Mysterious Cat: 1968 Mercury Cougar

The Mercury Cougars of the late-1960s seem to live in the shadow of its Ford Mustang cousin in those years. Even while living in that shadow, their odd looks are unique in their own right. Finding a decent Mercury Cougar from these years for $7,000 with the seller being open to reasonable offers doesn’t happen very often. But this 1968 Cougar found here on craigslist and submitted by reader local_sheriff is just that. What could be hiding with this Cougar in its shadow should cause interested parties to be cautiously optimistic.

The interior on this one obviously sports an aftermarket steering wheel and appears to be missing some parts, but overall doesn’t look to be in real bad shape. The seller doesn’t give any real information on what kind of work has been done on the car, so this interior could be original or have been reworked at some point. With no indication of the mileage on the car, it makes understanding its overall condition a bit harder. Fortunately, this does look like a decent interior to start with on a project like this one.

The easiest observation here is the condition of the paint. The seller does state that the car’s biggest need is cosmetic, so lots of dollars will exit a new buyer’s wallet if they choose to correct it. There is no indication of whether this paint is original or has been resprayed at some point. No matter the scenario there, a potential buyer should walk into this project understanding that stripping and repainting are going to be a significant task. The seller states that the body is straight, but this can only truly be a correct observation after knowing what all could be hiding under the paint.

Part of the mystery of this car is that there are no pictures of what’s under the hood. It is said to be a 351W with a healthy sound, so one can assume that it’s a running car. Thankfully, the place where it appears to be stored looks decent. Not having flat tires or being used as a storage shelf bodes well for this Mercury. It begs the question, though, as to why some pictures of it outside couldn’t have been taken. So, a few mysteries remain here. Is the $7,000 asking price a good starting point for a project like this one?


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  1. markp

    7k seems OK but you could sink another 7k into it and in the end you have a 14k car.

    Like 7
  2. Mitchell Member

    Repaint it, swap the steering wheel for a stock one, throw some parts at the 351W to wake it up a bit more, shift kit in the auto trans, bam! Nice cruise with plenty of getup.

    Like 9
  3. TimM

    Another clean body with enough good going for it to make a great ride!! To bad my money tree died!!

    Like 13

    The car has either been repainted or someone has buffed the factory pinstripes right off the car. The front seats have been recovered, incorrectly. The hardest part to replace will be the correct dash face pad, that is a 1968 standard Cougar with A/C part only. The 351W is not factory, that engine did not come out until 1969. If the car does not have any rust issues the 7K asking price is not too bad. Although I think that a serious buyer may well be able to get the car for 5K.

    Like 15
  5. Big_Fun Member

    Here’s my unsolicited observation…this owner is done with this car…it’s just time to move on. He has spent the money, and he’s ready to get it out of the garage. ‘Time to move on’.
    This is where Mitchell’s comments above come in to play. A fresh set of eyes, ideas and ideals, ready to focus on the task at hand. “One’s man’s project is another man’s NEW project”, to, um, paraphrase.
    I like this car, and imagine that color freshly applied. A/C is a plus, as well as a what looks like a rust free California body, welcomed here in the Midwest. Reproduction items not as common as Mustang, so good used may have to come into play, but, who doesn’t like the thrill of the hunt?
    Somebody may get a very good deal here…

    Like 11
  6. Jay


    Google it

    they have stuff n links to get stuff

    Wishing for a 390 car though

    Like 4
  7. Alan Carpenter

    Sorry for your loss.

  8. Roger

    I had one, brand new. Blue with a black vinyl top. 302, 3 speed standard. 20 years old, first new car; what fun. Not much different than a Mustang. (PS Wouldn’t want one now. New cars now are much more dependable now.)

  9. carguysx2

    I paid $8050 in late 2013 for a 68 xr7 302 4bbl all orig lifetime CA with 130K miles and running great! Console, Tilt-away, fact AC, PDB, ps, AT.,no rust holes! Under hood just completed to like new! Just took interior out last weekend! Will undergo the rest of the cosmetic resto here at home including a diff shade of green! Never kept any old car as long as this one and have owned over 100!! So depending on rust or bondo, the car above may be a decent buy 7 yrs later!

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