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Project 1969 Cougar
This page is part of www.stordahl.com
In the summer of 2006 I decided to buy me a new project car. I did not really know what to go for, only that it had to be something different from the last car I restored, which was a 1959 Mercury Park Lane convertible. That car had taken far more money and time to finish than I ever thought was possible (and that I could afford), so this time I wanted something easy that could be finished in a winter or so. One thing I knew for sure was that it had to be a Mercury.
Since I never paid much interest in the Cougars I found that to get one was just the challenge I was looking for. The Cougar is not too comon in Norway, it's not boring to restore (because it was something new to me) and it was not too hard to restore either. I placed a wanted add on the Classic Cougar forum, and soon I had a few offers. One of the cars were a 1969 Eliminator, white with blue interior. The car was located in San Jose, California, so I assumed it could not be too rusty, which was important to me. The car really needed more than I hoped for, but I liked the colors and it had a good option package with tilt and AC. The asking price was right too so I decided to go for it.
This is what the Eliminator looked like when I bought it. It does not look too bad, or what?
Well, usually cars are better looking in pictures that in real life, and this one was no exception from the rule. Also many Eliminator only parts were missing and the passenger side camera case dash plate, the AM/FM radio, tilt column, A/C parts, Eliminator wheels, rocker panel mouldings were also long gone.
If you want to see the Marty report for the car you can click the small image of it below.
It took some time to get the car shipped because I wanted to find some of the missing parts so they could be shipped with the car to Norway. I have to admit I became rather surpriced to find that parts for Cougars could be harder to find and more expensive than parts for my 59 Mercury. Anyway, I found a set of original wheels, and a new front fender to replace the dented sitting on the car when I bought it. A good dash pad had also been placed inside the car together with a few other parts. In the beginning of December the Cougar arrived the port in Oslo and not many days later I had it in my garage.
It did not take me long to tear the car into pieces. I soon realized that it was of a project car than I expected, and it would need a lot of help with the body. One of the problems was that the A/C had a leak, and the floor on the passenger side was in bad shape. As you can see in the following pictures the floor was not the only place with rust on the car.

The rear window frame had seen better days.

The car also had the more comon rust in the lower corners of the doors. That's an easy fix, so it did not take me long before the spots were cut out and replaced with good steel. Quarter panels and the trunk floor needed some attention as well, but was not really bad either.

I found that someone at one point believed the motor needed more air than the factory thought. Of course they cut a hole in the hood! Since I did not agree with them on that I had to make a patch for it and get it spot welded in place. This part will luckily be covered by the hood scoop. It is very hard to get the hood 100% straight after welding a patch like this one.
With most of the rust taken care off, I decided to have the inside of the body painted. As some of you probably have noticed I have also pulled the engine out a\of the car at this point. I never started the engine, as I assumed it would need a total rebuild anyway. I later found that to be so true.
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If you would like to know more about the Cougar Eliminator and other interesting Cougars like the GT-E and XR7-G, I can higly recommend this site:

The Classic Cougar Network
Now that I had the floor nice and clean I used the opportunity to put in the asphalt sound deadner mats. These are really heavy and takes away a lot of road noise.
Since I have plans for a nice sound system in this car it is important to make the body as acusticly dead as possible.