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shotwell

Took Cassandra out for a drive today...

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...and boy is she angry!

 

I'm moving into a new place with a LOT of storage and shop space.  When time and money allows, she's getting some major engine work done.  I'm thinking SVT heads and a modified SVT LIM to work with vacuum secondaries.  That's just the beginning too!

 

I drove the car about five miles to get it to the new place.  Parked it in front of the shop.

 

So I've been back and forth about selling this car about 38567 times.  I actually did sell it and then ask for it back (technically, it never left my driveway) so things are basically in the same place they were a while ago.  Now that I have a place to put it until I can fix it I'm much happier to hang on to it.

 

How's everyone else doing?

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Cassandra safe at home, again! Glad to hear this, as well as your new digs. Sounds fantastic. We are doing A-OK. Need any parts, dirt cheap, let me know.

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Mike, I'm back in town. Are you finished moving? Do you need some more help? Rumor has it I might be moving Sunday, but someone else was lining up bodies and I've heard no updates, and just in case I called U Haul to hold a truck for me. Another hot rumor... don't know when/if my rolling collection of fun csvt parts will be back in my possession anytime soon, but I am HOPING I will again own and possess a car before too long.

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Bob - if you need help moving, please let me know. I have access to a trailer that you are most able to borrow.

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Mike --  Admit it, you'll just never sell her!  Get new heads, do some work and keep loving that baby.

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Always great to hear news of the famous Cassandra!  I remember when you'd posted she'd changed hands but was still in the "family", and I'd been waiting to hear who had her, so I'm glad to hear it's still you.  I'm still curious - just being Curious George, is all - who almost had her next....  Mainly just glad she's still in the Northwest group, though :)  Thanks for letting us know, Shotwell!

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I guess I can let the cat out of the bag on that one.

 

Aussie Ford was to be the next owner.  The car stayed at my house while we were planning to get the head repaired on the car.  He's been very patient with me and my insane travel schedule.  After talking to a few different shops it was decided that removing the head would be the only "proper" way to repair it.  Both of us felt that was the proper way to handle this car.  It's not just any Contour after all!

 

At the last big meet in Portland I proposed to Aussie that I keep the car after all, provided I actually fixed it.  He had already paid for it so it was his choice, of course.  After a bit he got back to me and it's a done deal.

 

It's going to be a bit before I get to doing any work on it.  I need to pay Aussie back first.  I'm also in the middle of moving, so things are really tight right now.  I'm looking at this fall to start collecting what I need.  I'm likely to remove the engine and transmission so I can take care of some other needed stuff, like the slow transmission leak.  I'll keep you all posted!

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I'd been hoping it was Aussie!  But glad you're keeping her, too.   I hope one day to meet you all in person, and see Cassandra at a meet.  I still remember contacting Lance, and ending up calling him at his invitation, to discuss whether I should buy Ferret II, which had been in a minor accident.  It was then Lance told me how he'd restored Cassandra, and I ended up deciding to buy F-II, which I still have and is my favorite car to drive, of the two I have.  I love to drive Merlina too, though, as she smells better inside (less external leaks over time) and feels as tight-driving as F-II did when he had 60K miles on the clock, or 35K for that matter (about the time I got him).  Merlina, the Mystique, just feels a tiny bit softer, plus her clutch is a little stiffer (and I, unlike some, like a softer clutch).  Overall, F-II feels a bit sportier.  Both are great fun to drive, though, but I'm preaching to the choir on that!

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Lance is a cool guy.  It's a shame he lost interest in these cars...and the website.  I understand though.  Sometimes people just have to move on.  He has a lot going on compared to the salad days of contour.org.  I try to meet up with him whenever I'm up in his neck of the woods.  We still rattle each other's cage on Facebook occasionally.  

 

The car has just short of 150k on the clock now.  I put quite a bit of that on there.  I've had the car all over Washington state.  It's been to Oak Harbor and Spokane a few times.  Several trips to Eugene.  One big trip to San Francisco.  It's a lot of fun to drive!

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Mike - how about a bit of a history lesson of Cassandra, as well as mods/updates to her. Hey, I for one do NOT know where Lance came up with the name "Cassandra"? I spoke to Lance "back in the day" and he is definately one cool guy. TV happened to be on yesterday afternoon, Wayne's World 2, and I heard reference to "Cassandra" by Garth. Of course you can imagine his reference to the "babe"....LOL. I just had to look ;-) Not the Cassandra I saw "back in the day" with Lance at the wheel!!!

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I'm not really sure where the name came from.  He told me once...don't recall.  The car did predate his wife, so who knows?

 

As far as a mod list...it's very long.  It doesn't have everything, but it has an awful lot.  The Quaife is the star of the show IMO, followed by cool stuff like underdrive pulleys, SVT intake & MAF, SHO Shop Y Pipe, etc.  Sometime in the future it will probably get a BAT suspension and some headers.  Not sure how much I want to lower it, but it's definitely going down.  Lots of research to do on that.  

