Saturday, November 14, 2009

Mercury Cougar Holy Grail – West Cost Classic Cougars

In the past month I was on a road tour heading down to San Diego from Kelowna BC and as I headed into Salem Oregon I decided to visit West Coast Classic Cougars.

In the past few years I have procured many parts form West Cost Classic Cougars and I decided to visit this Holy Grail of mercury Cougars.

Don Rush the owner of West Coast Classic Cougars gave me and my wife a personal tour of his facility and I was very impressed with the size of his operation and the many parts that he and his team have parted out.

The very best of the trip was the viewing of a 1969 Mercury Red Convertible with an original Mercury CJ 428 engine which Don Rush was preparing for Barrett Jackson’s.

Dons hospitality was appreciated and his tip of heading down the Oregon coast was the highlight of our next day’s driving.

If you get the chance visit Salem Oregon, I recommend visiting West Coast Classic Cougars and say hi to Don Rush and his team.

Don Robichaud

By Donald Robichaud


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

1967–1969 Mercury Cougar: Polished Pony

When the Ford Mustang ushered in the pony car era in mid-1964, other domestic manufacturers took notice. The Mustang was an instant success and every division within the Big Three wanted a piece of that pie. Mercury was no exception.

Ford's sister company approached the project with an eye toward not only the Mustang, but toward the bigger, more luxurious Thunderbird as well. The new Mercury would fall somewhere in the middle. It would be aimed at a demographic slightly more sophisticated than the Mustang set, yet not so established as the typical Thunderbird buyer.

Development work commenced immediately, and the Cougar debuted in 1967, sharing the basic platform of the second-generation Mustang, though a bit bigger overall, including a wheelbase increased by three inches. It also shared some components with the Mustang, notably in its mechanicals and cabin, though it was better appointed and priced as such.

Styling was reminiscent of the Mustang shape, but a bit more flowing, with a rocker panel character line and a subtle crease above the front fenders, continuing along the top of the doors, and curving up into a broad C-pillar before ending at the rear of the car. A wide grille with vertical bars concealed the headlights, while a similar treatment at the back concealed the taillights.

The Cougar came only as a two-door hardtop and was an instant success, much the way the Mustang had been. The automotive press lauded it as a luxury sports car, and Motor Trend named it "Car of the Year" for 1967.

Standard power came from a two-barrel 289 V8 delivering 200 hp, though a four-barrel 289 with 225 hp was a popular upgrade. Four transmissions were available, including a 3-speed manual, a heavy-duty 3-speed manual, a 4-speed manual, or the Merc-O-Matic, which now included Select Shift to give the driver more control. While based on the Mustang's suspension, the Cougar offered longer rear leaf springs and stronger spring and axle components to control ride harshness.

A GT package placed a serious emphasis on performance. It included a four-barrel 390-ci V8 with 320 hp, dual exhausts, and a firmer suspension with solid rear bushings, a larger stabilizer bar, fatter tires, power steering, and power brakes with discs up front.

Mid-year, Mercury unveiled the XR-7, a more upscale model with wood-grained interior trim, an overhead console, a T-handle automatic shifter, and combination leather and vinyl seats. Also available as part of the XR-7 package was a Dan Gurney Special, which honored the racer's involvement with Mercury's Trans-Am program.

Mercury upped the options list for 1968, to include Tilt-Away steering, a vinyl roof cover, a basic handling package, several radios, and a sports console. Side marker lights also appeared, now federally mandated. Most notable, however, were the new engines.

A four-barrel 302-ci V8 rated at 230 hp joined the lineup, while a second 390 slotted in below the GT motor at 280 hp. To satisfy the most power-hungry buyers, Mercury offered a 427-ci V8 with 390 hp and a substantial 460 ft-lb of torque, though the motor's weight overwhelmed the car and it was replaced late in the model year by the new 428 Cobra Jet. It was rated at 335 hp, though most people peg the mark closer to 400 horses.

Special models for the 1968 year included the GT-E, which came standard with the big-block engine and Merc-O-Matic, plus stiffer suspension, adjustable shocks, wider tires, quad exhausts, special front and rear grille designs, and unique steel wheels. Meanwhile, the XR-7G furthered the Dan Gurney theme. It offered a hood scoop and hood pins, fog lamps, GT exhaust extensions, and could be optioned with just about any component or engine a customer wanted.

