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Long Roof Survivor: 1977 Mercury Cougar Villager

This 1977 Mercury Cougar Villager station wagon looks longer than it is, but it’s still almost nineteen feet long so be prepared if you don’t have a big garage. Not to mention wielding it in traffic as a daily driver which is what it was meant to do. The seller has it posted here on craigslist in beautiful Traverse City, Michigan and they’re asking $13,999 or best offer. Here is the original listing and thanks to Gunter K. for sending in the tip!

My best friend’s parents back in the late 1970s had a new Ford LTD II which was basically the same car as the Mercury Cougar although the LTD II was only made for three short years, 1977, 1978, and 1979. The Cougar was made for thirty-five years over eight generations, ending with a small two-door Ford Mondeo-based coupe. The seller says that this car was bought new in Minnesota but spent most of its life in Arizona and it has been repainted at some point.

Mercury reportedly only offered the Cougar Villager wagon in this year, 1977. I mean, not that it’s 1977 right now although the way things are going in 2022, I wouldn’t mind going back to 1977 again. It was a fairly sleek design and was based on the Ford Torino wagon and Squire wagon – and also the 1976 Mercury Montego wagon with a different front clip. Nothing says cool retro wagon like woodgrain sides and tailgate. These are a bit faded but replacement Di-Noc is available if the next owner thinks it’s worth the cost.

The exterior looks good but the interior looks outstanding. There is no question that this is a green interior, very green, jade green. The seats look almost perfect both in the front and in the rear and the rear cargo area also looks perfect. The seller has provided a lot of good photos which is very unusual for a craigslist ad, so my hairpiece is off to them for that! The underside looks solid. One thing that is always a head-scratcher for me is when someone has owned a car for a solid decade, such as in this case, and yet they have never once tried the cruise control? Weird.

The engine is Ford’s 351 cubic-inch V8 with 150 horsepower and 290 lb-ft of torque. My friend’s parents’ LTD II seemed to have some power but maybe it was a case of me being 16 years old and only riding in the car and never driving it. This looks like a nice example with some fading on the exterior woodgrain. Would you pay $14k for this one and throw a few thousand into it or just drive it as it is now?


  1. Mutt

    Geez for a split second I thought that this was the Griswold Family Truckster…
    That was close.

    Like 9
  2. nlpnt

    Great color inside and out. I always thought the Cougar’s face was half a generation more modern than the LTD II/T-bird of these years, maybe because it previewed the ’80s Lincoln Town Car’s. It looks a bit awkward stuck on the unmodified 1972 Montego wagon body (fun fact, the LTD II wagon also used what had been Mercury-only rear fenders), but that’s part of the charm now.

    Like 4
  3. Howard A Member

    This is a very important car, you know. It was the lowest Cougar had sunk from it’s original intention, a Mustang with lockwashers,,just kidding, an upscale pony/muscle car. Loved the original Cougars, more like a Mustang in an evening gown. Cougars slowly morphed into cushy cruisers, until it came to this, a Cougar wagon. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great find, these wagons were merely trucks with car bodies, tough as nails, yet, as dependable as they were, still no match for the tin worm, and what rust didn’t claim, the demo derbies usually finished them off. Wagons of any make, were usually the car of choice.
    Cougars coolness reemerged with the Fox platform, but I don’t think they ever regained their original status as a “Gentlemans” pony car.

    Like 14
    • DON

      Funny you said that, I was looking at the pics of this car and remembering the dark red one I derbied in the early 90s – The tin worm really did a number on that one, so much so that I kept getting hit in the back of my helmet with small rocks ; the rear was so rusty that the rear wheel wells split away from the quarters, so every time I went in reverse anything the rear tires picked up went flying in the inside of the car…Not surprisingly, I lost !

      Like 10
      • Boatman Member

        Funny story, Don. As an old derby guy, I can relate!

        Like 6
  4. Boatman Member

    I have never seen, even in pictures, a Montego wagon! But I like it.

    Like 3
    • Tiberius1701

      Greg Brady drove one in ‘The Brady Bunch’ movie…

      Like 3
  5. Cadmanls Member

    Have to agree with Howard, yeah the powers to be at Ford thought a Cougar wagon yeah that’s a great idea. No one at any American car manufacturer seemed to know what to build. The poor Cougar a personal sporty car lost it’s way it only got worse for Mercury.

    Like 3
  6. Conrad A

    Wow, I like this car. Beautiful condition.Since there are so few of the wagons from the 70’s left, I’d seriously consider buying this one if I had the room and financial means to support a 5th car! Even though it’s not a performance car and was never meant to be one, it would really be over the top if it had the full instrumentation. I researched and couldn’t figure out if that was even available for this model car, but I’m guessing no.

    Can’t blame a guy for dreaming once in a while…

    Like 4
  7. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    Interesting car. If you were having friendly conversation with your car friends (even some FoMoCo enthusiasts) and you said “Cougar Wagon,” most would not believe you.

