22K Miles! 1978 Mercury Bobcat Villager

I really missed the mark and the market on the Pinto/Bobcat trend, wow! This beauty of a 1978 Mercury Bobcat Villager wagon is listed here on eBay in Arvada, Colorado. You had better sit down for this part: the current bid price is $8,100 and the reserve isn’t met yet!

This is one nice-looking Bobcat wagon. I would love to change out the bumpers to some early Pinto bumpers but other than that, this car is great. And, I’m assuming that it would have more people around it at a gas station than a new Ferrari would. I could be wrong, which would be a first (cough)..

Believe it or not, this is all real wood! No, no it’s not, but it looks great without any fading or peeling or any trouble that I can see. The seller says that the woodgrain is original as is the paint and after (I’d better get this correct this time or I’ll hear about it!) 31 years.. no wait, 41 years it looks great! The rear cargo area looks fantastic, too. Actually, it looks like brand new.

But, exterior schmexterior, inside is where this Tootsie Roll Tootsie Pop really shines. Well, other than having an automatic. Would this be a $10,000 car if it had a manual? I think it could easily be if it’s over $8-grand new and the reserve isn’t even met yet. I don’t believe that a person could get a manual transmission with the V6 Bobcat in 1978, anyone? Check out those seats, though! I would definitely dig out my white shoes and white belt if I had this car. Beautiful. I mean, the car, not the image of me in white shoes and a white belt.

The engine is Ford’s Cologne 2.8L V6 with 90 hp and 143 ft-lb of torque. There are no squeaks or rattles and this drives like a new car, if there is a new car with only 90 hp today. If there are any Mercury Bobcat wagon collectors or museums out there, maybe they’re the ones bidding on this superb time machine wagon. How much would you pay for this like-new Bobcat wagon?

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Comments

  1. Bluetec320 Member

    The styling of this car is kind of meh, I never really liked it. I do love that blue/orange plaid interior though.

    7
    • Ike Onick

      I picture the aerodynamic grille slicing through the wind.

      3
  2. 36 Packard

    Do not laugh at the idea that it would have more people gather around it than a Ferrari at a filling station. For one, many people remember having one of these, or knew someone who did, how many have that with an Italian sports car? Mostly though, a Ferrari owner is going to be a snooty guy who doesn’t want mere mortals bothering him, or at least that is my and most peoples perceptions. Now, if a guy with an old Benz or Porsche drives by and wants to chat, oh, that is just fine, but not “the help”. Drive up in a Pinto and we all know you are a regular friendly guy. This car would be a great start to my Every Mans/Regular Guy Car Museum. Now, how much is the Powerball paying tonight?

    26
    • Pimple Popper

      Agreed. Fancy car people are often not car people, just snobby show offs.

      6
      • Sandy Claws

        Man, do I love that name! Please tell me it is not your self identity, just a smart as* thing to say. Okay, I do agree with you, though. Just because you can afford fine wheels does not make you worthy of them, or you are even a decent regular human being. I recall years back trying to approach a guy in a V12 Jag to see if he would talk a little about his car. This guy not only ignored me, he said not one word and looked me straight in the eye and glared me down for like five seconds. (Plus his wife looked annoyed and grumpy as well) Rude! All He had to say was something like, “Hey Mister, sorry, I don’t have time to talk now, have a good day.” I find that with money often comes a feeling of self importance and superiority that makes you think you are better then others.

        7
  3. DRV

    It was a $4112.00 car new. High retail now is under $7k. This is a great combo and better than any one you will find so I think $8k is not unreasonable.

    9
  4. Steven Ligac

    8PM EDT Saturday, 6/1 and it appears that the eBay page is gone. Sold?

  5. Bob_in_TN Member

    Terrific car. I was at a Cars and Coffee today and indeed I walked right past the high end sports cars without giving them a look. But if this car had been present I would have been all over it. The price isn’t far off in my opinion.

    7
  6. Tripp

    I love the “If it had a manual…” comments. Not every car is better with a manual transmission, and this one is a perfect example.

    7
    • William I Decker

      Maybe not “better” but a lot of us still prefer a manual transmission. Oh & I’m one of those that don’t care for the clutter of A.C. either.

      3
  7. JOHN S BARNES

    And what would this be worth-in the mid 70’s the local Ford dealer had an
    interesting factory “error”, a Pinto wagon that had a Bobcat grill. Definitely
    not something cobbled up as it had the Mulroney sticker and the shipping
    protection. As I remember it had the ersatz “wood” trim as well—–

    1
  8. DRV

    How many original plastic wood trims are in that condition? It’s almost like it’s never seen the sun.

    6
  9. Spud

    Keep ’em coming! Barn Finds is becoming the go-to place to find old Pintos and their kin. Quite a few seem to have been listed recently. Maybe find a few more Vegas to balance things out? Or, if I’m not mistaken, it seems that time has been more forgiving to Pintos than Vegas.

    As has been noted here, the best collectors cars are those that evoke fond – or at least powerful – memories and associations from their owners and those who see them. Memories trump investments 99% of the time.

    For me, this is the sort of car I spent high school riding around in. The car was usually the family car mostly driven by someone’s mom…or older sibling…which was offered up to young drivers on those rare occasions when one was allowed “to borrow the car”. Bring it back by 10pm. Dent it and you’re grounded for a week.

    Good times.

    1
  10. Mountainwoodie

    I’m sorry guys….er….gals..I know there is a “posterior” for every seat.but a Ford Pinto…………….I mean Mercury Bobcat wagon………no.

