No Reserve: 1967 Mercury Cougar

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The Cougar was a car that nearly didn’t happen. Mercury management was convinced it needed a competitor within the emerging pony car segment, but the parent company’s Board of Management was unconvinced. They eventually relented, which was a fortuitous decision. When the shutters fell on Mercury production, the Cougar remained the brand’s most successful model badge. This 1967 Cougar recently appeared after nearly three decades in hiding. It needs love, but the seller coaxed its V8 back to life. It could be a rewarding project, with the seller’s decision to offer it with No Reserve adding to the attraction. The Cougar is listed here on eBay in Paris, Texas. Bidding sits at $3,550 off the back of subdued action.

Fortune favors the brave, and the decision to allow Mercury to introduce the Cougar when General Motors had the Camaro and Firebird waiting in the wings was bold. It could also have proved foolhardy, but it wasn’t. Mustang sales dropped from a record 607,568 in 1966 to 472,121 in 1967. It would be easy to attribute the fall to the 220,906 (Camaro) and 82,560 (Firebird) sales that year, but the Cougar complicates the matter. It found 150,893 buyers in 1967. When combined with the Mustang total, it meant that as a corporation, Ford sales increased marginally within a growing pony car segment. This Cougar spent most of its life with the same family, passing from generation to generation. Its previous owner parked it in 1995, but it has emerged ready to find a new home. It needs love, with its original Lime Frost paint looking tired and its Black vinyl top shredded. UV has exacted a toll on both, and the buyer will probably elect to perform a total restoration to reclaim the car’s lost youth. They will commence the process with a vehicle that is complete but one that has rust requiring attention. It has appeared under the vinyl on both lower back window corners, and there are spots in the floors. There are no underside shots, but the interior photo further down this article reveals small holes on the passenger side front floor. If that is the worst of the problems, whipping the car into shape shouldn’t be challenging. The exterior trim is in good order, and I can’t spot any glass issues.

Unlike its Ford cousin, buyers could not order a Cougar with a six under the hood. If you didn’t crave a V8, you’d come to the wrong place. This car features a C-Code 289, a three-speed Merc-O-Matic transmission, and power steering. With 200hp at the driver’s disposal, this classic could cover the ¼-mile in 17.2 seconds in its glory days. That figure exposes a significant difference between the Cougar and Mustang. Although both emerged from the same platform and shared identical mechanical components, the luxury leanings of the Cougar meant it weighed more than an equivalent Mustang. This car should tip the scales at 3,126 lbs, but an auto-equipped C-Code Mustang weighs 2,881 lbs. It is little wonder the ‘Stang could storm the same ¼-mile in 16.6 seconds. The previous owner parked the Mercury in 1995, and it hasn’t seen action since. It needs work to be considered roadworthy, but pouring fuel down the carburetor saw the V8 roar back into life. It appears that some rudimentary maintenance could see the winning bidder slip behind the wheel and hit the road before the summer ends.

This Cougar’s interior is like the rest of the car; It is complete but crying out for love. The Light Ivy Gold upholstered surfaces show wear and deterioration, with the front seats sporting aftermarket Black covers. The carpet is equally tired, as are the dash and console. If I were the winning bidder, I would deep clean everything before compiling a shopping list. Some parts might bounce back well from such treatment, reducing the potential restoration costs. This Cougar retains its factory air conditioning and AM radio for those favoring luxury.

Because the 1967 Cougar shares much of its DNA with the Mustang, it also shares its weaknesses and shortcomings. That means rust is always a serious consideration, although this Cougar has factors in its favor. It has spent its life in a dry climate with a demonstrated ability to preserve classic steel. The long hibernation means it hasn’t been exposed to harsh UV or other conditions that could promote deterioration. The seller indicates it has rust, but with the modest bidding to date, would you be willing to roll the dice and give this Cougar a new home and a second chance at life?

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. Chicago_MikieMember

    So I don’t understand how the car could have been in a dry climate its entire life, and have the floorboard and rear window rust? I’m from AZ and I never saw a car that lived its entire life in AZ have issues like these?

    Like 7
    • CCFisher

      Rust in the window corners is likely due to the deteriorated vinyl roof. Cracks in the vinyl allow moisture in, and it collects in the window channel. As for the floors, the Cougar shares what is perhaps the Mustang’s biggest design flaw – a bare metal surface inside the cowl. This quickly rusts through and allows water to pool in the footwells. The dry climate is what saved it from being much, much worse.

      Like 1
    • john hopkins

      Must have been on the gulf coast.

      Like 1
      • steve smith

        Dang! I forgot that ocean front property in AZ that’s for sale

        Like 2

      It says it is in Paris Texas but that doesn’t mean it has always been there, it could easily have been by the gulf coast. From the pics the rust doesn’t look too bad, I’d bid if I had the cash right now,

      Like 0
  2. TheOldRanger

    I liked the Cougar much better than the Mustang.

    Like 20
  3. Walt Reed

    Had a Cougar in high school, back in 1972. Paid $300 for it. It had a 3 speed manual and straight pipes. It was fun and loud. Kept it for about a year, then sold it for $150 and purchased a 1971 Challenger for $2,100- those were the days…

    Like 12
  4. Martini ST

    Much of the weight gain comes from the three inch stretch in wheelbase for rear passenger space.

    Like 1
  5. bone

    deep clean everything ??? The front seat foam looks completely rotted , and the wrong color vinyl , most of the carpeting is missing , no kick panels and the only door panel shown looks a bit weak and also has a sunbaked armrest ! I’d say to do it right, you’re looking at replacing the whole interior

    Like 0
  6. PRA4SNW

    SOLD for $6,600.

    Like 0

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