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One Year Only: 1982 Mercury Cougar GS Wagon

“New Cougar Wagon. Practicality of a wagon, luxury of a Cougar. For 1982, the Cougar lineup includes a new Cougar wagon. And what a wagon! Start with people. There’s room for six.” So begins a 1982 Mercury Cougar wagon brochure. The seller has this final-year 1982 Mercury Cougar GS wagon posted here on Facebook Marketplace in Meridian, Mississippi and they’re asking $3,500. Here is the original listing.

Believe it or not, this is the only Mercury Cougar wagon we’ve shown here on Barn Finds, and only the second 1982 Mercury Cougar. The only other one should be in my garage right now. I love this 1982 two-door Cougar shown here on Barn Finds, even though most of the commenters would rather have a root canal with a rusty drill bit than have that car. I think it’s cool and quirky, just like me without the cool part. Speaking of cool, front vent windows!

As is often the case, the photos in this listing are iffy at best, but the seller does show a wide range of images and parts and pieces of this good-looking Cougar wagon, despite most being verticals or at an angle for some reason. This is one of only two partial passenger-side photos and this car looks great to me from what I can tell. There is a bit of rust but I have more rust than this car. This Cougar GS wagon is only a little over 16 feet in length but it’ll have most of the room inside that the majority of us would need for any casual hauling duties. They also offered a Villager trim with woodgrain

Mercury offered the Cougar in a station wagon body style for two years only: 1977 and 1982. How’s that for trivia? (insert the sound of 747,460 keyboards clicking to see if I’m right.) (Was I right?) The company also never offered a four-door version until the 1977 body style. This ’82 Cougar wagon is a fifth-generation car and they were made for model years 1980 through 1982 and were based on the famous Fox platform. What’s not to like about that? The “Twin Comfort Lounge Seats” in front look like new and is that a CB radio? This car keeps getting better.

And, what’s not to like about this gorgeous interior? Minus the “stuff” on the floor in the front cabin area, this interior looks perfect to me and nothing beats red, even if it is the optional “Dark Red” vinyl – leather wasn’t available on the wagon, only on LS sedans. Cloth would have been standard. This car appears to have at least power windows and I’m guessing power door locks and a power front driver’s seat, too, but I don’t know for sure. The info is pretty limited in the description other than it has two small rust spots and a mere 35,000 miles.

The engine bay looks like it’s filled to the brim with hoses, wires, and pliers. It’s a Ford Essex 3.8-liter OHV V6, which was factory-rated at 112 horsepower and 175 lb-ft of torque. It sneaks that power through a three-speed automatic, sending power to the rear wheels. If anyone is looking for a one-year unicorn and one that’s actually useful as a daily driver, this is it. $3,500 is a no-brainer if this car is as nice as it appears to be and runs just as well. Any thoughts on this Merc wagon?

Comments

  1. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    Fun write-up Scotty. Another of the myriad of iterations of the Fox Body. This would be a hoot at Cars and Coffee. “No, I didn’t take a Fairmont and change the trim.” “Yes, it’s a real Cougar.” Meanwhile some of the people still wouldn’t believe you, even with the evidence right in front of them. (I’ve had similar experiences with my straight-six-equipped Fox Body Mustang).

    Looks pretty good, and can’t complain about the price. Its underpinnings means that you can turn it into almost anything you want.

    I agree, that 82 Cougar you wrote up six years ago is very cool, in its own way.

    Like 16
    • Gus

      Had one in 2 tone silver with a maroon interior and wire hubcaps. It was my wife’s grocery getter. I recall it
      had a smooth little inline 6. Our newborn son came home from the hospital in it. Had no idea it was a one-off.

      Like 1
  2. SirRaoulDuke

    A 5.0 swap would be the chef’s kiss.

    Like 17
    • Steve R

      Along with a manual transmission. This combination would make a great multipurpose cruiser.

