1 of 304 Ram Air 428 Auto! 1969 Mercury Cougar

If buying a yard sale puzzle in a plastic bag excites you – the thrill of wondering how many pieces are missing, the challenge of assembling it with no documentation… take a close look at this Mercury! The 1969 Mercury Cougar in
Assaria, Kansas comes with no motor, no transmission, no third member (the guts of the rear axle), and rust-through in several places. However some good-looking work has been done on the body, and it comes with a clean title in the seller’s name and a Marti report detailing it as one of 304 built with the hot R-code Ram Air 428 Cobra Jet engine and automatic transmission. The listing here on eBay has attracted at least three bidders and a market value above $4500. Thanks to reader Larry D for suggesting we feature this specimen of Mercury’s top cat.

The all-black engine bay is appropriate for a ’69 Mercury, but this spray job covers items that should be unpainted or plated finishes, including newly-installed brake lines, in case that sort of thing matters to you. The new brake booster escaped the black fog thanks to its recent installation.

The “extremely solid” body needs some metal here and there, which would be easier to stomach if the original drivetrain remained in some shape or form. Nevertheless, it simply requires time and/or money to repair. This is one of the best pictures of the interior, and it looks like the factory console remains. Originally red with red vinyl interior, the Cougar underwent a color change to the interior or replacement with black parts at some point.

Parts from the nifty hidden-headlight grille come with the sale, as do the filter housing from the Ram Air setup, which is a definitely plus. Of the 24 pictures, none show the whole car (sigh) but some low-angle shots document newly-added suspension parts.

Potential buyers with a line on a correct-ish ’69 R-code powertrain certainly have a leg up on the rest of us. No one will pay a premium for this original R-code body to resto-mod it. It’s hard to price a mixed-bag of a car like this, which usually goes against the seller, but if you like the idea of owning what was one of the hottest specimens of Mercury’s Mustang in this state, you might score a deal. Would you pay a premium for a muscle car body that once housed a high-performance powertrain?

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  1. Motorcityman Member

    $4,500 for a primered and STILL RUSTED THROUGH skeleton??
    Some people will by anything it seems!!

    Like 9
  2. Dale

    Nuts. Just nuts.

    Like 6
  3. junkman Member

    Back February of 1970 a pair of twins( sons of a prominent doctor)were given one of these to share when they turned 16 and a half. White with a black vinyl top, brown leather interior. I think they made it just over a year, replacing I believe, 2 engines on the warranty. Before sliding it sideways into a 5ft granite driveway end post Totaling the car. XR7 CJ 428 ramair. What nitwits, parents and kids both.

    Like 13
  4. gaspumpchas

    Looks like the guy did some of it like the front end, but the rust is troubling and you would have your hands full fixing that roof. Bad welding in the back where the bumpers attach. You have a lot of big buck items missing here. Look it over and decide if you want to tackle it. Good luck and stay safe.

    Like 7
  5. JCA

    Have fun rebuilding the metal around the rear window. I hope you have a lot of time for this

    Like 3
  6. Maverick

    Looks like a project that someone realized it was more work and money and lots of time. It’s been parted out already. All the big money parts are gone. Should have left it to finish rotting back to earth.

    Like 4
  7. Patrick Farmer

    This one you buy and then go looking for a rust free body. It is a big block car because there is a wraparound support that was welded in from the factory around the bottom of the shock towers. In 1970 this was on 351 Cleveland powered cars as well. I don’t know if they did the same for the 351W, because the Cleveland came from Ford Racing as a replacement for the aging 427 and the Windsor came from Ford Engineering. The Windsor was the first Ford engine produced from the raised deck height casting theory as a way to produce a larger engine from existing engine architecture. Ford went on to produce the 400 and the 351 M from the 351C architecture.

    Like 4

      All 1969 and 1970 Cougars have the wrap around shock tower reinforcements, even the 351 (W or C) 2V cars. It was only on Mustangs that the car had to be a big block or Boss 302 to get that style reinforcement.

      Like 4
  8. Mike_B_SVT

    Interesting that it’s originally from the Kumpf dealership. They did a group of modified CJ Cougars in ’69 ~ somewhere around a dozen cars. Would love to see some “before” pics of this one, or at least get some more history on it. You never know what you might find out.

    Like 1
    • Motorcityman Member

      No engine, trans or 3rd member why would it matter?

      Like 2
  9. Robert Byrnes

    I am picking up a 69 ragtop with a 351 for less than 3,000.00 next week.

    Like 1
    • Motorcityman Member

      Yeah, but what condition?

      Like 1

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