Thanks for the kind words. When I quit working in a couple of years I'd like to get into writing to make some extra money. I've done a couple of magazine articles a few years ago - one of them I co-wrote with someone else and we split $1500 for it. A small sidebar I added to it got me another $150.
I guess what happens with the Sport Fury is going to depend on a few things. I started this project without realizing that all two car garages are not created equal, and moved from a house with a 24x24 garage to this one of only 18x21. When I retire we're looking at moving to places hundreds of miles from here and in that part of the country houses don't even have basements, so my Fury would take up an entire two car garage with car and extra parts and not leave much room to work on anything. My wife and I hadn't anticipated becoming parents so far along in life and that coupled with retirement prospects puts a big dent in money but also time to do this car up the way I intended. My vision for it was a beautiful big C body that sat two inches higher in the back and one higher in the front than stock, and when the engine gets started it makes Millner's coupe (from American Graffiti) sound tame.
Hey, I have a Sport Fury GT story!... In about 1975 when I was driving my 71 SFGT and it was still all stock I went to a little hamburger place in the town where I lived in IL. I bought a couple burgers and was eating in my car, when I glanced across the lot and saw... another 71 Sport Fury GT! With a grand total of 375 of them built, two of them ended up in the same little burger joint at the same time. I HAD to see this. Mine was dark metallic green, a gold metallic to the green that worked better than the silver metallic I've seen - mine had gold stripes and no vinyl roof. The other car as I recall was either white with red stripes or red w/white stripes and from where I sat it looked good. I walked across the lot to check it out, nobody was in it - and I was worried that 'oh no, I don't want a nicer one than mine staring at me!' I got all the way up to it to where I could see the other side of the car; the whole thing was caved in like someone had hit it and driven the length of it from end to end. So I didn't have to worry, mine was way better than that. Never saw that car again.
Another story: my best friend, I've known him since 3rd grade and been best friends since freshman high school (46 years ago, ugh!) had an older sister with a 71 Cougar with a 351 Cleveland and it was pretty peppy. 4 barrel, dual exhaust, probably 300 hp, very little smog stuff. My 71 GT was still stock which at the time was a 370hp rating. We were in an industrial area on a weekend and there was nobody around, and he challenged me to a race. I tried to beg off, I hadn't checked the plugs lately, etc., that sort of thing, but finally I relented. And I BEAT him. I couldn't believe it - I still remember pounding on the GT's steering wheel and yelling 'YEAH! YEAH! YEAH!' That car, even when it was stock with the automatic and 3.23 gears could chirp the tires every time on a wide open shift to second at about 40mph. Well maybe it chirped one tire, but it did it.
The whitewall tires were not my idea, when I bought it the dealer put tires on it for me and they were supposed to put the whitewalls facing in but obviously didn't.
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Can you imagine opening a garage and seeing that? What a 'cars in barns' story it would make. But that was my GT, I rented a garage to keep it in and it sort of got treated like a big table by the guy who owned the place. Look at the rectangular trims on top of the front fenders; the front ones had the turn signals. I think I have a set of the front ones with the signals in my parts inventory.
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I always liked the profile of the open side windows on that body style. I have a pair of the little elbow-shaped chromes that are at the lower rear corners of the back seat windows, so I could ditch the vinyl roof on the 70 Sport Fury. To me that body style always looked like the vinyl roof was an afterthought for the body design.
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All right, I just thought of one more story. Last one I promise.
It was Palm Sunday of 1975 and I wanted to go to the drag strip with my friends in Lake Geneva Wisconsin. My parents were both huge church-goers and my mom insisted that no, it's Palm Sunday, you're not going to the drag strip. I was 18 but still living in their house and I was NOT happy. So all right I went to church but I went in MY car. Church got out and my mom said 'We're going out for breakfast - do you want to come with us?' The answer was NO.
So I took a long way home with the Sport Fury GT, came barrelling down the street, skidded past the newspaper box, shifted into reverse, smoked the tire(s) backwards and overshot the paperbox again, shifted to low, punched it, skidded up to the paper box, got the Sunday paper, again tore up the tires backing up to our driveway, then lit 'em up making the turn into the driveway, which went around to the back of the house....
...where my parents were getting out of their Oldsmobile having decided to stop home before going to get breakfast, and they heard me and the SFGT's performance out by the street. My dad asked me if I felt better after having done that, and I just said 'I don't know' but turned down the repeated offer to go to breakfast. I guess I shook up my folks that day because later my dad told me that in the future if I wanted to go to church, or the drag strip, it was up to me to decide.