Completed Project: 1970 Mercury Cougar Eliminator

The owner of this 1970 Mercury Cougar Eliminator is the sort of person who loves to collect and restore classic cars. He purchased this car off its original owner back in 2012, and after a 7-year refurbishment, the time has come for it to find its way to a new owner. Located in Canton, Georgia, the Cougar has been listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding has now worked its way to $28,100, but the reserve hasn’t been met. There are currently 125 people who are watching the listing.

The owner, who is a rather spritely 78-years-old, has an interesting approach to selecting his project cars. His focus is on original, rust-free cars with a bit of character. That is precisely what he found in this Competition Green Cougar. The car has undergone a repaint at some point in the past whilst under the stewardship of its original owner. Since purchasing the car from that 1st owner in 2012, the current owner has done little to the Cougar’s exterior beyond giving it a good polish. There are a few minor marks on the paint that give the car character (he points out that in his opinion the word “patina” is nauseating), but there is no rust present anywhere in the car. The exterior trim and chrome look impressive, while he describes the glass, all of which is original, as being in excellent condition.

Judging by the text from the listing, the owner will put up with some compromises with his project cars, but anything less than engine bay perfection is not an option. Therefore, a substantial part of the effort and capital outlay during the refurbishment has been lavished on the car’s drive-train. What you see here is the numbers-matching 351ci V8, which has been fully rebuilt and detailed. Given the fact that it has been blueprinted and balanced, and has received a host of new parts into the bargain, it probably pumps out slightly more than its original 300hp. Having said that, the owner didn’t want to produce an unpleasant car, so it is said to sound fairly normal. The original Merc-O-Matic transmission is one component that is now gone, which is no surprise given the fact that it was the failure of this unit that caused the original owner to park the car in the first place. Its replacement is a rebuilt 4R70W automatic transmission that began its life in a Ford Explorer. It should definitely be able to handle the horsepower well into the future, and it works exactly as it should now. Power steering and power front disc brakes complete the package, and these have received the sort of refresh that you would expect from a person with such an eye for detail. I mean, look at the engine and its surrounds. It really does present in as-new condition…if not, better.

I’m sure that you won’t be surprised to learn that as part of the refurbishment process, the entire interior was stripped from the Cougar. After confirming the car’s rust-free status, the owner installed an enormous amount of high-quality sound-deadening material to provide a more luxurious environment inside the car. The headliner that was installed is new, as are the seat covers and foam set. The remaining trim items and dash are all original, and they do present beautifully. The interior didn’t originally feature air conditioning, but this has now been set right. Similarly, the original AM radio has made way for a modern unit with USB, but its appearance does seem to be in keeping with the rest of the interior trim and equipment.

I wouldn’t refer to the work that has been performed on this Mercury as a restoration, but I think that it would be fair to consider it as something along the lines of a sensitive refurbishment. The upgrades that have been made during this 7-year process should make it a car that is more pleasant to live with on a day-to-day basis. The refurbishment has consumed more than $30,000 in parts alone, and the owner not only holds documentation to verify this but other paperwork as well, including a Marti Report. The project was completed approximately 1-month-ago, and the whole car has only covered around 10 miles since then. So, for the person who wants to buy a freshly finished classic, this is one that is worth a serious look.

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Comments

  1. Paolo

    It’s been a long time since I’ve seen that color.

    4
  2. FordGuy1972

    Beautiful car, the detail in the engine compartment is amazing. The modern upgrades will make for a more enjoyable ride, too. I hope the seller is well rewarded for all of his fine work on this Cougar. Hell, he deserves top dollar just for his comment “patina is nauseating.” Couldn’t have said it better myself.

    11
    • Miguel Member

      Isn’t that patina on the left front fender?

      • FordGuy1972

        Nope. That’s worn original paint.

        2
      • Pa Tina

        I will be the judge of what qualifies as “patina”

        6
  3. nycbjr Member

    Beautiful car wow. The mods seem tasteful, color wouldn’t be my first choice but I bet it would really stand out at a cars and coffee event!

    3
  4. ken tilly UK

    The colour might be original but I couldn’t live with the stripes on the side.

    1
    • Mike_B_SVT

      And yet those are also original ;-)

      3
  5. Steven Ligac

    10 miles after 7 years of work? Whaaa?!

    1
  6. Frank Sumatra

    The Rodney Dangerfield of the Pony Car era. These cars never got the respect they deserved. Nice.

    10
  7. Johnny Demonic

    Should have made a fastback version like the Mustang.

    3
  8. Tucker Callan

    Ken, you could order that car w/graphics delete, or an “0F-92,93, or 94” Cougar w/same color & drive train. Probably less $ to order an”0F 91M w/ Shinoda Delete. Either way, a real Head-Turner! My Dad was a Lincoln-Mercury Dealer.

    2
    • Mike_B_SVT

      Not really. To order a Cougar without the Eliminator Option… well, then it wouldn’t be an Eliminator, would it?

