Badge Engineered Pinto: 1976 Mercury Bobcat Three Door – SOLD!

Oct 2020 | Craigslist ClassiFINDS, Malaise Monday

For 70 years through 2010, buyers interested in an upscale Ford could typically look at the company’s Mercury brand for a slightly more stylish, luxurious, and often rarer alternative to its Ford cousin.  In the 1970s, Ford extended this methodology down to its entry-level Pinto by offering a Mercury Bobcat version such as the silver over blue 1976 three-door example originally listed in October 2020 on Craigslist in Burlington, New Jersey.  Equipped with the more desirable V6 and non-working factory air conditioning, the current caretaker has their Bobcat listed for $3,250.   While Haggerty Insurance does not provide values currently for these cars, the Collector Car Market Review Online Tool confirms this private seller has his Bobcat priced between the #4 “Fair” appraisal of $1,984 and the #3 “Good” estimate of $3,680 after adding a 15% premium for the V6 and A/C options.

While Ford introduced its entry-level Pinto in 1970, U.S. Lincoln-Mercury had to wait until 1975 for its rebadged Bobcat variant.  The interior trim was virtually identical to the Pinto variants and Bobcat exteriors featured a unique egg-crate grille and chrome headlamp bezels while the rear end design used a modified double width taillamp design for the Runabout models.

For its 1975 U.S. market launch, the Bobcat line only featured upgraded levels of trim. Unlike the Pinto, Mercury dealers never offered the two-door sedan version of the Bobcat with its enclosed trunk.  All Bobcats featured a domed hood and a taller vertical bar grille styled to look like senior Mercury models.

You can thank us later when you can’t get the “Love That Bobcat” song out of your head after watching this video:

If you’re looking for a winter malaise-era project and want a more upscale Pinto model, this may be the car for you.  While the car does have spots of rust on the exterior sheet metal, they appear to be repairable that does not affect the structural integrity.  We’ve noticed Pinto values are on the rise over the past year, so the investment in paint and bodywork has a decent chance of you breaking even for your efforts.  Good luck with the purchase!

Here’s the seller’s description:

“This car is an absolute classic! It’s a rare find to see a V6 Bobcat with such low miles. The car starts right up and drives great, and would make an excellent project car. It looks like a Ford Pinto, but this is it’s lesser-known cousin the Bobcat. Call or Text Bill 6096688698

The good:
Runs and drives great
Low miles
Interior looks great (except the driver’s seat)
Power steering
V6 motor
Body is in fair condition
Mag wheels
timing gears with less than 10000 miles on them replaced water pump at same time
New thermostat
New carpet
New spark plugs
New starter
Carburetor has been rebuilt
No need to go through inspection! But it did pass in 2016

The bad:
Small miss in the motor, probably needs a new EGR to get rid of that
Dent in the driver’s side front fender (see pictures)
Paint is old
Driver’s seat is worn (but other seats are perfect)
AC but not working
Rust at rear quarter panels
High idle needs to be tuned

Do you have a Mercury Bobcat story you’d like to share?  Comment below and let us know!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *