Drop-Top Cat: Car Craft Cougar Conversion

The list of vehicles that left Ford and GM factories and went straight to the likes of ASC or Car Craft for conversion is long. But some of these factory-backed roof chops resulted in only small batches of converted cars, like this Mercury Cougar, of which only 89 were ever made. How many can be left? Find this oddball here on craigslist with a listing price of $1,000 and in need of restoration. 

The seller had high hopes for getting this Cougar back on the road for the 50th anniversary of the model, highlighted by a celebration happening at Ford’s headquarters in Dearborn in June of this year. It’s unfortunate, as the limited production would likely mean his would be one of a few in attendance. Not much is offered by the seller about the true condition of the Cougar, other than it “will need to be restored” and will run and drive with a “little bit of work.” Power came from the widely-used 302 V8 routed through an automatic transmission.

Image courtesy of CoolCats.net

Conversions were also performed by Coach Builders Ltd. in Florida, but the Car Craft examples are more desirable. From CoolCats.net“Car Craft Cougar convertibles are noted for their high build quality and features. Significant body bracing, chrome windshield cap and top surround pieces, a top boot and even a heated window option are some of their trademarks. Custom sheetmetal panels were built around the rear seat area, while the rear seat itself was chopped and narrowed to fit.”

Image courtesy of Mecum Auctions

In completed form, this is a handsome conversion. The wire hubcaps are a must to complete the elegant look, but sourcing parts for the top could be more difficult. The seller seems realistic in his asking price, as the car is fairly rare and likely well made based on the evidence above. However, a converted Cougar is a niche-market vehicle for sure, so some wheeling and dealing may be possible to bring this one home for less than $1K. Good luck getting to this year’s Cougar convention!

Fast Finds


  1. Fred W.

    Seems like a new top would have to be custom made. CHA CHING! Good looking car with the top down though.

    • Mike Williams

      I agree and it Looks a lot better than that vertical window they came with.

  2. redwagon

    $1000 seems very reasonable. why dicker when the seller is being reasonable right off the bat?

    these look much better with the top down and in that regard resemble the riviera convertibles of roughly the same time frame. note the cool cats website https://www.coolcats.net/modelyear/convertible.html
    actually mentions that the tops fro these were the same as the cadillac and buick convertible tops and carried gm part numbers. have your fomoco product with a gm convertible. personally i would not care – having a convertible is a wonderful, freeing experience.

  3. Drew V

    I notice this car is offered sans title,perhaps the low cost is a harbinger of red tape woes to come, perhaps in the form of several or high dollar amount liens??? One wonders….

    Even if,the car would be worth 1k just to have as a fair weather cruiser,even if you could never fully own it…

  4. Bill

    I’m always worried about body flex on these cars that relied on roofs for torsional strength.

  5. Larry K


  6. Vintageracer

    I purchased one of these Cougar convertibles last year. A little cleanup and elbow grease and the car made a nice profit selling to a Cougar collector.

    Depending upon your state and the ease of obtaining a title this car is a BARGAIN!

  7. Mike Williams

    I wonder if they made any XR-7’s with the Turbo four?


      Yes Mercury made Cougars with the Thunderbird Turbo Coupe driveline in them. I parted one of them out years ago.

  8. Mike Williams

    I never did like the back window treatment on those Cougars, This has to be an improvement.

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