      Steve R

      Like 11
      • Danny G

        Even though it’s the furthest thing from sporty you can get it and it’s certainly not a speed demon by any means, I’d have no problem driving around in this just for the novelty of it, cause nowadays, youll probably never see another one like it.

        Like 12
    • Jim

      I hope not. I’d hate to see this rare car spoiled by something like an engine change.

      Like 18
    • BoBo

      That 3.8 is the worst engine Ford ever made. Famous for spinning bearings, cracking head and head gasket leaks. Pure junk.

      Like 1
  3. BA

    Coyote that is & does it have A/C that engine compartment is like a bundle of snakes !

    Like 3
  4. Aussie Dave Aussie Dave Member

    I’m a wagon lover (don’t shot me, lol) . This beauty needs a bent 8, and leave the exterior as is, ideal sleeper.
    For the record I had a Falcon wagon, with a stock 4L straight 6, that would blow away Factory fitted LS1’s Holden’s.
    Yeh she was a freak.3300rpm at 185kmh (speed limited).
    I’m trying to buy her back.

    Like 9
  5. Jim

    These are the cars I love to see on Barnfinds…. the cars you thought nothing of when new, that are now rarer than he’s teeth. I hope whoever gets this doesn’t trash it by modifying it. This is one rare bird (cat).

    Like 24
  6. Yblocker

    The Cougar badge was probably used on more configurations than any other nameplate. The 3.8L was actually a good little motor, when used in rwd vehicles. For some reason, when mounted transversely, the coolant didn’t circulate properly, and the RH/rear cylinder head had a tendency to blow gaskets. Nice wagon here, well worth the price

    Like 6
    • Nruss

      Cutlass still had Cougar beat with nameplate use

      Like 1
    • Nruss

      While the Cougar nameplate spread to a full range of body styles within the intermediate size class, The Oldsmobile Cutlass nameplate still has it beat being spread across mutiple vehicle size classes. Cutlass Salon, Cutlass Supreme, Cutlass Ciera and Cutlass Calais.

      Like 1
  7. Tony

    Fords 3.8 engine,
    Aluminum cylinder heads
    NO THANKS !!!

    Like 3
    • Yblocker

      Don’t like aluminum heads? Guess you better stay away from new cars, most everything out there’s aluminum lol. Some of the finest racing motors use aluminum heads

      Like 5
    • Aussie Dave Aussie Dave Member

      Aluminium? Or alloy?
      Most heads these days are alloy.

      Like 1
  8. DJZ

    I remember being tempted to buy a Fairmont wagon when these came out, thinking it was about the best combination of space and mileage available. But I wanted to pull a big camper some day, and I was afraid gas engines would be obsolete before it got old. So, Ford guys, why is this a cougar instead of a Zephyr? Was there a sportier shaped Cougar coupe at the time? BTW, I never did buy new, only old and drove em till very old, lol.

    Like 2
    • CATHOUSE

      Mercury did offer the 1982 Cougar in a coupe body style. Whether it was sporty or not would be a matter of opinion.

      Like 2
      • Nruss

        Cougars stopped being sporty after the 1970 model year when the 1971 model were positioned to compete in the affordable personal luxury car market made popular by the Grand Prix, Monte Carlo and Cutlass Supreme. The original Cougar was a bridge between the Mustang and the Thunderbird as a luxury sport which gave something to Mercury to sell. It’s primary existance was not to be a muscle car and niether was the original Mustang. Hi Po was an option as the majority of the buyers bought lower spec more economical models.

        Like 0
      • Scotty Gilbertson Staff

        Are you sure about that, CATHOUSE? I showed the link for one in the second paragraph that I wrote about several years ago, and then there’s this brochure, and Wikipedia, and…

        https://tdgv1.dezosgarage.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/1982-Mercury-Cougar.pdf

        Like 2
      • AFR

        For 1981–82 the Cougar was offered in the XR7 coupe (twin to the Thunderbird), two door sedan, four door sedan and wagon (1982 only).

