Mercury Cougar Owners banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
69 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I need some recomendations on what I should, or should not do to my 69 std. I had the car looked at by a mechanic who restores muscle cars as a hobby himself. The car is vey clean and very original. He was excited to see such an old car so clean and so original. The car still has the original factory brake lines......hard as a rock now, original suspension still tight, suspension bushings original, dry rotted and going to be changed, original engine hood pad in great condition. These are things I did not even take note of when purchasing the car. He recomended taking pictures of every inch of the car before changing anything to document it. My plan for the car was to use this car to learn, I found a 69 std 351..... nothing rare I thought, and planned on using the car as I got the money to change the suspension, change the brakes to all disks, modify the engine use this car as an introduction into the hobby by learning by experiance. He recomended against this and said the car was worth more if kept as is because it was so original. His opinion on the car was that I could put the car on e-bay as is and get a big profit out of the car, (not going to sell her just yet I love the car, and did not buy her for the profit) or put a paint job on the car and have a car worth easily $20K (sound high to me for a 69 std 351) When I started looking for my car I saw alot of really nice cougars out there for $12K-$15K That had been modified and looked great. Does putting money into these cars and modifying them actually make them worth less money. I want to improve the car and learn the hobby, but not if it is going to actually make the car worth less eventually. So my question, because every post need a question. Do I modify and enjoy the car, or keep the car original, and go find a piece of junk in need of help and modify that. I feel an addiction coming on I have the car 6 weeks and am already considering getting a second one! Any recomendations?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,279 Posts
It's your car, do what makes you happy.
Save all the parts you pull off the car in case you decide to sell at a later date. Always a plus to have all the original parts available for the buyer.

An upgrade such as disc brakes is a modification that shouldn't devalue the car, be sure to get all the associated parts (booster, master cylinder, lines, proportioning valve) with the discs so the conversion doesn't look like a "backyard" job.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,853 Posts
The mechanic has obviously not been to a recent Cougar show. Then he would see many nice original and restored Classic Cougars.
However, I love seeing any Cougar and can appreciate his enthusiam.
Keep the car but sell me the underhood pad.
Mine is missing. LOL...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
531 Posts
I puchased my 67 XR7 in orig. cond. but i am not planning on selling it (passing on to kids or grand kids alot later) so i am going to make it the car I want. Now if it was a G or GTE that might change my mind
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,364 Posts
Tasteful modifications such as an interior or exterior color change to a year-correct color generally do not harm the value of the car. Modifications that are incorrect for the year but that improve driveability will only affect the value according to the preferences of the prospective buyer. A purist will devalue the car in such a case, but the buyer looking for a show driver might consider it worth more.

Before you start making changes to a very original car, do as the mechanic suggested and photo-document the car. Also make sure that you're not changing something that makes the car unique in a positive way.

Then, as Art suggested, make your changes as reversible as possible by keeping the original parts so that a future owner can return it to original condition.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,633 Posts
One rule of thumb is that modifications can only reduce the value of the car, by the cost of reversal.

However, In this case I have to agree with the mechanic. A modified standard is very common. It sounds like the only thing that makes your car special is the unmolested nature of the car.

In the final analysis, it is your car and you get to do what ever you want. I am a big fan of adding optional items that were correct for the year. An example would be the addition of headrests ('67 or '68), and AM FM stereo radio, and rear window defogger. you might not get paid for these changes, but you might enjoy the car more. Plus, it seems to satisfy my desire to put my own touch on the car without doing something totally dumb.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
531 Posts
Bill, I can see doing anything other then cosmetic mods. to your list of cars would be totaly dumb but on a std car I say customize,street rod, road race, hell even pro street it. Have a blast:evil: I am not a fart smeller oops I ment smart feller but thats my 1 1/2 cents
xr7g428 said:
One rule of thumb is that modifications can only reduce the value of the car, by the cost of reversal.

However, In this case I have to agree with the mechanic. A modified standard is very common. It sounds like the only thing that makes your car special is the unmolested nature of the car.

