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Dennis Black featured cat
It's All Relative
Dennis Black, who likes being different, was drawn to the unique look of the Eliminator and its status as a rare muscle car. So, when Dennis found a 1970 Competition Gold Eliminator about three years ago, he bought it, even though it needed a complete restoration.
"The car was originally from Wisconsin and led a hard life," Dennis said. "I acquired it from a local guy in the Frederick, Md., area who bought it from someone in Michigan."
Fortunate for Dennis, his cousin, Kevin Black, is an experienced restorer and took on the majority of work to bring the Eliminator back to life. And what a restoration it is: Dennis brought his freshly restored cat to a couple 2005 DCC events, and it won Best of Show at one and first place at the other.
During the complete, two-year, ground-up restoration, the 351 Cleveland engine, top-loader four-speed transmission and 9-inch, 3.50 traction lock rear were all rebuilt with performance and strength enhancements. The car also got new brakes, and most chassis, suspension and other mechanical parts were either replaced or rebuilt. The black interior was re-done and the body was completely stripped, re-surfaced and painted. Other than a few small remaining items, the car is completely restored, Dennis says.
Although they can laugh about it now, sourcing and finding parts for the Eliminator during the restoration didn't exactly elicit the same reaction then, Dennis says.
"It was amazing to see the poor quality of repair work done to the car in the past and even when it was built at the factory," he says. "Restoring the Eliminator was a lot of work, a lot of money and a lot of time. It was very challenging sometimes—the quality of replacement parts and suppliers sometimes did not meet my expectations or equal the value of their costs. Since the car is now done, the aggravations of the past seem more and more worth it, since I can now enjoy the car."
Dennis credits his wife, Cindi, for her patience and understanding through the restoration process. He also appreciates the high caliber of hard work by his cousin, Kevin.
"He did an extremely high-quality and professional job," Dennis says. While Dennis built the car to show quality, it's no trailer queen. He drives the cat to shows and on weekend cruises, he says.
Dennis doesn't have any other collector cars now, but has owned Mustangs and holds open the possibility of more Ford muscle in his stable one day. "I love cars," he says enthusiastically. "Always have, especially Ford-powered muscle cars, Boss, Shelbys, etc. My next project would probably be some type of Boss car."
Dennis and Cindi own McHenry Equipment, a Frederick, Md., business that sells, installs and services industrial pressure cleaning and waste water treatment equipment. They have twin daughters, Kristen and Nicole; a son, Tyler; one grandson, Braden; and their dog, Dixie.
Dennis says he also enjoys firearms, both collecting and shooting. But with the business, family and other demands of a busy life, he has little time left for much else.