noticeable when it is not being used.

And in the event the next owner (once they pry the steering wheel from my cold dead hands) wants to go back to original, all they have to do is disconnect the two wires and insert the other ashtray.

Ed. note: Roy Lange is an IMOA member who resides in Conifer, Colo.

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cruising-with-my-merc-25thanniv

By Pat Eager and Virgil Klein

The IMOA 25th Anniversary Show was held in Louisville, Ky., July 28-30. IMOA members from many states were in attendance, with the longest distance traveled by Dave and Corrinne Carlson from Port Charlotte, Fla. Other members came from Canada, Texas, New York, Iowa, Oklahoma, Alabama, Wisconsin, Illinois, Nebraska and Minnesota, to name a few.

jimbeamThursday saw a large group head to downtown Louisville for a day of sightseeing and our members had several hours to enjoy the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.

Another popular place to visit was the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory. At the entrance, you will find the World’s Biggest Bat! Made of steel, it weighs 68,000 pounds and stands 120 feet tall. The Big Bat is an exact-scale replica of Babe Ruth’s 34-inch Louisville Slugger bat. After a very interesting tour through the plant and museum, the members received a miniature Louisville Slugger bat.

churchillSome of the members visited Churchill Downs, the famous location for horse racing in Kentucky. Horse racing in Kentucky dates back to 1789, when the first race course was constructed in Lexington. Almost 100 years later, in 1875, Churchill Downs officially opened its gates in Louisville and began its tradition as “Home of the Kentucky Derby” and the longest continually running sporting event in America.

The Muhammad Ali Center is a multicultural center with an award-winning museum dedicated to the life of the late boxer. The Center museum captures the inspiration derived from the story of Ali’s incredible life.

cars-culversIn the evening, the Mercurys caravanned to a nearby Culvers for burgers and fries, topped off with a delicious sundae with any topping you wanted.

The day concluded with the “circle of friends” on the patio of the hotel, sponsored by Wayne and Judy Miller. This was a time for reflection and getting acquainted with Mercury colleagues. Perhaps finding a solution to a Mercury problem or finding a part for your car could be answered.

On Friday morning, many of our members left on a cruise to Elizabethtown for the car show that was taking place there. They stopped along the way in Glendale for lunch at The Whistle Stop, a family- owned restaurant cooking up good southern food in Kentucky such as fried green tomatoes and excellent desserts. On the cruise to Elizabethtown, the group encountered some heavy rains and most of them headed back to Louisville.

long-distanceThe day once again concluded with the “circle of friends.” While enjoying each other’s company, one of our members returned from the Elizabethtown car show and informed us that he’d won the “distance” trophy at the show. So, take a look at his trophy …

Saturday, July 30, was show time. I am always amazed at the quality of the cars that come to an IMOA show. Our club has some the of the nicest Mercurys in the country.  The hotel served a nice picnic lunch on the patio of salads, brats and barbecue. The show began at 10 a.m. and trophies were awarded at 2 p.m.

dave-and-patA Lifetime Membership Award was given to Dave and Pat Eager for their many years of excellent service to IMOA.

jerry-jacketPresident Jerry Robbin was presented with an IMOA jacket and hat for his dedication to the Mercury club that he began in 1991 and has been president of ever since. Without Jerry’s talents, there may not ever have been a Mercury club at all.

Many thanks to the judging crew, led by Virgil Klein, which consisted of Wayne Miller, Cy Schmidt, Tom Cagle, Bob Easton and Galynn Ferris. Judging can be a thankless task and is very difficult when so many cars of this quality gather in one place. Thanks also to Gary Baehmann and Larry Valihora, who helped with parking.

I must make mention of the hotel where we stayed. Don and Joyce Culling had arranged for our show at the Marriott East. If you are ever in the Louisville area, stay here! Great rooms, great food and a wonderful staff accommodated our every need.

marriot-diningA group of the club members wanted to eat at the hotel Saturday evening and the hotel set up a special room for us. We certainly appreciated everything the hotel and staff did for us to make our stay a memorable one. We thank them.

After dinner, which the hotel graciously set up, the time in Louisville ended once again with a circle of friends. A big thank you to Kathy Orcutt for her bourbon balls and homemade cookies, which were enjoyed by all.

Next year’s show in Wisconsin marks the 50th anniversary of the Mercury Cougar. See you there!

10708633_839273962763514_1545148253815462130_o

By Todd Haefer

New IMOA member Harry Hartman, of Ridgeley, W.V., has combined his love of classic vehicles and photography to keep a historical record of his cherished Mercurys.

IMG_0291“We are always looking for new and unusual places to photograph our antiques,” he said. “We enjoy taking our Mercurys to different scenic spots.”

Harry and his wife, Kathy, own a 1952 Mercury M1, ’54 Mercury M100; ’52 Ford F1, ’57 Meteor Rideau 500 and a ’49 Mercury M47 panel truck.

“I’m a photography nut,” Harry said. “I bought a 35mm camera in 1975 and it opened my eyes to the beauty of the world. I wanted to create a pictorial history of my trucks with the ultimate goal of creating a photo book for each of my vehicles.”

Harry got interested in Mercury trucks when he decided to jump into the classic car hobby.

“I wanted to get involved in antique vehicles, and everyone had an old Chevy or Ford. I knew I couldn’t afford the typical classic car. I didn’t have the money or time for graveyard cases.

DSC_4331“Since my father loved trucks, I decided to go in that direction. I went to pick up the 1952 Ford F1 in Canada, and the guy there asked if I had ever heard of Mercury trucks. I hadn’t and then I had to have one.”

Besides his photo books, Harry uses his pictures for various greeting and holiday cards.

“Some of the photos make for great Christmas cards, as well as congratulation cards,” he said. “We have submitted pictures of our trucks to local community calendars and photo contests, and have been selected for a month or two on each of the community calendars.”

Cover main artHarry researched train schedules to take the photo that starts off this story, with the M1 and M100 on each side of the oncoming train.

“I’m a retired schoolteacher and the train engineer at the time was one of my former students,” he said, “so I was able to find out the schedules. That picture was taken at the Woodcock Lane Crossing in Mount Savage, Md.”

The Hartmans put their classics to good use.

“We tell everyone we didn’t buy them to just look at,” Harry said. “We don’t drive them every day, but every weekend at least two of the antiques are on the road. I have three sons and two live very close to us, so there are times that three or four of the Mercurys are out on the road. It is always neat to pull into a car show or a restaurant with all the Mercs and see the oohs and ahhs.”

The Hartmans took two of their pickups to the 2015 National Ford Truck Show.

“I get yelled at by purists at shows about why I have a flathead in a ’54 truck,” he said of the M100. “They base that on 1953 being the last year Ford used them in its trucks. But, Mercury in Canada used flatheads for one more year for its trucks.”

His Meteor Rideau 500 was purchased after Kathy mentioned she would like an automatic classic to drive to shows.

“We started looking for a Mercury truck with an automatic, but then the gentleman we purchased the 1952 Mercury from heard me talking about our new search, and said he had been looking for a good home for the Meteor and felt we would take care of it.”

He said Kathy enjoys the Meteor so much that she made a whole family of Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls (36-inch, 24-inch and 18-inch) that fill the back seat.

“She said her kids are very quiet and well behaved when she is driving,” he said.

Harry said it was another Canadian purchase and draws attention at shows.

