In 1983 Mercury introduced the sixth generation of their Cougar, which was at one point in time a restyled and Mercuried version of the Ford Mustang. Actually, by the mid 1980s, it might have lived on the Mustang’s Fox platform, but it was much closer in size and equipment to the Ford Thunderbird or Lincoln Continental. Today’s example is offered with an odometer that has only 23k miles on the 5-digit display, but it does have more road crust that you’d like to see in a low mile classic. Find this 1985 Mercury Cougar offered for $7,950 in Stanley, WI via Hemmings.
One of my siblings (who shall remain nameless) sent me a video the other day of a guy named The Weeknd (s.i.c.) who was singing a song for the Grammys or some awards show. The music video is conspicuously repulsive — the Weeknd looks like a burn victim and sings like a castrato, and the music is a bunch of over-produced autotuned pop garbage with a catchy ear-worm chorus — but the cars. And the car choreography for a “live” show was impressive. The singer is flanked by a fleet of de-badged red and white Mercedes-Benz SL coupes (most are USDM R107 convertibles with hardtops, but I spy at least one W113 and somebody sporting Euro seal beam units) and the singer is riding in a sweet 1968 or 1969 Mercury Monterey convertible. The best part is that all of these cars are affordable (aside from the W113 SL) and you even get to see one of the SLs leave a trail of thick black smoke in the face of the happy troubadour. You can watch the video here, but I recommend putting it on mute if you enjoy your sanity, and you can enjoy a cool 1968 Mercury Monterey offered for $14,350 in Staunton, IL via Hemmings.
The Mercury Cougar started out way back in 1967 as an up-market version of the Ford Mustang. For its first two generations the Cougar was based on the Mustang, but then in 1974 it changed to a big Torino intermediate platform where it was a counterpart to the similarly plus sized Thunderbird. In 1980 the Cougar was switched to the compact Fox platform where it was a counterpart to the Thunderbird and Granada, but in 1989 it was switched to the MN12 platform where it got things the Fox didn’t have, like an independent rear suspension and available supercharged powertrains. A few years later the Cougar name was put on a front-wheel-drive thing that was based on the European Ford Mondeo, but we don’t want to talk about that. Find this 1989 Mercury Cougar XR7 offered for $12,000 in Merrimac, MA via craigslist. Tip from Cory.
Street/strip cars were a big thing back in the 1980s/1990s. You’d take a cheap 60s muscle car (hah, remember when they were cheap) and shove a big engine under the hood, wide tires out back, skinnys in the front, replace some of the sheet metal with fiberglass and cage it. Modified, but street legal. You’d take it to the drags a few times to get that 10.99 ET and then it would become your Friday night car show car. Car customization is different today and most of those 1/4 mile drag strips have been turned into strip malls or condos (at least in the area of SoCal that was the hot rod capital back in the day), but you can relive the glory days when you had hair on the top of your head and could tuck a shirt into those 32 inch waist Levis without needing a mirror. Find this 1965 Mercury Comet offered for $10,500 in Hillsdale, NY via craigslist. Tip from Cory.
The Mercury Capri is one of those cars that people don’t understand. Or at least they didn’t understand when it was new. It was a sporty manual gearbox equipped 2+2 built in Germany that was sold at Lincoln-Mercury dealers for much less than a Mercury Cougar. But Elvis understands the Capri. He gets the international roots and the sublime handling that goes with a small 2.6 liter Cologne V6. Find this 1971 Mercury Capri offered for $14,500 in Quakertown, PA via craigslist. Tip from Cory.
Do you know what is better than a common classic like the Ford Maverick? Yeah, you know, it is the Mercury version of that platform. It comes with all of the same basic mechanical underpinnings, but with a weird badge and name that’ll make everyone think you are some kind of connoisseur of the vintage horseless carriage. Find this 1971 Mercury Comet offered for $11,900 in Orlando, FL via craigslist. Tip from Rock On!
This Mercury Capri spent the better 1/4 of a century sleeping in a garage…but you’d better not call it a barn find. The seller claims it was built by a NASA engineer (Why is it always a NASA engineer or a GM factory engineer, why not a part time clerk at Boot Barn or a family practice psychologist?) who added a draw-through turbocharger with an old school water/methanol injection system to the Cologne V6. Looks like fun. Find this 1976 Mercury Capri offered for $6,000 in Eagle, ID via craigslist. Tip from FuelTruck.
There is something supremely cool about a vintage Mercury Comet. It isn’t the fastest classic car around…with the stock 170 cubic inch inline-6 and automatic it is going to be downright slow…but car isn’t about reaching your destination, this car is about the experience of getting there. Find this 1962 Mercury Comet offered for $9800 in Huntington Beach, CA via craigslist.
Marauders are commonly mistaken for a pimped-out Crown Vic, but it was really a factory modified version of the Mercury Grand Marquis…yeah, I know, Potato, Shmotato….anyway, the Marauder was a Grand Marquis with blacked out the chrome, 5-spoke 18-inch wheels and a 4.6 liter Ford Modular V8 the breaths through a set of 4-Valve heads and is good for 302 horsepower and 318 ft-lbs of torque (borrowed from the Mustang Mach 1/SVT Cobra etc). Today’s example has an additional power adder in the form of a Kenne Bell supercharger and various sharpie-pen signatures of people who I’m not familiar with, but are clearly celebrities’ in the world of supercharged Marauders. Find this 2003 Mercury Marauder offered for $16,900 in Fayetteville, NC via craigslist. Tip from Cory.
If you wanted a fun 2-door from Ford in 1973 you had a few options. You could get a little junky Pinto, a larger junky Maverick, a plus sized Mustang, a gigantic Torino or a XXL Thunderbird (which was a 5000lb two-door, no joke). But there was another Skywalker. There was a hidden gem, built in Germany by Ford, badged as the Mercury Capri, and it handled better than anything from the Americas. Oddly enough, the American public loved the Capri and at its peak the Capri was the second most imported car into the USA (first was the Beetle, of course). However, you don’t find many Capris driving around on the street today and this next example is about the top of the market…and wowza, that is some groovy paint. Find this 1973 Mercury Capri bidding for $17,000 in Charlotte, NC via eBay.