Parked For 20 Years: 1975 Mercury Bobcat

Jumbo shrimp. Original copy. The oxymoron was turned into an artform by Yogi Berra with such statements as “Nobody goes to that restaurant anymore, it’s always too crowded.” and phrases like that which make sense but don’t make any sense if you’re a literalist. This fancy Pinto is a 1975 Mercury Bobcat and it can be found here on craigslist in Santa Fe Springs, California, in the Los Angeles area. The seller is asking $1,600. Thanks to Pat L. for sending in this tip!

Other than a dent on the left side, this Pinto cousin looks pretty nice. I’m hoping that the seller has the missing right-front wheel to match the others but there’s no mention of it in the listing. They do mention that there are four new whitewall tires that go with the sale. I don’t see any rust at all and there’s no mention of rust. 1975 was the first year for the Mercury Bobcat in the US but it appeared in Canada a year earlier.

Here’s a tip for sellers: always fully close all doors, hoods, trunks, hatchbacks, gas doors, and any other openings on your vehicle before you take photos. Having them partially open makes it look like there’s a possible issue and that’s not what you want to convey when you’re trying to get the most possible money for your vehicle.

The interior looks good both front and back, you could fit a small crowd in there. We don’t get a peek at the dash at all to see what condition it’s in after living in southern California. Speaking of that the seller says that this Bobcat has been off of the road for close to two decades so it’ll need to be checked out. You can see that it has an automatic transmission which is bittersweet, but it’s not the end of the world.

The engine should be Ford’s 2.3L inline-four with 83 hp. It doesn’t sound like it’s currently in running condition but with only 58,000 miles, hopefully it can be brought back to life again. Have any of you owned a Mercury Bobcat? And, what’s your favorite oxymoron?


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  1. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    Clever writing, Scotty.

    For the Pinto/ Bobcat fans, looks to be a decent starting point at a low price. Clean it up, get it running, it doesn’t have to be perfect. Then take it to car shows, enjoy the attention and the many “I haven’t seen one in decades” and “my (fill in the blank) had one just like this, only it was (a list of things which were different)” conversations.

    Like 17
  2. Howard A Member

    I think Scotty is the king of oxymorons, it’s “awful nice” of him to share his cleverness. It’s why guys like me are on THIS side of the screen.
    The Bobcat was a Pinto in high heels. I suppose stout Mercury fans ( who knew nothing about the car itself) actually thought they were getting a nicer car, aka, badge engineering. I’ve said it many times, the Pinto/Bobcat was a good car, not great, but it fit the times, and did what it was designed to do. Why someone would cough up the extra $400 bucks for one,( almost $2,000 today) is beyond me. Didn’t see many Bobcats probably for that reason. My old man resold damaged Pintos, they were a dime a dozen, and repaired, were a quick sell, and of the dozen cars he had fixed, maybe one was a Bobcat. I think parts can still be gotten at the local “Parts Hut”, can’t say that about most vintage Asian cars. Just carry a spare cam belt with ya’. Great find.

    Like 8
    • Superdessucke

      Mercury sold about 34,000 Bobcats in 1975. By comparison Ford sold about 224,000 Pintos that same year.

      Like 4
  3. Chris in Pineville

    the automatic makes it a real slug accelleration-wise, but these are good sturdy little cars. former wife had a Pinto she bought new and drove 15 years…..
    $1600 seems like a bargain if you are looking for one like this.

    Like 10
  4. George Louis

    Favorite oxymoron: Heard at a Chrysler Sales meeting” We lose money selling every one of them. but we make it up in volume!

    Like 7
  5. Tony Primo

    Cheap way to get into the old car hobby. Find a Thunderbird Turbo Coupe which are a dime a dozen now and drop the turbo 2.3 into the Bobcat!

    Like 8
  6. Lance

    I owned a used red 1980 Mercury Bobcat in Germany until I had to leave her behind when I ended my Army service in 1989. The car would occasionally stall on left turns and had to stay in the slow lane on the Autobahn but was very easy to drive and park Mine was a hatchback with automatic transmission. Dated my first wife in that car and we went on weekend adventures to France, Belgium and historic German towns. Very good memories. Wish I could another one to attend old car shows.