“Everyone assumes it is a Fairlane 500 until they look closer,” he said. “It has a 292 V-8 and is about 90-percent original.”

merc home 3Harry’s latest purchase is a 1949 Mercury M47 panel truck.

“It has the flathead V-8 with the Canadian markings on the heads,” he said.”It has a three-speed on the floor and is about 90-percent original. Personally, I think the only thing that is missing is some wording on the side of the panel. When people saw panel trucks like these originally, they were usually owned by some company – hardware, plumber, market or bakery, to name a few – that had their names on them. I feel it needs something like that on the side.”

jerry.robbin.51sport.sedanBy Todd Haefer

Jerry Robbin, president of the International Mercury Owners’ Association, is unique in that he still holds his title 25 years after founding the club in 1991.

“Our club is trying to keep the Mercury marquee alive, just like a museum,” he said. “Mercury had an identity crisis when it started and it still does. Many people aren’t even sure what a Mercury was. Once they got rid of standalone Lincoln and Mercury stores, Ford and Mercury cars just started to look similar and that was a killer.”

Jerry grew up in the Chicago area and it didn’t take long for his car interest to develop.

“My dad bought a new car every couple of years, always General Motors and Oldsmobiles,” he said. “I always loved looking at the new models at the Chicago Auto Show or at the local dealers.

The first collector car Jerry owned was 1959 Chevy Kingswood wagon he bought in 1986.

jerry.robbin. 59commuterwagon5This led to his buying a 1959 Mercury Commuter wagon from Carl Hilchen, who later was one of the charter members of the IMOA.

“The first place I went looking for parts for the Commuter was at the Iola Car Show,” Jerry said. “I was asking around for Mercury parts and the vendors acted like I was a leper.”

He then thought to look for parts through clubs.

“I found that there were no national Mercury clubs,” he said. “There were some small ones, pocket clubs, here and there. I decided to find out why there wasn’t a national one.”

He contacted Chuck Snearly, who worked for Ford Motor Co., about forming a club.

“That led to Ford funding an ad in Hemmings Motor News asking if people were interested in joining a Mercury club,” Jerry said. “I sent out a first newsletter to people who responded to the Hemmings ad. After a year, we had a hundred members and there was steady growth after that.”

The IMOA’s peak year for membership was 2008, when there were 1,400 registered members.

The newsletter eventually morphed into Quicksilver magazine, funded by a membership fee, which provided essential information for members, such as classified ads.

“Many classic car owners are looking to buy or sell a car and parts,” Jerry said. “I looked at a membership fee as an investment to find these things. They also like to see pictures of theirs and other cars.”

Jerry even wrote articles for awhile.

“I wrote about ‘Fred the Wagon,’” he said. “It was written like the car was talking.”

Many charter members wrote for the club publication, including Jim Tweedy, Bill Moulton, Jim Wickel, Bill Arnold and John Harvey, the latter who still provides columns for each issue.
Other original members who had a great influence on the club were Carl Hilchen, Paul Melchart and Ernesto Romero.

The first annual IMOA show was in 1993 at the Gilmore Auto Museum in Hickory Corners, Mich. Through the years, members attending the annual show have driven their cars on the Indianapolis 500 race track, toured the South Dakota Badlands and the old frontier town of Deadwood, cruised through the Smokey Mountains, gone country in Branson, Mo., and celebrated Ford’s 100th Anniversary in Detroit.

“Everyone I meet at the national shows are such down-to-earth people,” Jerry said. “We have a great time together. The people are so important. The best thing about the club is the networking that is created.”

The club has a varied membership that have ranged from those with 100-plus collections to those who are still working on the restoration that they started 25 years ago.
The club is truly international, with members hailing from Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Great Britain, Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Mexico, Norway, New Zealand and The Netherlands.

Like many clubs nowadays, there has been a tricky transition between having a club publication and an online presence,

The IMOA is currently juggling the past and present, still publishing Quicksilver as a magazine, but also having its www.mercuryclub.com Web site and a Facebook page.

Jerry is satisfied by what the club has accomplished through the years and what it means to members.

“The greatest thing is the camaraderie and meeting such great people,” he said. “I’ve been able to meet members in Switzerland and rode in their cars there. We have members in Finland, Denmark, Sweden, Great Britain and South America that we help out when they’re looking for parts or other information.”

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Tom Gerrard, of Big Sky, Mont., received the award for Best of Show at the annual IMOA car show that was held Aug. 21 in Spearfish, S.D. Tom also received Best in Class awards for his 1956 Montclair and 1966 S-55 convertible.

Tom said he bought his Parklane in 2006 from IMOA member Jerry Capizzi and finished restoration in 2008. “We live in far west Montana – almost in Idaho,” Tom said, “It’s usually too far to drive to national IMOA shows, so it was nice to be able to have one closer to where I live. I drove one car to the show and trailered two others.”

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Al Delessio (left) with his 1967 Mercury S-55.

Al Delessio (left) with his 1967 Mercury S-55.

By Tim Cleary

Way too soon.

Long-time IMOA member Al Delessio passed away Aug. 27 at the age of 58. He lived his whole life in northern Pennsylvania and worked for one company his entire career.

He had battled the big C and dealt with all the related junk. When he had to go through another round of chemo he always said, “Tim, what can we do, but what the doctors tell us to do?”

Al was pure class and a lifelong car lover and Mercury aficionado. He used his cars as drivers and even used his wagon at work in the vending business. When he told me he could fit a vending machine in the back of his wagon, just like back in the 1960s, I had to smile. How many people were doing that in 2015?

Al’s daily driver was a 1990 Mercury Colony Park station wagon and he was always on the lookout for more wagons to find and fix up. He was a super positive person and just loved talking cars. He loved station wagons and was a memory machine on the old cars that he loved all of his life.

His pride and joys were a rare S55 Mercury 428 and a 1967 Cougar. Like every car addict, Al always had a car he was tracking down through calls he got from people who knew to call him about any Mercury product that was somewhere out there, calling his name.

Al's 1967 Mercury S-55.

Al’s 1967 Mercury S-55.

Is it torture or pleasure overload when a car lover hears about a car that sounds so sweet, so amazing, so perfect, we simply must go to see it or at least call the owner? That’s how I want to remember Al. I would freeze him in that moment, ready to go see the rare low-mileage car he had just heard about.

If there was a pill for this sickness we shared, Al would not take it. There is always a great find around the corner. Al had a childlike excitement when he would recount to me what he had just heard about that would send both us into old car station wagon orbit.

His wife and daughter were very supportive and even drove some of the cars he loved for their daily activities. That is one sweet family unit.

I could talk his language. That’s what car buddies do. We listen and add positive feedback, and fan the flames of excitement. One log on a fire is about as exciting as a candidate’s debate. It takes two to really go into the stratosphere and that’s why I loved talking to Al.

And that’s why I now feel so sad and alone and diminished.

I knew he was in the hospital, but I kept calling. There was a lady with a 1991 Ford Country Squire that was close to him. She wanted to see the car go to a good home. I kept calling, but I got no response. I was nervous about his health.

Then my phone rang. It said Al Delessio. I answered, relieved and excited to know he was OK.

I said, “Hello, Al!” But it was his daughter in tears to tell me Al was gone.

Al didn’t care about trophies or shiny paint. That is the mark of a man with a strong self image and a grasp of what matters in our short time on this earth.

Now he is gone. Who will replace the Al Delessios?

