Saturday, December 11, 2010

1969 Mercury Cougar Specifications

The 1969 Mercury Cougar saw many minor changes in the 1969 model year which added to the weight, handling, and power of this premier Mercury sports styled luxury muscle car. The wheelbase remained the same but the width, weight, and length of the sheetmetal was increased substantially. As such, the Cougar lost some of pounce. However, Mercury introduced the Eliminator and convertible models.

Models: Hardtop / convertible

GT: Firmer suspension and better brakes, Wide Oval tires, low restriction exhaust, bigger sway bars, necessary identification badging, and a big block 390cid motor.

XR-7: Wood-rimmed steering wheel, necessary exterior badging, black face competition type instrumentation in a simulated walnut dash, toggle switches, overhead console, leather T handle automatic transmission shifter, and leather seats.

Eliminator: Trans Am racing inspired styling, upgraded V8 options including the 428 cid. Goodyear Polyglass tires on styled rims, rear deck spoiler, special side stripes. Optional ram air and Drag Pak (4.30 Detriot Locker and oil cooler), optional high impact colours.

Production Numbers:

2D Hardtop: 66,331

Convertible: 5,796

XR-7 2D Hardtop: 23,918

XR-7 2D Convertible: 4,024

Powertrain options:

Cid HP Torque Model

302 290 4V
351 250 2V
351 290 4V
390 320 GT standard
428 335 440


1/4 mile, sec @ mph: 14.1 @ 103 (Eliminator 428) Share

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Boeing engineer has Mercury Cougar 43 years and 718,000 miles -- and it still runs!

ELLENSBURG -- Americans love their cars. We love them so much, we dump them on average after just 5-years so we can fall in love all over again with a new one.
There's something wrong with that thinking, according to the man you're about to meet. In fact, if what you're driving is a good car, why get rid of it… ever!
At a time when all of us are pinching pennies, Lee Bates is an engineer with lesson in economics.

Multimedia Watch The Video "It took 2700 hours and four and a half years." Lee Bates is talking about the airplane he built by hand.

For a lot of us, acting on our true passion comes later in life… when time is something we have to spare.
Lee Bates found his.

"What this is is a big airplane model. I just love airplanes."

Lee spent 45 years building airplanes for other people. He was on the original engineering team that rolled out the first Boeing 747 back in 1968.
It was shortly before than that he saw an ad on TV for a Mercury Cougar.

Lee did his research…

"It was rated #1 by Motor Trend magazine in 1967."

…and so he bought one.

Lee; :41 "I wanted to get a car I could keep for the rest of my life."

People say that all the time… they rarely mean it. But car buyers like Lee are very rare.

A lot has changed since Lee bought the car. But this fact has not… Lee's 1967 Mercury Cougar is still his car.

"I drive it everyday for 43 years and it's got 718,000 miles on it."

That's right, Lee Bates' plane can fly him to the west side and back, but his car has taken him a distance equal to a trip from the Earth to the moon and back… then to the moon again.

Not only did Lee Bates have the foresight to try and find a car that he was going to keep for awhile, but he also picked up a few lifetime warranties in the process. For example, over the last 43 years and 718,000 miles Lee has never paid for a battery. He's never paid for a muffler. In fact he's never even paid for a brake pad. And as you can imagine, all of the businesses that have been paying for Lee's parts, don't exactly consider him their best customer.

After 9 free mufflers at one shop, Lee was kindly asked not to come back. For most however, a guarantee is a guarantee and they're happy to honor it. Lee recently got another free power steering control system from this Yakima NAPA auto parts store.

Jesse Montes De Oca works for the local NAPA store.

; "They keep their receipts and they want to make sure that they get it. If it goes bad, they'll get it."

As you've probably guessed already, Lee has every receipt he ever got for a part.

"I'm proud of the fact that I'm a cheapskate. But my wife calls me frugal. Actually I think I'm a cheapskate."

And he wears the title like a crown.
Most people in town know Lee's car. It is a bit of a celebrity here... even if its driver is not.

"These college girls were smiling and I thought well, maybe the old boy still has it. And they come up and say, nice car. So it kinda deflated me."

The car is well cared for, impeccably maintained, and driven everyday. For Lee Bates, this has never been about running up the miles, breaking records or showing off. It's about proving to anyone who will listen, that in the best or worst of economic times, that old car of yours just might have a few hundred thousand extra miles left in it.

"When I die it'll probably be donated to a museum."

Lee Bates says Ford has told him he has set the world record for mileage on a Mercury Cougar… by a couple hundred thousand miles in fact. We crunched a few numbers to put Lee's time with that Cougar in perspective.

Given what he paid for the car, 43 years ago, owning it has cost him about $4 a month. He puts about 16-thousand miles on the car each year. At that rate, lee will have put one million miles on the car if he's still driving it in 17 years. Share

Sunday, October 31, 2010

West Coast Classic Cougar featured on Gearz with Stacey David


Sunday, October 17, 2010

1968 Cougar XR-7 427 GTE

What is it about a car-line model designation that quickens the pulse?