    By Craigslist standards, a good ad.

    Good write-up Scotty, thanks. Yep, all things considered 1977 was a pretty good year– at least for me.

    Like 9
    • Frank D Member

      I do not recall a Cougar Wagon. Interesting!

      Like 0
    • Charles Weaver

      The Lincoln Marks of this vintage are BEAUTIFUL! The spelled ultra-luxe, ultra rich! This would be a wonderful driver for a year or so, while addressing some odds and ends.

      Like 0
  8. Matt G

    A Cougar wagon??!! Blasphemy, next thing you’ll be telling me is there is a Mustang SUV!!

    Like 16
  9. CCFisher

    I was surprised when I researched it and found that 8569 Cougar Villagers were built in 1977. That’s more than I expected, given that I don’t remember seeing any of these back when they were new. This one is remarkable! I’m not generally a fan of green cars, but I’d gladly make an exception for this one.

    Like 7
  10. shelbyGT500 Member

    Where do you park this Boat if you live in an apartment?

    Like 3
    • FordGuy1972 FordGuy1972 Member

      This wagon can be your apartment.

      Like 11
      • shelbyGT500 Member

        Thanks FordGuy, that’s funny you made my day .

        Like 2
  11. Marko

    Was the Cougar Wagon a secret order code ?

    I worked at a Ford-Mercury dealer in the early 1980’s, and I have never heard of this car.

    That said, I would have gone for this Cougar over a Colony Park Wagon in a heartbeat…

    Like 2
    • CCFisher

      This variation of the Cougar wagon was available in 1977 only. In 1978, the smaller Zephyr wagon took over, and in 1979, the Marquis wagon was downsized and wound up 6″ shorter than this Cougar. A Cougar wagon reappeared in 1982 only, this time as a thinly disguised Zephyr wagon on the Fox platform. Small wonder Mercury never found its place in Ford’s lineup. In its time on the market, the Cougar was an upscale ponycar, a huge, personal-luxury coupe, a family of oversized, body-on-frame cars, a mid-sized personal luxury coupe, a mid-sized family of unit-body cars, and a front-wheel-drive sporty coupe.

      Like 3
    • Gary

      My Sister drove a ’72 Mercury Montego with the wood sides. For at least, 10 years. Love my Sis, but she was the worst ever. For taking care of her vehicles. After the car was totaled. She admitted to me. That she had never changed the oil. That car still ran well before it was wrecked. (351 engine) Hard to believe, I cringed when she told me about the oil.

      Like 1
  12. princeofprussia

    “…Worth the cost,” indeed! For the asking price, it should already be wearing new woodgrain. This is a very nice car, but why the heck do people think that just because it’s an antique, it’s automatically a highly-desireable classic? This isn’t a particularly desireable model or year. It isn’t a classic two-door coupe Bel Air, Impala, Galaxy or the like. Not a convertible. Not a limited edition. Nothing special like a Nomad or a suicide-door ’61 Lincoln. Not even “quirky” like a Gremlin or Pacer. So, $13,999?!! I’m sorry, but 14K for a 1976 Montego wagon with faded wood? REALLY? If it sells, P. T. Barnum was right afterall.

    Like 0
  13. Brad460 Member

    I think the cougar nameplate was one of the few that had any brand cache left. Guessing mercury thought they would attract buyers that needed a wagon but liked the idea that they were buying the “cougar” of wagons, sort of denying middle age. For some reason I really like it. Have always liked the fomoco jade green

    Like 2
  14. Andrew Fritz

    As the owner of this gem, I must say it does get a lot of attention wherever it goes!

    If I had a nickel for every time I’ve been asked about Clark Griswold, I might be able to give this car away!

    Thanks for calling me out on the cruise, I honestly have never tried it (nor had any reason too so I just assume it doesn’t work).

    Honestly though, it is a great car, not perfect by any means, but has a lot of life left in it just as it is!

    Thanks again for the write up on her Scotty and I appreciate the hairpiece!


    Like 2
  15. Andrew

    As the owner of this gem, I would like to thank you Scotty for the write up! I enjoy this site thoroughly and it’s cool to see my car on it.

    This car does get a lot of attention wherever it goes! Mostly positive but a few; “Cougar station wagon, why???”

    I have received more Clark W Griswold and Wally World comments than I can even recall!
    The car is definitely fun to drive, and although not the speediest, it can surprisingly get out of it’s own way!

    By no means is it perfect but it is an unusual model that is hardly seen.

    Hoping to see it go to a good home and willing to negotiate on price, princeofprussia, but hard to put a value on something with few comparables as so many Ford and Chevy wagons were built.

    I appreciate the callout on the cruise; I have never used it, nor have I needed it, so I figure it probably doesn’t work.

    Anyway thanks again for the write up and I appreciate the hairpiece!

    Like 2

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