He was a Packer fan because he watched the first Super Bowl. A Mercury man because he was there for the glory days. A gentle person who never said a bad word about anybody. A junkyard expert who knew where all the parts were hiding.

The younger generation is great and they can use GPS and find out where there is a $6 IPA beer or a $4 cup of coffee. But they never got to grow up with these old classic rides. That’s part of what makes Al Delessio impossible to replace.

Who can I call tonight that had Al’s knowledge and passion and love for our hobby? What will happen to our hobby and our wagons when all the Al Delessios are gone?

Please don’t use them in demolition derbies. Please don’t let them sit unused in a garage. Please don’t part them out for some tarted up two door that needs a front clip.

Think of Al and shine up a dusty one. Get it running and take it to a show. Tell the folks passing by about the car and a man named Al who made our hobby so sweet for the folks who were lucky enough to know him.

There will never be another Al Delessio.

Jerry ClorLong-time IMOA member Gerald Edward “Jerry” Clor died Oct. 24, 2015, while at home with his wife, Cecelia, in Dallas, Ga., at the age of 66. Jerry lost his courageous battle with cancer after being diagnosed earlier in the year.

He was born in Detroit, Mich., on March 4, 1949, as the second of five children born to Edward L. and Charlotte M. Clor (deceased). He is the brother of Jim Clor (and wife, Kathy, of Sun City, FL), Judy Pink (and husband, Pete, of Lexington, MI), John Clor (and wife, Jenny, of Harper Woods, MI) and Joe Clor (and wife, Kyle, of Grosse Pointe Shores, MI).

As the beloved husband of CeCe, he is the loving father of Aaron Clor, Sara Deko (and her husband, John) and Daniel Clor (and wife Kiali), as well as a proud grandfather to (Ashley and Mikey Clor; John, Joey and Cooper Deko; and Zach, Paige and Daniel Clor, Jr.), step-granddaughter, Brittney Derosier, along with many nieces and nephews.

Jerry graduated from St. Juliana Grade School and St. Anthony High School in Detroit, and gained his college education in Michigan as well as some of the several states (including Washington, New Jersey, Connecticut, Arizona, and Pennsylvania) where he had resided during his accomplished corporate career in pharmaceutical sales and training.
He was a Vietnam Veteran with service in the United States Air Force at DaNang Air Base. He had a life-long passion for cars and had served as regional director for the IMOA.

A story on Jerry’s automotive activities will be in the Winter 2016 issue of Quicksilver.

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Cruisin’ Caskets is a Sun City, Calif., casket fabricating company that specializes in automotive coffins.

“It enables the car aficionado to rest in a true piece of art with personality and style,” is the way owner Danny Mendez describes his business.

P1010111The cars may embody any make and style of car, ranging from 1950s classics, muscle cars and today’s more stylish models.

Cruisin’s Web address is www.cruisincaskets.com; e-mail, info@cruisincaskets.com; tel. (951) 215-MERC (6372).

 

 

topBy Rich Anderson

On a wintry December night in 2009, I opened my issue of a local farm and ranch magazine and started to thumb through it.

There in the classifieds, buried in the back pages, was an ad that stated simply, “original 1947 Mercury convertible for sale,” followed only by a phone number. No name, address, price or picture.

The next morning I called the seller, who was surprised because he hadn’t even received his copy of the magazine yet.

It turned out he was the son of the registered owner, who by that time was living in a nursing home. I was the first call he had received.

The barn where the Mercury was stored for 53 years.

The barn where the Mercury was stored for 53 years.

Like his father and grandfather before him, the seller lived on the family farm just a few miles south of the Canadian border, and the car was in a bam on the family homestead where it had spent the last 53 years!

The man sounded like a typically blunt, but honest, Montana rancher, and I was inclined to believe him.

After asking about the general condition of the car and leaming it had run into the barn under its own power all those decades ago, and that it had not been wrecked, I decided to buy the car right then, for the price asked, sight unseen.

My last word to the seller at that point was “Today, as soon as the banks open, I will send you a cashier’s check for your full price. I will be there to pick the car up as soon as possible.”

My home in Billings, Mont., was about 350 miles of icy highway and back roads from the car I was not to see for another two weeks.

The blizzards on the Montana high-line eventually subsided, and on the first clear day, a friend and I took my trailer to the remote homestead near the town of Havre.

There, rolled out of the bam, was my 1947 Mercury convertible. It was exactly as described – very dirty, very original and very intact. The Tucson Tan paint seemed fairly decent from what I could tell. The filthy top was still in one piece. The dash and woodgrain looked potentially beautiful beneath the layers of dust.

Everything was present under the hood. I pocketed the radiator petcock, which was still sitting on top of the air cleaner. The odometer read 27,942 miles.

I then excitedly conversed with the rancher in greater detail about the Merc’s history. His father had purchased it from the Ford dealership in Havre in 1954, after the original owner traded it in. It was then used as the family automobile for about two years before the left rear shock absorber was somehow damaged and separated from the frame.

CCI06172015_0006Intending to make repairs before long, the old gentleman (then young) parked his Mercury in the barn. That was in 1956, and the car, though occasionally started and run in place during the early years, was never driven again.

The repairs were never made. Over time, the car was eventually forgotten by the family and simply left where it was. The children and grandchildren, though, knew it was there, but were completely disinterested.

The For Sale ad I had answered was prompted finally by the seller’s need to help finance his father’s care. In parting that day, this honorable man told me he had received at least 15 phone calls after mine, but he kept his word with me. Our telephone handshake was as firm to him as anything in writing.

Once I got the Mercury home, I found a Carter Oil grease sticker on the doorjamb showing an oil change on July 8, 1954, at 24,529 miles.

First thing, after sweeping and blowing away the remaining loose dirt, I changed the oil and filter, and installed a new battery. I replaced the H-10 spark plugs and squirted transmission oil into the cylinders. New belts, hoses, thermostats and coolant came next (I was able to use that petcock).

After several days, I hand tumed the engine and found it to be free. Neither the gas tank nor the fuel pump were usable in their condition, though, so before startup, Jerry Koch contrived a gravity system that fed gas from a suspended gallon can directly into the carburetor inlet.

The time had come. I called in some of my friends of Big Sky Region #153 of the National Ford V-8 Club, consisting of Russ Anderson of Bridger and Jerry Koch, Al Jenkins and Larry Liptac of Billings.

Russ cautioned me not to switch on the ignition until I had first spun the engine with the starter to see if there was oil pressure. There was almost immediate pressure, so we tried the ignition. The engine started, but it missed badly.

Russ then dislodged a large mouse nest that was packed in the tailpipe. In just a few more turns, the engine was running on all eight and better yet, it sounded great.

That was it for the day, but much work remained before I could test drive the car.

The entire fuel system was redone, from gas tank to carburetor. I found that other than a good flushing, the radiator and cooling system needed nothing. To ensure no future ignition problems, I removed the distributor and ran it over to Al Jenkins’ shop. He put it on his K.R. Wilson testing device and found that it was set up perfectly.

Further examination revealed that it had a “Ford factory rebuild” label on it. The points looked new and as the distributors generally do not fail for at least 20,000 miles, Al surmised it must have been replaced shortly before the Merc was put in storage.

Countless hours were spent in cleaning up the interior and canvas top, which originally had been black. I removed both seats and had them professionally cleaned.

