Cougar Eliminator Boss 302
Documented Restored Cougar Eliminator 302 V8 4 Speed
- One of 18 known Pastel Blue Eliminators
- Original build sheet
- Letter of authenticity from the CCOA
- Boss 302 V8 / 290hp
- Toploader 4-speed manual with Hurst shifter
- Nodular Ford 9-inch / 3.91 gears
- Power disc/drum brakes
- Marti Report
In the late '60s and early '70s, buying a car was a much more personalized experience. Badge engineering allowed customers to buy the same basic car with varying levels of luxury and performance suited to their needs and preferences. The concept made room for cars like this awesome 1970 Mercury Cougar Eliminator. Though the Cougar was introduced as an upscale alternative to the Mustang, the Eliminator package gave buyers a chance to ditch most of those upscale appointments in favor of stripped down performance. Counterintuitive? Maybe. Effective? Definitely. One of just 18 known Pastel Blue Eliminators, this Mercury carries all the right options including the legendary Boss 302, Toploader four-speed, heavy duty differential, power brakes and little else. The beneficiary of a comprehensive restoration, it presents well and performs even better. Looking for a different kind of pony car? This 1970 Cougar Eliminator may be your new weapon of choice.
Before we get into the description, let's take a minute to go over the VIN:
F: Dearborn, Michigan assembly plant
91: Standard hardtop
G: Boss 302 V8
509409: Sequential unit number
The car also carries its original invoice from Archibald Ford in Tremonton, Utah. It breaks the options down as:
BOSS 302-4V V8: $388.60
Eliminator Package: $129.60
4-Speed Manual – Hurst Shifter: $204.70
Traction-Lok Differential (H.D.): $63.50
Higher Ratio Rear Axle: $6.50
F70x14 Belted Traction Tires: $76.50
Sports Console: $57.10
Power Front Disc Brakes: $64.80
AM/FM Stereo Radio: $212.50
Tinted Glass – Complete: $32.40
Rallye Wheel Covers: $15.60
Total Options: $1,251.80
Total for Vehicle: $4,512.30
By modern standards, the price seems low but keep in mind that, in 1970, a base model Corvette could be had for around just a few hundred dollars more. This was a high dollar Mercury for the day. While the drivetrain may have sealed the deal, it was the aggressive appearance of the Eliminator package that initially reeled buyers in. This one wears the color it was born with: Code N Pastel Blue. No need to adjust your monitor or grab your glasses – it looks white from nearly every angle. In person, the blue tends to come out when the car is parked in slightly less sunny locales. Maybe Pastel Blue wasn't the appropriate name but, if GM could call a shade of orange “Carousel Red” there is obviously leniency to be offered. Either way, the paintwork looks great and the black Eliminator stripes bring some hidden aggression out of the Cougar's lines. Beneath the blue, the body is remarkably straight with panels that line up much better than they did from the Dearborn assembly plant.
The rest of the Eliminator package reveals itself in the details. At the front, a Eliminator-exclusive chin spoiler sits under a form-fitting chrome bumper. Above it, a sinister blacked-out grille is split by the center section of a hood that wears a black center stripe and matte black scoop. The sides feature full length black stripes that hug the bodyline and do a great job breaking up the Pastel Blue paint. In front of the red rear marker lights, an “Eliminator” decal informs other drives what just passed them. This Cougar is also equipped with the optional passenger-side mirror for a slightly more modern (and safe) driving experience. The glasswork looks great as does the minimal stainless steel trim that surrounds it. At the back end, an air foil wing is painted body color with an “Eliminator” graphic gracing its topside. The taillights are full-width, framed by angular reverse lights that hover above another body-hugging bumper. Far less stately than a regular 1970 Cougar, the Eliminator makes its intentions clear from the start.
Under the hood, you'll find some very familiar hardware known as the Boss 302. Everybody knows the legendary Mustangs that housed these rowdy V8's but the same engine could also be found on the Cougar option list for the 1969 and 1970 model years. Though not original to the car, the block wears a correct D0ZE-6015-A casting number and 9H9 (August, 9th 1969) date code that syncs well with the car's September 29th build date. The small block utilizes a heavy duty block design, free flowing Cleveland heads, a race prepped crank, solid lifter cam, heavy duty connecting rods, forged pistons and an aluminum intake to create 290 SCCA-winning horsepower. At the top of the motor, a properly decaled single snorkel air cleaner cover feeds air to a correct Holley 4-barrel carburetor which sits between finned aluminum valve covers. In front of that carburetor, an Autolite coil sparks a factory-style distributor that sends power through the plug wires. At the sides of the motor, restored cast iron manifolds send spent gases into a true dual exhaust system while a correct satin black radiator sends water through reproduction hoses and clamps. As you can probably tell, the block has been properly coated in Ford Blue paint and, from its Autolite Sta-Ful battery and factory-accurate Autolite ignition module to its correct and hard to find Autolite electronic RPM limiter and reproduction paper hang tags, comes 100% complete with correct ancillary markings and components.
Peek underneath the Cougar and more show quality work awaits. The rock solid floor pans display plenty of factory-style overspray and all the In the center, an original Toploader four-speed manual wears its correct RUG-AW tag as verification that is a close-ratio model. Further down the driveline, a Ford nine-inch rear is packed with launch-happy 3.91 gears. As the options list denotes, this is the heavy-duty magnesium-infused nodular differential, designed to put serious power to the pavement. Around that stout drivetrain, the suspension has been rebuilt to factory specs with double A-arms up front and a live rear axle suspended by parallel leafs. While not as scrappy as the Mustang, the Cougar could certainly hold its own around the corners. Steering is manual but braking is power-assisted with disc brakes at the front and drums at the rear. The wheel wells are filled by F70-14 Goodyear Polyglas wrapped around 14x6 steel wheels with dog-dish hubcaps and trim rings.
For 1970, checking the box for Pastel Blue paint guaranteed buyers a Medium Blue interior. This one has been restored to factory specs and shows just as well as the car's pristine exterior. As the luxury answer to the Mustang, even the stripped down Cougar interior is more welcoming than many other cabins of the day. The highlight of that interior is the hi-back bucket seats wrapped in blue Comfortweave vinyl. Firm, supportive and surprisingly comfortable, those seats offer the perfect vantage point to view the straightforward dash with gauges that monitor fuel, amps, speed, revs, oil pressure and temperature. While most of these cars shipped with an 8k tachometer, this car was an early build so it received a 6k version. While it looks the dash is filled with delete panels, a closer inspection reveals the climate controls and AM/FM stereo are tucked away in a low spot at the center of the dashboard. The driver is connected to the Eliminator through a thin two-spoke steering wheel and an aluminum Hurst-branded shift handle. Behind the cabin, a nicely restore trunk features a simple mat and the correct spark and jack.
Documentation for this car is everything you would hope to find. To begin with, the original build sheet is intact and several copies have been made for the sake of posterity. There is also the aforementioned original invoice from Archibald Ford that outlines all the car's options. A Marti report covers all the details down to production numbers while a letter from the Cougar Club of America Eliminator Registrar (and former owner) offers a great look into the history of the car while verifying all is correct. Finally, restoration photos show the Cougar "as it was found.":http://www.carsinbarns.com/Blue%20Ovals%20In%20Barns/pg51bo.html If you had any questions regarding authenticity, consider them, well…eliminated.
Of special note, we've received a number of emails from Eliminator "experts" wondering where the staggered shocks are on this car. As all real Eliminator experts know, this is an early build car and based on the build date, the car should NOT have staggered shocks. So, the next time you hear form an expert, with firm authority, that one can spot a "true" Eliminator by the presence of staggered shocks, tell him he needs to do some more homework before he earns his expert badge.
With a legendary drivetrain and a race-friendly demeanor, this '70 Eliminator marks a unique point in Mercury history when performance temporarily reigned supreme. Capable of turning heads and quarter miles times like its pony-badged sibling, this Mercury is a great choice for anyone who wants to stand out in the crowd while enjoying proven performance. Unique factory cars are always hot, so don't miss the chance to make this 1970 Cougar Eliminator part of your collection!
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