    Like 4
    • Boatman Member

      Another Wife or car, Lance?

      Like 3
      • lc

        Well, talking about another type of car that I found recently. It reminded me of my 2nd car that I ever owned which was an 81 Mercury Capri except this one is an 80 Ford Mustang with the same 6 cylinder engine 3.3. I just sold the 84 Mercury Cougar LS, but if I bought this Stang, I think the wife would raise the roof off the house if you know what I mean. After all, she was happy that we went from 5 cars down to 4 now. The way I look at it is it is all meaningless; we sell them and they go to someone else, or we die and they go to someone else. It’s always like that. :) So we might as well enjoy them! AS Billy Joel said “Sooner or Later, It Comes Down To This – Only the Good Die Young”.

        Like 1
  7. Lc

    Funny, my 78 Mercury Bobcat was featured once on Barnfinds. People knocked it down. At least mine had a rebuilt 2.3l, 4spd, white exterior, and red interior. I had refurbished A arms put on it along with new shocks up front. I even sourced some nice looking refurbished wheels like the ones here except they were all white in color with red center caps. The Cooper Cobra tires looked nice also. I liked the looks. The new owner didn’t. He put chrome w(heels) on it, and painted two burgundy stripes on the hood and roof.

    Like 1
    • Stevieg

      You just haven’t heard from the right people regarding this car. I like Pintos & Bobcats, and you are right…not a lot of negative comments on this one. Maybe after the holiday festivities are over with all of the negative comments will come lol.

      Like 1
  8. K.B.Roadsend

    Howard ….Whatcha got for the extra money was was almost twice as many letters on the badge and a larger rear glass ……as well as a auto to send off to college with the kid at a deal when you purchased it along with a new town car (Lincoln) for the wife to sport around in A good dealer could shuffle the shells looking for the pea around good enough that you could buy one get one free.
    LC……..Timing …It has been such a while since some folks have seen an auto in person that anything looks interesting .
    In my blowing and going note lot days I could count on selling a pinto every week (if I could find one good enough) only sub-compact available at the time
    Ohhh the Vega disasters I could tell you , along with one Cadillac and all the Chevy Bel Airs and Impalas I could get my hands on
    I am shocked that no one yet has said OHHHHHHHH be careful its looking for a place to BLOW UP
    If there was ever a time before everyone carried a camera in their pocket all the time I missed a priceless photo I was walking along the far reaches of the yard and came upon a Pinto that had been hit so hard the rear bumper was against the back of the front seat and the hatch was standing straight up with a buzzard peering down into the car looking for dinner ,no explosion by the way .
    I have to agree with the statement I once heard a Ford exec make ….What do you expect for 1,780 bucks

    Like 4
  9. lonnychoi

    Stats for Bobcat Production:

    1975 2 door hatch price: $3189 production#: 20,651 Wagon $3481 13,583

    1976 Sedan $3338 28,905 Wagon $3643 18,731

    1977 Sedan $3438/3739 18,405 Wagon $3771/4072 13,047

    1978 Sedan $3537/3810 23,428 Wagon $3878/4150 8,840

    1979 Sedan $3797/4070 35,667 Wagon $4212/4485 9,119

    1980 Sedan $4384 28,103 Wagon $4690 5,547

    155,159 total Runabouts 68,867 total Station Wagons

    Like 3
    • chrlsful

      the Lima engine and the Weber 2v progressice carb are some of the best through out history. Just give me one of the 68 tousand waggies’n I’d B quite happy even if replacing my 21st century honda sedan w/it.

  10. lc

    Has anyone ever seen a driveway for a Boeing 747? Mr. John Travolta flies, lands, and parks in his driveway then he deplanes right in his front porch literally! If you haven’t seen it, check it out. I think it was on one of the J. Leno series. Then they deplane and drive off in John Travolta’s 57 T-Bird if I remember the type of car correctly. Just awesome!

    Like 1
    • lc

      I should have put this in there to keep on the subject car. What is he too damn good to drive off in a Pinto or Bobcat? lol

  11. Bob Bandfield

    Had a 71 and 74 pinto.. put over 250,000 miles on each before i sold them. Imo they were great little cars. Only lost timing belt on 74 once. No major problems.

    Like 1

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