CCI06172015_0008The red leather seat and door trim were excellent. The floor coverings, while showing use, were now presentable. The dash, including all woodgraining, gauges and plastic, tumed out to be pristine.

All wheel cylinders were honed and fitted with new kits, as well as the master cylinder. The brake drums only needed a good cleaning and the original brake shoes showed so little wear that they were reused. The brake hoses, of course, required replacement. All chassis grease zerks, after some persuasion, did take grease. New gear lube was put into the transmission and differential, and then more cleaning.

Another item that needed replacing, in additional to the rear shock, was the muffler. I contacted Dan Krehbiel, who referred me to an outlet that still carried a few genuine Mercury parts. As luck would have it, they did have a NOS Ford script 1947 Mercury muffler.

The old girl was now in good shape. Though the engine has never been opened, it runs strong and cool with good compression.

Some time in the car’s early life someone replaced the rubber rear fender shields with aftermarket chrome-plated ones. Over the long storage, these had rusted on the surface. But in the trunk, along with the damaged rear shock and a like-new top boot, I found the two original rubber guards in perfect shape. It was a simple matter to put them back on the car.

I repeatedly hand polished and waxed the exterior paint until it looked beautiful from 20 feet. The chrome and stainless trim, including bumpers, likewise responded to T.L.C. All the trim and paint work you see in the photos are 100-percent factory original. So is the nearly perfect glass. Only the tires are new.

My wife Cheri and I trailered the Merc to the Westem National V-8 Meet in St. George, Utah, in October 2010. At its first showing, my “barn find” won a triple Rouge award for its all-original interior, exterior and running gear.

I have driven it very sparingly since. The odometer now reads 29,202 miles. I intend no restoration. The car will be preserved as is.

2014 Ford Transit Connect Wagon

The 2014 Transit Connect is a versatile wagon that is worth stopping by your Ford dealer for a test drive. It features exceptional 22 mpg city/ 29 mpg hwy. gas mileage.

The Transit Connect Wagon has been completely restyled inside and outside. A new longer wheelbase has been added, making the wagon available as a five-passenger with the short-wheel base and my test vehicle, the seven- passenger Titanium with the longer wheelbase.

2014 Ford Transit Connect WagonDriving Impression
My test drive had the 1.6-liter turbo drivetrain, which provided excellent acceleration. The 1.6 is capable of handling any city or highway driving. The ride and handling were very good for a wagon and it was a great vehicle for errands and car pooling. The Transit Connect has a 2,000 lb. towing capacity.

Under the Hood
The 1.6-liter EcoBoost was very quick for daily driving and capable of going from 0-60 in 8.8 seconds. The EcoBoost delivers 178 hp and 184 lb.-ft. – more torque than the 2.5. The mileage was exceptional at 22 mpg city/29 mpg hwy.

The vehicle earned a five-star Overall Vehicle Score from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the government’s highest possible overall rating.

2014 Ford Transit Connect WagonInside
The Transit Connect Wagon has a flexible interior layout featuring a flat floor height.

The interior is highlighted with quality plastics, plenty of cup holders and storage. It has a high roof, looks great and has built-in storage above the first row of seats. Highlighting the Transit Connect was a large moon roof, power sliding doors and tailgate. My test drive was the loaded Wagon Titanium that had leather and heated front seats, a power driver seat, leather-wrapped steering wheel, dual-zone automatic front climate control, separate manual rear climate controls, SYNC voice-command, rearview camera, MyFord Touch, navigation, 17-inch alloy wheels and MyKey with programmable usage restrictions. It can accommodate about 130 cu. ft. of cargo.

Outside
The new Transit Connect Wagon has some of the current Ford design cues, including the grille. The vehicle has a fun look and is highlighted with fog lights that are set in the bumper. The new rear blade taillights highlight the new 2014 design. Large sliding doors open wide for passenger entry and exit.

2014 Ford Transit Connect WagonFront Seats
* 6-way power driver seat.
* Driver seat with manual- adjustable lumbar support.
* Passenger seat with power adjustable lumbar support.
* Height-adjustable driver seat.
* Cloth seats.
* Bucket front seats.

Rear Seats
* Split-folding rear seatback.
* One-piece folding third-row seats.
Power Features
* Remote power door locks.
* Power mirrors.
* Heated mirrors.
* Two one-touch power windows.

2014 Ford Transit Connect WagonInstrumentation
* Clock.
* Tachometer.
* External temperature display.
* Low fuel-level warning.

Convenience and Comfort
* Cruise control.
* Front, rear and third-row cupholders.
* Front console with storage.
* Front seatback storage.
* Front and rear door pockets.
* Overhead console with storage.
* Retained accessory power.
* Electric power steering.
* 12V front, rear and cargo area power outlets.
* Tilt and telescopic steering wheel.
* Cruise control on steering wheel.
* Rear-view camera.
2014 Ford Transit Connect Wagon* Destination guidance and Turn-By-Turn Guidance.
* Destination Download.
* Dual zone air conditioning.
* Cargo area light.
* Front reading lights.
* Leather and simulated alloy steering wheel.
* Dual vanity mirrors.
* AM-FM in-dash single CD player stereo with four total speakers.
* Auxiliary MP3 audio input.
* Pre-wired for phone.

Exterior Measurements
* Width: 72.2 inches.
* Height: 72.8 inches.
* Length: 189.7 inches.
* Front track: 61.7 inches.
* Rear track: 62.4 inches.
* Wheel base: 120.6 inches.

2014 Ford Transit Connect WagonInterior Measurements
* Front head room: 46.9 inches.
* Front hip room: 54.6 inches.
* Front leg room: 40.3 inches.
* Front shoulder room: 57.7 inches.
* Rear hip room: 58.5 inches.
* Rear head room: 45.1 inches.
* Rear leg room: 37.6 inches.
* Rear shoulder room: 58.5 inches.

Weights and Capacities
* EPA cargo volume, all seats up:140.6 cu.ft.
* Cargo capacity, all seats in place: 32.2 cu.ft.
Max. cargo capacity: 68.9 cu.ft.

 

2014 Ford Transit Connect Wagon

Finished Product 3

by George Shearouse

In February 1967, my mother had no idea that Dad was about to surprise her with a Valentine gift she would have for more than 40 years.

It was my father’s intention to surprise her with a new Mustang. My uncle owned a Ford dealership in Lakeland, Fla., and I remember his Mustangs. I am sure Dad was itching for a reason to get one. He had a good friend at Central Florida Motors in Orlando. He said that Dad might be interested in this new line of car that Mercury was about to bring out. That got his attention.

He ordered Mom a brand new 1967 standard Cougar. The Cat was “loaded” for its time. It had A/C (a must for Florida), a 289 V-8, AM radio, automatic transmission and a Lime Frost paint job with a black vinyl top.

Mom taught third grade at Lake Como Elementary School. Every Friday after school, she would go to her favorite beauty shop to get her hair fixed. Dad took advantage of this to stage the perfect setup to surprise her with the new Cougar. He felt it was his duty to always have the cars gassed up and ready for any situation. He always did this on Friday.

While Mom was waiting to get her hair done, Dad popped in and asked her for the keys to her car so he could go gas it up for her. While she was under the dryer, Dad returned, handed her the new keys and said, “I’ll see you at home,” and left.

