Imagine Yourself In A Mercury: 1979 Cougar Sedan

A four door Cougar? Oh yes! Once upon a time, in the ’70s, nameplate recognition actually meant something. And cars had actual names! Starting in 1974, the Cougar coupe finally broke it off with the Mustang body and chassis-wise, becoming a super-luxe Montego while the Mustang became a sequel and shrunk.

The reconfigured 1974 Cougar dropped all sport pretensions, and became a mini-Mark IV of sorts, with that ’70s domestic “boulevard ride” and lots and lots of options. Despite the loss of the convertible, sales of the ’74-’76 Cougar were extremely healthy.

So healthy, in fact, that when the time came for a redesign in 1977, the L-M powers-that-be decided that even more would be even better. Oh sure, the top-of-the-line XR-7 coupe was still in evidence, and even sharper with bladed fenders, quad rectangular headlamps and even more options! But there were several new additions that the folks who’d been driving Cougars since 1967 may have been surprised to see.

And so it was that in autumn 1976 a whole clowder of Cougars appeared down at the Sign of the Cat! XR-7, standard Cougar coupe, annnnd…envelope, please…a Cougar four-door sedan! And a flossier Brougham sedan! And a wagon! And a Di-Noc clad woody wagon! Whoa! The only thing missing was a convertible…which would have been pretty cool, actually.

Its freshly-chiseled sheetmetal was shared over at FoMoCo dealerships with the new LTD II, which replaced the Torino and Gran Torino just as the Cougar replaced the Montego. When was the last time you saw an LTD II? My grandparents once had a triple jade Brougham sedan, but other than the Ranchero pickup versions, I haven’t seen an LTD II in twenty years or more.

I haven’t seen a Cougar sedan or wagon in about that long either, but hey! If you want one today is your lucky day, because this ’79 Cougar four-door is available for purchase. A friend of mine is reducing his fleet, and if you are so inclined, you have about six days to throw in a bid on this car. Bidding starts at five bucks under two grand. For a cool old car with a V8 and functional A/C!

1979 Cougar sedans are especially scarce, only about 5,500 four-doors were built that year out of 176,000 total Cougars  (the Cougar Villager wagon disappeared after ’77).

Now, this is a nice car with only 37,000 miles on it, but it does need a little TLC. For some insane reason, the previous owner (not the current owner!) used a Bobcat (not a Mercury Bobcat, ha!) to remove it from the garage where it had been sitting for fifteen years. Said ham-handedness resulted in several bumps and bruises on the body, as can be seen in the pictures.

It has the 302 CID V8, C4 transmission and 9″ rear end. Runs fine. Since purchase, it has gotten a new radiator, gas tank, sending unit and upgraded the wheels to 15″ from the 14″ units that were already on the car.

And the air conditioning works! It was recently recharged. The Craig aftermarket radio and tape deck work fine too.

Have I convinced you? Think of all the know-it-alls at the cruise night who think every Cougar made was a muscle car. Imagine the joy of seeing the shock on their faces as they see the Cougar hood ornament and emblems and walk around in befuddlement! Wouldn’t that be fun! It’s solid, and with a little more work, it could be brought to showroom condition with a little effort. So, if this sounds interesting, the auction and way more pics can be viewed here.

And if not, you may have found out a new fun car fact today: Once, in the 1970s, there were Cougar sedans and station wagons.

8 Replies to “Imagine Yourself In A Mercury: 1979 Cougar Sedan”

  1. Shocktastic

    I think the 2-legged cougar clutching the leash would be a more formidable bedmate than the 4-legged one. The 4-legged cougar would demand 5 pounds of round steak while the 2-legged one would want the mansion, the car, a lot of alimony AND the round steak eating kitty.

    Reply
  2. Shocktastic

    1980 was the year my grandfather ditched his 1978 Grand Marquis of the same color for an Oldsmobile. That Grand Marquis was his only dalliance from GM for his daily driver. He liked the car but the Greybar chiefs he reported to all sported GM iron.

    Reply
  3. Athos

    Sorry mate, but GM Colonnade > this. Hands down & regardless of the model.

    Gorgeous silver car in the 2nd picture, though.

    Best of luck with the sale.

    Reply
  4. ArBee

    This example looks to be in lovely shape, but…Golly, these Cougars were not for me. My sister in law had a dark green ’67 XR-7, and that was a Cougar that Chauncey was happy to roar about.

    Reply
  5. Sean

    Nicely preserved machine.
    Intermediate sedans from this era are just so ungainly. One look and you can tell that they were designed as two door cars then adapted to a four door. Thankfully, they only stuck the awful stacked quad rectangular headlights on the LTD II.

    Reply
  6. John C.

    The 6 window roofline, I think exclusive to the Cougar 4 door, went some way to fixing the cave aspect of Torinos. I wonder if the relative lack of room in such a big car was purposeful to give an obvious reason to still buy the full size Fords even as these must have come close on smooth and quiet ride.

    Reply

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