        Like 1
  9. Chris Cornetto

    30 years ago I painted a silver one of these wagons for an older guy and it was a V8 stickshift. I thought even then that this was not a common car. I did the job, the guy was happy and I never saw it again.

    Like 7
  10. Greenhorn

    I’ve always been a big fan of these Fox body wagons, and like some of you have said, they’re just not seen anymore. I think a 5.0 with a manual would be a fun thing to do to this car. I was NEVER a fan of the 3.8L. (boat anchor)

    Like 5
  11. Ashtray

    Very interested BF. Somehow this one slipped by me. I have never seen or even heard of this particular vehicle, even though I worked at the Ford, Indianapolis Plant for 36 years.
    I would think it is well worth the asking price, simply because of the rarity of this car.
    I wouldn’t change a thing about it, except maybe give some attention to the rust.
    I would not even repaint it, if the paint is original?
    Just my oponion!

    Like 10
  12. ALKY

    Great price for as rare as this wagon is . Just not a fan of that 3.8 !!

    Like 4
  13. Terry

    Seller could have shoveled it out before taking the lousy pictures. SMH

    Like 6
  14. Sam Giacchina

    This is just a word of caution. You had better visually check this vehicle out. It may have been in a flood. I am just saying. However the buyi g price is exceptual

    Like 0
  15. Cadmanls Member

    They are a fox and this one is a 79 Fairmont has 5.0, 5 speed and 8.8 rear with 355 gear set. Has working A/C and the front K member is Mustang as well as GT sway bars. Even the drive shaft is LSC with the rear double u joint pulled out. Tilt steering column is Thunderbird all fox stuff. Would I build another, probably not, but runs decent and used to pull a pair of jet skis with it and they would give me a stare at the boat ramp.

    Like 1
  16. Dan

    The appearance of the engine suggests that those 35K miles were hard ones. I might be tempted to look into this for the novelty and rarity alone. Looks like it just needs a little TLC (especially in the engine compartment). Address the rust spots and get a Marti report (to prove Mercury actually made these) and you might get a potential steal of a collectible.

    Like 1
  17. swsmith

    A rather unique vehicle for the car shows, after an engine bay/ engine/ body refresh

    Like 1
  18. BigDaddyBonz

    My wife had a really nice (fox platform) Granada Wagon. Beautiful car inside and out. I had added aluminum wheels and a nice sound system. Perfect for the young family. She picked on a fire engine after dropping the Kids off at school (fortunately). No injuries but the Granada lost that battle. Dang!, I loved that car!

    Like 2
  19. chrlsful

    as rare as the Grenade-a wagon, yes (also 1 yr only). (Some call granadas the 1st fox). This came after the zepher/fairmont. A real transition car: model, carb to TB, automatic v standard, automatic & automatic w/OD, increased use of bent6, RWD/FWD, internalized regulator (alternator), expanding computer use & so much more. (last of the many DT choices: 5 in transm/4 ‘engine choices’). 4 cyl, i6, bent6, bent8 (& only 2 K members: 1 the i6, all others? the 2nd style K member).

    “…Any thoughts on this Merc wagon?…”
    Yes, I just bought one (well cousin “LTD”) I could write my own column/article on this but will just name the prts search frustration when ford named a fox body AND a crown vic/panther body “LTD”. At least Merc said ‘Marquis’ (above fox) & “Grand Marquis” (panther). They R perfect station wagons (in size 4 me, no lill asian/no ‘big’ usa model) 105 inch WB.

    If I can haul a 500 lb palletized engine in a focus wagon! just think of what I can do w/this (& some air bags back there to help?) !

