Aruba Cougar – Heads for KTL Restorations
A long-lost cat will soon return to the USA as the “Aruba Eliminator” also known as the “Aruba Cougar” heads for KTL Restorations! Have you heard that not so tall tale (tail!) about a 1970 Mercury Cougar Eliminator left to battle the tropical weather on Aruba Island in the Caribbean Sea? Those that have seen photos and videos of this poor kitty, know it is a tad rusty, to say the least. Many proclaim, “I would restore it!” while others state “it is too far gone.” Well with high anticipation, we eagerly await its arrive possibly in mid-Jan to the United States with a destination to our shop in Virginia for more evaluation.
While the full history has been lost, VIN 0F91M509594 manufacturing data includes: a Dearborn built 1970, 351C-4V mated to a wide-ratio 4-speed manual transmission. Once upon a time, the Competition Orange paint shined brightly with a Black Décor Interior. This Eliminator was one of only 13 Eliminators built in this configuration. Fully loaded with power steering, power brakes, a center console, AM/8-Track and Whisperaire air conditioning, this Mercury was ordered in the New York area. The initial buyer signed on at the Lago Refinery on Aruba, and hence the Eliminator followed in his tracks. (Data provided by Mike Banks).
“After finishing his work in Aruba, the Eliminator’s (first) owner returned to the U.S. leaving the now several-years-old car behind. Purchased by a local, the orange cat continued to prowl until it was finally parked for good in a carport on the south end of the island, where ocean breezes blow right in off the water.”
– Mike Banks
Gerald Luidens became the owner of this car around 2009. Sadly, Gerald passed away suddenly in 2017. Gerald is the brother-in-law of Jay Daryanani. Jay stated: ‘The only reason it was not scrapped is that we wanted whatever is left of it to be used to build another Eliminator, clone, or whatever it may be, in honor of my brother-in-law who would have loved to see it come back from its current state.
We did not have any luck with prospective buyers in the U.S. since it is in such poor shape, and because of the logistics of shipping back to the U.S. However, a local person who has the means has purchased it, and it will live once again – maybe not what you see now, but at least in spirit. All usable items will be used and it will most likely be part of this person’s collection of cars, and I can assure you that it will have a good rest of its life!’
“Most of what we know about this Eliminator has come from Jay’s research into the history of the car, out of enthusiasm for such a rare vehicle. Jay was kind enough to provide photos and video of the Aruba Eliminator in all its rusty glory.”-Mike Banks, Eliminator Owner, and Enthusiast
Upon arrival, KTL Restorations will thoroughly investigate the current condition of this Eliminator.
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By Mike Banks and Rob May