For 1969, Mercury restyled its pony car. Wheelbase remained the same, though the car's other dimensions grew in nearly all directions. Gone was the two-piece grille and its vertical members, and the taillights were revised. Gone also was the rocker character line, replaced by a crease that arced down from the front fender.

Mercury dropped the GT-E and XR-7G, though it added a convertible, as well as an Eliminator hardtop. The Eliminator was comprised of two different equipment groups and included several interior and exterior appointments, such as high-back bucket seats, a unique instrument cluster, a rear spoiler, and styled steel wheels.

A two-barrel 351-ci V8 appeared, putting out 250 hp. It came standard on the Eliminator, but with a four-barrel and 290 hp. Optional on the Eliminator was the 428 CJ.

In its first three years of production, the Cougar sold nearly 365,000 units, though 1967 was its best year, with sales declining every year after. In both pony car and luxury car terms, it did exactly what Mercury hoped it would—bridge the gap between the Mustang and Thunderbird, while offering the best of both cars.

The Cougar name would evolve over time into bigger, slower, less sport-oriented cars, but there's no denying the capabilities and qualities that made the first-generation Cougar so attractive to buyers then and collectors now.

by Max Howard / 2009-05-18 Share

Sunday, September 13, 2009

1970 Mercury Cougar Burnout!!!


Sunday, July 19, 2009

1968 Mercury Cougar XR-7 GT-E , original unrestored 428CJ


1967 Mercury Cougar T/A

The Trans-Am series has inspiredsome fierce rivalries, and one of thefiercest ever raged between the Fordand Lincoln-Mercury divisions in 1967.Led by Sports Car Graphic editor (and,later, AutoWeek correspondent) Jerry Titus,Carroll Shelby’s Mustangs had won thefirst-ever Trans-Am manufacturers’ trophyfor Ford in 1966.

But Dearborn was anxiousto promote the brand-new Mercury Cougarin 1967. So while Ford division retainedShelby’s services for another Mustang effort,Lincoln-Mercury hired NASCAR team ownerBud Moore to prepare a trio of Cougars.Trans-Am cars were different then, farmore like the cars on the showroom floorthan are today’s.

The rules required stockdashboard padding, stock inner door panelsand working window winders with glass inthe doors. The stock unibody was drilled andlightened in places, but relied mostly on theroll cage for stiffening.Dual four-barrel carbs were (theoretically)a parts-counter option for the Cougar’s 289-cid V8.

A hotter cam, headers and as muchporting and polishing as the rules allowedpumped output up to 390 hp. The racingCougar suspension was more stock than not,although the rear leaf springs were supple-mented by a pair of tubulartraction links. Stock brakeswere required, although liningscould be altered, and Mooredrilled holes in the rear drumsfor cooling. For seats (the rulesdemanded two), he chose thesame racing buckets installedin the Shelby GT-350R.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Westside Daze 2009 Classic and Antique Car

Canada Day International Classic and Antique Car Show 'n Shine

Wednesday, July 1, 2009
10:00 to 3:00
Johnson Bentley Memorial Park
FREE Registration at 8:30 AM
(See Map)
Pre-registration NOT required but would be nice!
Car Show Categories

By Donald Robichaud


Friday, June 19, 2009

3 Valley Gap Car Cruise 2009 Video


Monday, June 15, 2009

Three Mercury Cougars at Three Valley Gap

On June 12th 2009 the Okanagan Mustangs and Fords car club had a cruise up to 3 Valley Gap in Revelstoke BC. After a great day of cruising we arrive at 3 Valley Gap Chateau for an evening of entertainment.
Upon arrival I ran into Robert Nowland and his Rocky Mountain Life Insurance 1969 Mercury Cougar. This was obviously destiny as I had just read about the Rocky Mountain Purple Cougars in April of 2009.
Linda Beauregard/Jackson was on the trip with her 1971 Cougar so we took the opportunity to take pictures of this rare occasion.

