Sign Of The Cat: 1970 Mercury Cougar

 

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Thanks go to reader Michael K for sending us news of this intriguing 1970 Mercury Cougar for sale on craigslist in Birmingham, Alabama. The seller does not provide extensive or detailed information about the car, but just enough to attract our attention. There are not too many pictures either, though the seller sneakily has included a few pictures of nicer versions of 1970 Cougars picked up online, I guess to show what this car could look like with some major investment in it.

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This Cougar only shows 65,000 miles and is claimed to be an original condition barn find. It features the base level 351 Cleveland engine with a two barrel carburetor and an automatic transmission behind it. The white interior is said to be in great shape.

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The seller does list a pretty long list of new parts – exhaust, plugs, wires, distributor cap and button, carburetor rebuild, water pump, thermostat, valve cover gaskets, belts, battery, all of which will be appreciated by its new owner, though nothing is said about how the car actually runs, or if the brakes, exhaust, and cooling systems work properly or at all.

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On the downside, the seller does get around to mentioning that the car needs rust repair – floor pan and roof are mentioned. But it’s almost certain there will be more rust hidden within, as almost all Mustangs and Cougars from this era seem to have tin worm disease.

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Still, the $4,000 asking price is probably reasonable for this car.

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The first generation Cougar (1967-1970) was offered by Mercury as more of a luxury pony car than its sibling Mustang of this era. One of the old ads I found from 1970 headlines “Where wild meets elegant,” and that’s a pretty good representation of how Mercury positioned the Cougar in the marketplace. The 351 Cleveland and Windsor engines were both available as base level offerings. The really desirable model for this year was the performance oriented Eliminator, equipped with a 428 CJ engine.

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I always have liked the first generation Cougar better than similar era Mustangs, but I am in a minority. Mustangs are far more popular, thus Cougars are generally more affordable. The car offered here, even assuming it has more rust than the seller admits to and some additional mechanical work will make a really nice driver. Rust notwithstanding, the body looks pretty straight, and even though it is pretty much a base model, it has potential. With some work on the floors, and wherever else rust is found, and then given new paint, this car will look brand new again. If it were me, I’d modernize the suspension, add disk brakes, drop in a performance 302, and drive it as much as possible. Are there any Cougar fans out there among our readers who want this one?

Fast Finds

Comments

  1. Stephen

    For me,this the best looking Cougar Fomoco built. Keep that 351 Cleveland and put a 4bbl on it. Interior is really nice, too.

  2. grenade

    Agree with Stephen on the coolest looking Cougar. Love the back end of these things.

  3. piper62j

    These, IMHO, are the luxury, high end Mustangs of the day. Very quiet and smooth cars… Sad these classics all had such continual rust issues..

    Great find.. Nice car.. I like it..

  4. JW

    As a Mustang owner I would definitely rather have a Cougar Eliminator but the wife was set on a Mustang.

  5. Coventry Cat

    Is that a gunsight on the hood, or was there a problem with depth perception mounting the hood ornament?

    • Mike_B_SVT

      Definitely not the way it left the factory, LOL!

    • Larry

      1970 Cougars did not come from the factory with a hood ornament.

      Like 1
  6. Mike H. Mike H

    The old man had a 1969 Cougar 351C automatic when he up and left back in the winter of 1977. In the summer of 1978 that car became famous in our neighborhood along with the knock-down, drag-out fights my parents would have in the front yard. . . He’d show up for whatever reason, a fight would ensue, he’d get super-pissed off and leave the place with two long, rubbery, smoking trails behind him.

    The car was impressive, the man was a jackass. I’d love to have that car today, even with the automatic.

    Like 1
  7. Keith Matheny

    High school buddy’s mom had ’68, 302/slush box, cat. loved “borrowing it”, going to the “library”, lol.
    I’d be all into a convertible myself, match the ’67 Galaxie 500 I’ve got.
    This one would be a project and a half, even at this price point.
    Doesn’t mention air conditioning, no engine shots, some trunk pict’s , etc..
    He states contact me for more?
    He’s noware near the limit, add a few! Jeez.

  8. dr.d Member

    These Cougars are a lot of fun and not nearly as recognizable as their Mustang cousins. For me, the Mustang’s lost their looks in 1968, while 69-70 Cougars were in their prime. This one was just completed.

    • Emery

      What is the color? I’m finishing my ’69 XR7, it has the gold leather interior that is in almost perfect condition and I’m looking for a exterior color to compliment the interior.

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