When Mom was ready to go home, she went out to the parking lot and couldn’t find her car anywhere. She went back into the beauty shop and said “I think my car has been stolen.” Everyone rushed out to the parking lot to help her. In the slot where her car had been parked was a new Cougar with a sign on the window that said, “HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY.” That weekend we loaded up the new Cougar and went to the beach.

Dad managed to get the newspaper to do a story about the first Cougar delivered to the Orlando area and had a picture of the dealer handing Mom the keys.

She drove the Cougar to work every day and it never left her stranded. She taught school until 1998 and when she retired, the Cougar did too, with a mere 67,000 miles on it. Dad hired a professional photographer to get pictures of Mom and the Cougar at her retirement by the school that she and the Cougar went to every day.

My brother, sister and I all took the driving test in the Cougar to get our license. I was allowed to take the Cat on my first date and it really made me feel like I was something.

Cougar retiresA lot of time passed with the little Cougar parked in the garage. The paint was showing signs of age and the dash was drooping from years of the relentless Florida sun beating down on it while it was parked in the school parking lot. The roof under the vinyl top was slowly rusting through. The seats and door vinyl were cooked from the sun, but the Cat still had class.

Dad had been talking about selling it for something new. It was really hard to convince him that we just couldn’t sell it, it was family. It was Mom’s car, so it was up to her. She decided to let me take it home so I could work on it. I was so excited! I felt as if it was an honor to be entrusted with the care of the family car. I didn’t know what to do first or how I would be able to afford it, but at least it wouldn’t be in jeopardy of leaving the family.

I knew I needed to start somewhere, so I thought a valve job would be in order and that was something I could handle. This car only had 70,000 miles on it. Well, once the heads were off, I knew this was going to turn into a complete engine rebuild. While the engine was out, it only made sense to drop the transmission, and then the rear end and then … well, you know.

After the mechanical work was done, it was time to start on cosmetics. This is where I was in trouble. The roof! After peeling off the vinyl top, I saw more light than at the planetarium. It was impossible! I was directed to a man named Kenny Driver. He was president of a street rod club in the area and he did fantastic custom body work.

He said that my roof was pretty sad and if I could locate a roof, he would cut off the old one and weld on the new one. Oh great! What was I getting into? I am so thankful for the Internet, the various car clubs and vendor links. I found a guy in South Carolina that had one. Hallelujah! Of course, at this point, I had to remove the interior of the car. I couldn’t believe what I was doing to my Mom’s little Valentine present.

Kenny did a great job. But, he had 14 other projects going on at the time and it would be a long time before he could get to the body work and painting. I had to find someone willing to tackle the mess I had created. I was directed to Jason’s Collision Center. Jason really set me at ease.

“No problem, it isn’t in that bad of shape,” he said. I think he admired the old girl or felt sorry for her. This took some time but the end result was very emotional. While the car was being resurrected, I was busy finding cosmetic pieces and parts, head liner, carpet, trunk accessories and, of course, the headlight and turn signal upgrades.

We loaded the car on a trailer and took it back to David at the “Upholstery Shop” for the finishing touches. I ran into some more obstacles. The inside vinyl door and rear quarter panels were pretty bad. All the responses online said nobody did those and I would have to locate good used ones. No way!

Randy Goodling of the Cougar Club of America came to my rescue and steered me to the SMS Auto Fabrics guys in Oregon. They could do the old electro seal process to make the original look happen if I could send them the old parts. No problem there. Wow! They did a fine job and even had the original material for the seats.

During the time we were getting the interior parts, John Bauer with Pro Installz was busy installing a Custom Auto Sound stereo, speakers, running power and speaker cables and building a special box for the subwoofer and the power amp. Nice! Well, David and his team put it all back together.

Before Carl’s Glass could put in new front and rear glass, I had to decide if I wanted the black vinyl top back on. So much time and energy was devoted to the repair of the roof that I just couldn’t cover it up. I was pretty proud when I drove out of the upholstery shop. I was on my way home to finish it off. The car had a new tuxedo, but a pair of old shoes. It had the original hubcaps, but I have always wanted a set of Cragar SS Mags. NewStalgia Wheel sent me a set mounted, balanced and ready to go.

There was only one thing left to make this love affair complete …

Love Affair Cougar cansOn Nov. 29, 2008, Jennie and I were married. Mom was there to see the newlyweds drive off in the little Valentine Cougar to begin their own love affair!

The perfect Valentine!

2014-Ford-Edge-front-view-in-motion

 

By Jerry Robbin

The 2014 Ford Edge will have a complete redesign for 2015, but the current model still stands out from the rest of its competitors.

The Edge sports a chrome-intensive front grille that flows into its narrowed headlights. LED running light bars are located where most crossovers would have fog lights, providing another distinctive visual cue for the new Edge.

2014 Ford EdgeDriving impression

The 2014 Edge drives just like a car and the ride is exceptional. The steering is responsive, especially on the highway. It’s a great vehicle for a family of five on short or long trips.

Under the Hood

My 2014 Edge had the turbocharged 2.0-liter four cylinder with a six-speed automatic, 240 hp and 270 lb.-ft. of torque. This combination delivers 21 city/30 hwy mpg. My Edge had 18-inch tires with an active aerodynamic grille that closes during lower speeds, providing increased gas mileage.

2014 Ford EdgeInside

My 2014 Edge Limited came with the standard rearview camera, Sony sound system, HD radio and MyFord Touch.

It was also equipped with Vista Roof, adaptive cruise control, heated front power seats, leather upholstery, blind-spot monitors, power tailgate, satellite radio, rear parking sensors, power front seats, SYNC and a Bluetooth-driven system that allows drivers to control audio and phone features with voice commands.

2014 Ford EdgeThe Edge seats have power adjustment for both cushions on the driver’s side, and are wide and well sized for larger adults.

The second-row seat has excellent legroom and the seatbacks also recline. The Edge’s cargo space behind the second row of seats is 32.2 cubic feet and expands to more than 68 cubic feet with the rear seat down.

Outside

The 2014 Ford Edge has soft contours highlighted with some crisp edges and surfaces. It is not dramatically different from the 2013 model, except for a new massive grille.

 Summary

If you are in the market for a five- passenger CUV, the 2014 Edge is worth a trip to your local Ford dealer for a test drive.

The standard features of the 2014 Edge Limited are:

 Front Seats

* Multi-level heating passenger seat.

* 8-way power passenger seat.

* 8-way power driver seat.

* Passenger seat with power adjustable lumbar support.

* Multi-level heating driver seat.

*Driver seat with power- adjustable lumbar support.

* Height-adjustable driver seat.

* Height-adjustable passenger seat.

* Leather bucket front seats.

 Rear Seats

* Split-folding rear seatback.

* Reclining rear seats.

* Folding with storage center armrest.

* Rear ventilation ducts.

 Power Features

* Digital keypad power door lock.

* Power mirrors.

* Heated mirrors.

* One-touch power windows.

 Instrumentation

* Clock.

* Tachometer.

* Trip computer.

* Low fuel level warning.

* Compass.

Convenience

* Cruise control.

* Cargo net.

* Front console with storage.

 Safety and security

* Four-wheel ABS.

* Front and rear head airbags.

* Dual front side-mounted airbags.

* Child seat anchors.

* Emergency braking assist.

* Front and rear ventilated disc brakes.

* Rear door child safety locks.

* Engine immobilizer.

* Two front headrests.

* Three rear headrests.

* Passenger airbag occupant sensing deactivation.

* Rear center three-point belt.