The Cougar GTE is a special, limited-production cat Mercury brought to us one year and one year only--1968.

The GTE was a super-sporty, ultra-elegant Cougar that prowled in its own neck of the jungle. It wasn't just a fast factory musclecar, it was an elegant fast factory musclecar with rich woodgrain appointments, leather, lots of accessories, and a stealthy demeanor it still has today.

Early in the '68 model year, ordering a Cougar GTE meant getting the awesome power of a 427ci big-block with a hydraulic camshaft. After April 1, 1968, ordering a GTE meant the newly introduced "poop" of a more powerful 428ci Cobra Jet with greater torque and horsepower ratings.


Saturday, October 16, 2010

1970 Mercury El Gato Concept Car

Sporting a bold lime green paint job, El Gato (Spanish for "The Cat") was produced as a styling exercise for a futuristic-looking Cougar.

Note the shaved door handles, chopped roof, and ultra cool three-spoke 16" wheels, with new-at-the-time Goodyear Polyglass radials. To say this Cat was before its time would be a serious understatement.

While the front end merged styling from both the Cougar and the GTO, it still projected an evil stance. Note how the limited flat black striping ends inside the molded-on hood scoop.

Also, the front and rear pans were rolled---a very advanced looking feature in an era of chrome bumpers. This was the first ever fastback Cougar.

At the rear, LTD-style taillamps were broken at the left by the racing-style gas filler cap. The square center-exit exhaust tips lended a very unique air to the car. It is not known if El Gato still exists but it's presumed to have been destroyed (standard Ford practice for show vehicles at the time).


Sunday, September 26, 2010

McCurdy Corner Cougars

On September 22, 2010 three Mercury Cougars assembled for a beautiful evening at McCurdy Corner in Kelowna BC.

In attendance where Donald Robichaud of Floodlight with his Green 1969 Mercury Cougar, Ted Farr with his 1970 Mercury Cougar and Tony Kenyon of Jerry’s Mufflers with his 1969 Orange Mercury Cougar.

A good time was had by all and many compliments where paid to these fine examples of the Mercury division.

Enjoy the slide show,

By Donald Robichaud

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Don Rush - West Coast Classic Cougar - How he got Started

Find out a little bit of the history behind our friends over at West Coast Classic Cougar.


Stacey David's Gearz - Mercury Cougar V8 Interceptor

This Season Stacey David's Gearz is rebuilding a 1967 Mercury Cougar called the Intercetor.

Click here to see all the details,


V8 Interceptor

Stacey picked up this 1967 Mercury Cougar as raw material for an extreme build! Stay tuned to GearZ to see what he has planned for it---stock? What do you think?! This is Stacey we are talking about...

Get more insight into Stacey's idea for this car at his blog

The idea for the V8 Interceptor has been bangin’ around in my head for a number of years, just waiting for a chance to get out. I have always loved the early Mercury Cougars and figured I wasn’t the only one, so I knew that people would want to see a high performance street machine project that wasn’t just the typical early Mustang or Camaro. I also wanted the feel and direction of the buildup to be based around the natural mystique of the Cougar. These cars with their hidden headlights and sequential taillights were always very sinister and menacing looking on the street, very much like a smaller coupe version of the legendary 68-70 Dodge Charger. When you add to that the fact that a four-footed Cougar is one of nature’s most perfect natual “interceptors”, you’ve got the basis for a great project. I mean, in the wild a Cougar will chase down a Mustang or Firebird, or Impala and eat it!....... is that a great visual for a hot street predator or what!?!

But it didn’t just stop there. Calling a project “the V8 Interceptor” takes a lot of balls, because you’ve got to be able to back that name up, just as the legendary Mad Max car did years ago. So I definitely wanted to add in a little flavor of the original Mad Max car, but also step beyond that and build a car that nobody has really considered or visualized yet. This is, of course, is one of the main purposes and goals of GEARZ. To encourage people to think beyond the boundaries, and limits that they already know and see, and get really creative when they are building their projects. Just because you have a Chevelle or Roadrunner doesn’t mean you have to build an SS or 440 six pack clone. There are SO many other things that you can do to these cars to make them different and up-to-date without destroying the original magic of the car. And if you take your time and do it right, you’ll probably end up with a car that is more valuable and definitely more cool then just another clone, and the idea behind the V8 Interceptor is to prove that point.

The center piece of this project is the incredible Boss Nine engine I am using from Jon Kaase Racing. From the outside this thing looks just like the legendary Boss 429 but this is 520 cubic inches of Ford Hemi that is twisting the dyno at just under 800hp and an astounding 700ft/lbs of torque! Mash the throttle on this thing, and all that torque could affect the Earth’s rotation! Topping it off will be a custom Hilborne 8-stack injection that is going to stick up thru the hood with ram tubes going all different directions. Intimidating???...... you bet!

Backing that up is the new Magnum 6spd tranny from Tremec that is designed to handle that kind of power, and an entire clutch and driveshaft system from American Powertrain.

