Bargain Bobcat: 1979 Mercury Bobcat

I don’t know if you have noticed, but the price of classic cars that used to be everyday cars, that were nothing so special, have been on the rise in the last couple of years. It seems three years ago you could pick up, let’s say, a 1978 Thunderbird in decent shape with less than 100,000 miles for $2,000. Those bargains are getting harder to find. Here’s one that won’t break the bank. This 1979 Mercury Bobcat 3 door Runabout is for sale here on Craigslist in Central Virginia. Thanks to Barnfinds reader Ian C. for letting us know about this one.

While a Bobcat is not one of those cars that many collectors are out there hunting for, for the average Joe looking for something a little older to drive, this one is quite a bargain. The car is listed for $1,400. For that, you get a car that appears to be in good condition. The paint is not the best in the world, but there are no dents and no apparent rust. Something’s going on with that rear bumper filler, but I have seen another Bobcat on Barnfinds with the same problem. Maybe rather than crack as many of the General Motors fillers did, they expanded and sprung out on Ford products.

This car has the deluxe interior with low-back bucket seats in Alpine plaid cloth. The interior looks quite good from this picture. There is a little staining on the carpeting but nothing too bad. This car is equipped with floor-mounted 4-speed manual transmission.

This is the standard engine in the 1979 Bobcat, the 2.3 Liter OHC 4 cylinder. The miles are not stated in the ad but the seller says it runs. This Bobcat is described as a nice solid little car and all original. The original owner’s manual, window sticker, and protect-o-plate are included. So if you’ve got a tight budget for an older car, this could be the one for you.


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  1. Ian C

    Seems like it just sold. That is a good thing because the temptation was strong on this one!!!

    I think they had just dropped the price recently to, I believe, 1200

    Like 5
  2. nrg8

    Wtf is this view limit if not a member? Alrighty then bye

    Like 4
    • Riceman

      For a website that wants hits and popularity as well as trying to sale members cars. It seems like a bad idea. lol

      Reminds me of ebay 10 years ago when they tried to be like Amazon and ran off the independent sellers.

  3. Lance Platt

    I owned a 1980 Bobcat which had a weird habit of stalling on turns. Mine was a red automatic on the floor Runabout (hatchback) with a sunroof. I drove mine all over Germany and neighboring European countries while I dated my first wife. We we’re both in the military when we met. Great memories of that Mercury!

    Like 3
  4. CanuckCarGuy

    My mother had the same car, except red on red. I recall that the rear hatch on hers was frameless glass, except for the bottom edge. I always thought it was a styling difference between the Pinto and Bobcat, as the Pintos seemed to have a full frame hatch. It was a good little car, but only lasted a year before it was traded for a Colony Park wagon.

    Like 1
    • Miguel

      The Pintos also had the frameless glass as an option.

      Like 2
  5. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    I like to see cars like this, which were throw-aways in their day. Not many left. This one seems pretty good, and I like the period-correct plaid interior. For sure it is a good car to generate conversation on your next summer trip to Sonic.

    Like 1
  6. Rick A. Loera

    The all glass rear hatchback became optional equipment for either Pinto and Bobcat in 1977.

    Like 2
  7. Miguel

    I love these cars.

    The simplicity of them is what I miss most about cars.

    Like 7
  8. Del

    Cute car. Went fast.

    Like 2
  9. Bodyman68

    No pinto or bobcat had any other mounting for shifters but floor . The 2.3 was most reliable over the 2.0 and way more power . Add a 289 then its even more fun ! Hard to find without rust .

    Like 2
  10. Stilbo

    That was gone fast and no wonder.. great price for a clean Bobcat. And a four speed no less.
    One of my most memorable cars was a red ‘79 Bocat. His name was ‘Bobcar’.
    Four speed and 2.3 with a highway axle.
    I stuck G60 fat radials and Bilstein shocks on it and it handled way better than my ‘76 MGB and was faster too.
    I’d night drive it like a bootlegger cutting apexes on a rural, winding secluded state highway and kill the headlights before I’d enter the curve to make sure nothing was coming in the oncoming lane.
    Good thing it disappeared quickly.
    My wife woulda killed me if I’d dragged it home.

    Like 2
  11. Louis Q Chen

    At least this Bobcat had the standard 1.6 liter 4 banger engine! It was a better engine than the 2.3 liter. In those days, the Ford 1.6 liter engine was a very dependable engine IF it was a German made Ford Koln/Frankfurt. Any Ford UK then were P.O.S.! A friend of mine in during had one but it was a Pinto, I was surprised how well the Pinto handled! Too bad Ford screwed up on the exploding gas tanks! It was a cheap but better than the Chevy Vega!

    • Miguel

      Louis, the 1.6L was only used for the first 2 years of production, I believe.

      This assuredly has the 2.3L which was the only 4 cylinder available.

      Like 1
  12. Rick A. Loera

    Yes. In 1979 the Ford Pinto and Mercury Bobcat only had two engine choices. The standard engine was the Lima 2.3L 4-cyl. The optional engine was the Cologne 2.8L V-6 engine. The latter engine was only available with the automatic transmission.

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