    Now, most kids (any1 younger than me) buy for all the mustang speedy bits, plethora of after mrkt & the yard swap-ins. – – – 3.8 w/sm block bell takes AOD or C4 (’83/6 in the model yrs & U could get either dependent on production yr), WC T5. Swap the motor to mild (4 cyl stang turbo same model yrs) or – wild the 5.8 Windsor just include the correct K-member. Fancy adjustable dog bones, Street or Track (suspension (frnt’n rear system by Billstien), MM’s frame stiffeners, the 15, 16, 17 inch wheels if robbin a ’79/’04 5 lug stang (includes bigger break) and on and on & on. Some or none of which I will do… just add aol after my name~

    My hope? old skol swap-in. The head. A poster said the 6 is no good. It was the go to base engine in the F 150 for over a decade w/a different head, upping displacement to 4.2 or same sz as my i6 bronco “250”. It’s a dream or hope as I wanna make the 20 yr upgrade w/the efi (fuel rail, OBDII, engine harness, etc, etc) & a few will sell me just the head then I can go all over seeking individual prts. No, no fun there~

    Like 1
  20. jwaltb

    Cougar? Please! About as much a Cougar as the electric lump is a Mustang. I laugh when I see the pony emblem on the front.

    Like 0
  21. Nruss

    It is correct that there were only two model years of Cougar wagons. The first one was 1977 which was a facelifted 1976 Mercury Montego wagon. The 1977 Cougar wagon was displaced for 1978 by the Mercury Zephyr wagon. All Cougar sedans and wagons were discontinued for 1980 leaving only the newly downsized Cougar XR7 coupe on the Fox platform. For 1981, the updated Ford Granada debuted as a restyled version of the Ford Fairmont with an expanded line of Cougar sedans added as the Mercury branded companion. For 1982, the Mercury Zephyr wagon body was moved over to the Cougar model line as a one year only body style offereing as the Ford Granada wagon replaced also displaced the Ford Fairmont wagon the same way. For 1983, the Cougar model line went back to a single two door coupe and the sedan and wagon bodies were restyled to become the 1983–86 Mercury Marquis mid size model line companion to the Ford LTD which replaced the Granada.

    Like 2
  22. Randall Tefft Sundeen

    Would love to own this second coming fox body wagon,, have yet to see a marquis fox body wagon! Also an ultra rare g body Regal wagon would look cool parked next to it!

    Like 3
  23. Nruss

    I completely forgot that my Uncle bought a 1982 Cougar wagon to replace his 1976 Granada 2-door w/ 6-cyl manual trans that he bought new. That Cougar wagon was a pewter silver and I think the first automatic trans car he had in a long time. I remember too that he was working at an auto trim plant that was making FoMoCo OEM wire wheel covers and he got himself a complete set to replace the standard pie pans.

    Like 1
    • Yblocker

      In response to your comment above, the Cougar didn’t stop being sporty after 1970, 71-73, were still Mustang counterparts, in 74, they parted ways with Mustang, and became kissing cousins with Thunderbird and Elite, and then became direct competitors to your Grand Prix’s, Monte Carlos, and Cutless. And as Nixon once said, “Let me make this perfectly clear” lol

      Like 0
      • Nruss

        For 1971 the Cougar got the big car front end with bladed fenders, powedome hood just like its successful intermediate personal luxury competition because at that point that was the target audience and Mercury wanted to go after those Grand Prix and Monte Carlo buyers. The Cougar even grew nearly to the same size. Just because it was still
        based on a Mustang, that did not make it particularly sporty at that point. It’s well documented in historical books that the 1971–73
        Cougars targeted buyers of personal luxury coupes with styling and content especially after engines were detuned at the point in the early 70s.

        Like 0
  24. Randall Tefft Sundeen

    My Dorm master had a 76′ Granada four door with a manual trans and he drove it like a BMW! The school I went to was a first year school in northwestern Connecticut ( very hilly terrain) and He would routinely drive us to study hall, usually scaring us in the process! Thanks for the memories!!!

    Like 1
  25. Scotty Gilbertson Staff

    How hasn’t this car been sold yet?!

    Like 1

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