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Sleeping Kitty: 1967 Mercury Cougar

1967 Mercury Cougar

I’ve had a soft spot for early Cougars ever since my father brought me a 1/43 scale plastic model of one shortly after its launch. That was followed by Aurora slot cars that I loved also. My mother had two ’67 Mustangs growing up, and I liked them as well, but the Cougar’s clean lines always appealed to my eyes. This partially completed project is available here on craigslist in New Kent, Virginia for $4,500.

Mercury Cougar Engine

The best Cougars had Ford’s 289 cubic inch V-8, and this one supposedly has only 10 miles on a complete rebuild, although I have to wonder why it’s so dirty underhood? Nonetheless, there aren’t many finds that feature newly rebuilt engines! And there’s more good news: the pretty kitty also has new brakes, wheel cylinders and brake lines, as well as a new gas tank, windshield and windshield gasket. The seller notes that the car must be sold in a hurry to help out a family member, so the rear window needs to be reinstalled. Personally, I’d consider waiting until I was done with the bodywork and paint before putting it back in.

Mercury Cougar Floor

The ad also notes new floor pans and backs it up with pictures. An interior is ready to install as well, which makes me wonder how old the pictures are as they show an interior in place. If this is a new interior in addition to the other new components and a rebuilt engine, this car seems to be a bargain to me!

Mercury Cougar

Plenty of pictures are included in the ad, including some showing a set of Magnum 500 wheels that are included. The rest of the rust doesn’t look too bad. Ads like these always leave me somewhat sad, as a project is being sold on due to hardship at a lower than normal price after much work has been already completed. It’s a shame that the project has to be sold, but there’s no denying that situations like this lead to bargain-priced projects. I’ve purchased a few projects in similar circumstances, and I’ve made one personal rule: I promise the seller that if I eventually sell the car, they will have first chance at purchasing it back. I’ve only sold one afterwards and the original seller turned me down, but it made me feel good to have made the offer.

Mercury Cougar Project

Maybe whoever purchases this sleeping kitty will do the same? It sure seems like a bargain; according to NADA Guides, a ’67 Cougar Hardtop with V-8 has a low retail value of $8,941. That leaves you some room to paint the car, install the interior and still be under the market value. So what do you think, readers, is this cat worth saving? Are any of you up for the job?


  1. Avatar photo krash

    …..fair deal for a less than purrrrfect Cougar

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  2. Avatar photo stanley stalvey

    Here kitty, kitty, kitty.! Want some kitty treats.? hehe..

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  3. Avatar photo Mark E

    I beg to disagree with the article. When I was in college I got to drive a ’69 Cougar XR7 with a 390 engine. Very fast. Since then I’ve always thought if I was going to get one it would have a 390 in it.

    Having got that off my chest, this seems like a fair price on a project car.

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    • Avatar photo Jamie Staff

      Mark, we’ll just have to agree to disagree :-) While I freely admit that the 390 would be fun in a straight line, I’ve always wanted to recreate one of the Trans-Am Cougars like this one! The small block would lead to better cornering :-)

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      • Avatar photo Jamie Staff

        I liked them enough I made my own pair… :-) Just a wee bit smaller than full-size!

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  4. Avatar photo Chris A.

    I like the Cougars, especially as they were rides for Parnelli Jones and Dan Gurney in the Trans Am racing series. Mustangs were supposed to be the hot ride, but with the help of Bud Moore and his NASCAR buddies, Jones and Gurney almost beat out the Mustangs. The boardroom wars between Mustang and Lincoln-Mercury execs must have been something. Then Penske and Mark D. got their act together. Nice car, good project and reasonable price. but the convertible is even nicer.

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  5. Avatar photo Rick

    Prices are finally climbing on Cougars, always liked them, back in ’76 I had a ’67 XR-7 equpiied w/ swing away wheel, courtesy lights in the doors, overhead console, leather, etc., really luxurious car, rerminded me of a baby Lincoln because it was so quite inside and rode so smoothly, way different from a Mustang. The 289 4-v gave it plenty of pep, too. What I would really like to have in a Cougar would be the big block version ’67 or ’68 GTE with the 427 or 428CJ, either version is fine with me, you decide.

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  6. Avatar photo Vincent Habel

    The heads look pretty dirty for a rebuild of only 10 miles.

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  7. Avatar photo Paul Statham

    I wish I could afford this car, it really is beautiful,

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  8. Avatar photo rumpfox

    you have to take the back glass out to install the headliner might be why the back glass is removed. about all old famoco’s you had to do that. a good thing in a way cause the seal leaked anyway. thats what rotted the trunk and the top of the gas tank. 352 cleavland was the only way to have one of these. the first cleavlands were 4 bolt main steel rod big port eng. very hypo eng.

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    • Avatar photo St. Ramone de V8

      The Cleveland engines weren’t in Cougars,or anything else in these years because they didn’t exist until 1970. They were 351’s not 352’s. 352’s were the old FE engines, and in Cougars the only FE’s were 390’s , 427’s, and 428CJ’s. Yes, the 351 Cleveland made the ’70 to ’73 Cougars haul, I’ve had several. Love Clevelands. The 4bolt main “Quench Head” version was amazing. They breathe very well, and love to eat fossil fuels. Very sturdy design. Still see them used, even in Drag boats.

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  9. Avatar photo geomechs

    I’ve actually preferred this vintage of Cougar over the Mustang. I had a ’68 Mustang GT with the 390 and it was an OK performer but a bearcat to work on. A friend had a ’68 Cougar with the same engine and it was exactly the same under the hood. If I got something like this I would be happy with the 289. At least I can actually service the engine without having to be a contortionist. I might add that I like this car. It’s probably a good thing that it’s all the way across the country so I won’t be tempted to go after it.

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  10. Avatar photo jim s

    and the listing is gone. it did look like a good deal for someone who had the skill set to finish the project. in general the pricing seams to be lower then mustangs. great find

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  11. Avatar photo karo

    Longer wheelbase gave the Cougar a better ride than Mustang.

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  12. Avatar photo St.Ramone de V8

    I love these cars, and still have a ’69 390 car. Had it for decades. It goes like hell!( in a straight line) I’ve had so many interesting imports which would probably warrant some real discussion here, but I’ve kept the old Cat. They rust in the floors and trunk. Hey, it’s just a longer Mustang. They have a different appeal, I think, though. Starting to see real interest in them lately, that’s maybe why the EBay ad is done. Nice to see another one come up. Think I’ll fire mine up this weekend!

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  13. Avatar photo Woodie Man

    Had a ’67 Convertible or maybe a ’68 in college. Absolutely perfect shape with the small block and ………wait for it……..a slushbox. The bane of my youthful existence. But the top going down made up for it. It was this green or slightly darker. Have to agree the longer wheelbase helped the ride and I think they’re good looking to boot. But like anything buy the best you can afford; reduces the heartache and gets you busy faster!

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    • Avatar photo Mike_B_SVT

      Woodie Man, there were no factory Cougar convertibles built in ’67 or ’68, so your car had to have been a ’69 at the earliest ~ unless you converted it yourself, or a previous owner did it. A rather uncommon mod, but there are a few around :-)

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      • Avatar photo Woodie Man

        You’re absolutely correct. It was the later iteration of the rear light design. The memory fails me on occasion! BTW.paid around 700 bucks or so in 1974 dollars. Sigh….the “old” days

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