Don Robichaud
Rocky Mountain Life Insurance 1969 Mercury Cougar
In 1969 the Rocky Mountain Life Insurance of Alberta, special ordered cars for their top salesmen. In all 98 cars were ordered with special WT9083 (purple) paint. White vinyl roof, power steering tilt and tilt away wheel, 351 W 4 barrel and other special options. In 1970 when the company was dissolved, these purple and white 1969 Cougar XR7’s were shipped from Universal in Calgary for dealers to sell.

Rocky Mountain Life Insurance Special Options
Vehicle ordered with the following options. White vinyl roof, immersion heater, FMX Cruise-O-Matic Transmission, E78X14 Tires, White sidewall tires, Power front Disc Brakes, Power steering, Tilt & tilt away steering wheel, AM/8-Track Stereo Radio, Tinted glass complete, Deluxe Belts/Warning Light, Heavy Duty Battery, Door Edge Guards, Wire Wheel Covers & Front Bumper Guards.

Serial numbers start with 9F93M followed by the 5 number sequential serial numbers, Engine is 351-4V Winsor. Interior is Code FA - White leather Bucket Seats W/ Black Appointments. DSO is a 6 character code starting with A6 and the Special order number.


Monday, June 1, 2009

A&W Show and Shine the West Kelowna Cruisin the DUB

Ron Chelsberg is proud to hold a by-weekly car Show and Shine the West Kelowna Cruisin the DUB. The objective is to attract West Kelowna car enthusiast through July and August.

This will happen at the A&W West Westside parking lot. The car show is held in conjunction and supported by the Okanagan Mustangs and Fords.

Dates will be July 9th 2009, July 23rd 2009, August 6th and August 27th 2009. For more information

Contact Bush Halpenny at (250) 718-7727 More details to Follow Share

Sunday, April 19, 2009

1969 Mercury Cougar XR7 Convertible "R" code 428-4V CJ Ram Air engine

Rare "R" code 428-4V CJ Ram Air engine, Factory A/C, am/fm radio, tilt steering wheel, leather seats, 78,330 three owner miles.


Restored 1969 Mercury Cougar one cool cat

When Tony Miglecz takes his tasty '69 Mercury Cougar to show-and-shines and cruise nights, he says "a lot of people just walk right on by. They think it's a Mustang."
On its introduction, the Mustang caused a sensation - and created a new segment for high-styled, small-sized personal cars. It didn't take long for other brands to jump on the ponycar bandwagon and one of those brands was Ford's companion brand, Mercury.
The tall foreheads at Ford Motor Company thought they discerned a gap in the product lineup between the Mustang and the Thunderbird. What was needed, they thought, was a car between the two in size and price that offered more luxury than the Mustang. They decided to have Mercury dealers sell the new offering, and called it the Mercury Cougar.
Introduced for the 1967 model year, the Cougar sold 150,893 copies in that first year. The 1968 style was very similar to that of the first-year car, but the '69 version was quite different. Sales that year were down, to just over 100,000, perhaps because Ford had pulled back on the Cougar's very successful racing effort.
In 1990, Tony Miglecz was driving through Inglewood on his way to look at a big-engined Ford Torino. As he passed a used car lot, he spotted a black '69 Cougar and ended up buying it. The two-door hardtop had just over 65,000 miles on it, but it was about to get some hard use.
"I drove it to the rig for five years," Miglecz says. "It's been out Forestry Trunk Road. It's been out to Grande Prairie and all areas north of Grande Prairie." While he was driving the car "all over Alberta," Miglecz says, he was rounding up good parts for its eventual restoration.
"Every year, I'd bring the car in and spend $1,000 on it," he says. Underneath, the car was improved with a negative wedge camber corrector, bigger front and rear sway bars and '71 Torino brakes. "It was a 351 Windsor two-barrel single exhaust car, so right away I got the dual exhaust on it and put on an Offenhauser dual-plane manifold with a four-barrel carb."
Ford products came with one of two 351 cubic inch engines in '69 - either the 351 Windsor or the 351 Cleveland, named after the engine plants where the power plants originated. The Cleveland, Miglecz says, was the engine of choice. "They make really good power. They sound completely different and it's a nice motor, too, to look at."
The Cougar's original Windsor engine did provide one benefit, he admits. "The undercarriage was in good shape. That's part of the 351 Windsor thing because the rear seal used to leak like crazy. On the way up to Grand Prairie I used to stop at Drayton Valley for a tank of gas and a litre of oil. That's what saved the floor - that 351 Windsor slobbering all over it."

