Stuck to the side of my toolbox are a couple old newspaper clippings advertising a few Mercury Cougars. The old yellow clippings were retrieved from the inside of a closet door. The closet happened to be in what was once my bedroom in my childhood home. I was probably 13 or 14 years old when I clipped these from the ‘Bargain News’ and hung them in my room. It was only a few years ago when helping my parents move from our old house that I found them and took them to put on display in my garage.
The Mercury Cougar was always one of my favorite muscle cars. The electric razor inspired grill with hide away headlight was just plain cool. The sequential taillights were even cooler. If you asked me at that age what car I wanted when I grew up I would have said a Mercury Cougar with a 428 in it. My brother’s truck had me in love with the Ford FE power plants. In fact, in 8th grade, our English teacher made us right a letter to ourselves as seniors in high school. The cool thing was that the school took the letters and gave them to us 4 years later. What was one of the first things I asked the older version of myself? What did I drive!!! I even asked specifically if I had a Cougar with a 428 in it. At the time I read the letter I was driving my 69 Mustang with a 302 in it….I think the prepubescent version of myself would have been satisfied with that answer. So the point is I always wanted a Mercury Cougar.
As I mentioned in my post about my first car, the day came when I was ready to invest time and money to get the Mustang exactly where I wanted it. This was going to involve updating the Mustang’s chassis, suspension, brakes, and transmission. While researching online (it was now the internet era) I came across a 1967 Mercury Cougar for sale. It was an original S code car….meaning it came with a big block 390. While not the 428 I dreamed of, it was part of the FE family which I was always fond of. It came with a 4 speed top-loader and had a complete Total Control Products front suspension on it. It even had Wilwood disc brakes on all four corners. These were all the goodies I wanted for my Mustang and I couldn’t even buy these parts for what the guy was selling the whole car for. So my plans changed and my brother and I drove to Cleveland, Ohio pulling an empty U-haul trailer behind his V-10 powered F-350. We drove straight there, picked up the car, stopped for dinner with some relatives in the area and drove right back with this gem…
I still have the Cougar and you will be seeing many more posts featuring me doing dumb things with it as soon as the Spring arrives!!!