Wednesday, March 1, 2017

1966 Mercury Cougar

The first Mercury Cougar. Still image from video below.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Lincoln-Mercury introducing the Cougar personal compact, and June’s edition of the Carlisle Ford Nationals will boast a landmark car on its Pennsylvania premises: The very first Cougar ever built. It’s got a great history, so read on.
Coincidentally in 1966, Ford was establishing a deep-water shipping port for its Canadian dealers on the Bay of Fundy in Moncton, New Brunswick, and a contingent of Ford brass were there with the retailers for the port’s dedication. At the time, Dryden Motors in Moncton was the oldest Ford-Lincoln-Mercury dealership in Canada, and sent its principal to the event. He buttonholed then-Ford boss Lee Iacocca and said he was way down the list of dealers guaranteed to get a new Cougar. Iacocca agreed to help.

Thing was, Ford Special Vehicle Operations sent Dryden Cougar One, the very first example, which Dryden learned it couldn’t sell because the Mercury lacked the requisite Manufacturer’s Statement of Origin. Nevertheless, Dryden still put it out on a 35-month lease, and when it was returned, Cougar One remained on the property until 1979. After the principal died, Dryden lost its deal with Lincoln-Mercury, the dealership filed for bankruptcy protection and the Cougar was auctioned off. A local hardware retailer, Dale Garland, ended up with the Cougar and tried to sell it in 1982. Amazingly, there were no takers.

The story gets better. Cougar Club of America member Marc Ogren was at a swap meet and found the original issue of Cars & Parts where the Cougar was unsuccessfully advertised. He then began a single-handed hunt to track down the missing Mercury, first by tracking down Garland, who still owned the car and still lived near Moncton.

Coincidentally, fellow Cougar Club member Jim Pinkerton was on business near Moncton and agreed to inspect the car to verify its first-built status. Five pages of notes ensued, which were diligently sent to Ogren, who then purchased the Mercury from Garland. Nine month later, Ogren came to the realization that he had neither the money nor the inclination to perform a museum-quality restoration on the car, and offered to sell it to Pinkerton for the amount already invested and the understanding it would be properly restored.

With 24 months to go until the Cougar’s 30th anniversary, Pinkerton pitched an offer to Bob Lutz, then with Lincoln-Mercury: If the automaker agreed to fund the restoration, Pinkerton would lease them the car for $1.00 to display at 30th anniversary events. The plan very nearly worked, but instead Lincoln-Mercury opted to develop an all-new front-wheel drive Cougar, reducing the appeal of displaying the first car for promotional purposes. Pinkerton carried on with the restoration, and thanks to his efforts the Cougar looks just as it did when hand-built by Ford workers back in 1966.

1966 Mercury Park Lane Convertible

1964 Mercury Comet Caliente

1940 Mercury Town Sedan

1954 Mercury Sun Valley

Saturday, February 11, 2017

1980 Mercury Bobcat


Here’s a 1980 Mercury Bobcat, a Ford Pinto with chrome, pretty much. This one looks pretty good other than that rust starting to appear on the bottom of the driver’s door. This Bobcat is on Craigslist with an asking price of $2,450 and it’s located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.



This side looks much better! The Bobcat was Mercury’s first compact car first appearing in the US in 1975 and ending with the 1980 model year. The odometer shows 53,481 miles, could that be true?


Bumper bummer, it looks like someone either used it as a springboard or someone backed into something. Maybe that panel can be pushed back into place. Those are pretty sexy bumpers, no? Yeah, you’re right; no. This is a one-owner car according to the seller and it looks pretty good other than that rust on the driver’s side door.
i

Those seats! Nice, very nice. The automatic floor shifter! Not as nice. In a car with as few horsepower as this one (88), it’s always nice to be able shift through that limited power by yourself. Other than that, things look great on the interior. The back seats are even nicer than the front seats are, probably because they’re hard to get in to and hard to fit in to if you’re older than a teenager. There are no engine photos, but this car should have Ford’s 140 cubic-inch, 2.3L inline-four with 88 hp. If a person were completing their Mercury Bobcat collection and looking for a 1980 model to top it off, this looks like a good one!

Source: barnfinds.com

1971 Mercury Comet


We’ve seen a few Pintos and Vegas here lately, but not nearly enough Comets! Here’s a fantastic-looking fancy Maverick, it’s a 1971 Mercury Comet. This solid beauty was sent in by Barn Finds reader Pat L and it’s on Craigslist with a healthy asking price of $3,700.



This new Comet design was quite different than the previous generation cars, to say the least. The 1971-1977 Comet was based on the Ford Maverick and it’s easy to see the resemblance. This is the last-generation for the Comet as the Mercury Zephyr followed in 1978.


The photos in this listing aren’t the best, with only two full exterior photos, one passenger-side interior photo, and no engine photos. But, Barn Finds reader AMCSTEVE has a good theory as to why a lot of sellers don’t provide a full bank of nice photos: then they can weed out the tire-kickers and field actual phone calls (the original function of the ancestor to your $120 a month smart phone) from seriously interested folks. That makes total sense to me, sorry for always bringing up the quality, or lack thereof, with the photos in ads.


The interior looks solid with just that one odd wear spot on the upper-passenger seat back and some carpet wear. The seller says that it has a, “new motor, 6 cylinder, automatic transmission, new tires, original condition.” I’m not sure if that means that it has a new transmission or the “new” parts are the engine and tires? You’ll have to take AMCSTEVE’s advice and give them a call to find out! This really does look like a nice, solid ’71 Comet, most of them aren’t in this fine condition so many decades after leaving the factory. It isn’t a Comet GT, but it would be a fun, weekend cruiser for local car shows. Are there any fans of this era of Comet out there?

Source: barnfinds.com

1953 Mercury Monterey


Described as a “background car” for the upcoming movie “The Fate of The Furious”, this 1953 Mercury Monterey looks clean, and is a driver, looking to need little. With little information, it would be cool to purchase this one before the movie debuted so you could have a “famous” car so to speak. This possible movie star is offered at $6,800. Find it here on craigslist out of Chatsworth, California. Thanks goes out to TireFriar for the submission!


Even if the movie claim isn’t true, this is still a nice Merc. Being a 53, this Monterey is powered by a 255 cubic inch flathead V8, with a 3 speed column shifted manual. There are no engine bay photos, but this one has upgraded wiring, and has been converted to 12 volt. Also this Monterey flaunts a new interior and new tires. The Paint is beautiful, and the chrome looks nice as well, though the front bumper has a ding, and is missing 1953 spec bumper trim. Otherwise, this looks like a great cruiser that is road ready. Will you own this 1953 Mercury before “The Fate of the Furious” comes out?

Source: barnfinds.com

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

1953 Mercury Monterey


Described as a “background car” for the upcoming movie “The Fate of The Furious”, this 1953 Mercury Monterey looks clean, and is a driver, looking to need little. With little information, it would be cool to purchase this one before the movie debuted so you could have a “famous” car so to speak. This possible movie star is offered at $6,800. Find it here on craigslist out of Chatsworth, California. Thanks goes out to TireFriar for the submission!


Even if the movie claim isn’t true, this is still a nice Merc. Being a 53, this Monterey is powered by a 255 cubic inch flathead V8, with a 3 speed column shifted manual. There are no engine bay photos, but this one has upgraded wiring, and has been converted to 12 volt. Also this Monterey flaunts a new interior and new tires. The Paint is beautiful, and the chrome looks nice as well, though the front bumper has a ding, and is missing 1953 spec bumper trim. Otherwise, this looks like a great cruiser that is road ready. Will you own this 1953 Mercury before “The Fate of the Furious” comes out?

Source: barnfinds.com

1950 Mercury Eight



Source: hemmings.com

Sensational Mercury Custom Shown At AACA Museum

Photos courtesy AACA Museum.
We’ll stick our neck out here and salivate that this is one of most gorgeous modern customs we’ve laid eyes on in years. This incredible 1940 Mercury coupe is owned by Jack and Carolyn Kiely of Rumson, New Jersey, and it’s going to be on limited display at the Antique Automobile Club Museum in Hershey, Pennsylvania, until January 6, 2017. The Kielys commissioned Rob Ida Concepts of Morganville, New Jersey, to build it, a shop that’s spun out more than its share of SEMA shockers and other specialty cars over the years.
Rob Ida Mercury
The accolades this Mercury has won roll like dice: Best in Show at SEMA, World’s Most Beautiful Custom, Crown Jewel at the Race of Gentlemen, and most recently, first place in Hot Rod Custom and Best Engineered during car week at Monterey, California.
Rob Ida Mercury
Even a casual look at the Mercury reveals that it significantly departs from its stock Ford-based contours. The Kielys wanted the custom to reflect what might have happened if Mercury creator Edsel Ford might have gone to a French coachbuilder such as Figoni et Falaschi to create a production prototype. To that end, yes, the car began with a 1940 Mercury business coupe, but Ida swung for the fences from that point. The hood, decklid and most of the roofline were fabricated from scratch. The front wheel spats turn in conjunction with the wheels to prevent tire rub, steering at a ratio of 2.6:1. There’s a touch sensor in each headlamp lens that allows the front spat to be removed.
Rob Ida Mercury
Beyond that, there’s a Rootes Roots-supercharged Ford engine from a 2009 Shelby GT500 – only it’s been dressed with Ardun-style valve covers and leather-wrapped plug wires to give it a correct period look. Raise the trunk lid, and you’ll see fitted, handmade luggage clad in the same leather that adorns the car’s interior.

