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Rare 1969 Mercury Cougar Eliminator 302

1969 Mercury Cougar Eliminator

So let’s say in 1968 you were shopping for a street car that you wanted a Boss 302, but wanted something a little different then the insanely popular Mustang. What were you to do? Well you went to your Mercury dealer and ordered a brand new Cougar Eliminator 302! You got all the performance of the Boss 302, but with the Cougar’s looks and interior. Sadly, there weren’t very many people that did just that, so there are less than 200 of these floating around today. The Mercury you see here is one of those rare cars, but it’s going to need a lot of work. If you’ve always wanted one of these, you can find it here on eBay in Carmel, Indiana with a current bid of $5,200.

1969 Mercury Cougar Engine Bay

The Eliminator package added a performance suspension, the handling package, high back bucket seats, special trim and of course the Boss 302’s engine. It was only rated at 290 horsepower, but modern test have revealed that power output was closer to 380 horse! That’s some impressive power for a car this size and while you could get the Boss 429 (only 2 were built), I think the 302 would be more than enough engine for this Cat. Sadly, the engine and transmission are missing and will need to be replaced. Finding said replacement could be a challenge, but it wouldn’t be impossible.

1969 Mercury Cougar Boss 302

While you’re hunting down an engine, you will have plenty of work to keep you busy, as there is a lot of rust to fix. It has all your typical floor, truck and rocker rust, but thankfully repair panels are readily available!

1969 Cougar Eliminator 302

Restoring this big cat isn’t going to be easy, but I think it would be well worth the work once it’s done! With just 169 built, it’s exceptionally rare. So what do you think, is this one deserving of your time and money?


  1. dirtyharry

    I have seen these in full restoration trading between 50-60k. Mecum has a screaming yellow version in its next auction. Hell yes its worth restoring. When you are done you have something a little different and a performance car too. I drove a 69 XR7 with a 351 and it was truly an awesome car. It had a much better interior than the average mustang, hide a away headlights and sequencing turn signals. Let’s just call it Mustang from Mercury.

    Like 1

      I do not know what Mecum is selling but I would be willing to bet that it is a 1970 and not a 1969. There are far more 1970 Boss Cougars than 1969s so you will see the 1970 version for sale much more often than the 1969s. The last 1969 Boss Cougar that I know of selling was a private sale several years ago. Until this car was listed I had not seen another one for sale since then. As the owner of a 1969 Boss Cougar I do have a vested interest in their values. And for what it is worth there have been sales of Boss Cougars where the price was over 100K.

      Like 1
      • Cattoo Cattoo Member

        Having been the owner of a ’69 Cougar I too, wanted to be an owner of a ’69 Boss Cougar. Bet it feels good just having it.

      • CATHOUSE

        Well it is not a bad feeling that’s for sure. I have certainly enjoyed owning my car. Of course all good things come to an end so one day, not today though, hopefully someone else will get that same feeling of enjoyment.

  2. Don

    Eliminated by rust.If you could find the numbers maching Boss 302 it would be worth a lot .I NEED MORE COFFE

  3. Mike

    Would be awesome car restored. Always wanted one but without the #’s matching boss still will bring good money. It’s still the rare cougar.

  4. Paul

    Interesting. Boss 302, wide ratio toploader and 3.50 conventional open rear. Originally bright blue metallic paint. This is the holy grail that would round out my collection!

  5. A.J.

    Is it just me or do you hate seeing a car advertised sitting on a trailer?

    This is a neat car, but if you hang around the Cougar guys long enough you will notice two things:

    1. They have an inferiority complex to Mustang guys (and yeah, I have no idea why).

    2. They name their cars with girls names like the car is a boat.

    • Mike_B_SVT

      Not sure about the “inferiority complex”. Unless you mean that most Cougar owners consider thier car to be better than a Mustang. Really now, who doesn’t consider thier car to be better than a Mustang?? Me, I’m not biased. I own one of each.

      Don’t know about everyone naming their cars, but I do agree there is a trend. However, I don’t frequent enough other forums to know if it is restricted to Cougar owners or not.

  6. Srt8

    At my age this is the type of Cougar I would want. The other type would be in her 70’s and well that wouldn’t be pretty.

