The Spice of Life?
Having visited 48 states and 17 different countries, DCC charter member Jim Stagner has come to appreciate the beauty of variety and the intrigue of uniqueness. As the owner of three Cougars, Jim also has embraced variety as a cat enthusiast. And as for uniqueness--well, his '69 XR-7 convertible comes pretty darn close!
Jim's convertible is one of 39 XR-7 ragtops built with the CJ428 engine. It features a C6 transmission, 9-inch traction lock with 3.25 ratio gears, power windows, console, power disc brakes, A/C and tinted glass. Jim found the Dark Ivy Green Metallic convertible in the classifieds section of the The Washington Post. A resident of Woodbridge, Va., (a D.C. suburb), Jim was extremely surprised to see such a rare car in the local paper. The owner informed him that he was the second owner of the CJ and that the engine had been rebuilt at 85,000 miles, with the heads ported and polished. Jim bought the car as a retirement present for himself and has owned it since 1994.
Since buying the car, Jim has had a fair amount of work done to it, including new paint and replacement leaf springs, exhaust, front-calipers, radiator, clutch fan assembly, power steering parts and a black convertible top with glass backlite. He also has upgraded the CJ with an MSD ignition, traction bars, cam kit, radio with cassette deck and transmission cooler.
Jim uses his convertible as a weekend cruiser, calling it his "summertime, top-down, wind-blowing-through-the-hair, oldies-playing-on-the-radio car." Jim also is the original owner of a rare '69 CJ428 Eliminator (See The DCC June 1999 Car Of The Month), which he now uses for "show and go," but which is a former drag racing beast. His third cat is a daily driver, 1970 Eliminator with 351C-4V.
Jim is a retired Federal Aviation Administration professional who now works part time for Dimensions International Inc. in support of the FAA. Jim's other hobbies include the collection of muscle car literature and photography. Jim started with photography because his wife is a professional portrait photographer. "I am winning a lot of awards with my nature photography, which comes as a big surprise to everybody, especially me!" he says.
Jim also serves as the Northern Virginia Regional representative for the DCC, in which he is an active member, participating and organizing meetings at numerous local cruise nights.
As for Jim's plans to one day expand his stable: "Someday I hope to add a 428 GT-E to the collection," he says. "But in the meantime, I wouldn't mind a Cobra [kit car or real]!"