Rare Cat: 1970 Boss 302 Cougar Eliminator

Finding a 1970 Boss 302 Mustang isn’t that hard to do. Finding a 1970 Boss 302 Cougar is a different story. For some, finding a rare muscle car is the name of the game. This Boss 302 Eliminator is likely to catch the interest of a lot of those in search of the rare ones. This reader submission, up for auction here on eBay, might be one that is worth the investment of a full restoration. 

Make no mistake about it, this one will need a lot of parts and a lot of work. The seller states that most of the Eliminator’s original components are missing, with the major ones being the engine and transmission. The seller does say, though, that a Boss 302 service short block has been located through a third party for an additional $2,800. 

The listing does state how rare the car is, with options that might even make it rarer. The included Marti Report does verify these options and certainly would help with bidder confidence. The drum brakes might be the most interesting option found on a performance car like this. 

The listing pictures clearly show that this car needs serious restoration and has considerable rust. A restoration like this doesn’t cost thousands of dollars, but tens of thousands of dollars pretty easily. But could it be worth it? It’s not often that a restorer can ultimately get back what they have put in a project, but a rare car like this might be worth the investment. So, what could this Boss 302 Cougar Eliminator sell for in its current condition and what would it be worth in restored condition? 

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Comments

  1. Miguel

    The car used to be rare with rare options.

    Now they are all missing.

    Like 62
    • CATHOUSE

      The only rare option that this car ever had was the G code Boss 302. The other couple of options listed on the Marti report are nothing to rave about. They are just common options. The seller is a tad off with his numbers. There were actually 469 1970 Boss 302 Eliminators built. The 323 number the seller uses is how many of those cars were equipped with the code 6 close ratio 4 speed.

      There were 2267 1970 Eliminators built. Does that make it a rare car? Probably to some, probably not to others. The bigger problem here is that many of the Eliminator unique parts are missing. The headlight doors, center grille and gas door are all standard Cougar parts, not the Eliminator pieces. An XR-7 rocker switch panel is now where the correct Eliminator part should be. The unique camera case dash faces are gone. The rear sway bar does not look to be there. The one lower shock mount has been replaced with a regular one, not the correct one needed for the staggered shocks.

      And then there is all that rust. Plus what “repair” work that was done looks quite questionable to me. If I was fixing this car I would be looking to redo all that previous “work”. First though I would purchase some stock in the company that produces MIG wire.

      Like 17
      • Mike_B_SVT

        2268 Eliminators built in 1970 ;-)

        An error in the factory database was discovered a few years ago and resolved, adding 1 to the previous tally of 2,267.

        Like 5
      • CATHOUSE

        Thanks Mike. I have made that correction in my CBTN book.

        Like 1
      • theGasHole

        CATHOUSE you are always a wealth of knowledge on these Cats.
        Of the 2268 produced, how many would you estimate remain? I know that Cougars weren’t saved at the rate their cousins over at Ford were, so I’m curious how many Eliminators you think are left.

        Like 1
      • Mike_B_SVT

        Yeah, Cathouse is a wealth of Cougar Knowledge!

        @theGasHole – I help track and document Eliminators for the Cougar Club of America and the Eliminator Registry.

        As mentioned, there were 2,268 Eliminators built in 1970. Of those, we currently have about 650 accounted for. This includes VIN’s from known scrapped cars, vintage documents, and drivetrain components, so not all of those 650 actually exist today. Of the accounted for cars, 195 are Boss 302 Eliminators – so they have a fairly high “survival” rate, considering only 469 were built.

        Keep in mind that new additions to the Eliminator Registry are turning up all the time as these cars are dragged out of barns, garages and car ports. A quick look at my files indicates that we added about 40 new VIN’s in the last year!

        I hope that helps answer your question – and if you have or know of an Eliminator, please direct the owner to the Eliminator Registry: https://eliminator.mercurycougarregistry.com/

        Mike B.
        CCOA Member # 9553
        EliminatorSearch@CougarClub.ORG

      • CATHOUSE

        Thank you GasHole and Mike. After 35+ years of collecting anything Cougar related I guess that I did manage to learn a few things. Now I am able to share what I have learned.

  2. Frank Sumatra

    I’m going to strip my 1984 Corvette down to the birdcage, tell folks it was a ZR-1 prototype (But I lost the paperwork proving that) and put it on Craigslist for $39,500. Wish me luck!

    Like 37
    • Mike_B_SVT

      Well, it’s not QUITE that bad. It does have the “G” in the VIN, which proves it was a Boss 302 Eliminator.

