1968 Mercury Cougar Found In a Tree Row

Hello everyone. I have previously posted on this forum before I purchased this 1968 Mercury Cougar asking about its condition and value. I have since disassembled the front of the car. I have also finished most of the front suspension disassembly even though the pictures aren’t fully updated. I will add more pictures as I go. I have since found some of that hidden surprise rust but it is nothing I can’t fix myself so I’m not too concerned. The car does appear to have been in some sort of accident for sure. Based on the bent tie rod and deep scratches on the passenger side brake backing plate. Along with the dented passenger door. I have measured the front frame rails according to the factory manual I have purchased and it all looks good. The original 302 was stuck and no way was it coming loose. So I was able to purchase a running 71 302 for $450 to replace it. Which is currently in the machine shop. It came with some sort of 2 barrel Holley carb that I sold for $200 because I am going the 4 barrel intake route. I was able to find a 68 ford cast iron 4 barrel intake for $70. I’m thinking about using a wire wheel to remove the rust and paint in the engine bay and around the wheel wells. I will also install the suspension reinforcement braces up front while I have the car apart. All suggestions and recommendations are appreciated. Thanks!


Looks decent - Madras Blue color is outstanding IMHO.

Just about finished the disassembly of the front suspension. The spindles look a little rough. Replace or reuse? There was no cracks around the passenger side shock tower which is nice to see. I haven’t checked the drivers side yet.


I would buy new wheel bearings and see how they fit. Might be OK.

Here is an update of my project. I have been pretty busy sandblasting small parts and painting them. I removed the paint from the fender aprons and wheel wells. I used a combination of wire wheels and paint removal discs along with some aircraft grade paint stripper. It took me 65 hours to remove all the paint to bare metal. I fixed the usual rust spots on the fender aprons. Then I painted it all. I’m currently rebuilding the engine and getting ready to fix the rusty floors.


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The rust repair and paint look great Turtleman. Keep up the great work.