Nine Months Gone: 1967 Mercury Cougar – Sold?

Nov 2021 | Classifinds, Free For All Friday

December 17, 2021 Update – While this “Classifind” expired recently, given the seller’s past history we suspect may not actually be sold yet.  For now, we’re labeling this ride “Sold?” However, we will keep an eye out for an updated listing. In the interim, please reach out either by email or call Rudy directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.

November 4, 2021 Update – Guys With Rides and the Internet never forget a great ride.  Exactly nine months after we assumed this 1967 Mercury Cougar had been sold, we came across a completely updated listing for the same car. It looks like after no sale at $15K, the private seller elected to enjoy the car for another summer season before offering it again. This time around, the seller lowered their asking price from $15,000 to $12,250.

March 4, 2021 Update – We just confirmed the listing for this Mercury Cougar “Classifind” expired, so with no replacement found we’re assuming this ride “Sold?” unless we come across a new listing.

The original Mercury Cougar first launched in 1967 has several fun facts not many enthusiasts know about.  First, after having it named MotorTrend Magazine’s Car of the Year for 1967, sales of the electric-razor grille-styled Cougar accounted for nearly forty percent of Lincoln-Mercury’s sales that first year. Second, despite sharing the basic unibody with the Mustang, first-generation Cougars ride on a nearly seven-inch longer chassis.  Third, Jaguar sued Ford and won when it felt the Cougar’s badges looked eerily similar to Jaguar’s emblem, forcing Mercury to add the “Cougar” lettering below the animal.

While the XR-7 and GT models are more desirable, we found it refreshing to come across this ’67 entry-level, burgundy poly over black vinyl example originally listed in February 2021 on Craigslist in East Berlin, Pennsylvania (Harrisburg) with a very presentable interior and a freshly rebuilt engine for the revised asking price of $12,250 (the original ask was $15,000). Comparing that price against the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool confirms the private seller has their Cougar priced between this guide’s #3 “Good” estimate of $12,200 and its #2 “Excellent” appraisal of $19,100.  As a second data point, the  Collector Car Market Review Online Tool confirms the ask falls between this guide’s #2 “Very Good” estimate of $12,900 and its #1 “Excellent” appraisal of $20,900 after deducting ten percent for the entry-level three-speed. We note the estimates from both guides have increased nearly ten percent since we first featured this Cougar.

Hagerty Insurance provides a nice summary of the first-gen Cougars in their Valuation Tool:

“The Cougar was the most successful model launch in the history of Mercury, with 150,893 built in 1967, of which 27,221 were XR-7s. Surprisingly, a convertible would not be offered until 1969. It was named Car of The Year by Motor Trend magazine, beating out the Chevrolet Camaro, Ford Thunderbird, and Cadillac Eldorado.

Base price was $2,851 – only $350 more than the Ford Mustang on which it was based, while the luxury XR-7 model started at $3,081 and accounted for 20% of sales. Mercury management was delighted to discover most cars traded in were equivalent models from the competition. In SCCA Trans-Am racing, Cougar lost the season title to Mustang by only two points.

The Cougar’s genesis was part of the Mustang’s development and the original 1962 clay model by designers David Ash and Joseph Oros was actually called the Cougar, with a cat emblem in the center of the grille. A number of fairly ghastly prototype Cougars followed the Mustang model, but two 1965 concepts were combined for the final version from John Aiken’s Advanced Studio. The body was set over the Mustang sub-frame, but the wheelbase was three inches longer and a drag-strut was added to the front suspension for improved directional control. Rather than being slab-sided like the Mustang, the Cougar was barrel-sided with a strong lower character line.

Meanwhile, vertical grilles concealed pop-up headlights, while the motif was repeated at the rear, with sequential taillights from the 1965-66 Thunderbirds. The luxury XR-7 had simulated burled walnut and a full set of gauges, with toggle switches in the center of the dash.

The Cougar was aimed upmarket against Buick, Oldsmobile, and Pontiac coupes. Engine options started with two 289 cid V-8s, with 200 bhp and 225 bhp. The top engine was a 320 bhp, 390 cid Marauder V8. A 3-speed manual gearbox was standard with a 4-speed optional and a “select-shift” automatic transmission, in which drivers could hold both first and second gears. A dual brake system was offered, with power brakes and disc option, power steering, cruise control, sports console AM/8-track or cassette stereo, and a swing-away steering wheel. The interior trim was luxurious with a leather option and air conditioning.

Option prices included the GT performance package ($325.85), which included the 390 V-8, heavy-duty suspension, dual exhaust, and disc brakes; air conditioning ($355.95), AM/FM stereo cassette ($188.50), styled steel wheels ($115.15), tilt swing-away steering wheel ($60.05), power steering ($95), power disc brakes ($84.25), Oxford vinyl roof ($84.25) and cruise control ($71.30).

Mercury analyzed the popularity of options and reported that 80.9% of Cougars had automatic transmissions, 13.8% had 3-speeds, 5.3% had 4-speeds, 76.8% had power steering, 22.2% had power brakes, 13.9% had disc brakes, and 33.9% had air conditioning. Motor Trend testers reported the 320 bhp, 390 cubic-inch-powered Cougar could do 0-60 mph in 8.1 seconds, with a 16-second quarter-mile at 89 mph.

Cougar buyers could choose from 16 colors with various two-tone options and either white or black vinyl tops. Exterior colors were: Onyx, Glacier Blue, Turquoise, Sage Gold, Fawn, Burgundy, Polar White, Caspian Blue, Trafalgar Blue, Lime Frost, Cinnamon Frost, Tiffany Blue, Nordic Blue, Jamaican Yellow, Inverness Green, and Cardinal Red. Other lists include Sheffield Silver and Cumberland Beige but omit Tiffany Blue and Nordic Blue.

Interiors were available in vinyl, comfort weave vinyl, and leather with vinyl for the XR-7. Bucket and bench front seats were also available. Vinyl colors included Black, Red, Blue Aqua, Parchment, Ivy, Gold, and Saddle. Comfort-weave vinyl colors were Black, Blue, and Parchment. Vinyl bench seats could also be Black Blue or Parchment. XR-7 leather vinyl colors were Black, Dark red, Dark Blue, Parchment, Dark Ivy Gold, Aqua, and Saddle.”

The Osborn Tramain YouTube Channel features this classic Cougar commercial from its launch year with a tag line that would never fly today:

The private seller of this Cougar mentions their car has always been garaged and currently it appears it’s stored at the owner’s plane hangar.  We’ve always preferred the unique looks of the ’67 Cougar over the Mustang and this survivor quality example confirms that not every example sold was an XR-7.  With only 3K on the rebuilt engine, this appears to be a great driver-quality example you can enjoy as is or take it to the next level.

Here’s the seller’s description:

“Very original 67′ classic car. $15,000.00. 289 cu in Ford engine is newly overhauled to zero time. The only change to the engine from stock is I had the 2 barrel changed to a Holly 4 barrel during the overhaul. The interior is in very good condition. It is NOT an XR-7. It has a 3-speed transmission on the floor. The body and uni-body are both in great shape with original paint and minimal surface rust. However, at this point in the car’s life, it is vital for the new owner to consider painting as a means to preserve. This car has always been in a garage. The odometer reads 87K miles but only 3K on the new engine. Aftermarket Air Conditioning. She is a beauty but I need to part with her. DO NOT TEXT ME … CALL ME or CraigsList email.

Show or go: what would you do with this Cougar Survivor?  Comment below and let us know!

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