Rare 1969 Mercury Cougar SS Spent 20 Years in a Semi Trailer, Still Runs and Drives

Following the successful launch of the Mustang in 1964, Ford approved Mercury's request to introduce its own version of the pony. The Cougar joined the muscle car was in 1967 in soldiered on in various forms until 2002.
1969 Mercury Cougar SS 7 photos
1969 Mercury Cougar SS1969 Mercury Cougar SS1969 Mercury Cougar SS1969 Mercury Cougar SS1969 Mercury Cougar SS1969 Mercury Cougar SS
The first-gen Cougar remains the most iconic iteration of Mercury's sports car. Produced from 1967 to 1970, it was a successful mix of aggressive looks and powerful V8 engines. Sure, it wasn't as popular as the Mustang back then, but certain versions are sought-after by muscle car collectors in the 21st century.

The Eliminator and the XR-7 are two of the most famous Cougars ever built, but the SS is a rare one-year wonder. Short for Sports Special, it was offered in 1969 as a trim package with unique pinstriping and beefed-up suspension components. One such car was recently discovered in a semi trailer and brought back into the light after 20 years of sitting.

A trailer is a rather unusual place to store a valuable muscle car, but it's exactly what saved this Cougar from becoming a wreck. Documented by YouTube's "Americana," this Mercury surfaced in pretty good shape. It has solid bodywork, all the chrome trim is still there, and the interior is in fantastic condition for a 50-year-old car. To top it all off, it still has its numbers-matching V8 engine under the hood.

Unlike the Mustang, the Cougar wasn't available with inline-six engines. But Mercury offered a long list of V8 mills from 1967 to 1970, ranging from the 289-cubic-inch (4.7-liter) Windsor to the massive 428-cubic-inch (7.0-liter) FE. The Sports Special was available with any V8 back in the day and this specific example flaunts a 351-cubic-inch (5.8-liter) Windsor.

The standard engine in the Cougar in 1969, the Windsor wasn't as potent as the 428 Cobra Jet, but it did generate a healthy 250 horsepower in two-barrel carburetor form. The four-barrel carb version took things up a notch to 290 horses.

Far from surprising given how much time it spent off the road, this Cougar's V8 no longer runs, but the crew over at "Americana" manage to fire it up with a bit of work. Not only that, but they also manage to take the Cougar SS out for a spin. One that revealed that the V8 was surprisingly snappy.

It's great to see such a nice survivor back on the road, but this Cougar deserves a proper restoration. Until that happens, watch it come back to life in the video below.

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