    Like 1
  7. James

    I bought an almost identical car condition and completeness wise that was not a Boss 302 and didn’t have a title. It parted out for over $4,000. Cougar parts are not as easy to find as Mustang parts.

    That said, Boss 302 parts are VERY expensive. To replace all of the Boss parts it would be at least $20k and you still would not have matching numbers, which Boss buyers want. I do hope it finds a good home and gets properly restored.

  8. grant

    This is a nice car, and one I’ve wanted forever. The seller seems reasonable, unlike this guy, who wants 12k for a rusted out 6 cylinder mustang.

  9. RoughDiamond

    @A.J.-Please elaborate on statement #1 regarding Cougar guys. “They have an inferiority complex to Mustang guys (and yeah, I have no idea why).”

    • A.J.

      I’ve had 4 or 5 Mustangs and I owned a couple of Cougars at the same time, a CJ 4speed Vert and a GTE. Because of that I was fairly frequent on the Cougar forums. Apples to apples Cougar to Mustang the mustang brings more money and it would annoy those guys to no end. Also, because the Cougar was marketed differently than the Mustang there are a lot more 2 barrel auto cars with Air. Nothing wrong with that but many were not musclecars. Your typical surviving mustang tends have at least a 4 barrel and there are 5x proportionally more 4 speed mustangs than Cougars.

      Btw, the 427 cars are definitely cool, but do not lose sight of the fact that they were running a hydro cam, and 390 intake/carb and 390 exhaust manifolds. Many did not have posi. They were not winning any races against a 428CJ.

      • CATHOUSE

        I am a Cougar guy, have been since I bought my first one 35 years ago. I still have 4 of them plus several parts cars and more extra parts than I will ever use. I would not say that I was annoyed that a Mustang would bring more money than a Cougar, but it is kind of frustrating as we Cougar guys know that they are every bit as good, and in many cases better, than an equally equipped Mustang. We also know that it is much harder to find a high performance Cougar than a Mustang. But as we all know being rarer does not always make something more valuable.

        Like 1
  10. Marc lawrence

    Didn’t know the Eliminator was made in 68. Now a 68 GT 390 would be my preference. Friend had one new with an electric moon roof. It was her 16th Bday present – Every bell and whistle – haven’t seen one like it. Of course this little gals father now owns the San Diego Chargers football franchise.Money was not an issue even back then – lol . I’m sure her car was not the cheapest Cougar on the lot.

  11. Oddimotive Cason Oddimotive Cason Member

    Good news with Ford is the VIN isn’t necessarily on the engine, so one needs to find an engine with a date code in a reasonable range. That’s easier, but still not cheap. Realistically, one with a 351W (Cleveland came for ’70) is a better street car – not as peaky – but the cool factor wins here. I always thought it was cool that the 351 was the base Cougar engine in these years, while the Mustang had sixes and s non-Boss 302. Note that I own a ’70 Mustang Grande with 351C and I still love Cougars. 😀

    • Mike_B_SVT

      After January 1st 1968 all Ford engines were required to be stamped with the VIN.
      So all Eliminators should have a VIN stamped engine. However, mistakes happened, as it was all done by hand.

      Boss cars get a bit of a break on non-numbers matching blocks, as many were swapped out due to the piston skirt failures and warranty replacements. Which is why so many are marketed as having a “Service replacement block”.


      Starting with the 1968 model year the federal government mandated that the engines and transmissions of all cars be stamped with at least a partial VIN. So all Boss 302 cars left the factory with a partial VIN stamped on the engine and transmission.

  12. Bob S

    Still don’t understand numbers matching hullabaloo..

    • Oddimotive Cason Oddimotive Cason Member

      It’s about collectivity vs. driveability. That’s what I was getting at by saying a 351 car may actually be a better driver. A Boss 302 car, however, would likely be a better investment if considering only monetary value.

  13. JimmyinTEXAS

    Original engine gone: excuse me for putting a coyote in its place…

  14. Mercury Man

    Too bad is so rusty. It looks to have lived a very hard life. I hope someone restores it and it does not end up as a parts car. It won’t be me so I guess the Boss engine that I have will put back into my own car.

  15. Randy

    Repair panels readily available? Hardly. Finding a decent set of quarter panels for one of these cars is tough at best. The repos don’t even come close.

