$2k Cat: 1975 Mercury Bobcat Villager

Thanks to Pat L. for sending in this great tip! This is a 1975 Mercury Bobcat Villager, basically a nicer, fancier Ford Pinto Squire wagon. This wood-grain-wonder is listed on Hemmings with a very reasonable asking price of $1,999! You know you’ve always wanted one, here’s your chance. NADA has an average retail value for a 1975 Mercury Bobcat Villager as being $3,825.

The Bobcat was Mercury’s first compact car and it debuted, for some reason, in Canada in 1974 and finally made it to the US in 1975. Canada had those great Mercury pickups, maybe it had something to do with their dealer network. One of you will know why. This car looks good to me although, dang, those bumpers are ‘UGE! You could set up a three-bedroom condo on that thing. There was no way to avoid those types of things in that era, though. Just like lots of cars from the 1990/1991/1992 era had those #$% automatic seatbelts!

Bobcat buyers could choose from either a wagon, a Villager in Mercury’s case, or hatchback body style, the same as a Ford Pinto, but they had a unique grille and trim compared to the Pinto. The wood-grain DI-NOC vinyl could use some updating, or not. And, there are a few things that could use some help, but overall this car looks like it’s in nice condition.

That’s a great-looking interior! This car is located in California which may explain the apparent lack of visible body rust and the faded wood-grain paneling, I mean, wood-grain sticker. You can replace that, of course. The interior looks really nice other than a broken driver’s side window crank. For those of you under age 40, back in the early-stone age (pre-2000) people used to actually have to manually, physically, and literally turn a crank to open and close the side windows on vehicles! I know, right?! No fancy power windows on a Merc ‘Cat, no, sir. The seats look absolutely like new. Fabric inserts could be had and those would be preferable for sure, at least for me they would be. But the quality and preservation of this interior can’t be argued against too harshly.

Unfortunately, there are no engine photos and even more unfortunate is that the seller says the 2.8L, 97 hp V6 engine has a knock. I read one forum that said it could be as simple as being out of time, or another problem with the distributor. Hopefully it isn’t a huge deal to track down the cause. Have any of you owned a Mercury Bobcat? I know there are a lot of former and present Pinto owners out there!

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Comments

  1. Rock On

    In Canada, Lincoln dealers sold Mercury products. They were considered more upmarket than Fords. Nowadays between the leasing department and the fleet department, you can buy almost any make and model at your local dealer.

    • HotRodLincoln

      Ford Motor Company intended for such sales. Lincoln was always a sovereign part of Ford. Edsel Ford made sure of that. Who do you think was the vision behind Lincoln ? It was Edsel Ford. The same visionary for Mercury in 1939. It has always been…Ford Lincoln Mercury. And it will continue to be.

      Like 1
      • Wm Lawrence

        Lincoln was established by Henry M. Leland around 1915. That was after he sold his first marque, Cadillac, to GM.

        I think Ford bought him out in the early 20s.

  2. HotRodLincoln

    FoMoCoCA used the Canadian market as a proving grounds. No surprise that it was introduced in Canada a year prior to U.S. introduction. Production numbers of all Canadian Ford vehicles (many marketed under the Mercury name plates are limited vs. the Ford counterparts in the U.S.). The Meteor was high line in Canada whereas, it was second to the Park Lane or the Monterey in the U.S.

  3. Woodie Man

    Had the same color on a ’73 Pinto Wagon…well actually the girlfriend did. I wouldnt have voluntarily bought such an animal. Same shelf paper/not di-noc faux wood looking panel inserts. Looking at this actually gives me the creeps. Actually slept in it on long hauls up and down the California coast. I was young. Thats no excuse for her buying it though.

  4. Barzini

    I never owned one but my grandmother had a red one just like this car (including the wood grain). It was surprisingly peppy and reliable but she didn’t keep it long. I have not seen one in many years.

  5. HotRodLincoln

    I said it with the last recent Pinto listing….yep, I’d cruise it.
    Barzini….Your Grandmother was one smart cookie !

  6. Foxmotorsport

    I had a 77 Bobcat villager. 2.3 auto in a copper color. Paid the used car manager at our dealership 50.00 and had to put a battery in it. Drove it for 3 winters as a beater and a guy offered me 500.00 for it. Not bad except at that point the floors were non existent and the rear bumper was held on with a ratchet strap. I miss that car!

    Like 1
    • Joe

      Back in 86 or so my buddy’s and I had one of these as a winter beater/ bar car. I think it was a 76 or 77 but don’t remember. It had holes in the floor which my buddy used to dispose of empty cans.

      One night one of my drunken buddies got enraged when he couldn’t open the rear door on the car! He ended up punching out the window and cutting his arm up reaching in trying to find the door handle…. oh those were the days, I guess if you were as tanked up as he was you would think there was a rear door

      We fixed the window with plywood but we never let him live that down.

      I would buy this to relive old times, but any of my buddies who would remember those days are either dead, in prison or their old lady’s won’t let em hit the bars no more.

      Truth is I don’t drink since I was released in 97, but I’d still have fun driving my pals around and raising hell

  7. mike d

    the seller claims that it would be a good candidate to drop in a 289, being a 6 already, today’s 6’s have lots more pep than this one had stick with the v/6 I do wish it had a 4 or 5 speed, but would stick with an upgraded auto. Upgrade the suspension and brakes and we’re good to go !!

    • Blyndgesser

      Ecoboost?

      Like 1
  8. RollerD

    Awesome. This is what I come here for. Thank you.

    Like 1
  9. Rustytech Member

    Wow! A Pinto with Lincoln interior. At least it’s not brown! I actually like this one, nice economical ride at a decent price. Thumbs up!

  10. Ck

    Kool ,I’m with blyndgesser Ecoboost.

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