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Discussion Starter #1
Do any of you all know how keys were distributed or manufactured with cougars originally?

I've got a pair of keys from my '67 GT that are unused. Brand new. They say "FORD" and "Family of Fine Cars. We've all seen these. But frankly I've always wondered:

Did the factory cut them?

Were they always the same?

Did one or two sets go to the dealers when the cars were delivered?

Did the dealers cut an extra set or did the factory do that? (were there always two sets?)


Did San Jose Keys differ from Dearborn Keys?

Were there ever "Mercury" keys made for the cars originally, or was there any pattern in their use?



Does anyone have an original pair of keys for their car? Surely there must be a bunch out there..

Thanks for any input!
 

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I used to go to the Ford dealer where my buddies work in the Parts Department and have them cut new Ford keys on the FoMoCo hand-held key-cutters. There are six cuts and only five variations of cut depth. Not sure when they went to the ten-cut keys, but they also have a hand-held cutter for those as well...
 

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I remember going through the Buick factory in Flint, and the keys were in the ign. lock when it was installed in the car. The keys remained in the ign as the car went through the production line.

I don't ever recall my father as a dealer having to cut keys, they were with the car off the transport. Yes, he cut EXTRA keys, if the car was on a payment program through the dealership, then an extra key was kept in case of the, REPO MAN.................

I can't speak for Mercury though.

Dale in Indy

P.S. This story I am about to tell is TRUE, everything else I have told you is a lie, LOL. We owned and operated 3 Ryder truck agencies, and EVERY SINGLE TRUCK, NATION WIDE, USED THE SAME KEY. It was done because often a truck would be left on the lot without the keys, and with thousands of trucks, we couldn't keep spares. Well, finally a lawyer got wind of such and filed a law suit, and forced Ryder to change the habbit. Also trucks would be rented for LOCAL use, and then driven to Texas and left in front of the Police station, NO KEYS...they wanted us to find it, but without keys. MEAN WORLD, sometimes......
 

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When I bought my car and it was a one owner car it came with keys that said Ford, Very old key ring and I wonder if these are original. Yet I bought a set of the Mercury Head keys just thinking that they were more correct? Would be interesting to find out if the Mercury's came with Ford keys or Mercury Keys.
 

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I have the original keys and they are the Ford Family of Fine Cars Keys. It is a Dearborn car with one set of use keys and the other set was a second set that look like new.
Brad
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Well..My evidence is narrowed down to one set of keys..the ones that came with the car. I'm sure they're the originals-or are they?

Because as it turns out, the set that were mailed to me must have been from his '74 Granada!
 

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Brian, I also have my original keys. The trunk and glovebox key say Ford (in script)in the oval on one side and the other side say Family of Fine Cars, it also has a Y on it on the side where it says Ford. The ignition and door key says Ford (in script) in the oval on both sides, it also has a I on it. I also have a 2nd set of Ford keys made by a locksmith as it has there name stamped in it and it looks newer than the originals. BTW, what color are the keys that came with the car? John
 

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When I bought my first 1968 Cougar new the I got one set and they were just as you discribe them.
 

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Sometime in the mid 1980s at an NCCC meeting a set of Cougar keys was auctioned off. They had Cougar heads on them I think. Something was uniquely Cougar about them. I think they were only few years old at the time. Whatever they were, it was a genuine LM item. They had been given out to some buyers of new Cougars a year or two or three before. A club member donated the set of uncut keys. If I remember right, Scott Berger won them for about $80.00 in a bidding "war" with Chuck Mosley after everyone else dropped out around the $35.00 mark.
Does anyone here remember these kind of keys? Was this a California thing only, or national?
Fastmerc may have been at that meeting. Do you remember those keys?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Brian, I also have my original keys. The trunk and glovebox key say Ford (in script)in the oval on one side and the other side say Family of Fine Cars, it also has a Y on it on the side where it says Ford. The ignition and door key says Ford (in script) in the oval on both sides, it also has a I on it. I also have a 2nd set of Ford keys made by a locksmith as it has there name stamped in it and it looks newer than the originals. BTW, what color are the keys that came with the car? John
They are Shiny Silver, John. Like a lot of 'em I've seen. BTW, did you see my edited comment about the "product of" over the Ford Logo on the Sill plate insert? (I'm dead)
 

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I also have a set of original, near mint keys for my Augusta Green '68 that I found in a hidden key holder when I restored my engine compartment back in 1995. They have the small round hole, the Ford oval one one side, and "Ford Family of Fine Cars" on the other. No letters on the shaft, as I have often seen on others. They appear to be chrome plated brass. As I recall from my days hanging around a Ford/Mercury dealer, two sets of keys always came with the car, and as Milo says, the parts guys could cut a new key for you, either with the code or using a special tool to "read" the code of an existing key.

With respect to the Cougar key blanks, I have a set of those as well. I don't know exactly how old they are, but assume from the '70s, given their design. Ford issued a few "special" key blanks over the years. I also have some for the Signature Series Continental Mark VI from '80-'81, for example. They have inserts on them with a gold Continental star on a background of ebony, which matches the dashboard simulated wood. Very swank.
 

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I have the original keys as well for my 70 XR7, they are nearly brass in color now... on another '70 Cougar that I owned I had the keys on a Marlboro key ring with my last name engraved on the fob, anyway I had loaded the car onto a trailer for transport and left town to sell it. When I returned home a couple of days later, an old gal that lives near me had seen something in the road and stopped and picked it up, seeing my name on it, she came by the house and told me that she recognized the name, but the clue was the old Ford keys and no one in the neighborhood but me would have old keys like that...she found these keys near the interstate about a mile away...karma?
 

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I'm about 90% sure the "Ford Family of Fine Cars" are what it rolled out of the factory with. At least every car my dad bought came with them, and we never owned anything but Ford/LM products. I think there were a fair amount of special blanks the dealers got over the years though - I have seen the cougar, t-bird, mustang, etc. logo's on them plenty of times, along with other little goodies that gave it a "factory" custom look for the dealers to upsell you with. I notice they don't stock near as much of that type of stuff anymore...?
 

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They are Shiny Silver, John. Like a lot of 'em I've seen. BTW, did you see my edited comment about the "product of" over the Ford Logo on the Sill plate insert? (I'm dead)
Thanks Brian, I was wondering about the color of your keys but after reading CRI's post, my ignition key is brass in color now I guess from wear. Yes, I did see your edited commit about the door scuff plate emblem, I guess there is a difference between the '67-'68 emblem. Thanks John
 

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Interesting topic. I had to look at my keys in hopes they were original. Does not look like it. They all have "NED'S" stamped on them. Quick google search shows a Ned's Locksmiths in Santa Barbara Ca. One set is chrome over brass and one set seems newer and not showing any brass through yet. Guess Ned was the go to guy for keys in the area out there. LOL.
 

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Mine lookes (french accent) like old brass.

if cougar buddies are up to snapping a pic of their oldest key on the wall, we could see a lot of interesting stuff.

I just took a dozen pics of mine, and will have to wait for my better half, who is a pro at this, to take pics that are readable


Jean
 

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I have the original keys for my '67. "Y" stamped on the shaft of the trunk key. The ignition key is worn smooth to a brass color, but you can see the slight hint of the Ford oval on the one side and has a single key ring hole (not like the "slotted" repops currently available).

Dan
 
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