Mustang Alternative: 1968 Mercury Cougar

The owner of this 1968 Mercury Cougar doesn’t give us a huge amount of information or photos, but the most important piece of news appears to be that the only rust issues across the entire car are no more than surface corrosion. This is great news, because if this is right, then the next owner will have a solid base from which to work. The Cougar is located in Marmaduke, Arkansas, and is listed for sale here on eBay. The owner has set the auction to open at $4,999, and while there have been no bids to this point, there are 27 people who are watching this No Reserve auction.

This is one of those cars that I would really love to get a closer look at because it would be nice to confirm that it is as clean and solid as the owner claims. The photos don’t do it any favors, but it appears that the Black Cherry paint might at least look pretty respectable from 20-feet-away. If this is the case, then it is possible that getting the Cougar back on the road might not be that difficult. This is a car that represents one of those projects that managed to stall before it even started, which dates back to when the owner purchased the car 25-years-ago. One bonus is that the owner is including all of the raw materials that the buyer will require to undertake a repaint. Similarly, the owner has accumulated a few spare body parts (for the car!) over the years, and these will also be included in the sale.

This is the third and final photo that the owner includes, and it doesn’t tell us much. The owner states that the motor will need some repairs, but doesn’t elaborate on what these might be. We do know that it rolled off the line fitted with the 302-2V engine, but it isn’t clear whether the transmission is manual or automatic. He does say that the interior is complete, but will need a new carpet set, new covers for the front seats, and a new dash pad. He also states that the rear seat and headliner are both in good condition. There is also an aftermarket air conditioning system that isn’t fitted to the car, and the owner says that if the buyer wants it, then they can have it.

Being slightly larger than the Mustang on which it was based, the Cougar filled a neat little hole between the Mustang and the Thunderbird. While the Cougar hasn’t quite achieved either the cult following or the values of the equivalent Mustang, they are still very respectable cars. Interestingly, values on these, which had remained pretty static over most of the past 5-years, have begun to trend up slightly over the last year or so. It seems that people are beginning to realize that a Cougar can offer a pretty decent alternative to a Mustang as a project car for a fraction of the price. Maybe that means that someone on a slightly limited budget who is on the hunt for a project car should be considering a solid Cougar, just like this one.


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WANTED 1988-1989 Chrysler Conquest TSI Wanted. Prefer Red. Will travel nationwide for vehicle. Contact

WANTED 1978-1979 Buick Century Looking for Century coupe with tan interior in good to excellent shape. 705 738 8665 Contact

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WANTED 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS Have cash in hand. Call 573-541-1970 or email Contact

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  1. JBP

    They didnt make a Fastback like the Mustang?

  2. Mark_K Member

    Great cars. I got mine after a 12 year slumber in a garage when the original owner passed away from his widow. 58,000 documented miles. Needed paint, interior, brakes, and a tune up. Fun to drive and turns heads everywhere. I learned at car shows that everyone had, or knew someone who had a Cougar.

    Like 29
  3. 86_Vette_Convertible

    No info on drivetrain, limited pictures and info on the car. Could be a great buy or could be crap so I’d suggest taking a look at it first.
    Cougars were nice cars and this one might be again, depending.

    Like 4
    • scottymac

      “…it isn’t clear whether the transmission is manual or automatic.”

      From the e-Bay ad: “302 automatic with 2 barrel autolite carb…”

      • Harry Hodson

        The seller has added a few interior shots. Headliner is NOT gonna make it. Lots of corrosion on the interior, too. Damp storage? The body may live up to the 30k mileage claim, but demands a much closer inspection.

  4. Brian R

    Pretty crappy way to sell a car. 3 poor pics and very little description. Put some effort into it!

    Like 10
  5. Calipag

    Over priced for a non-desirable (subjective I know) car with little effort put into the ad.

    My 2 cents!

    I”d be surprised if this gets any action!

    Like 1
  6. art

    Best part of this ad is its’ location..Marmaduke.

    Like 3
  7. RedBaran

    I am a die-hard Mustang guy, having owned a ’66 convertible and a ’68. I used to look down my nose at Cougars, but lately I’ve been appreciating them more, for precisely the reason outlined in the article. Plus, everybody and their brother seems to have a Mustang; a nicely restored Cougar would be pretty unique IMO.

    BTW, if I bought one, I’d name it Mrs. Robinson! :)

    Like 7
    • Mark_K Member

      We named our Dawn in honor of a family friend. ;)

    • 68 Kitty

      I got my 68 cougar with 390 4v for the very reasons listed. Same great drivetrain as the stang at a fraction of the cost and it turns more heads than a run of the mill pony car.

      Like 4
      • Little_Cars

        Funny, back in the day when these were new, the Cougar was substantially more pricey from the sticker price to regular scheduled maintenance at the Mercury dealer. The ad mentions it comes with a “paint kit,” What exactly is that? A gallon of faded pink and a roller?

  8. Jay

    Could be nice

    Like 2
  9. robert burra

    Nice cars. Married one with my first wife red over white and white vinyl top 351 auto All the goodies, it was a 69 and we had it in 72,73 , She loaned ir to a girl friend late on a Friday and it got totaled ,,,,,I still miss that car, do if this one was closer , I would build it, no questions asked, make a very nice fast.comfy, sleeper.

    Like 1
  10. Rustytech Member

    How do you have a “no reserve auction” when there is a $5k starting bid set by the seller? Isn’t that a reserve? I might be tempted to buy a Cougar, but not from an add like this.

    Like 1
    • Claudio

      No reserve should be one penny!
      5k is a reserve
      I dont get it either
      But its the way ebay and ebayers see it

      Like 1
  11. KKW

    I had 2, a 68, 302, 3spd, and a 73, 351C, C-6 auto. The 73 was a superior car in every way, but I’d be happy to have either one back again.

  12. Tom mc

    Mark K, your Cougar is beautiful and in Amazing shape! 1967-68 were my 2 favorite years!! I remember when I was a kid my sister’s well to do boyfriend at the time brought his brand new 68 Cougar XR7 to our house. He had just picked it up from the dealership and it had 18 miles on it. I can remember the new car smell along with the new engine paint heat smell when he opened the hood. It was bright red with a black top and interior. It had a 390 4V with a 4 speed manual on the floor. I dreamed of having one someday but never got the opportunity. Thanks for sharing the photo!

  13. Del

    I woulď ĺove to have this but advert is sketchy

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