Q Vert


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1969 Mercury Cougar XR-7 Convertible
VIN: 9F94Q502794

"Body shop jail" is a bi*ch. The first year of incarceration was not really a problem. I wasn't ready for the shell, since I had all sorts of parts to refurbish or find replacements. The first year was like free storage of the chassis. Still, it would have been better if the first shop had actually worked on the car, so that it would have been ready when I was. As I whittled down on the list of things to do, the car was no closer to being ready for paint. After over a year at the first shop with precious little attention from the warden, a jail break was made. Shop number two promised an early parole. Promised the car wouldn't be used to collect dust from the rest of the shop. In and out... won't let it sit ... Still, another year passed before eventual release. By this time, my shelfs and rafters were full of parts eagerly waiting to be reunited with the shell. I also needed to start putting it back together in order to figure out what parts were still missing or needing attention.

Since this is a hobby, and supposed to be fun, I won't dwell further on this Jobian test of patience. Here are some pictures of the time spent with the pros as the car progressed from "before" to "after."

I stripped everything off the car down to a rolling chassis in preparation for the body work and paint. The car was then loaded onto rollback for delivery to the body shop.

After the remaining suspension parts were removed, the car was placed on a rotissery and blasting the old paint commenced.

Rust repairs were needed to the floorboards, battery tray area and some around the rear wheel wells.

Those who know what is necessary to restore an old car will recognize that these pictures greatly oversimplify all of the work required. Lots of welding, grinding, reshaping, sanding, smoothing, blood, sweat and tears go into getting the car ready for paint. As they say, 95% of a good paint job is in the preparation. Eventually, though, the car is ready for the primer coats.

Q-vert finally was ready for paint. I had to make a decision. Should the car be painted the same color applied by the factory or something else? Mercury offered a wide selection of colors to original purchasers, but I had narrowed it down to two.

This is the R-code convertible that Lin of West Coast Classic Cougars had restored by KTL Restorations. Remember Lin? He's the guy that first pointed me to Q-vert. Lin had his car painted Code C - Dark Ivy Green - which is the color originally applied to Q-vert at the factory. This is "Esmerelda" owned by Randy (a.k.a. 2720r on MercuryCougar.net). Esmerelda sports Code 4 - Medium Green - which is also known as "Silver Jade" when applied to Ford Mustangs.

I've always admired Esmerelda, and almost bought it when Randy did. The color is beautiful and apparently Mercury's advertising team thought so too, since they featured it in the 1969 brochure. So, the tough decision: Restore the car to its original color, keeping the purists happy and paying homage to history. Or, make the color change to, in my subjective opinion, a better color? A color change probably hurts the value of the car when it is eventually resold. But, I want to enjoy the car while I have it. Decisions, decisions. Ultimately, decision time came.

You're at the bottom of the page. You have to decide whether to go to the next page or back to the