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Goodbye SW9 - How I got from There to Here

2/24/2009, updated 4/17/2009

updated 4/17/2009

I am still waiting to get the tranny in to my car, I sold the engine locally to a fella with 2 and soon to be 3 cam failed cars, he also took the wheels and 3 tires, one had been punctured by the front coil, and tore up the side wall of the tire.

Clare got the spoiler antenna and rear marker lights

Carter wanted the driver seat but I am still waiting to hear if he is going to come get it.

I may have the fuel tank and fuel pump and exhaust sold to an a guy in Lincoln NE. I wish they hadn't tore up the exhaust with the fork lift at the tow facility but oh well.


Renee Carlos Cruz got the AMS FSTB. It's nice to see that SW9 is still making others alive and well.

Clare tells me the paint finally matched, after all these years!! I'm pleased.




How does a car go from this-

To this?

Well I'll tell you, in less than an instant. One moment I'm driving the car of my dreams, the next I'm looking at a total wreck.

I call Heather and tell her she's gone. She doesn't get it at first. Then in a still shaky voice, I'm sure I was still in shock from the massive impact, I explain that SW9 just got T-boned and will not be coming home. I will be, but she won't.

It's just a car right? No. It wasn't just a car. It was an entree back into a lifestyle I had long since abandoned in the late 60's when I drove my last E/MP 55 Chevy at US30. It was a passing necessitated by the times. I had choices I had to make back then and I made them. US Army was a lot better choice than the alternative I was presented with.

I dabble over the years, couple of cool V6 Capri's, the German ones, not the Ford ones. One of the First RX Mazda's available in Northern Illinois. (Still loved the beeper on the tach so you didn't over rev the rotary)

Then for a long period of time bland GM's. Then I found the car of my dreams at that time. an 87 Lincoln MKVII LSC in that great Candy Brown color that everybody hates. I started to get the itch again. I needed something to scratch it with. The MKVII was a start. I kept that car the same way I kept SW9 - judge ready at sho time! After many years of loving that car, I rear ended a guy on the Eisenhower that just stopped in front of me. His rice burner was toast. My front bumper was hanging down maybe 1/4 inch. Insurance totaled the Mark and I bought it back for a song.

About a year or so later I'm married again with an infant and the heater core STB. Enough. I cruise the lot at Packey Webb Ford in Wheaton and find three GIII's. The TR grabbed me instantly. Was a program coming off lease ~30K on the clock and I walked out of the dealer less than an hour later with the keys at my price.

At that time, early 2001, there wasn't much out there in that price range that grabbed my soul like the GIII did. It handled, rode, and drove exactly as I wanted it to be.

Then I found V8SHO.COM. OMFG!! Cams??? Quick call to Doug Mellum in Madison had that fixed. Then the real adventure begins. At first Heather was less than impressed. I missed Maryland Convention because I just couldn't sell her on the idea of a group of people who would band together behind a car. She envisioned Harley fest's with drunks falling down in the parking lot. Hmmm, never mind. She did get on board for Madison the next year and we went.

She was hooked! That's all I needed. Shortly thereafter, I was asked by Tim to take over the website. At first I declined as I had no experience running a site. He pressed and I finally relented. I have to say, I have never checked my rearview mirror on that decision.

SW9 was so much more than just a car. It was an experience. It was the caravan to California expertly led by Ron Porter. It was Paul's 5 cent tranny gauge STB in IA, it was Kirks fuel pump puking, it was Tony's battery, it was mystically hooking up with Kenny in the Desert with no pre-arrangements. It was Heather, Sarah, and Kris going on a booze run at something past 0200 the day of thunder hill while the rest of us were sleeping, knowing we were getting up at 0500 to get to the track. It was Indy, hanging with Scott and Sara. It was watching Scott with his snake like arms changing out two motor mounts in +100 degree parking lot heat because he said he could. And he did. It was the ride of my life at Blackhawk after getting black flagged. Having to start at the end of the pack and chewing through it with a great three laps with Big Dog trying to block me and finally relenting only to have Beaker in my sites and Don drops the damn checker flag. I still to this day hold that against that crabby old man. It was watching Heather go agri racing in Christian's SF at blackhawk on, IIRC Turn 7.

It transported us to many Lapeer events, ROTB, Gingerman, more Lapeer events and SHOCAGO BBQ's. It was a conduit to meeting and greeting all the folks we had communicated with on an email list. It was Car SHO's in Peoria, Damn UPS Stickers, BBQ's at the Mallinson Ranch, Cam welds at the Mallinson Ranch, Convention launches from the Mallinson ranch - are you beginning to get the picture?? It was a crash test dummy for chip programming back in the day before tuners. Hey Paul that sure looks like a gravel road up ahead. Aww don't worry keep it at 100+ while I read the NGS! It was more than a few trips to Area 51 because when it came to electrical mods there simply wasn't anybody better than Paul. (Heath you have about $100 in relays in there, send them  back to Paul)

It took me to and from work every single day, toward the end commutes of 120 miles per day. It was the sweet sound of that V8 coming through those Bullet Mufflers I got from Don so long ago.

Most importantly SW9 was an entree to meeting some of the finest people I can honestly say I've ever come across, as well as finding a new found friend who still regrets going to a SHOCAGO event in Schaumburg in 2002? So Eric you welded your car?  You want another beer and some wings? Think you could help out a few folks?? He still holds that against me! (j/k)

Are we different individually? You bet. Do we share a passion - you betcha! Is it sick that we try to keep 13 year old cars running? Hell ask the V6 guys that are running 20 year old cars.

The whole point of this rant is that I'm hoping that Heath will keep me/us appraised of every member that gets anything off of SW9. I think it important we know who is still running because I'm not. And I'm all skippy good with keeping the many running at the expense of the one.

Would I love to have an EcoBoost? Hell yes. With a family and mortgage can I afford a new one? Hell no- I'll have to wait but I'll have one.

Most importantly, Ford had the good sense to build this car with a 5 Star Crash Rating. It's saved many of our friends from horrific accidents, and finally saved my bacon in arguably a crash that had I been in a lesser vehicle, would not.

For reference, here are the pictures we have so far. The one that Heath took out of the rear window of his Pickup especially struck Heather. I asked why? I've seen that same shot countless times from the passenger seat of the flatbed that picked me up!! She was not impressed and was still tearing up.




this is the one                              Last time she sees trips   

that got Heather


I really hope that everyone that gets parts from her will contribute to this thread. Yeah there have been lots of other cars that have died so other can live. I want to insure that this one lives on

no matter what part of the country or world it goes to.


Her replacement:



Uncl Lar

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