Bringing life to a Neglected 60s Cougar
Barn discoveries come in a wide variety of sizes and forms, however, something that invariably happens, is any classic vehicle which has been deserted for several decades will start to decay gradually, eventually ending up unfunctional.
This 1969 Mercury Cougar, originally designed to function as a mid-range similarity to the Ford Mustang, has belonged to its present owner since he was in high school and has certainly led an arduous life. It’s been resting for twenty years, and owing to business pressures and having children, the proprietor never had the means or spare moments to restore it.
Youtuber, Kevin Brown, also referred to as “Junkyard Digs,” has been called on to gather the Cougar from the junkyard and get it rolling again so it can be prepped for an entire restoration. Even so, as Kevin uncovers, there are quite a few obstacles in the process.
The 1969 Mercury Cougar was delivered with Ford’s 5.8-litre Windsor V8 engine as standard, with a two-barrel carburettor producing 250bhp and a four barrel generating 290 horsepower.
Later iterations took up the Boss 302 small block V8 and as well the 428 “Cobra Jet” big block motor. Despite this, this Cougar is a base configuration with the 351 Windsor small block plus a 4-speed manual gearbox.
Kevin and Angus launch a scrutiny of the car, and very soon discover that the brakes are totally stuck. The clutch also appears to malfunctioning, leading Kevin to surmise that the cause is probably rust which has caused the clutch plates to adhere to one another.
Kevin then shifts his focus to the engine area, verifying that fluid and oil levels are sufficient. He then installs a new battery in the Cougar. The duo afterwards clean the distributor cap and assess the distributor points, all for the purpose of attempting to start the engine.
After checking the starter solenoid and injecting a bit of fuel into the carburetor, the engine does begin to activate. Sadly, the vehicle does not run Steady, so Kevin removes the carburetor and begins to work on the power valve. Regrettably, it appears too worn out to repair, leading Kevin to fit a fresh new carb to get the motor running again.
Fitting some fresh, provisional wheels and tires, as well as setting up a makeshift fueling system on the car’s bonnet, Kevin jump-started the vehicle from the garage in order to take it on a speedy trip around the yard.
As the clutch is no longer functioning, the vehicle will not be able to switch gears and will only stop when shutting off the motor due to the malfunctioning brakes. Bearing this in mind, the Cougar does move and can be driven within the proprietor’s property.
Kevin inquires the proprietor if he’d fancy a spin in the vehicle, and the response is evident when he eagerly hops behind the wheel. However, the owner remains tight-lipped about what modifications will be made but guarantees Kevin that there will be progress reports throughout the renovation; projected to commence over the summer.