The only way an engine this size will fit in an early Ford is if you remove the shock towers, and using a kit from Total Cost Involved we did just that. We removed the shock towers and installed TCI’s state of the art independent front suspension that includes a complete subframe assembly to stiffen the unibody. A TCI rear torque arm suspension will do it’s best to plant all that power to the ground and pulling everything to a stop are are Wilwood 13” rotors and 6 piston calipers in front, and 4 piston calipers in rear. The rearend is the massive Fab 9 nine inch Ford from Currie Enterprises and it’s packing a tru-trac posi and forged 31 spline axles.

To bring the original interior and body back to life, we hooked up with the Cougar specialists at West Coast Classic Cougar for things like upholstery, weatherstripping, sheetmetal, etc, and for any Mustang parts we may incorporate into the project we have been using Mustangs unlimited, Year One, and other suppliers.

Of course this is just the tip of the iceburg on this project, but hopefully you get the idea. So what am I going to do with the car when it’s done? Well……… the plans are definitely to run road courses and other racing events like the Maxton Monster Mile…….Blast it down the drag strip from time to time…….Drive it across country on events like Power tour and hit some shows like SEMA so people can get a good look at it……and at some point, take it up over 200 MPH just to show that it can be done. But,…. let’s not forget the most important job of a car like this……to run down and eat anything that tries to get ahead of it…….because…..well…….that’s what Interceptors do! HA….ha……ha…..

Hope this helps Share

Sunday, February 28, 2010

1969 Mercury Cougar XR7 Convertible / 428 Cobra Jet / Ram Air - Barrett Jackson


Saturday, February 20, 2010

1970 Mercury Cougar Eliminator - Naughty Kitty

October, 2004  By Eric English

Photography by Eric EnglishWhile the Cougar was marketed to an upscale audience, an alter ego could be found in the low-production Eliminator model. Eliminators were primarily a cosmetic package often paired with mainstream 351 powertrains. Check the right boxes, however, and you could have a hardcore performance engine to go along with the Eliminator's brilliant colors, spoilers, hoodscoop, and special trim-the brainchild of the legendary Larry Shinoda.

Take John Benoit's '70 featured here, which was ordered with the ace of all Ford small-blocks-the Boss 302. the Competition Blue beauty is paired with a four-speed Top loader and backed by a bulletproof 9-inch rearend assembly, carrying 3.50 gears and a Traction-Lok differential. Add staggered shocks, a N-case carrier, and 31-spline axles, and you have one bad cat just the way it was assembled some 34 years ago.

One would have to call Benoit more than just your average Cougar buff, as the desirable Mercurys are the main interest at his Cascade Classics restoration business in Edgewood, Washington. Benoit has owned a variety of the models, including Eliminators, GTEs, XR7Gs, and more. he's also been responsible for any number of top-flight restorations.

Benoit came by this particular '70 in 1999. he had seen the car in a national competition earlier in the decade. The Eliminator looked terrific as it rolled off the transporter at Benoit's shop, but a more thorough evaluation quickly evolved into disassembly and a freshening to the highest standards. The average hobbyist would have found little fault with the car, but when Cougars are your calling card in life, you want to put your best foot forward. To that end, Brandon Huhtala at Automotive Images applied a new two-stage topcoat. the reassembly involved boxes of N.O.S. trim and chrome. As you can see, the results are nothing short of staggering; a fact borne out by the car achieving 498 out of 500 points at the 2000 Cougar Club of America Nationals.

It's worth noting while the musclecar heavyweight 428CJ was available in all Cougar models, the Boss 302 could only be had with the Eliminator package. In fact, according to Kevin Marti (, just 469 Boss Eliminators were assembled during the '70 model year-a mere fraction of the 7,000-plus Boss 302 Mustangs built during the same period. Hardware was pretty much the same for the FoMoCo cousins; the only available transmissions were close-ratio or wide-ratio Top loader four-speeds. An exception to their similarities: the Boss 302 Mustang was available with a Ram-Air, but the Boss 302 Cougar Eliminator was not.

Turning to the interior of Benoit's Eliminator, we see the optional Decor Group trim and eight-track tape player, along with the 8,000-rpm tach dash that came in all Boss Cougars. A factory T-handled Hurst stick actually works Ford linkage, stirring the close-ratio cogs that proved the most popular choice on '70 Boss 302s (Mustang or Cougar). Styled steel wheels were original equipment as well, and mount some of the most popular OE skins of the era-raised white letter Goodyear Polyglas GTs in an F70-14 size.

the Boss 302/Eliminator combination might appear to make strange bedfellows, as the high-rev small-block was primarily a homologation exercise for Ford's Trans-Am race teams, in which the '69-'70 Cougars were not involved.

Three decades later, little has changed, and that's just the way John Benoit and other Boss Cougar fans like it.

(courtesy of Marti Autoworks)
1969 1970
Boss 302 Mustang 1,628 7,014
Boss 302 Eliminator 169 469 Share