Keep It? Sell It?

Wow! A news post about my ’68 Mercury Cougar. It has been some time since I have really commented on this “project” that takes up the entire two car garage. Needless to say, my wife is less than thrilled to see this continue to occupy space her 2009 Dodge Charger could be parked in. Over the past few months I have considered selling this project. Unfortunately, the down economy has seen a downward trend in the price of restored vehicles. Mine is nowhere near restored, nor is it drivable. With that said, a good portion of the mechanical work has already been completed. I guess I have something going for me, rather than a true pile of shit sitting in the garage.

The car was really just given to me back in 2004 when a friend of my girlfriend (now wife) at the time made mention he needed to get rid of his 1986 Cougar before it was towed. Splitting time between SoCal and NoCal I decided to take ownership of the car and made the trip to Santa Rosa to pick it up. It was not bad looking, some rust from the missing vinyl top a few minor dents, but structurally, the Cougar was a true find. It cost me nothing more than title and transfer at the DMV.

Since taking ownership I have spent A LOT of money on this car, to the point I could have easily bought a very nice 1970 Cougar Eliminator. Okay, maybe that would be a bit of a stretch, but I know I could have bought a fully restored Cougar. I decided to tackle this project, knowing close to nothing about restoring a car such as this. It has been a learning experience as I go along. I also knew as I got older my son could take an interest into restoring the Cougar with me

Let me get this back on topic as I could easily get sidetracked. Over the last few months I have thought about selling this project. I know i won’t get what I have put in to it, you never do. As I said major components of the Cougar are already done, including the engine, front and rear end rebuild, new brakes all around, a new drive shaft, rebuilt transmission and an all new exhaust. Do the math, you will have some idea what the bill comes to.

Getting back into amateur radio, coupled with the growth of my son and the rigors of work, time is something I don’t have much of these days. This is one factor leading to my potential decision to sell the project. I have received many comments from other cat enthusiasts to “put an hour in a day and work on it.” While great information, I don’t have 60 minutes to dedicate to the Cougar at this time. Couple with the fact that whatever price I got for the Cougar (and or parts) could be applied to outstanding debt that seems to plague many in America today.

While selling the Cougar is not a long term solution to my short term problems it would help. Most importantly it would please the wife that the Cougar was out of the garage. It would give us some more room in the garage, it would payoff some debt, allowing more of the paycheck to be stashed in a savings account. Conversely, I could look back on this decision and wonder how I could do something so stupid selling this car in it’s current state. I still reflect on my decision to sell my initial baseball card collection I took with me to BYU. Some $3000 worth of cards netted me about $1000 for a new GT Avalanche mountain bike.

So I now stand at the crossroads, which road I take is not yet known. I will continue to weight my options and hopefully come to a decision soon. Now that summer is rolling around and my son, now 4 years old is a bit more responsible I might be able to dedicate some time on my weekly days off to doing something on the Cougar. Time is only part of the problem, money is the other. Everything I need to do costs money. I guess I could always start reading about bodywork and make an attempt to straighten the dents and imperfections in the Cougar, since that is the next step in the restoration process.