* Front seatbelt pretensioners.

* Stability control.

* Traction control.

* Electronic brakeforce distribution.

* Front multi-adjustable headrests.

* Rear height-adjustable headrests.

* Post-collision safety system.

* Tire pressure monitoring.

* Front and rear cupholders.

* Front and rear door pockets.

* Overhead console with storage.

* Retained accessory power.

* Front seatback storage

* Power steering

* Universal remote transmitter (for garage door, security system, etc.).

* 12V front, 12V rear and 12V cargo area power outlets.

* Rear parking sensors.

* Tilt and telescopic steering wheel.

* Audio and cruise controls on steering wheel.

* Rear view camera.

* Destination guidance (also Turn-by-Turn Navigation).

* Destination Download.

Comfort

* Interior air filtration.

* Dual zone climate controls for driver and passenger.

* Cargo area light.

* Simulated wood trim on dash.

* Front and rear reading lights.

* Leather and chrome trim on shift knob.

* Leather steering wheel.

* Front and rear floor mats.

* Electrochromatic inside rearview mirror.

* Dual illuminating vanity mirrors.

* Memorized settings for two drivers.

In Car Entertainment

* Mast antenna.

* Sony premium brand stereo system with 12 speakers and subwoofer.

* 390 watts stereo output.

* AM/FM in-dash single CD player with CD MP3 playback.

* Sirius XM satellite radio with six months of provided service.

* Speed sensitive volume control.

* Auxiliary audio input and iPod/iPhone integration.

* Memory card slot.

* Radio data system.

* USB connection.

* Video monitor

* Voice directions only via subscription service navigation system.

* Pre-wired for phone

* Bluetooth wireless data link for hands-free phone.

Exterior Measurements

* Width: 76 inches.

* Height: 67 inches.

* Length: 184.2 inches.

* Ground clearance: 7.9 inches.

* Wheel base: 111.2 inches.

 Interior Measurements

* Front head room: 40 inches.

* Front hip room: 54.8 inches.

* Front leg room: 40.7 inches.

* Front shoulder room: 58.9 inches.

* Rear hip room: 56.3 inches.

* Rear head room: 39.3 inches.

* Rear leg room: 39.6 inches.

* Rear shoulder room: 58.7 inches.

Weights and Capacities

* Maximum towing capacity: 3500 lbs.

* Maximum payload: 909 lbs.

* EPA interior volume: 140.6 cu.ft.

* Curb weight: 4,052 lbs.

* Cargo capacity, all seats in place: 32.2 cu.ft.

* Max. cargo capacity: 68.9 cu.ft.

EarlyEveningArrivals

By John Harvey

There was an article in my local paper recently about how drive-in movie theaters are taking another hit to their existence.

This time, it is the need to convert from 35mm film reels to digital systems that require an investment of something in the neighborhood of $70,000 per screen for the new equipment, plus upgrading the projection booth to computer room- grade environmental standards, because digital stuff generally doesn’t handle heat well.

The article said that the number of theaters had dropped from more than 4,000 in the late 1950s to 357 in 2013. Another article I found listed the states with the most operating outdoor theaters – Pennsylvania has 30; Ohio and New York each have 29; Indiana has 20; California has 18; Tennessee and Texas each have 15. Six states have none – Alaska, Delaware, Hawaii, Louisiana, North Dakota, and Wyoming.

I recall many pleasurable evenings at the “passion pits” in the ’40s, ’50s, ’60s, ’70s and likely into the ’80s, because I recall going to some after moving to Illinois in 1979. It isn’t quite the same going with your wife instead of a date – you actually watch the movie, but still, you have the comfort of your own car, you can bring you own refreshments, you can make comments without disturbing anyone else, your feet don’t stick to the floor and, well, you know!

I can remember going as a child, where my parents parked near the front of the lot, so it was easy to get to the playground down front of the screen. Maybe I was too young to remember going in pajamas, but I know that I did fall asleep sometimes. In those rows in front of the refreshment stand, people with station wagons backed into the space and had lawn chairs with them. The kids probably ended up crashing in the back of the car, while the parents sat outside.

When I started dating, we parked behind the refreshment stand, where it was darker. People didn’t bring their rugrats to those rows – that was strictly for “adults.” Even if you went with the guys (or gals), instead of having a date, you parked back there. It wasn’t at all uncommon to make a new friend in another car, and end up with two coed cars, instead of two cars of each.

If you went with the guys, you absolutely did not want to leave the car, unless everyone else left too and stayed together. Taking the keys didn’t have the same effect it does when you drive cars from 1968 or newer – my 1947 Ford had a locking steering column, but few cars were immobile just because the keys were gone.

It was not unusual to see cars being pushed around by a group of guys. That is why you didn’t want to leave the car alone – the rest of your crew would move the car.

I lived in Detroit where it got hot in summer, but not like it does further south. Maybe being young and not knowing any better had a lot to do with it, but I don’t recall the sweat and the bugs being much of a hindrance to our activities of clutch bod and kissy face.

Sometimes you’d put the offered heater inside your car, along with the speaker that was also on the post. If you steamed up the windows real bad, there were guys with big flashlights who would bang on the glass and yell, “What ’chou doin’ in there, boya?”

“Nothin’ officer, nothin’,”

“Then get out of there and let a man in!”

img_0172The article listed the locations of theaters no longer in Decatur. I drove by a couple of them. One is now the maintenance building for the city’s equipment. One is a shopping mall.

I can’t tell you the last time I was at a drive-in movie. I sort of recall that it was a Burt Reynolds movie, where he was trying to be a dramatic actor, instead of funny, like Smokey and the Bandit.

I also recall that it rained and we steamed up the windows, but not because we were doing anything spectacular. We fixed that by starting the car and turning on the air conditioning.

I recall when stores put decals on the car doors advertising that they were air conditioned. I don’t think I ever went to an indoor movie that was not air conditioned. I find that as I age, I am less and less tolerant of heat and humidity. I get outside and try to get my outside work done early in the morning. I figure that when the school bus goes by, I can make all the noise I want to. These last few weeks, by about 10 a.m., my shirt is dripping, and I have to give it up and head for the air conditioning.

These new drive-in projection systems show picture quality similar to a flat-screen TV. Instead of the speaker you hang on your window, they pipe it into a low-power FM station and you listen to it on your car radio. That is kind of neat. I wonder how many people have to call AAA because they left the key on ACC for 4 hours and killed the battery?

I think the demise of the drive-in theater has more to do with universal air conditioning than anything else. Probably daylight saving time hasn’t helped, either. I mean, they have to wait until it is dark to show the film and by 9 p.m., the dog comes looking for me to say that it is time to go to bed.

Mercuryville logo largeBy Pat Eager

As the song goes, “Get your kicks on Route 66,” and that’s exactly what IMOA did at its national meet in Springfield, Ill., Sept. 27-29.

Members began checking in at the Northfield Inn on Thursday. It was great to see old friends and renew acquaintances while “oohing and aahing” over the beautiful Mercurys. Five of our Canadian members were there, and it’s always good to see them. We had several first-time attendees, and signed five new members.

eagers lincolnSome of the many highlights of our trip were:

* A trolley ride from the hotel to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, which covers 40,000 square feet of galleries, theaters and historical displays.

* The Dana Thomas House, one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s largest and most elaborate Prairie-style designs. The house has 35 rooms that contain more than 100 pieces of original furniture, as well as 250 art glass windows.