      Like 5
  3. flmikey

    The seller is bragging that once finished, this will be a $100K car…just went to Ebay, there are 2 there for less than $60K…with original tranny and engine, all shined up and ready to go…and I can’t believe that this car is up to $8,500.00…what am I missing???

    Like 26
    • half cab

      Most non car guys are full of possum fat💩

      Like 10
    • harry o

      I bet its up to 8500 due to shill bidding>>> Shill bidding happens when anyone—including family, friends, roommates, employees, or online connections—bids on an item with the intent to artificially increase its price or desirability.

      Like 6
    • Mike_B_SVT

      The only Boss 302 Eliminator on eBay right now is the Comp Gold car from Ron’s Toy Box. It’s been offered for 6 months now and hasn’t sold because they are asking $100k (the car is nice, but not $100k nice).

      Like 1
  4. nrg8

    There’s one born every minute……..

    Like 12
  5. Boss351

    That’s one rough kitty!! Marti report shows that it is Boss 302 Eliminator but you have no original motor or transmission to work with on the cat.

    Need CATHOUSE to chime in on this one. The non-power front drum brakes is a head scratcher for me.

    Like 4
    • CATHOUSE

      The drum brakes were the standard equipment. If you wanted disc brakes those were an option. My 1970 Eliminator is a drum brake car. There were 72,365 1970 Cougars produced and of those 49,922 had the disc brake option.

      Like 5
    • Mike_B_SVT

      Boss351, unlike the Boss 302 Mustangs where Power front disk brakes were standard, the Boss 302 Eliminators (actually, all Eliminators) had drum brakes standard.

  6. cold340t

    Only 6 out of every 100 Cougars were 3spd/4spd cars. ALL Manuel trans Cougars are RARE. Regardless of eng. Love these cars, just sold a 68′ M-code(3spd) shell for $1500. Missing much more then this one.

    Like 4
    • Mark G Plunkett

      I soon need to sell a 67 XR7 4-Speed 390 car, maroon with black leather interior. I should be able to get it running. Body not great but not bad, so this is rare cat?

      Like 4
      • CATHOUSE

        Mark G Plunkett,
        Is your car rare? I suppose that depends on your definition of “rare”. What I can tell you though is that if the numbers on your car prove it to be a 1967 XR-7 with the S code 390 and a 4 speed then it is one of 905 produced. Since you will be looking to sell the car I would highly recommend that you purchase a Marti report to prove what the car is. You will get back what the Marti costs when you sell the car. If the car is what you say it is then it is a desirable car and should get you decent money, condition and proof dependent of course.

        Like 7
      • RoughDiamond

        If you want to see some incredible sheet metal work on Cougars, check out KTL Restorations in Danville, VA by Kurtis Lawrance and the entire KTL Team. They are restoring two Cougar Eliminators from the island of Aruba plus the former magazine cover car Cougar Eliminator called the “Lethal Cat” which will be featured at SEMA this year. They are in the process of completing (took over job at my request) our Nordic Blue non-vinyl top ’68 XR-7 GT 390 4-speed with 3:25 equa-lok rear axle. If you are interested I think you can view pictures of it on KTL’s business page. I will post pictures of it anyway, soon.

        Like 1
    • CATHOUSE

      cold340t,
      Probably just a typo on your part but there is no such thing as a 68 M code. Perhaps you meant to type 69? I bet that the shell you recently sold was not as rusty as this Eliminator.

      Like 2
    • Mike_B_SVT

      The funny thing is that as far as Eliminators go, the Boss 302 Eliminators make up almost half of the 4-speed cars! 469 Boss 302 Eliminators (all with 4-speeds) vs 542 4-speed Eliminators with other engine types (351C-4V + 428CJ). ^That’s for the 1970 model year, btw.

      Like 2
  7. 68custom

    yeah the drum brakes make it rare. but more desirable! I say no! and like others have said there are nice ones for less than 30k with 79k miles to boot. plus missing the important bits. worthy of a restoration if someone can do all the work themselves.

    Like 1
    • Ike Onick

      Fred Flintstone brakes will work with this garbage can.

      Like 5
    • Mike_B_SVT

      If you can find a nice Boss 302 Eliminator for less than $30k, you should buy it. Or tell me about it and I’ll buy it.

      It’s kinda like comparing a 427 Corvette vs a 350 Corvette. Yes, I’m sure you can find a nice 350 Corvette for a better price than a rough 427 Corvette. But they are not really comparable cars.

