67 or 68 in good condition

I’ve wanted one since the late 70’s - test drove a '68 as a teenager in 1982 - had saved enough from movie theater job to buy it - and my dad pointed out some (legit) concerns about the car and burst my bubble.

This website has given me hope that I may yet have my dream car. I’m now on a serious search and not in any rush. Willing to travel across the US for the right car. This would be a leisure/recreational car - drive to work a couple days per week (16 miles RT), weekend drives, around town.
No long trips, no icy winter driving, no racing.

Non negotiable: '67 or '68 (love the body style). Nice condition, no (or minimal) mechanical or interior work needed, nice exterior/not needing immediate repaint.

Strongly prefer: Red, burgundy, dark cherry exterior and black interior (red or burgundy interior would be ok too). Not opposed to other colors, especially shades of blue.

“Would be nice”: Manual transmission, a/c, p/s, p/b, new-ish tires.

Hopefully what I’m looking for is out there!

Looking to spend $20,000 or less.

Thanks for any leads!

Rhonda in Idaho


I live in Pocatello so if you need any parts I have plenty.

Looks like a pretty decent car.

That it is a deal…

I blew it, I.saw that car a few days ago and didn’t move on it til now - just texted him, he sold it to the second person who looked at it. Now I’ve really got the itch, how often does a car like I’m describing come up for sale?
Dallas in Pocatello, thanks for the heads up about car parts.

It would not surprise me if that car was flipped at just north of $20K.

:woman_facepalming: I feel sick about it. It was literally 10 miles from me. My husband texted me the link a week ago. Lesson learned.

Here is one.
Has a lot of what you’re looking for.
I don’t know the car.


Thanks zman. Looks nice. I’ll check into it.

A car like that? Not very often. But be patient they’re out there.

I could maybe go take a look at it for you if you want. I am about 1.5 hours from them in WI. It wouldn’t be able to be for a few days or so as I have some things to deal with, with my aging parents. We have a couple of others in this neck of the woods you could maybe reach out to also. The other guys I am thinking of are a little further away, but perhaps willing if you asked.
Welcome to the club!

David, that would be amazing, what an offer! I just had a 45 minute chat with the owner, Jeff, nice guy. He’s a member on here apparently. I’m seriously thinking about heading out to WI around the 30th of this month to take a look. He’s done a lot of work on the car and was very upfront about any drawbacks/work still needing to be done.

I was taking notes fast and furious, and here’s some of what I learned about the car:

Orig 302/3-speed manual, now 1970 351 Cleveland/4-speed manual.
Paint done in 2002, not great, down to bare metal in some places, rust spot front passenger side hood.
New clutch, pressure plate, bell housing. Lakewood scatter shield.
Orig color Augusta Green/Nugget Gold. Manufactured in WA state.
No a/c, heater core bad/needs replacing.

  • p/s, no p/b
    No cracks in shock towers.
    Rust free.
    Seats are original era (possibly taken from another car) and in good condition (I asked for pics of interior).
    279 rear end.
    I wrote down “torque boxes”??
    Sequential taillights worked when he bought it 10 months ago, shortly after, only 2 of them worked - all lights work for braking.
    Headlight doors/vac system work.
    No radio.
    Small tear in head liner.
    Asking 13K obo.

Here’s the link: https://madison.craigslist.org/cto/d/1968-mercury-cougar-4-speed/6719941354.html

If anyone wants to weigh-in, I’d love input. I’m sure I missed some important questions due to lack of knowledge, but like I said, he was open and made sure I knew it’s not “show quality” or perfect, which is fine with me.

David, keep me posted on your schedule and if it works for you to take a look at the car, that would be wonderful. I’d love to have another set of eyes on it, as well as your expertise. I read somewhere on here about buying a burger for someone if they look at a car for you - that seems like a very small price to pay, I’ll pay your gas and throw in a beer too!

I’m loving this community, I’ve learned a ton already.

And now back to work, after my 2+ hour online Cougar-searching hiatus (I’m self employed, so it’s OK).

Thank you-
Rhonda O’Brien

I’m in no way denigrating the car in Wisconsin but since I’m from the Midwest I just need to warn you about the rust issues in those states. Even cars in good condition can have hidden rust or rust that will appear with a little time. I use a soft magnet like from a magnetic fridge sticker to look for rust in the usual places. Since I’ve come out west I’m constantly impressed with the quality of classic cars in the high desert and desert states. I just bought an all original 1968 Galaxie out of Bend, OR and it doesn’t have a speck of rust anywhere. Can’t say the same about most cars from the Midwest.

You likely wrote “torque boxes” because they have been replaced along with the floors. Torque boxes rust notoriously fast in the midwest because they attract mud, salt, water and snow like giant crap magnets. It sounds like a quality restoration and could be well worth the money but having been burned a couple times by somebody who “restored” a Michigan rust bucket I’m very gun shy buying a car out of the midwest.

People out here look at me like I’m crazy when I ask to put a magnet all over the car but I’m not taking any chances and a soft magnet will not harm the paint.
There are far less classic cars out west but the quality can be much better with a little patience.

Here’s one in Arizona. Not a color you mentioned but is a nice looking car.


Looks like a nice clean Cat.

You will look hard and long before a deal that good pops up within driving distance of you. Did you notice it had a tilt-tilt away steering column? With a proper detail that car would be listed for $33k at one of these over-priced classic car dealers you see online. The good news is you saw in person that such deals do in fact exist and that was not the last one you will ever see. STAY AWAY from East coast cars. They cost more, you get less and it is costly to transport them. If you do pursue an East Coast car there is only one question you need to ask… “Has the car ever been driven outdoors?”

Just get lots of detailed pictures and save the trip. The underside is very important, it has to be put on a lift.

That’s great advice for any long distance negotiation.

Cars east of the Mississippi sometimes have nice interiors and can make good parts cars. The last Cougar I bought out of Michigan had a nice interior but the underside was nothing but rot. I’m using the interior in a Cougar I bought out of Arizona. Only needed one rear floor pan. IMHO desert cars are the way to go. I’ve even sold Cougar shells to guys from the Midwest.

Spoken like a guy who sells west coast cars. Really Don? Business is that good you can insult everyone east of the Mississippi by saying our cars are junk? Do you think we salt the roads in summertime too? :naughty:

Sure, our daily drivers get fitted w/winter tires 4 months/year, but most classics I know of stay in a warm garage that entire time.