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Wayne Wachter
A Need for Speed
DCC Charter Member Wayne Wachter may be a retired farmer, but the pace of country life hasn't slowed him down over the years.
Wayne Wachter
Wayne, in fact, has a thing for speed, you could say. For 23 years, he owned Mason Dixon Dragway, a National Hot Rod Association-sanctioned strip in Hagerstown, Md., that hosted regional and national events during his tenure. But Wayne doesn't confine his love of speed to land-based cruisers: He's a licensed pilot who has owned a couple of airplanes over the years, too.
Wayne's Cougar, our featured cat, is a Caribbean Blue 1968 XR7-G that came from the factory with a black vinyl top and aqua interior. He has done some cosmetic work to the car to put it back to original stock condition and it is now a nice No. 2 condition car. Wayne, of Keymar, Md., says he bought the XR7-G from another long-time Cougar Club of America (CCOA) member in 1994 after he placed a wanted ad for a '68 XR7-G or GT-E in the CCOA newsletter, At The Sign Of The Cat.
"About four months passed before I received a call from a long-time Cougar collector, Cecil Jones, in Rodgersville, Mo., informing me he had one for sale," Wayne says. "After receiving the pictures of the car, I decided it was time to make the journey to Missouri."
On Fathers Day, 1994, Wayne flew to St Louis, then hopped a commuter flight to Springfield, Mo., where he was picked up by Cecil and his wife, Doris. When he saw the car, he made a deal on it and turned around that evening and flew back home.
"I had spent over 20 hours non-stop that day, but found the car I was looking for," Wayne says. As far as he can determine, he is the Cougar's fourth owner. The G-car, with just more than 123,000 miles, has its original engine, a 302-4V. Wayne says the engine is strong with great compression. The featured cat also includes a C-4 automatic transmission, 8-inch rear with 3.00 open gears, power steering, power disc brakes, tilt steering wheel, air conditioning, tinted glass and heavy duty suspension.
Wayne Wachter
"After the car arrived I washed and waxed it and put it in the garage," Wayne recalls. "There it sat until May of 1998 before I finally decided it's time to start enjoying this cat. In January 1999, I had the rust removed from the quarter panels and wheel wells and the paint was matched and blended in. I removed all the trim from the dash and replated it."
Wayne uses the G as both a weekend cruiser and show car. In addition to the XR7-G, he also has a '69 Eliminator R Code (428 Super Cobra Jet) with Super Drag-Pack option and a '90 XR-7 SC factory supercharged car in his den. He says he also is buying another '68 XR7-G, this one equipped with a four-barrel 390. "This car has a consecutive vehicle identification number to my G!" he says. Wayne has owned two other Cougars in the past, a '68 390-4V GT and a 390-4V '69 Eliminator. His dream car? "I hope to have a GT-E some day," he says.
Wayne tries to live by the advice he gives other Cougar lovers: "Whenever you find that special car you have been looking for or that hard to find part that seemed impossible to find, grab it, because you may not get a second chance!"