* Lincoln’s New Salem reconstructed village, where Lincoln lived as a young man.

* Lincoln’s Tomb is where Abraham Lincoln, Mary Todd Lincoln and three of their sons are entombed.

* The old State Capitol of Illinois, where the first legislative session was held in 1877. The building has a 405-foot dome, and is a combination of Renaissance Revival and Second Empire style. There was an encampment in the courtyard and the participants were staging a reenactment of the period. It is interesting to note that on May 4-5, 1865, Abraham Lincoln’s body laid in state in Representative Hall as a crowd of 75,000 filed by to pay their last respects.

Lincoln’s home was the only home the Lincolns ever owned. Actual Lincoln family furnishings and period artifacts gives one a view of Lincoln as a husband, father, neighbor and politician.

* The Executive Mansion has been the official residence of Illinois governors since 1855. Visitors may visit the ballroom, dining room and Lincoln’s bedroom.

cozydog* The Cozy Dog Drive-In was opened in 1949. The restaurant is full of Route 66 memorabilia and souvenirs. It is famous for its “hot dog on a stick.” IMOA cruised to the restaurant Friday evening and some members ate there. It was a neat sight to see all the Mercurys filling the parking lot.

* Shea’s Gas Station Museum has been on Route 66 for over 50 years. There’s a lot of vintage service station memorabilia, including thousands of oil cans, fuel pumps, a 1952 Airstream travel trailer and a restored 1984 Ward school bus. The owner, Bill Shea, has many interesting stories to tell to visitors from all over the world. The original owner, Bill’s father, received a proclamation naming him as “Father of the Mother Road.”

Of course, since Springfield was Abraham Lincoln’s home, many of our members took advantage of the great historical sites.

The International Route 66 Mother Road Festival and Car Show was unbelievable.

Thousands of people from around the world attend this annual event, featuring hundreds of classic and vintage vehicles. There is live entertainment, dozens of food booths, one-of-a-kind exhibits, and more. The festival takes place along 20 blocks of Historic Downtown Springfield. Streets are closed, so you can meander leisurely without traffic concerns.

100_3936IMOA was one of the featured guests. In the big, and I mean big, parade on Friday evening, IMOA was first in line after the dignitaries and police led the parade. The streets were lined with spectators, some watching the parade in groups, some grilling out and having their own party. Nonetheless, they were all watching the parade. Quite a sight to behold.

On Saturday, the big festival really started moving on. IMOA had its own block of cars lined up on both sides of the street. IMOA had a registration tent and lots of people stopped by. Club applications and Quicksilvers were distributed to anyone interested in Mercurys.

About 3:30 p.m., we left the show to return to the hotel and prepare for our banquet.

The banquet was held in the Diamond Room at the Northfield Inn. We enjoyed a sit-down meal and cash bar. It was nice to relax after a couple of days of hurrying and scurrying to participate in the many events and attractions.

After dinner, awards were presented by Jerry Robbin and Virgil Klein, judging chairman. Recipients were surprised and thrilled with the award plaques, which were black with the dash plaque logo in the center.

During the evening, Joyce Culling and Judy Miller made their way through the crowd, selling half-pot tickets and the winner of the half-pot was Evelyn Miller. She took home $273.

After the awards were presented, Don and Joyce Culling conducted the raffle drawing. They had procured many nice gifts for the members to win.

With the end of the raffle, so came the end of our 2013 show. Members were saying their goodbyes, and some proceeded to the final “Free and Cold” Tailgate Party, sponsored by Wayne and Judy Miller in the parking lot of the hotel.

On Sunday morning, with rooms cleared, bags packed, and check-out over, we were “on the road again,” heading home until next year’s show. Hope to see you then!

 

 

driveinBy John Harvey

I sure miss my teenager. He left 12 years ago when he got a government job by joining the Navy.
I rediscovered all of the services he performed while he lived here. The lawn, the snow, the garbage cans, hauling the water-softener salt to the basement – he was another set of hands for various projects around the house.
I never had any problems getting him to do anything. Maybe it was because I had the ultimate weapon. I could make him the worst thing a teen can be – a pedestrian.
If it ever occurred to him that if I took the car keys away, I’d have to get up in time to have him at football practice at 6 a.m. and then go back to school and pick him up after games, he was smart enough to keep his mouth shut.
I had to send him to a parochial school 15 miles away that didn’t provide bus service. I have found a substitute – other people’s teenagers. I have heard their parents complain about how hard it is to get them to do things. I don’t seem to have any trouble. Maybe it’s because I added a component they haven’t tried – money.
Lucky for me, I didn’t have a daughter. Sons are your parents’ revenge for letting you grow up. Daughters, on the other hand, are God’s revenge for all the fun the father had before he was married – now he has to worry about other men’s sons, doing what he would have done, had he only known. Maybe I wasn’t all that bad, after all. I have a pal who has twin daughters. He said that when they turned 7 years old, they turned into wives in training. When they hit their teens, he fully understood why some species eat their young.
What brought this line of thought on was that I am putting the last touches on my finished-basement project. I have a couple teens working with me to do the heavy lifting. We were talking about how things have changed in the more than 50 years since I was their age.
Not only have cars changed – how they look at them and how they use them has changed significantly. To be real honest, I’m glad I grew up in the 1950s.
I was raised in the city of Detroit, where the population was nearly 2 million. It is currently less than 700,000 and the police union has placed signs on the city limits telling you to enter at your own risk  because they can’t protect you. At one time, being out after midnight was not all that dangerous. I worked band jobs and routinely went to mass at 2 a.m. at a church in the downtown area. I’m leary of going into Southfield now, let alone actually crossing 8 Mile Road.
Pretty much every few weeks, there was a dance or sock hop at school. Seems to me that a sock hop cost like 25 cents a head and a nice dressy dance cost $1.25 a couple. Back then meant that the girl wore a nice dress, and the guy wore a coat and tie. Now it means that the T-shirt you wear doesn’t have obscene graphics. You’d go out somewhere afterwards for food, then, well, you get the idea. The schools coordinated their dates, so that they didn’t compete with each other. We used to go “slumming” at neighboring schools’ sock hops, looking for some “strange.”
 Yes, there were places you could get beat up and robbed. But they didn’t drag you out of your car at stoplights or shoot at you as you drove down the street. There were lots of dark places you could go park with your date and engage in a little kissy face and clutch bod, without worry about someone beating on you, unless her brother or the guy who thought he owned her caught you.
We could go to the drive-in movie and engage in pretty much the same thing. You occasionally wanted to look at the screen, or if you were really smart, find a review, just in case someone asked you about the movie. Sit-down movie theaters had balconies where you would feel out of place if you weren’t engaged in exploration. There was always the drive-in restaurant with car hops. Street racing was super rare – few of us had cars that were quick when new, and most were real long in tooth.
1957 Commuter-WebWe did a lot of our dating in the car, because the car was a great place to spend time. I took my teens out into the barn and showed them my toys from the 1950s. One of the kid’s parents have a Cadillac. The 1951 Pontiac four-door sedan I have has more floor in the back seat than the Caddy has in front. My ’ 50 Ford Club Coupe has more backseat floor than the Caddy.
They can see how those nice wide bench seats and relatively flat floors would be conducive to a little friendly wrestling, watching movies and eating. Every car or truck they can think of has a center console, or what could be referred to as a Great Wall.
One of the teens drives a Sunbird two door. The back seat in it is little more than a padded package shelf. He says that you can’t get the car seats his little sisters are required to have to fit back there. The other one uses his mom’s Monte Carlo SS. You’d think that would be kind of a cool car for a teen to drive. Well, he is 6’6”. He has to scrunch up to drive it and there is absolutely no way he is getting into the back seat. None of his friends will go there, either. He says he actually prefers driving his dad’s Astro van, but it is trashed.
I told them about all the fun we used to engage in – the submarine races, the drive-ins, impromptu contests of speed, making out, etc. I had a number of cars that are now considered really super cool. I know why I no longer have them – they were junk.
For instance, I had an MG-TC. It was tiny and tight, even back then. To be kind, it leaked. The heater was a joke. I went to pick up a girl. Her dad took one look at it  and told me that his daughter was not riding in a death trap like that. I went home and got my mom’s 1957 Mercury station wagon. He let her go in that. I never asked myself if he was actually my pal or just didn’t know his daughter very well.  There are things you can do inside a ’57 Mercury station wagon that are totally impossible in an MG-TC.
I asked the teens how they date. To start with, they look at their car  as transportation modules. It is a way to get someplace, then you get out and leave it. There is a drive-in movie in Litchfield, about 80 miles from here. There are not any drive- in restaurants where they bring your food and you eat in the car, just drive throughs, where you get your garbage and go home. There is no such thing as a school dance. They might go to a movie, but more often, they just go rent a couple movies,  go to one of their homes and watch it there.
The multiplex has pretty well killed doing anything in the movie theater, except watch the movie. The home entertainment center hasn’t done the movie theater business any good either.
Back in my day, I can just see having a date in her basement or mine. I mean in the car, she might be all over you, but in the basement, with parents upstairs, and a few brothers and sisters bouncing around – yeah, sure!
I’m glad I’m old!