 

First and foremost is getting it running again.  I know a fella who has SVT heads, cams and LIM lying around...

 

Here's some pics just for fun.  This is where she's sitting at the moment.  Once I'm all moved there will be a special place in the shop until the repairs are complete.20140705_105345.jpg20140705_105319.jpg

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I can recommend the BAT suspension bits. Never had bad experience with their parts.

 

If you are interested in a set of used Roush springs, I just removed a set from my '99. The are blue to match the rest of your car :)

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I'm actually familiar with BAT and their products.  They are quite fantastic!  What I was referring to (and what I should have said) was I wanted to research the alternatives.  I just don't know what's out there anymore.

 

What's the deal with Roush springs?  Lower ride height?  Higher spring rate?  I'm interested in them, but I'm curious why you took them off.

 

I know the '95 SE springs are pretty stiff.  They're stiffer than my old '98 SVT springs were!

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Mike --  I think you move so often either to stay one-step ahead of the law or a very bad witness protection program.

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Ha ha ha ha

 

No, the problem is I keep renting houses.  The market is such a mess right now that people are changing their minds like their underwear regarding the sale of their house.  It's annoying.

 

That said, I plan on buying a house in the next couple of years.

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Mike - a method of purchasing, that is all too often overlooked it the "rent with option to buy". This got me into my first house - 100% of the rent for the first 12 months went towards my down payment.

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The Roush springs were lower than SVT springs, but not as low as H&R springs. I removed them because I had purchased the BAT springs several years ago, they were brand new, versus the Roush springs which have some miles on them.

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If you are in the "mood" to sell the Roush springs, I might know of a buyer for you.

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Just a quick update...there are now a set of SVT heads sitting in my shop. It's starting to come together!

 

Cassandra is (and has been) sitting in my barn, out of the rain, on a battery maintainer. I start it and let it warm up about once a month.

 

There are still a few projects ahead of this car, but it's definitely going to happen. 

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It always warms my heart to hear news of Cassandra, and I'm so glad she's landed in the proverbial Northwest lap of enthusiasts!

 

I wrote about this similar car, before, but now I thought I'd mention it again (windbag that I am).  At a garage sale a couple years back my husband and I parked Ferret II, our red '95 SE, next to a beautifully kept blue '95 SE - this Ford blue is my absolute favorite, with red second. She also had the moon roof, leather seats, same wheels (like Cassandra's; they're my favorites), but was an automatic and gray leather interior, whereas Ferret II's a manual with tan.  Anyhow, we were admiring her when up strolled two women. The older one - of around retirement age or older - turned out to be the original owner, who had given the car to the younger one, her daughter.  The older woman said she'd bought the car new and had "loved every minute of driving the car", and the daughter seemed very fond of it, too.  A week or so later I spotted the car parked at a house we drive by in taking our dog down to the beach for a walk, and often when we drive down I see it.  Lately, though, I've been watching more closely for the car, as a couple weeks ago I had spotted this lower mileage, blue '95 SE on Craigslist:

 

 

00u0u_ectkfEOoADI_600x450.jpg

 

http://seattle.craigslist.org/sno/ctd/4911184667.html

 

I don't know if it's the same car, as it's about 30 miles north in Everett now, but I haven't seen the car in the driveway since then - it's been a few weeks - and the dealer ad mentions this being a one owner car, plus with pretty low miles.  I recall it being significantly lower miles when I spoke with the ladies, but can't recall that too clearly.  Anyway, I've been wondering if it's the same car; and, if so, I think it was pretty well maintained, in case anyone's interested in a fairly low mileage '95 SE.  Crazy Contour enthusiast I am, I if a NW enthusiast wanted to learn more, I wouldn't be above driving the red SE over, getting my nerve up, and asking them if they traded it in.  I always wished I'd offered them my number, anyway, in case they decided to sell it.  I wouldn't buy an automatic myself, but might have had a slim chance to pass the news along prior to a trade in.

 

Okay, back to Cassandra.  Keep the emails coming Shotwell!  It's always so nice to hear news of her!

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Wow, that is a dead ringer for Cassandra. Just the transmission difference...outwardly they're exactly the same. Interesting story!

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Went out for another drive today. It's been a while since it's really been moved and the brake rotors were starting to look really ugly. I put some fresh gas in there too...all that starting it and warming it up has actually eaten up about 1/4 tank of gas in the last year. That's ok though...small price to pay to keep things lubricated though. 

 

She's still very angry! Goes down the road though. It's amazing.

 

The project keeps getting pushed back. It is definitely going to happen though.

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RIGHT ON!!! Give us a date as you get closer and the GANG will show up...this will be EPIC!!

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Lots of progress on Cassandra. I'm trying to bring her to the meet!

 

Torqued down the heads this evening. It's all assembly from here. SVT heads and cams (and MSDS headers) should liven her up!

 

20160518_203305.jpg20160518_203311.jpg20160518_213233.jpg20160518_225248.jpg20160519_004543.jpg

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