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Marti Report Documented: 1968 Mercury Cougar

In 1964, Ford launched the sporty Mustang, which would become a sales phenomenon, leading to a new market segment called “the pony car.” By 1967, a flood of competition arrived, including one from its own stable, the Mercury Cougar. It was similar in size to the ’67 Mustang (which had grown a tad) but was for those who wanted to go a little upscale. The car would be an immediate hit, too, comprising 40% of all Lincoln-Mercury sales that year and was named Motor Trend’s “Car of the Year.” This original from the second year of production is in good overall condition, perhaps only needing some interior work. Dubbed a “barn find” from Florida, the car is in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and available here on craigslist for $17,995. Thanks for finding this “cat” for us, T.J.!

Changes would be minimal to the Cougar in 1968, especially appearance-wise. Little things, like side marker lights to keep the Feds happy. For that model year only, both the 289 and the new 302 cubic inch V8 would be available, with the former being the version in the seller’s car. After selling 150,000 Cougars in ’67, production dipped a bit in ’68 to 113,000 units, which would keep the Cougar in third place in the pony car race (the Chevy Camaro was second).

This ’68 Cougar spent its first 53 years in the Sunshine State before being trailered to Pennsylvania. It presents as a true survivor, wearing its original Polar White paint and numbers-matching drivetrain. The odometer reading is under 40,000 miles, which could be accurate, but no claims are made as to its authenticity. The Ivy Gold interior is factory, too, but the front seats need to be redone. Fortunately, the seller has a set of matching new materials that will go with the car. The seller includes a recent magazine article that discusses this particular Mercury.

We assume the Cougar runs well as it has recently received a tune-up and was inspected in the state of its current domain. The tires are also new, and the hideaway headlights and sequential taillights work as they should. This is also a factory A/C car, which the Marti Report for this automobile says went into about 20% of Cougars built during 1968. This looks like a classic automobile that needs only minor attention to be a vehicle you could show off on weekends. A nice find in a sea of 1960s Mustangs.


  1. Dave

    The after thought side marker lights are hideous.

    Like 3
    • Bill

      That would be a credit from Ford’s Better Ideas!

      Like 0
    • Robert Rollins

      I suppose you’re entitled to your opinion, just as I. I rather much like them.

      Like 0
  2. David Nelson

    My bud says the same – too large – and was advocating their removal as part of paint prep! Not gonna happen! lol

    Like 2
  3. David Nelson

    My bud says the same – too large – and was advocating their removal as part of paint prep! Not gonna happen! lol

    Like 2
  4. Stan l

    Its a Cruising Cougar w the 289ci, select-shift automatic and conventional 3.00 rear end. Looks good in white.

    Like 0
  5. Cam W.

    It’s funny how our perspective changes as we age. My buddy got a similarly equipped ’67 Cougar, back in 1977 for $250 from a neighbour. We thought of it as “a really cool, old, classic” even though it was 10 years old. Now I think of 20 year old cars as relatively new.
    My buddy’s Cougar would have been considered pretty rough for it’s by most barnfind guys today. It had been driven on salty winter roads, and was…….kinda rotten.
    Our teenage brains thought we could “restore” it over a weekend with rattle-cans. Fail! The only thing we got working was the (amazing “hi-tech” to me) sequential turn signals that were operated by a pinball-style motor in a box in the trunk.
    My buddy”s dad said his “friend” wanted to buy it , and it was soon gone. Many years later we found out there was no “friend”, and it was sent to scrap.

    Like 8
  6. Howie

    So i will guess the spedo has flipped.

    Like 1
  7. Steve Clinton

    The car would be an immediate hit, too, comprising 40% of all Lincoln-Mercury sales that year.
    Wow, who knew?

    Like 4

    This car was featured on Barn Finds before.

    Like 3
  9. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry

    I’ve always had a soft spot for these cars. A co-worker at Boeing Renton bought one in 68 390 4 speed. Another time the son of a guy I worked for in Kirkland Washington had one 289 4 speed. I never had the pleasure of owning one myself, but somehow they always got my attention. Now I’m in no position to buy one, I’ve already got my HOA on my butt about a non driving pickup I’ve been working on. I’ve made room in my two car garage to put the truck in next two my 64 Riviera. These HOA’S burn my tail end with all their restrictions, but I’m stuck here for duration of my days.

    God Bless America

    Like 2
  10. James427

    LOL.. this cat has 9 lives. I bought this exact car out of a yard in St. Pete for $5000. Cleaned it, put the Chrysler Magnum 500’s on it and buffed it. It ran OK but needed brakes and general maintenance from sitting so long and AC did not work but was all there. Has some bondo in the left quarter and an old repair in the right quarter with cracked old paint. DEFINATELY not original paint or under 40k miles. Spun over once. Put it on CL and it sold to a guy in Port Charlotte for $11,500. He did the brakes and some other stuff and supposedly got it running decent and sold it for $14,500. Now it is in Penn for almost $18k. Seems the price increase in proportion to the lies being told about it.

    Like 0
  11. James427

    Oh, and the “new tires” claim is also a lie. Those are old “Sigma” tires that they do not sell anymore. I had them in my parts stash on those same Magnum 500 wheels for over 5 years.

    Like 0

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