Source: blog.hemmings.com

1964 Mercury Park Lane Marauder



Source: hemmings.com

1955 Mercury Monterey Coupe



Source: hemmings.com

1970 Mercury Cyclone GT



Source: hemmings.com

1965 Mercury Monterey



Source: hemmings.com

1965 Mercury Colony Park 9 Seat Station Wagon



Source: hemmings.com

1963 Mercury Monterey Custom Hardtop

f1
Normally, we’ll show you a front 3/4 shot if possible as the lead picture for a post, but since the most distinguishing feature of this Mercury design was the “breezeway” retractable rear window, I decided to make an exception. This clean 1963 Monterey Custom Hardtop (so identified by the three vertical pieces of trim on the rear fenders) is listed for sale here on eBay with a buy it now of $4,500. It’s located in Las Vegas, Nevada–possible bribery to get a family member to come along when you go to pick it up?

f2
The seller purchased the vehicle from an eBay auction in 2009, and includes a printout of the auction listing here if you want to look closer–which isn’t a bad idea as they don’t tell us much themselves apart from them not having enough time to drive the car enough; thus the sale. That listing said the car was largely original, but featured an older repaint in the original color and no rust present at all. It looks like that may still be the case, and with the Nevada climate it’s very likely. There’s one other surprise about the car, but I’ll save that for now.

f6
I know this is a four door advertisement, but I wanted you folks to see how the window really was a big thing for Mercury. They called it “the window that came in out of the rain,” and stressed how it would make being in the car more comfortable in all conditions. I found one source that stated the window mechanism was actually designed for the large Ford station wagons and borrowed for the Mercury. I’m not sure how well it was received, though, because as of mid-1963 you could get the Marauder, which was largely a Monterey with the fastback roof from the 1963-1/2 Ford sporty looking hardtop grafted onto the body.

f4
I’m guessing this is how the car has been stored, out of the majority of the Nevada sun. The seller does tell us that the breezeway window works well, which must be a necessity in the heat, especially without air conditioning.

f5
The inside looks really nice, despite the seller telling us that there is one rip on a seam in the driver’s seat. I hope it can be repaired; it would be a shame to lose that original upholstery!

f3
But what’s that other surprise, you ask? This Monterey should have been originally equipped with a 390 cubic inch V8, and some sources say there was an optional 406 cubic inch one. But this is a honking big 428 V8 engine, and it’s attached to a C6 transmission rather than the original Merc-o-matic. This was done prior to the current seller’s ownership, and we don’t know the reason why. I’m also a little suspicious of the brown deposits all around the coolant filler cap; I hope it’s nothing more than sloppyness and/or a bad cap. However, how many rust free Breezeway-equipped Mercurys have you seen lately for only $4,500? Seems like a good buy to me–how about you?

Source: barnfinds.com

1968 Mercury Montego MX

103016-barn-finds-1968-mercury-montego-mx-1
Raise your hands if you like to shift for yourself? This 1968 Mercury Montego MX has a 3-speed manual and it’s in Velarde, New Mexico, about 40 miles north of the capital, Santa Fe. It’s on Craigslist for $4,200 or $5,200 with a replacement 4-speed out of a Fairlane/Comet with floor shifter and linkage.


103016-barn-finds-1968-mercury-montego-mx-2
Automatics are useful for folks who can’t operate a clutch pedal anymore and/or for commuting duties, and three of our vehicles are automatics so I like them, too. And, obviously the foot-clutch-operated manual transmission that we’ve all known and loved for decades will eventually go the way of cursive writing. The Montego MX was in the Comet family and was new for 1968. This car looks great, body-wise, but paint-wise it’ll need some help. You may have noticed the trim piece missing on the leading edge of the hood, hopefully that’s in the trunk.

103016-barn-finds-1968-mercury-montego-mx-3
This is probably the body style to have in this car (or, in any car?), the two-door hardtop. The Montego was made in this style until 1971 when they went all whack-a-doodle with the design. Kidding of course, I like the next generation cars, but there’s just something about this late-60s era of Mercury that I like, they’re so Jack Lord.

103016-barn-finds-1968-mercury-montego-mx-4
The MX got simulated walnut interior trim and this interior looks pretty good, and you can also see that this car was originally, probably, Grecian Gold and why it was painted a gray color is beyond me. But, someone liked it and that’s all that matters. I’m not sure if it’s a good sign to see a rusty door top like that? I don’t think that I’ve ever seen that before and it looks like it may have messed up the arm rest and who knows what the floors are like. Scary, but other than that..

103016-barn-finds-1968-mercury-montego-mx-5
This is a 302 V8 two-barrel with 210 hp. A 230 hp four-barrel option was available and if a buyer really wanted to go, a 325 hp 390 V8 was an option; that would be quite a find. This car looks pretty good to me, you’ll have to budget in a couple of grand for a nice paint job back to the original color, or that’s what I would do since everything else is that color other than the peeling gray paint. I would personally pass on the $1,000 4-speed, a 3-speed column-shifter works for me. Are there any Montego MX fans in the house?

Source: barnfinds.com