Once he decided to get to work on the Cougar, Miglecz started using all those parts he had collected. "I always wanted a Cleveland (with a) four-speed," he says, and that is what now powers the car. One door that he had collected along the way proved to be something of a mystery as it was painted an odd purple colour that was never offered on production cars. What Miglecz discovered was that the door had come from one of 150 cars all painted the same shade and used by an insurance company.
The car, originally black, is now gold, he confides, because there used to be another black '69 Cougar in town that sometimes was driven in an overly-spirited manner. "I got into some trouble a few times because of that," Miglecz explains, "so I figured I'd change colours.

"When you get off work from the rigs, sometimes you're used to graveyards," Miglecz says. "I'd get up at two in the morning and go out to the garage. I always figured it was a successful week if I got one part done."
Something he found a bit liberating was that, unlike more popular cars with large fan bases, some of whom are purists that disparage any change from a car's original configuration, Cougars are just about unknown. This freed him to make some non-stock changes like the side scoops on the car, which came from a Mercury Marauder.
"When I put that side scoop on, 98 per cent of the population doesn't know that it doesn't belong on the car," he says. "I figured I could do anything to it. It's exactly the way I like it. I build them how I like them and if other people like them too, I'm glad to hear that."

1969 Mercury Cougar - Cat Balue

The blue '69 Mercury Cougar shown here belongs to Jason Bushman-a 19-year-old, dyed-in-the-wool Blue Oval fan from Edmonds, Washington. The good-looking cat has been lovingly restored by Jason and his father, with a little help from the folks at the Northwest Pony Shop. Jason tells us he was born into a Ford family and that he drives this car every day to school and to work. He and his dad certainly had their work cut out for them, as the '69 Cougar didn't always look this good.

The Bushmans discovered this car sitting forlornly at a construction site, the victim of a recent theft and recovery. All the glass had been smashed out and the upholstery was ripped to shreds, but they were not discouraged. For one thing, the Cougar still has its original 351 Windsor engine. Five hundred dollars did the trick for the pink slip, and then the massive amount of refurbishment work began.

The first thing to do was to strip the whole body down to bare metal. Once this was accomplished, Jason and his dad did most of the bodywork at home in the family driveway. The Northwest Pony Shop completed the details on the bodywork and the Cougar was painted '70 Mustang Grabber Blue in place of the original light-powder-blue color. Straight, crisp lines now show on the car's body, along with a perfect grille with the famous hide-away headlights. A fresh set of 14x7 Magnum 500 wheels shod with Pirelli rubber completes the outside look

The Cougar was originally equipped with the deluxe interior package, so new deluxe upholstery and carpeting bring things up to spec. The interior's original instrument cluster is in good condition and the OE Rim-Blow steering wheel is still present. The car was also equipped with the rare rear-window defogger option, while the sound department has been upgraded with an Alpine amplifier, a Sony CD player, and Pioneer speakers and sub.

When Jason and his family discovered the car, it had only 83,000 original miles. As the 351W engine ran just fine, they decided to leave well enough alone-for now. They carefully cleaned and detailed everything in the engine compartment. The engine looks good, sporting a set of Cobra rocker covers and a stock air-cleaner assembly. The only performance upgrades so far include an Edelbrock Performer 351 intake manifold and a 650-cfm, four-barrel carb.

The mild-mannered Windsor mill is connected to the original FMX three-speed automatic transmission, and power then goes back to a nine-inch axle with 3.00:1 gears. An Optima battery adds peace of mind. The whole package now runs low 15s.

All this hard work resulted in a First-Place finish at the Mustang Roundup teen class. The blue cat was also recently displayed at the Seattle Roadster show. We think it's safe to say that Jason does indeed come from a Ford family, as other notable Blue Oval cars in the Bushman stable have included a '69 Cougar Eliminator and a '67 Mustang 2+2. We think Jason sure is a lucky guy to have this great car, as well as such super support from his family.
This Blue Cougar Makes Us Green With Envy
By Wayne Cook
Photography by Jeff Ford

Friday, March 13, 2009

1969 Mercury Cougar "Black Cat"


Saturday, January 17, 2009

Two Cougars TV Commercial - Hagerty Car Insurancee