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A few other things that catch our fancy
1968 Mercury Cougar
04 February 2008
From Tom :
This is my 1968 standard coupe. I received the car as a high school graduation gift in 1968 and have had it ever since. I was able to order the car from my Father's Mercury dealer. I had to come up with half the cost which at that time I believe was around $1500. My parents paid the second half -- lucky me.
To raise my share of the purchase cost + insurance / taxes, I worked after school and weekends at FW Woolworths getting my funds in order so when my cat, arrived I had my part. It was difficult to wait for the car to arrive. I was bursting at the seems until the day I took delivery. I was able to select the color, etc and wanted air and tilt wheel but my Father did not think it was necessary for a youngster to have those types of luxuries. I did not banter with him, thinking he would withdrawal his offer of paying for half.
When I did take delivery, I thought I had died and gone to Heaven. My high school and college friends had other muscle cars like Camaros, Firebirds, GTOs, etc. The Cougar was classy and sleek and in my mind nothing compared.
After driving the car for several years and after graduation from college, I wanted to trade it in on a more modern model. My Father became irritated with me saying "NO," and if I wanted a newer car I was on my own and had to purchase without trading the cat. I was very frustrated, after all, I had paid for half the car right?
A couple years later, I bought a new car and the '68 cat sat in my parents garage. I only drove it occasionally which resulted in the current 68K original miles on the car.
The interior is incredible, that wonderful old loop carpet still looks new as well as the upholstery, no rips, tears or wear. The car sat in one of my parents garages for all these years until their deaths in the late 1980's. I sold their home and brought my old cat to my garage where I have enjoyed since.
Like all of us vintage Cougar owners, I get tons of rubber neckers as I drive by and my share of offers to purchase the car from other interested parties. I just can't seem to let go of the old girl. I am so glad my Father stood his ground -- funny how parents have such wisdom and insight at times.
As she sits today, she is in great condition. My plans are to get some minor rust spots taken care of in the very near future, but other than that she runs great. The car still has the original moaning sequential turn signal box in the trunk, headlights still open and close like new.
The Cougar's story has been featured in several publications and web sites for collectors as well as car of the month for the Mercury club.