      Like 1
  8. Doug kinzer

    What the headlights and tail lights not blacked out it’s hard for me to believe it’s an eliminator

    Like 1
    • Mike_B_SVT

      In this case, all you need to see is the “G” engine code in the VIN. All G-code Cougars were Eliminators.

      Like 2
  9. Randy

    Manual drum brakes were not uncommon in these cars. The only Eliminator bits left are the hood scoop, deck spoiler, front air dam, and two of the three camera-case dash pieces. It looks like this one had XR7 switches installed.

    No way this car is a viable candidate for restoration. Too much missing, too far gone. Of course, it can be done (check out the Aruba Eliminator from KTL Restorations) but fiscal self-immolation isn’t a good thing.

    Like 3
    • CATHOUSE

      Look again Randy. The passenger side/clock face camera case piece is missing. You are looking at the black dash pad. The instrument cluster face piece is a standard Cougar one with the woodgrain, not the camera case. The photos do not show it but I wonder if the original 8K tach is still in place. My bet, it is missing. The rear spoiler may or may not be the correct one, it would need a close personal inspection. Even if it is original it is missing the correct under deck lid mounting brackets. I also do not see the deck lid support rod.

      I forgot to mention it in my earlier post, the taillight bezels are standard Cougar, not Eliminator. The back up lights are missing the black strip that would be on an Eliminator.

      It looks to me that someone used this car as a parts car in the past to either build an Eliminator clone or more likely to restore another Eliminator. With the buy in pushing 10K I agree that this is not going to be a viable restoration candidate. Unless someone can do just about all the work on their own, just needing to purchase all the missing or damaged parts and places little to no value on their time, restoring this car will have you up side down quickly.

      Like 5
    • Barry Smith

      Just looked at the ebay listing and appears seller has taken any interior pictures down. Maybe y’all have been talking about the dash too much :)

  10. Tom Nemec Member

    I believe this is actually a Cougar Eliminated.

    Like 11
  11. Doug Baldridge

    I have been working on cars all my life. My grandpa restored some old cars and built Jeeps blah blah my step-dad was a Body and Fender guy. And I’ve only seen one of them eliminators my entire life and it was up in Washington State. So if it is restored to its original condition I’m guessing you’re looking at 80 or 90 grand for the car restored with matching numbers. Just saying………

    Like 2
    • Ike Onick

      Is that a numbers-matching spine?

      Like 8
  12. J Paul Member

    Yes, this is missing a lot. Yes, there’s a ton of work that will need to be put into it. Yes, it wouldn’t be a numbers-matching car when done.

    All that said, Mercury made less than 500 of these cars with the Boss 302 engine in 1970, and there have been worse Mustangs brought back from the dead. While I understand that there’s a LOT of work ahead for the next owner, it would be a shame to let a car as rare and interesting as this fade into the shadows.

    (FYI, for comparison Ford made 7,000 Boss 302 Mustangs that year)

    Like 2
  13. Mike_B_SVT

    ^^ Pic from previous sale out of Florida in 2013.

    There are more pictures of this car (0F91G526453) on the seller’s website (Mainly Muscle Cars).

    http://www.mainlymusclecars.com/1970-cougar-eliminator-boss-302

    If you are even considering purchasing this car, you need to take a good hard look at some of the underside pics…
    Note where the frame rail has been “patched” to maintain some body integrity.
    Also note how the staggered rear shock brace in the trunk was hacked out (done several owners ago), and then patched in poorly. (The listing says the brace is included in the sale, so lucky there!).
    Also notice how the car was resprayed in comp orange to give it some gloss for resale. When it was previously listed in 2013 out of Florida it was in what appeared to be original paint (but not in a good way – see pic).

    Like 3
  14. Del

    What would it be worth restored you ask.

    Who knows.

    Depends on quality of resto.

    Its rare enough but restoring will cost way to much.

    Sad to see it like this

    Like 1
  15. Mike_B_SVT

    ^^ Pic of 0F91G526453 from 2013 sale out of Florida.

    Anyone considering this car needs to review the pics on the seller’s website (higher resolution than via eBay). Click one of the page pics and it will bring them all up (something like 54 of them).

    http://www.mainlymusclecars.com/1970-cougar-eliminator-boss-302

    Note the “repair” of one of the rear frame rails ~ likely to maintain some body integrity for moving the car.
    Also note that the staggered shock brace was cut out of the trunk floor and “patched” in (done a few owners ago). The current listing mentions the brace is included (luckily).

    • Mike_B_SVT

      Forgot to mention that it appears the car was resprayed in fresh comp orange to make is nice and shiny for resale. …right over the rusty bits and all!

      *NOTE: this was NOT done by Mainly Muscle! It was resprayed before they bought it.