  16. RoughDiamond

    @Marc lawrence-Mark,1969 was the first year for the Eliminator. The big dog for Cougars in 1968 was the Cougar GT-E with a 427 followed by the S Code 390 GT.

    • Oddimotive Cason Oddimotive Cason Member

      I wouldn’t kick one of the late production 1968 GT-Es with the 428 out of bed for eating crackers. :-)

      Like 1
    • Mercury Man

      Another ’68 model was the XR-7G. The G was for Gurney (Dan) most had the S code 390 with a C6. I had the complete drivetrain for one of those, complete with big Holley carb. I ended up selling it to someone who was restoring a G. He ended up reboding the car because of the rust, from what I heard he cut the roof off the orig. car and grafted to the donor body. The original car had the rare sunroof, installed by ASC (American Sun Roof) the car itself was done by A.O. Smith.

  17. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Well….and the bidding goes on…..rare = sought after no matter the make – most collector/builders have spare everything including blocks/motors of which a lot survived in the North as the bodies went away. Date codes get you in the ball park.

    The reality is if you don’t have the money for a restored rare car – you can buy a plain jane and just put the stickers and such on them along with the go fast wheels. It takes money to play even in Las Vegas.

    And to think the 4sp 426 convert was getting the beat down as complete as it was.

  18. Mike_B_SVT

    Of the 169 Boss 302 Eliminators built in 1969, only 53 are recorded in the Eliminator Registry. Some of those are known to have been scrapped, or are known only from documents or VIN stamped blocks that have been found.

    So few change hands that to price them accurately is difficult. However, these are examples of known sales in recent years:

    9F91G582888 – Mecum Indianapolis 2014, driver condition, $52k

    9F91G580696 – eBay 2015, unfinished restoration, $114k

    Coincidently, another ’69 Boss Eliminator is currently for sale for $11k, listed here:
    It was pulled from a Florida wrecking yard in 2007:


      I am pretty sure that I know exactly who is selling the 11K Boss car. He is a Cougar guy, has been for many years.

      • Mike_B_SVT

        I talked to him last week ~ turns out he also has a ’69 Hertz Eliminator!

        Like 1
      • CATHOUSE

        If I recall correctly the Hertz car is yellow.

  19. Mike_B_SVT

    The Eliminator prototype started making the rounds on the show circuit in the fall of 1968. However, the Cougar Eliminator was released mid-year 1969, along with the Boss 302 Mustang. April 1st, 1969 was the official start of Eliminator production, but the Boss 302 Eliminators did not start appearing until closer to the end of April, based on available production data.

  20. Rando

    Just my thought here – what difference does it make what’s faster at this point? An original car isn’t going to be driven fast very far or very often. That’s why these are collectible. People drove them fast and crashed them. Or they went thru cycles of buyers and end up like this. Fix it up, put a hot 302 of any sort in it and have FUN with it. Take it out and show it off. Don’t make excuses for the non-original motor.

    put a hotted up 300 I6 in it. Still a 5 liter Cougar, right? lol. Just SAVE tHE CARS! We need a ribbon to show our solidarity and support. Flippers don’t get one. Just hard core car guys that love old cars.

  21. Pontiactivist

    I know of a blue and a yellow 69 eliminator and an Orange 70. I like these but almost always way too rusty around here when you find them.

    • Mike_B_SVT

      Hi Pontiactivist,

      I help track and document Eliminators for the Eliminator Registry and the Cougar Club of America. If possible, could you send me some information about the Eliminators in your area? Rusty or not, I’d like to add them to the Registry, or update any existing entry for them.

      Feel free to send me an email at EliminatorSearch@CougarClub.ORG


      Mike B.

  22. Pontiactivist

    I like all the early cougar’s. I’ve been eyeing a pale green with emerald green interior 71 xr-7. Don’t think it’s from around here. Real decent project and it’s complete.

  23. Robert Eller

    Wow. Talk about memories. My first car was a special order 69 Boss 302. Guy ordered it for his daughter who couldnt handle it. My dad talked him out of it for $1900. That was 1970. Loved that car. It was crazy fast. The long front end was a challenge, but I persevered. Love it. Thanks for the memories.

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