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Parked In The ’80s: 1969 Mercury Cougar

The Cougar was Mercury’s entrant into the pony car world. It was introduced for 1967, two-and-a-half years after the Ford Mustang debuted. It was based on a Mustang platform but rode on a longer wheelbase. Cougars had more amenities than their Ford counterparts, as was consistent with how Mercury was positioned at FOMOCO. This 1969 Cougar has been in storage for the better part of 40 years and will need its share of mechanical and cosmetic work. The seller’s trying to get it to run again and – if he succeeds – the price of the car will go up. It’s in Palatine, Illinois and available here on Facebook Marketplace for $3,800.

Mercury’s Cougar had longevity as a nameplate, first from 1967 to 1997 and again from 1999 to 2002. While it most often is thought of as a pony car, as it grew over the years, it also grew to have multiple body styles, such as a four-door sedan, station wagon, and even a hatchback. At just shy of three million units over the years, the Cougar is the best-selling vehicle ever offered by Mercury. For its first year in production, it would represent 40 percent of the division’s sales. And it received Motor Trend’s Car of the Year award for 1967, the first Lincoln-Mercury product to ever get that honor. In its third year, 1969 and according to the Cougar Club, more than 100,000 Cougars were sold, with about 2/3 being the base Cougar like we believe the seller’s car to be.

The seller’s 1969 Cougar has been locked up since when Ronald Reagan was in the White House. It was a well-used car, accumulating 128,000 miles before its slumber. There is no mention as to why it was taken off the road, but the logical assumption is a mechanical problem. It has some rust, which seems to be focused on the rear quarter panels at the wheel wells. The chrome is also parting ways with the bumpers and surface rust accompanies most of what’s left of the blue paint. It has a vinyl top with roof racks, but we can’t determine its condition.

There are zero photos of the interior which, if they were there, might help us determine if this is the XR-7 Cougar, which came with more goodies. This car has hide-away headlights and sequential taillights and is nicely equipped with air conditioning and the like. It could be the more upscale edition, but there are no markings to indicate so. It’s not in running condition, with the 351 V-8 likely being the focus of the seller’s attempts to get it going. If that happens and they clean it up, the price will rise above the current ask of $3,800. Cougars don’t seem to command the prices today that Mustangs do, but $20,000 is achievable, according to Hagerty, for a nice condition example.


  1. Ramone

    It’s a base Cougar, and that rust looks severe. I have a 69, and they are cool, but this one is toast, I think.

    Like 9
  2. Steve Bush Member

    Perhaps a good restomod candidate at a somewhat lower price. But would need more pics and of course an in person inspection to determine that. And; what dofus puts a roof rack on a Cougar.

    Like 6
  3. Howard A Member

    I know Barn Finds reaches many viewers, many from rust free states. It probably horrifies them to see something like this, but this was actually the norm. Holes in doors, tops peeling, as long as it kept running, appearance was secondary, as shown, they kept running long after the body collapsed. Front shock towers or rear suspension mounts, usually meant that’s it, and this car is close. Shame this was once a sweet car.
    RE: Doofus with the roof rack. Back then, anything with drip rails was fair game for a canoe or rowboat. Seeing the “Baraboo” sticker, this car made many fishing trips to Wisconsin, I bet. By the looks, ice fishing. Parts maybe.

    Like 14
    • leiniedude leiniedude Member

      I agree on the roof rack Howard, surprised it is still on it. Gotta kick out of those front caps!

      Like 5
  4. Arthell64

    This looks a parts car to me.

    Like 6
  5. Arthell64

    This look like a parts car to me.

    Like 5
  6. Jeff

    The wax job is a little shabby. If you knock off $3,500, I would be more interested.

    Like 1
  7. Terry

    running or not, the owners asking price may go up, but the selling price certainly wont. There is ZERO demand for non XR7 non-Eliminator small block Cougar hardtops.

    Like 3

    I would not say that there is zero interest in a non XR-7 Cougar. WCCC, myself and several other vendors would buy them all day long as parts cars, so long as the price is right. And there are some who would buy one to restore, or restomod, again so long as the price is right.

    Like 3
  9. daniel wright

    Surprised no one has mentioned the rust along the inside of the fender on the drivers side. I bet the under side of the car looks like swiss cheese.

    Like 0
  10. Stangalang

    Definitely rusted pretty bad..definitely too much $asking for it..but man I’m digging on those swirl hubcaps! Trying to hypnotize people lol 🤪

    Like 4
  11. JoeNYWF64

    Those grade school hubcaps would complement some of the dumb sidewall designs on modern tires.
    How hard is it to put air in tires 2x’s a year?

    Like 1

    Upon a closer look this car appears to be a Sports Special model. You can tell by the single pinstripe that follows the lower body line and by the unique rocker panel mouldings.

    Like 2
  13. Doug from MD.

    This car got no love in its life. Anyone who would put those hub caps and that roof rack on this car had no love for this car. Say a prayer for the next owner.

    Like 1
  14. JBD

    I had an identical ‘69 Cougar XR-7 trim, 351 Windsor/FMX/3:00 rear. It was a great driving car and was worthy of restoration back in the late 80s. Unfortunately many went to the crusher in better shape than this one. Easily restorable with the right owner. The aftermarket for Windsor parts is huge. Back then, many 351W ended up donating their heads for 289/302 projects.

    Like 2
  15. Martin

    Those front hubcaps are, at least, worth half of the asking price. WooHoo!

    Like 0
    • JBD

      Dog Dish hubcaps belong on a 427 or 428 CJ car. Helps with the Sleeper look.

      Like 0
  16. AMCFAN

    Hey I remember those front hubcaps! I would see a car drive by with these standing at my bus stop waiting on the school bus. It also had a peace sign on it too. That would make these being installed in 1970-1972. I often thought someone painted them as I never saw another. The rear wheels and bumper stickers also show the period. The car really is a time warp. What dates the car even more is the guys standing looking at it wearing masks. The new normal. To insinuate someone hated this car because of the wheels didn’t and do not understand the times.

    Like 2
  17. Jranders Member

    XR7 would have the round badge on the sail panel, and the fuel filler in the tail light panel

    Like 0
  18. Dean Hubbard

    Had a 68 cougar, replaced the dash with a XR7 dash. 302 was a little doggy, pulled it out and dropped on a warmed up 400 with a C6. Had to change front coils to make it sit right. It was really strong then. Should have put traction bars on it.

    Like 1

    The fuel filler is in the exact same place on every Cougar. It makes no difference if the car is a standard, a Sports Special, an XR-7 or an Eliminator. It also makes no difference if the car is a coupe or a convertible.

    Like 0

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