  16. Mike_B_SVT

    So lets talk comparables…

    IMO, 0F91G511824 is the best comparison, as it underwent a complete, concours restoration and was subsequently sold at auction just last year.

    Purchased in 2015 (for a very reasonable $30k ask) in numbers-matching, “nice driver” condition, most of us would have been happy with it as it sat.

    The owner sent it to Cascade Classics for a full restoration. Now, the Benoit’s don’t mess around. They are top notch restorers. Here is the car resto pics on their site: http://www.cascadeclassics.com/completed-restorations/1970-eliminator-boss-302-2/
    ^ This car only required a few very small patches to the sheet metal.

    It was auctioned at Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale in Jan 2017, where it hammered for $100k (well bought / a woefully inadequate price, IMO). The restoration cost was a bit north of $100k, but the results are truly museum-quality – as attested to by the fact that an auto museum purchased the car (Kuck Motorsports, in Lincoln, NE).

    https://www.barrett-jackson.com/Events/Event/Details/1970-MERCURY-COUGAR-ELIMINATOR–200950

    Like 2
  17. Brett Pierce

    The 2018 Old Car Price Guide shows a #1 condition 1970 Mercury Cougar Eliminator with the Boss 302 at $63000. That is for a car in perfect condition, and most likely as a “restored” #1 car. Price Guide prices are just that, a guide, so they can fluctuate. Those fluctuations can be wildly affected by several factors, including a high level restoration by someone notable such as John Benoit of Cascade Classics or a low mileage time-capsule version might even fetch an even higher price. The auction environment certainly can have stronger outcome. It all depends on the buyer and the circumstances.

    Personally I prefer the Boss 302 Eliminator over the Boss 302 Mustang. I hope someone saves this one.

    Like 2
    • Mike_B_SVT

      $63k for a #1 car is a price from 2014, IMHO. In 2014 there were 4 restored ’70 Boss Eliminators that changed hands in the neighborhood of $55k (non-auction prices).

      January auctions saw several Boss Eliminators do very well, as well as a few non-auction sales this year. Had some trouble posting the links to the auction results, so if you are curious you’ll have to look them up by lot number;

      $100k for a non-matching older restoration, lacking many various details: Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Jan 2018, Lot#1040.2

      $125k for an unrestored survivor Super Drag Pak Boss Cat:
      Mecum Kissimmee, Jan 2018, Lot# F145

      $70k high bid (no sale) on the comp gold car currently at Ron’s Toys:
      Mecum Kissimmee, Jan 2018, Lot# F282
      ^ coincidently, this car is one of the 4 that changed hands in 2014 for approximately $55k.

      Like 1
  18. Mike_B_SVT

    Brett, $63k for a #1 car is a price from 2014, IMHO. In 2014 there were 4 restored ’70 Boss Eliminators that changed hands in the neighborhood of $55k (non-auction prices).

    I expect OCPG values to jump for 2019. January auctions saw several Boss Eliminators do very well (as well as a few non-auction sales this year);

    $100k for a non-matching older restoration, lacking many various details: https://www.barrett-jackson.com/Events/Event/Details/1970-MERCURY-COUGAR-ELIMINATOR-212533

    $125k for an unrestored survivor Super Drag Pak Boss Cat: https://www.mecum.com/lots/FL0118-312543/1970-mercury-cougar-eliminator/

    $70k high bid (no sale) on the comp gold car currently at Ron’s Toys: https://www.mecum.com/lots/FL0118-312741/1970-mercury-cougar-boss-302-elimnator/
    ^ coincidently, this car is one of the 4 that changed hands in 2014 for approximately $55k.

    Like 1
  19. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Ended: Aug 16, 2018 , 8:00PM
    Winning bid:US $8,800.00
    [ 27 bids ]

  20. JC

    So, someone takes the most important parts of the car, then sells it as a project that needs “a lot of work” for $8800… Some people are smarter than others.

    Like 1
    • Mike_B_SVT

      Nah, this car has been a rusted out roller for a long time. So it’s not like any of the recent owners have benefited by harvesting the parts. If anything, it has gained parts (rear spoiler & hood scoop) since I first saw it in 2013.

      But there was a time when Boss Eliminators (and Cougars in general) were only worth the value of their drivetrain as donors for Mustang restorations (funny how things change ~ I bet this Eliminator carcass sold for more than the whole drivetrain did when it was parted out). I’m guessing that’s why the staggered shock brace was cut out too ~ someone thought it was the same as the Mustang, and when they found out they’re different it got chucked back into the trunk.

      Like 1

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