      The graphics, dash panels, scoop and spoiler were part of the Eliminator Option, which was only available on the Standard hardtop (or “0F91” to use your terms). The scoop could also be received on other Cougar models, but required the Ram-Air option (only available with the 428CJ/SCJ engine option). The front and rear spoilers were only available from the factory with the Eliminator Option ~ but the rear spoiler could be “deleted” (technically you still received it, but it was shipped in the trunk, uninstalled).

      Of course all of the Eliminator components could be ordered over the counter and installed on any Cougar by the dealer, or owner. But again, that wouldn’t make it a real Eliminator ;-)

      1
    • Mike_B_SVT

      Sorry, I misread your post initially and expounded on stuff that was kinda tangential to your comment.

      While you probably could order an Eliminator as “stripe delete”, I’ve not encountered any ordered that way. As a special order, they would have had a 6-digit DSO.
      Meanwhile, rear spoiler “delete” actually had a standardized code for dealers to use when placing orders, and there are about a dozen “rear spoiler delete” Eliminators known to exist ~ all of which also have a 6-digit DSO. Interestingly, almost all of the rear spoiler delete Eliminators were shipped to SoCal originally.

      1
  9. Bob_in_TN Member

    Very nice Cougar. Don’t see these very often. Looks like a high-quality “refurbishment.” I love seeing super-detailed engine compartments like this, that is a ton of work.

    If you haven’t done so, take a look at the ebay ad. Between the extensive, high-quality photos and the thorough write-up, the seller has several hours in building the ad. But I’d say that this extra effort will net more on-line lookers and therefore more on-line bidders and therefore a better price— probably significantly so. Time well spent.

    5
    • Mike_B_SVT

      I tell folks the same thing all the time when they ask me the best way to sell their Eliminator. Rarely do they put in the extra effort though. Richard and Brian’s ad is top notch.

  10. Fastwhlz

    Perhaps it is just my perception, but the headlight covers seem a mite ‘rattle-canish’. Very dark.

    • CATHOUSE

      A 1970 Eliminator received a blacked out grille as a part of the Eliminator package.

  11. w9bag Member

    What a great example ! This is the one for me. Love the color. And being easily amused, I could sit in a lawn chair and watch the sequential turn signal flash for hours. The addition of modern A/C just is icing on the cake.

    3
  12. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Nice Cat……..they’re really under appreciated….

    3
  13. TheLegoguy

    Now THIS is a car that can get me from stop lurking, to posting on here. What a beauty. You can have all the Mustangs that pop up on here all the time but these….these are a rare beauty. Great lines, great power, look awesome.

    My father had a yellow & black one when I was a baby and I have always lusted after these cars. If I had the money I would buy it now, no questions asked and enjoy the heck out of it.

    4
  14. Terry Bowman

    Nice car… I had a 70′ Cougar XR7 and tried to buy a Eliminator that was sitting in a back yard for years. Never new what happen to it. The XR7 had a much nicer interior and also came with the 351 Cleveland with a FMX tranny. My only question is, I always thought the Eliminator came with big blocks. The 351 must of been on the lower side of the option engines. Don’t get me wrong here, the 351 was a bad motor in its own.

    1
    • Mike_B_SVT

      Terry, for 1970 the 351C-4V (M-code) engine was the base engine if you selected the Eliminator Option. Otherwise, base engine was 351-2V for Cougars ~ and might have been either a Cleveland or a Windsor 351, depending on when it was built and what was readily available.

      Another interesting item is that the base transmission for an Eliminator was a 3-speed manual. A little over 100 Eliminators were built in ’70 with that base drivetrain 351C-4V / 3-speed manual.

    • CATHOUSE

      And let’s not forget that the small block Boss 302 was also available in the Eliminator.

      1
  15. Ken Wittick

    Green?

    • Mike_B_SVT

      Indeed! Mercury called it Competition Green. It is the same paint color / code / formula as Ford’s Grabber Green.

      • Ken Wittick

        Colour on my phone is blue

  16. Troy s

    Great looking Cougar, really like the Eliminator version and to be honest I’ve hardly seen more than three in my life,, in person. Boss 302 engine could be had, along with the 351 and big dog 428. I look at the amount of these the same way I look at any other muscle Merc. They didn’t build that many back then,,, always low numbers ,, high performance Cougars, Cyclones, whatever.

    1
  17. TimM

    Really nice job and the color is growing on me!! When I first saw it my first impression was yuck but after looking at it a while it’s not that bad!!!

  18. James Turner

    This is a very nice Cougar But I will still prefer my black on black 1968 Cougar XR7 with the factory Hi Po 390, 335 Hp. with a C6 tranny with insignia on the sides of 6.5 Liter and factory alloy mags.

  19. Del

    Wonderfull color.

    This is smashing !

    Had a guy build an Eliminator Clone in this area last year. He could not get 12 grand at auction this spring and I could not tell if it was a clone or not.

    Hard to believe 10 miles. I would have put a couple of grand before selling ?

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