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1970 Mercury Cougar Eliminator Found in a Field Is a Super Rare Boss 302

The pony car segment emerged in 1964 when Plymouth and Ford introduced the Barracuda and Mustang only a few weeks apart. In late 1966, Chevrolet jumped on the bandwagon with the Camaro. And just one day after Chevy launched its pony car, Mercury unleashed its own version of the Mustang, the Cougar.
1970 Mercury Cougar Eliminator Boss 302 field find 9 photos
Photo: The Cougar Eliminator Den/YouTube
1970 Mercury Cougar Eliminator Boss 302 field find1970 Ford Mustang Boss 302 field find1970 Mercury Cougar Eliminator Boss 302 field find1970 Ford Mustang Boss 302 field find1970 Mercury Cougar Eliminator Boss 302 field find1970 Mercury Cougar Eliminator Boss 302 field find1970 Mercury Cougar Eliminator Boss 302 field find1970 Ford Mustang Boss 302 field find
One of Mercury's longest-running nameplates, the Cougar remained in continuous production until 1997 and returned from 1999 to 2002. However, the Cougar abandoned the pony car market at the end of 1973. Mercury turned it into a personal luxury car for the 1974 model year. And from 1977 to 1982, it became a more mundane midsize car with four-door sedan and station wagon versions.

Come 2023, the first-generation Cougar is arguably the most desirable iteration of the nameplate. That's when the "Cat" was pretty much a re-bodied Mustang with premium features and a V8-exclusive engine lineup. It was nowhere near as popular as the Mustang back in the day, but, to some, it was the ultimate incarnation of the pony car.

And Mercury ensured the Cougar was just as fast as its Ford counterpart by offering it with every high-performance mill FoMoCo produced at the time. The lineup included not only the 351-cubic-inch (5.8-liter) Windsor and Cleveland but also the 390-cubic-inch (6.4-liter) FE and the 428-cubic-inch (7.0-liter) Cobra Jet. And these engines gave birth to a few rare Cougars.

The same goes for the 302-cubic-inch (5.0-liter) Boss engine. Developed specifically for SCCA Trans Am racing, the mill found its way into the 1969 Mustang for homologation purposes. While Mercury did not compete in the series, it took advantage of the newly introduced powerplant and made it available in the high-performance Eliminator.

While the latter was available with any V8 engines, the package was mandatory for customers who wanted the Boss 302 in the Cougar. Introduced in mid-1969, the Boss 302 was discontinued after the 1970 model year. And while Ford sold more than 8,500 Mustangs fitted with this engine, Mercury moved fewer than 700 Eliminator Boss models.

This figure makes it among the rarest Mercury vehicles ever produced and a classic rig some of us will never see in the metal. And that's precisely why the fact that YouTube's "The Cougar Eliminator Den" found one in the middle of nowhere is a big deal.

Old cars abandoned on fields are nothing new. But chances are these vehicles are usually mundane and rusty classics. And not only is this 1970 Cougar Eliminator Boss 302 rare, but it's still in one piece despite having spent a few years fully exposed to the elements. Moreover, the black-striped blue pony car still has its original Boss 302 V8 under the hood.

One of only 469 Boss models sold in 1970, the Cougar sits next to one of its Ford-badged siblings. The 1970 Mustang Boss 302 appears to be in decent condition, too, sporting a faded gold paint but still hiding a true-blue Boss mill under the hood. But unlike the Cougar, this Mustang is much more common at 7,014 examples sold in 1970.

Production numbers aside, this field find is spectacular, to say the least, and both cars could become six-figure gems once restored. Hopefully, that's precisely what will happen when the new owner gets a hold of them. Until then, check them out sitting in the middle of nowhere in the video below.

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About the author: Ciprian Florea
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Ask Ciprian about cars and he'll reveal an obsession with classics and an annoyance with modern design cues. Read his articles and you'll understand why his ideal SUV is the 1969 Chevrolet K5 Blazer.
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