The sixties are history and so is Ford's once upon a time brand, Mercury. Today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe Cougar lets you relive both - plus it's a stick- but does its price mean it should have stuck in the sixties?
When you think sport sedans today, your brain probably autopilots to some mental image of a BMW, likely one with a real ugly butt. But back in the 1960s it's arguable that Jaguar pretty much held the position today enjoyed by the Bavarians, and as exhibit S we have yesterday's 3.8S sedan still looking like it could pip-pip your cheerios. And at only fifteen grand, it also sported a commanding 83% Nice Price win, which was our third this week!
Today wraps up ‘60s week, and I hope you've enjoyed the selection of iron (and some rust) that we've pulled from that psychedelic decade. We're going out not with a bang, but with a car that shares its name with that which is applied to a woman likely as old as this car, and who's typically looking for love in all the young places - that being. . . a Cougar.
This 1967 Mercury Cougar hails from the marque's first production year and sports the über rare option of three pedals and a 4-speed. The ad doesn't say what engine sits behind the electric shaver grille, but unless the original has been nicked, it's a V8. The engine options in '67 were various flavors of either the 289 or 390-cid units.
The fact that the Cougar wasn't initially made available with a six was just one ways of differentiating the upscale car from its more plebeian platform mate, the Mustang. Other changes were a 3-inch stretch in the Cougar's wheelbase, six inch longer leaf springs in the back, and a revised A-arm setup in front to smooth out the ride. The Cougar's interior was also a step up from the ‘Stang, featuring more vinyl and less bare metal, and a little extra room afforded by the longer tire-to-tire span.
This particular Cougar sports a two-tone interior in blue over white, which looks like it's completely out of the sixties. In fact the seats and door trim would not seem out of place as a hip ensemble for the Hey, Hey We're the Monkees. Between the two main gauges someone has blighted the car with a clip-on tach proving the theory that anything preceded by the words ‘clip-on' is immediately damned to be cheesy looking. Another point off may be taken for the missing crash pad/gauge visor, but there's nothing apparent on the inside that might not be easily fixed.
And there's something that is inside this Cougar's passenger compartment that's not easy to find - a four-speed stick. Most of the first-gen cars built it seems came with an auto box - or at least that seems the predominant choice among those left available today. The interior on this car doesn't seem to possess the hi-zoot XR-7 fake wood, nor are there GT badges or a full-length center console so perhaps this was originally just a semi low-end car? There's no way to tell by the engine as the seller is keeping mum on its details other than the fact it is presently dressed up in chrome and features upgraded performance parts. Yeah, YMMV.
Whatever, he also says the engine is strong and the the car comes with both a raging sound system and a clean title. One of those features should appeal to you more than the other, I'll let you guess which one. Fresh Bahama Mama blue paint - which makes it look like a Hot Wheels car - and five-spoke mags - which makes it look EVEN MORE like a Hot Wheels car - round out the notables.
Well, there is one other notable and that's the price tag. The seller is asking $6,000 for this rare stick shift Cougar, and if you know anything at all about the other kind of Cougar, you'll know it doesn't cost anywhere near that to get a stick in one - more likely just a couple of Mai Tais. Prices for decent-looking Merc Cougars are all over the map, from upwards of twenty five grand down to this one for a grand less than our blue bomber.
But this one's in pretty good shape, and comes with all that extra work for your right arm and left leg, which you know is worth the premium. So what do you think, is this last refugee from the sixties worth seven-large in light of its stickiness? Or, is this a Cougar that, for that kind of dough, you would not want to bring home?
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UPDATE: West-coaster points out that with the lever free of a reverse lockout loop, this may be a lowly 3-speed, and not a 4-cogger. Vote accordingly.