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New Member 1967 Cougar owner

Posted: 02 Oct 2017, 10:59
by Bill Cahill
Hello,

I just acquired a California 1967 Mercury Cougar, one owner, low millage, 289, 2 bbl., 3 spd. manual, base model (manual brakes and steering). The car has been in storage for the past 33 years. The original owner took the car off the road to replace the clutch and started to do a mild disassembly. He removed the transmission, carburetor, vinyl top and some misc. parts. Other than the heater core leaking and slightly rusting the passengers side floor board, the car is 100% rust free. The shock tower are perfect. The car was never wreck and the body never touched. The fitment of the panels are just like when it left the factory. The body is in very good shape having signs of 20 years on the road, but no major damage. The only think that I will need to change out is the passengers side grill/headlight assembly.

The car has the original Lime Frost factory paint, original black vinyl interior has only two small tears in the drivers seat, other that that the interior is in great shape and had a black vinyl roof where the roof skin is just surface rust. The engine is not ceased and turns freely by hand.

My plans are to pull the motor and go through it, possibly make it a 4bbl, dual exhaust and replace the 3 spd. with a BW T-10 4 spd. that I have in my garage. I'll also go through the brakes and fuel system. I will also do all the reinforcement recommend by Don on his WCCC You Tube videos. I just want to make this car a diver, not a race or show car.

My question to all the experience collector/restorers is where should I proceed? I Have a budget of $8K. First, should I just leave the body and paint alone and keep it original. I like the stance of a rally/ Trans-Am car, but that suspension is not in my budget. Should I put a all new stock suspension in and drop it 2" or possibly a Mustang II type suspension. Then the question is should I convert to disc brakes and power steering?...Still working on a budget...

Any and all suggestions will be helpful at this point. I like to keep the value of the car and maybe move up after enjoying it for a while.

Thanks,

Bill
San Diego

Re: New Member 1967 Cougar owner

Posted: 02 Oct 2017, 11:38
by Sir Ed
Welcome!

You will soon learn. The common response here is its your car do what you want with it.

There is a lot to be said to leave it as original as possible.

Looking forward to hearing more about. Interior pics coming soon?!

Re: New Member 1967 Cougar owner

Posted: 02 Oct 2017, 11:47
by Don Rush
Thanks for posting Bill! If you choose to go the original route I have a clean back seat that you could sacrifice to fix the original driver seat. Do you think the paint could be saved? My local Fix-A-Dent paintless dent removal guy can work miracles but not all can. I also have a very nice orginal front bumper that will not break the bank and will match the patina on that car nicely.

Re: New Member 1967 Cougar owner

Posted: 02 Oct 2017, 12:10
by Bill Cahill
Thanks Don,

I will be contacting you this week for the bumper, a passenger side floor pan replacement, carpet kit and probably the reinforcement(s) and a vinyl top

Here are some photos of the interior

Re: New Member 1967 Cougar owner

Posted: 02 Oct 2017, 12:40
by Don Rush
Seems like that car has degraded enough that you could go any direction you like. Being such a low option car it would be a great platform for a 5spd and the color of your choice. Don't get me wrong, I love to keep them original whenever possible but this car would be a perfect candidate for PDB, aftermarket AC, 4v and a few other choice touches.

Re: New Member 1967 Cougar owner

Posted: 02 Oct 2017, 14:42
by Bill Cahill
Thank Don,

I think I'm leaning towards a slight resto-mod and add safety features to make it a nice driver. If it was your car and you were working on a $8K budget (Minus body and paint) what would you do? and I like the PDB idea and maybe PS.

Thanks,

Bill

Re: New Member 1967 Cougar owner

Posted: 02 Oct 2017, 14:47
by Don Rush
I would look for a turn key windsor & 5spd with low miles, find an original pdb set, add nice wheels and tires with a few suspension upgrades and leave the paint alone for now as you work out the kinks.

Re: New Member 1967 Cougar owner

Posted: 02 Oct 2017, 17:57
by DieselD
Nice find! Your option list is very similar to my car which I have chose not to keep original due to the fact of the low option base model. Mine was a little worse off for condition of paint and interior. As cool as original is for me its somewhat boring since its nothing too special option wise, if it was I wouldn't want to detour off original much but for what it is I think its a good candidate for a fun driver! The nice thing is you have some freedom to modify it and make it a better car then it left the factory as.

8k could be a tight budget if your wanting to do paint along with the rest of the car. I bet you could get that to an acceptable condition with a little work. I would consider getting it mechanically sound first then see whats left over in your budget for the rest. I am having to work backwards from that thought process with mine. Keep in mind you can pick up new crate motors pretty cheap from a few different sources. I was seeing about 2k for a long block stock replacement 302 from a reputable engine vendor. Granted nothing special it could get you driving down the road on a new motor on the cheap. Obviously I wouldn't turn yours in for a core if its got your vin on it. You may also try and get yours running depending on the condition its in, I was able to get mine to fire up after it sat for 20ish years, all it took was a fluid change, replacement of plugs and a carb rebuild.

Re: New Member 1967 Cougar owner

Posted: 03 Oct 2017, 09:13
by Bill Cahill
Thanks for the input...I do body, paint and Fab work on the side, so that cost is just materials. Good Idea about trying to get the motor run first before pulling it. If I decided to go with a crate engine, who would you suggest? And are turn key engines worth it or even available?

Re: New Member 1967 Cougar owner

Posted: 03 Oct 2017, 10:54
by Don Rush
Yes! Lots of options for turn key plug and play transplants with good warranties and prices lower than you could put one together yourself for. Aluminum heads and such are no longer considered exotic. I would start with Ford Motorsports.