Restoration: 1968 Mercury Cougar

In October, 2003 an opportunity presented  itself to me, by a friend I knew online. It was the chance to own a “project car” without having to pay anything except license,  registration and title/transfer fees. So I set off to Santa Rosa to pick  up my new toy. I was told it ran but needed work and a lot of TLC. The  current owner had inherited from his grandmother, who was the original  owner of this 1968 Mercury Cougar.

While the Cougar does run, as I had to drive it back from Santa Rosa to Concord and then to Oakley with expired tags and numerous other problems and issues, it has sat around while I plan a course of action. Since my move to Northern California, the first step after a few months was to join The Stray Cats Cougar Club. Since that time, I have begun minor work on the Cougar.

The major problem is rust, not only on the roof where the black vinyl top was. I have started pulling  the car apart starting with the trunk and working my way forward. While I cannot overlook the fire damage (electrical issue) in the truck and on the backseat, I have spotted areas of rust through out the trunk, but not nearly as severe as the roof. I have attempted to stabilize the rust  using Jasco Prep & Primer to convert it to a paintable surface,  followed by a primer.

I have also begun removing the interior from the old, torn headliner to the original black carpet and everything in between. The driver side door will not close (originally I could not get it open) and I suspect new hardware is required. The backseat has  been complete removed. As previously mentioned it does have fire damage on it, but the hardware looks intact.