  11. Ted

    When we were bracket racing at SIR in the early 90’s a guy there raced one of these hagwagons, and not one racer wanted to go up against him. The guy was a killer on reaction times and that insert profanity here car ran the same e.t. like memory, run after run….. I too was punted out a couple of times by the guy so I, and probably a lot of other SIR drag racers, have a healthy dislike for that/these cars………… ;)

    I love seeing stuff like this pop up, and even if someone paid huge for this to relive whatever memory good on them. Only here once.

    2
  12. Bodyman68

    These cars are fine with the auto and yes id pass all the high end crap just to look at it ! Ac dogged down the 4spd but not as much in the auto . And i believe that you could have the 4speed in this with v6 as it was in the capri . These were great econoboxes and you could pack alot of stuff in them ! Its worth 10g in this condition.

    1
  13. lc

    My 78 Mercury Bobcat sedan, up there in related finds – white with red interior, black steelies with white walls, was nice looking. Yeah it had a little rust, but the new owner can vouch that it is in such good condition that he decided not to chop it up to put in a V8 which is what I think he had planned. I spent a lot of $ to rebuild the 2.3 engine. I almost got back half of what I spent on it. I consider myself lucky that I got $3000 for it. It was a good running engine after the rebuild. My only problem that I had was the carb even though I had replaced it. It was very frustrating because it was so hard to start. It would restart easily once it was started, but after sitting over night back to the same no-start issue. Anyway, it is in good hands now somewhere in Utah. PS: I didn’t have droves of people coming up to me at the gas station. But it could be for the reason that I hardly drove it.

    3
  14. Spud

    Keep ’em coming! Barn Finds is becoming the go-to place to find old Pintos and their kin. Quite a few seem to have been listed recently. Maybe find a few more Vegas to balance things out? Or, if I’m not mistaken, it seems that time has been more forgiving to Pintos than Vegas.

    As has been noted here, the best collectors cars are those that evoke fond – or at least powerful – memories and associations from their owners and those who see them. Memories trump investments 99% of the time.

    For me, this is the sort of car I spent high school riding around in. The car was usually the family car mostly driven by someone’s mom…or older sibling…which was offered up to young drivers on those rare occasions when one was allowed “to borrow the car”. Bring it back by 10pm. Dent it and you’re grounded for a week.

    Good times.

    5
    • don

      Its true time has been more forgiving to Pintos ; the Vega, while a much better looking car IMHO , was a really bad car – they rusted horribly ,and the early motors were just awful . Its no wonder there are still a lot more Pintos running around than Vegas

      2
  15. Miguel Member

    It seems that a four or five bidders buy the mileage story.

  16. Barry Traylor

    I bought a 1973 Pinto wagon new that year (no fake wood) and it was one of the nicest cars I have owned. My wife and I traded in a 1967 Ford convertible with the 390 engine lovely car but it only got around 12 to 15 mpg. Not long after we bought the pinto the first oil embargo hit so we made a good choice as with a 4 speed manual I got around 27-30 mpg.

    2
  17. Edselbill

    I know I am crazy — but I am just about finished a two year build of a 1977 Pinto Squire wagon. I have several classics, including a restored 69 442 and 65 T-Bird, but I have to say — my little “Kboom” gets far more looks, comments, and enthusiasm than the more expected classics.

    As for the rebuild — the V-6 never came in a manual in the Pinto / Bobcat, and where it shows is at highway speeds. The tach is screaming at modern highway speeds.

    So, I mated at tremec 5 speed to the original engine, de-smogged it, and gave it a holly carb, and she is a totally new car. Scoots right along and keeps up with modern traffic no probs.

    If I had seen this car, before I started my build, I would have saved a ton of time and money rebuilding mine. For anyone interested in these cars, buy this one! Even at 10g’s, you will be ahead in the long run vs. a project.

    4
  18. lc

    I wouldn’t mind buying that 78 Bobcat Squire wagon which is in my AO. That is so clean that I would take it to car shows, and probably hardly drive it because its condition. I like the front ends on them. However, already owning a 78 Bobcat sedan 2.3 manual and a 76 Pinto sedan 2.8 automatic, I feel I have had it with carbs, unfortunately. Currently, I do have a Edelbrock 4 barrel on a crate 350 in a 81 El Camino. But it sometimes has a wittle bit of a bogging down feeling after it has ran for a bit. But I think it might be that the exhaust somewhere by the muffler needs some attention. It seems to make a noise in that area once it is all warmed up. I am not strictly Ford guy. I am not strictly Chevy guy. They are both good to me. lol. I also used to own a very nice baby blue 76 Chevy Chevette. It was a daily driver for awhile. But eventually, it had the same carb issues even though I had it rebuilt at one time.

  19. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    Did not meet reserve at a bid of $10,661.50.
    Seriously.

    1
  20. lc

    If it were my car, and I had a bid that high, I would have sold it! That’s a very clean example of a Bobcat wagon. If they wanted more, they should put it in one of those live auctions where the car is driven up on a stage, and people bid on it in person. Maybe there is were they can swing a higher price than 10.6K like maybe 15 to 20K.

    1
  21. PatrickM

    Listing ended. $10,661.50. Wow! I never would have thought it would sell this high. Nice car. Would have liked to have it. Just what I am looking for to drive around town. I had a ’75 Pinto wagon with the same V6. Great car. Wish I could get another one. Ok BF, keep ’em comin’!

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