Cheap Pony Project: 1969 Mercury Cougar

Taking a bit of a look at this 1969 Mercury Cougar, it looks like it is a restoration project that has stalled in its early stages. This is a shame because all of the indications are that this is a solid car and that it could be a pretty decent sort of a restoration project. Still, with a low sales price, this might be your chance to secure an affordable project car. Located in Lucerne Valley, California, you will find the Cougar listed for sale here on eBay. The owner has set the price for the Mercury at a fairly tempting $2,300.

So, let’s talk about rust. What we can see is some in the bottom corners of both doors, along with some very small spots in both quarter panels near the wheel arches. The front fenders are sitting inside the car, and the driver’s side one does have some damage. It looks like some of the chrome trim and the bumpers will need to be restored, while the distinctive grille and headlight covers are nowhere to be seen. Climbing under the car is a bit of a revelation. It really does seem to be as clean as you could ever hope to find in a Cougar of this vintage, but this isn’t such a huge surprise when you consider that the car has spent its entire life in California. Frame rails, torque boxes, and the floors look to be nice and solid.

Any interior restoration on this Cougar will be effectively starting from scratch. There is no headliner, no carpet, and in fact, apart from the dash, there’s not a lot else. The original radio has gone in favor of an aftermarket radio/cassette player, while the pad is also quite badly cracked. This really is a blank canvas for the next owner.

The Cougar is an H-Code car, which means that what you will be getting is the 351ci Windsor V8 engine which produces 250hp. Backing this is the 3-speed automatic transmission, while the Cougar also features power steering and power brakes. It isn’t clear when this engine last fired a shot in anger, but I suspect that it was a while ago. Its condition is completely unknown, but I do find it interesting to note that there is a nice, shiny aluminum radiator sitting up front, while a peek under the car reveals what seems to be a fairly new exhaust. Maybe this is a car where the actual project stalled more recently than in 2003.

We see a huge number of project cars here at Barn Finds, and some of them are more horrendous than others. The Cougar is nowhere near as popular as an equivalent Mustang, but they are still a fine car. This one looks like it really is a solid project car, and at the price, it really is hard to see how the new owner could possibly go wrong.


  1. Motoring mo

    Install 2×4 bumper.

    Like 4
  2. Jay

    Needs a few things…….

    WCCC to the rescue

    Like 3
  3. Arthell64 Member

    Clean body for the money.

    Like 3
  4. Rx7turboII

    Soooooo… When did a Cougar become a Pony? Lol! If so, I should really rethink letting my daughter go on Pony rides in the Dells this weekend… (Wisconsin Dells for you not from the Midwest people).

    Nice solid car though for the money!👍👍👍

    Like 3
  5. local_sheriff

    Doesn’t seem like a a project that should be too comprehensive.It’s no driver as it sits, but I’m sure this is how most unrestored driver quality cars looks underneath when you start picking them apart. If it’s as sound as it looks this must be a fairly good deal?

    Why the Cougar isn’t near as popular as the Mustang has always been a mystery to me. It’s a far more distinctive Ford, the 69 has always been my favorite year after its appearance in ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’ MANY years back. It even has the fantastic period (s)lime green most all cars were sold with 68-69 (and hated since)

    Like 4
  6. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    For someone wanting to restore a Cougar, this looks to be a good starting point. I’ve always found these to be distinctive and attractive.

    I wish I knew the percentage of Fords painted this color over a few years; it was a very popular hue. We just saw a Falcon on this site in the same color.

    Like 3
  7. Del

    Do they make after market fenders for these ?

    Gonna be a challenge

    Like 1
    • DaveK

      No. Your best bet is good used.

      Like 1
  8. DaveK

    Judging by the missing headlight assemblies, radiator support, bumper and front fender aprons, I would bet the driver of this car rear-ended someone.

    Like 3
  9. Purple sky

    Cheap but since me and a lot of others live northeast or the east shipping from California would most likely kill the deal.

    Like 1
  10. Lynn

    This car is structurally unsound with the inner panels cut away. It’s going to take more than a grille and bumper. The radiator support and side aprons with their upper frames on these cars are a structural part of the front clip.

    Like 3
  11. Paul

    I like these cars….they remind me a little of a 68 Buick skylark which I also like.

  12. TimM

    Good price for a great ride!!!

    Like 1
  13. Del

    No its not a good price or a great ride.

    Multiple comments indcate this was a crash victim.

    Probably junk

    Like 2

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