May 2012 Ride of the Month is: Harry's 1969 Eliminator

May 2012 Ride of the Month is: Harry’s 1969 Eliminator

If you were a performance fan and a Mercury guy in 1969, you were in luck. Mercury decided it was time to make a performance statement that could be summed up in a single word: ELIMINATOR!

In 1968 the only way to tell if you were in a performance oriented Cougar was to get out, and look. In 1969, the Eliminator did not leave you guessing. The instant you saw the all-business black camera-case dash, and high back bucket seats you knew you were in a serious performance car. Can you imagine what it must have felt like to drive a brand new Eliminator off the dealer’s lot in 1969? Harry doesn’t have to wonder, he knows, he was there, and this is the car he drove off the lot on August 1st, 1969…

Then 40 years later, on August 15th 2009 he was reunited with his long lost Eliminator. Today the car has been almost totally restored, lacking only the Eliminator stripes to make it complete. This is one of the very best stories in the Cougar world, and one great looking cat!

And in his own words, this is the story of Harry’s Eliminator:

I am Harry A. Unruh and live in White Rock, BC, Canada.

I first purchased this car on August 1, 1969 from George Black Motors, a local dealer in Vancouver, Canada, since closed down. It was a fun car to drive and served us well for the next 5 years. But due to numerous events and circumstances, such as buying a house, having children, and amassing too many traffic violations, I sold the car in 1974 to a local ‘kid’. Shortly thereafter I learned the car had been involved in a wreck and “totaled”. So, as far as I was concerned, that was the end of the story for this car.

But I never gave up dreaming about the car. Of all the cars I have owned over the years, it was the one car that I regretted most for not having kept.

Over the next 35 years I would frequently do a cursory search for a 1969 Eliminator similar to the one I had owned. Of course, in the early years without internet, this was somewhat more difficult to do, so most of my searches would be in either the classic car sales catalogs or at car shows.

Then, with the introduction of the internet and its great search capabilities, I was able to do a much more refined search but never came up with anything that “excited” me.

On August 8th, 2009, I did some more searching for 1969 Eliminators, mainly to see what was out there. Remember, my car had been totaled so finding it was out of the question, or so I thought. I came across a web site that was advertising for sale a Cougar that looked amazingly like mine, but the site was well over a year old so I didn’t have much hope that the car would still be available. And of course, it would NOT be my old car, but what the heck, give it a try; it would be nice to own one like it again.

I sent an email to the site owner, relating my Eliminator experiences, who promptly replied that the car was still for sale, and very likely my old car!! This car had been in a major wreck at some time before he ever owned it, and had been repaired and partially restored since.

It had also been first sold on August 1, 1969 and the dealer had been George Black Motors of Vancouver, Canada. After numerous more emails, it was determined that this definitely was my old car, and as my wife said during this whole exercise, “We just have to buy it”. So, several days later I re-purchased the car I had initially bought in 1969. I felt like a kid at Christmas!! A week later on August 15th I brought the car home; that sure brought back memories!!

Congratulations Harry!

That has to be one of the best Cougar stories out there. For that matter, one of the best car stories out there. Bravo, Harry!

Harry great story and great car :thumbup: . One thing, before you put the stripes on your Eliminator clean my drool off the the paint so they will stick.
Congrats again on ROTM!

Congrats on a great car, Harry. I can only imagine how great it must feel to drive it now after so many years. :beerchug:

Bravo Zulu Harry.


Congratulations Harry, darn I forgot to vote!

Congratulations Harry, be sure to post a picture for us when you get the stripe put on!

You still also owe us a picture of the now, to match with the then.

I love reading your story and I’ve enjoyed visiting your restoration pics in the past. Jenny and I are catching up with you and we’ve got about a year to go before I hope to light it off for the first time. I think the only difference between ours is the fact that she has a white interior and a white stripe. Our photos are here:

Of course it’s a great story. Don’t ALL orange Cougars have a great story to tell? :poke:

Seriously, it is a great story and you have every right to be proud. It’s an excellent choice for ROTM.

John, will try to get that some time this summer. The actual site is about 10 miles south of the US border (about 16 miles from our home).

Thanks guys for the complements; feels good seeing the pic of the Ecat on the top of the forum. Kind of makes the BIG $$$$ spent a bit more palatable!!

Harry, you should be pleased with your $$$ spent on your car…the history alone, is priceless! Now, how it tastes(palatable), well, depends how much you like iron in your diet! LOL…looking forward to seeing it truly “done”, with the stripes on! Congrats again!

Yep, a well deserved honor.

Great story with a happy ending. Makes me want to look for my old car. Do you have an album with more pictures?

Congrats Harry!
A long road but worth it!

Most of my pictures are here …
enjoy … :slight_smile:

Congrats on the ROTM :slight_smile: very nice car :slight_smile:

Thanks Jan. We were in Norway last year June. Beautiful country … cruised up the fjord to Oslo. Would love to go back and see more of the country.