By Jerry Robbin

With gasoline prices hovering at around $4.50 per gallon, Ford has the perfect vehicle for great gas economy and transportation. Ford has raised the bar for entry-level vehicles with the Fiesta.

The competition, such as Kia, Hyundai, Nissan and Toyota, should definitely be concerned, as the Fiesta is  a contender for the top entry-level vehicle.

Under the Hood
A 1.6-liter twin-cam four-cylinder engine that produces 120 hp and 112 lb-ft of torque powers the Fiesta. This four-cylinder DOHC produces fantastic fuel efficiency and power.

My test drive had the optional new automatic transmission, resulting in a great fuel economy of 30 mpg city/40 mpg highway.

Driving Impression
The Fiesta handles like a larger vehicle and the seating is very comfortable. The design and shape of the vehicle gives the illusion that it is bigger than it really is.

The Fiesta holds the road and has excellent driving dynamics when making quick hairpin turns. The steering is responsive and the four-cylinder drivetrain is adequate for city or highway driving. Electronic power steering is standard.

Inside
The Fiesta has a futuristic interior with contemporary touches that make you feel like you are in a larger vehicle. The center stack has the controls for the door locks and  other creature features like stereo, air conditioning, phone – the list goes on.

The front seats are very comfortable; the rear seat is adequate for children and tight for adults. The Fiesta storage space is amazing in the hatchback or the sedan.

Outside
The Fiesta styling has a contemporary flare and bold design that does not look inexpensive.

The exterior has neat touches such as projector headlights, fog lights, LED tail lights and side-marker turn signals in the mirrors.

The Fiesta I tested had the optional 17-inch alloy wheels.

Safety
* Four-wheel ABS
* Front and rear head airbags
* Dual front side-mounted airbags
* Child seat anchors
* Ventilated front disc /rear drum brakes
* Rear door child safety locks
* Engine immobilizer
* 2 front headrests
* 3 rear headrests
* Passenger airbag occupant sensing deactivation
* Rear center 3-point belt
* Front seatbelt pretensioners
* Turn signal mirrors
* Stability control
* Traction control
* Electronic brakeforce distribution
* Emergency interior trunk release
* Front height-adjustable headrests
* Rear height-adjustable headrests
* Post-collision safety system
* Tire pressure monitoring

Summary
If you are in the market for a commuter vehicle that has great gas mileage and is fun to drive, you should test-drive the Ford Fiesta. It’s a great vehicle for those with kids or for a second vehicle.

Measurements
* Width: 66.8 in.
* Height: 58.0 in.
* Length: 173.6 in.
* Front track: 57.7 in.
* Rear track: 57.7 in.
* Wheel base: 98.0 in.
* Cargo capacity with all seats in place: 12.8 cu.ft.
* EPA interior volume: 97.9 cu.ft.
* Curb weight: 2578 lbs.
Interior
Front Seats
* Front head room: 39.1 in.
* Front hip room: 50.6 in.
* Front leg room: 42.2 in.
* Front shoulder room: 52.7 in.
* Cloth
* Bucket front seats
Rear Seats
* Rear hip Room: 49.2 in.
* Rear head room: 37.1 in.
* Rear leg room: 31.2 in.
* Rear shoulder room: 49.0 in.
* Split-folding rear seatback
* Rear ventilation ducts

By John Gunnell

Photos by Linda Clark

John Gunnell demonstrates through these 12 photos, how to replace the 1962 Mercury master cyclinder that he located at B.S. Wisniewski (Wizzy’s) auto parts store.

1 – Shop manual and supplement are big help. After six months, master cyclinder was found at Wizzy’s in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It came complete with an invoice, return policy and company history.

2 – Although the first two steps in shop manual were confusing, it was easy to start by disconnecting brake line from brass fitting on master cylinder using 3/8-inch wrench to back off the flare nut.

3 – Move brake line away from front of brass fitting on front of old master cylinder. Disconnect tow electrical wires attached to the stop-light switch on the left-hand side of the brass fitting.

4 – Remove old master cylinder. Leave brass fitting and stop-light switch attached. We tried to remove it on the car and broke a piece off of the brass fitting. save the nuts and washer for the master cylinder.

5 – Clamp master cylinder in vise and remove brass fitting. Put brass fitting in vise and remove stop-light switch with Vise-Grips. Luckily, NAPA store found a fitting to replace the broken one.

6 – Move the new master cylinder into place over the rod that protrudes from the vacuum booster. Using the washers and nuts you saved in step 4, fasten master cylinder to firewall.

7 – Thread stop-light switch into side of brass fitting. Thread brass fitting into opening in front of new master cylinder. Using the proper open-end wrenches, tighten both to proper torque specs.

8 – Insert 3/8-inch flare nut on end of hydraulic line into the front of the brass fitting on the front of the master cylinder. Carefully tighten the 3/8-inch flare nut to proper torque specification.

9 – Re-attach the two electrical wires to the stoplight switch threaded into the left-hand side of the brass fitting. These wires thread through a retaining clip bolted to the vacuum booster.

10 – Remove the screw-off cap on the new master cylinder and fill it with clean, name-brand, high quality brake fluid to level reommended in shop manual. Replace screw-off cap.

11 – A bleeder valve was added to the ’62 Mercury master cylinder (which is why the one-year-only part is hard to find). Bleeding here gets you enough hydraulic pressure to safely move car.

12- Last step is bleeding the hudraulic system at each wheel. Having a “Backyard Buddy” to lift the car up and a friend to pump the pedal are big pluses. Crack each bleeder to let air escape.

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