In the final analysis, it is your car and you get to do what ever you want. I am a big fan of adding optional items that were correct for the year. An example would be the addition of headrests ('67 or '68), and AM FM stereo radio, and rear window defogger. you might not get paid for these changes, but you might enjoy the car more. Plus, it seems to satisfy my desire to put my own touch on the car without doing something totally dumb.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,633 Posts
I don't oppose modifying cars. The question is whether you want to start with a really pristine original car. I would prefer to start with a solid rust free, but worn out car, and go from there.

8If I had the time I would like to build a GTE / Elanor type Cougar. Start with a fuel injected 351 to 427 stroker motor, 6 speed transmission, 4 wheel discs, rack and pinion steering, and a fully built suspension. Interior would need some Recaro seats, I would have to have all of the creature comforts, Power steering, brakes, windows, locks, cruise control, navigation, DVD video, MP3's on a hard drive with the right amps and speakers, a console with some decent cup holders, variable speed interval wipers, Home link, and on and on and on...

And I would have to keep it looking pretty much like a basic Cougar. Except in all weather, day, night interceptor form.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
201 Posts
Everyone has their own opinion. My opinion. If the car has not been tampered with keep it original. There are not that many left.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,006 Posts
Do it to it, hold on to the original stuff though.

I got my car with 4 cylinder Mustang seats and no engine...perfect canidate for a race car IMO.

Your car sounds nice and original. Might be worth it to keep that way and find a shell like I did.
 

·
Contributing Member
Joined
·
6,137 Posts
It depends...

I'm a modified guy. I don't see a problem modifying your car even though it's a very complete original. If modifying the car will add more to your enjoyment of the car, and could also add a measure of safety, then by all means go for it.

If it was a rarer car like a GTE, a G or even an Eliminator, then it really should be left alone.

But you need to ask yourself, what are your long term plans for this car? Do you plan to keep it for a good long time, or is this something that you might just turn over to someone else should you become tired of it in a few years or so? If you don't see keeping it, then you'd probably be better off leaving it alone, or at least keep the original parts and sell them with the car. A future buyer would probably prefer having an unmolested car to start with. I agree with what was said about the affects the modification has on the price is based on what it would cost to return that mod to original.

But if you're gonna keep the car for a long time and you want to enjoy driving it, then make it the way you want it. These cars are supposed to make us happy. If yours will make you happier with the modifications, DO IT. Otherwise, you're just keeping it in a matter so the next owner could be happy with it; not my idea of fun.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,097 Posts
68XR-7Cat said:
Tasteful modifications such as an interior or exterior color change to a year-correct color generally do not harm the value of the car. Modifications that are incorrect for the year but that improve driveability will only affect the value according to the preferences of the prospective buyer. A purist will devalue the car in such a case, but the buyer looking for a show driver might consider it worth more.

Before you start making changes to a very original car, do as the mechanic suggested and photo-document the car. Also make sure that you're not changing something that makes the car unique in a positive way.

Then, as Art suggested, make your changes as reversible as possible by keeping the original parts so that a future owner can return it to original condition.
I agree with everything Bill said. When I saw your car it reminded me a lot of mine cuz it was amost completely original including the same granny style hubcaps (see below) and 351-2V single exhaust engine. I had no qualms about changing the wheels and adding a dual exhaust system (kept the old hubcaps of course) cuz the car needed those basic changes badly IMO. I'm getting ready to add a hood scoop too cuz I think it's the finishing touch to make '69/'70s look like awesome muscle cars. Besides that I think the only thing I'll change will be some engine dress up pieces like valve covers and air cleaner. If I had your car I think I'd be making the same changes and leaving the rest original.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,059 Posts
GatorGreg said:
I agree with everything Bill said. When I saw your car it reminded me a lot of mine cuz it was amost completely original including the same granny style hubcaps (see below) and 351-2V single exhaust engine. I had no qualms about changing the wheels and adding a dual exhaust system (kept the old hubcaps of course) cuz the car needed those basic changes badly IMO. I'm getting ready to add a hood scoop too cuz I think it's the finishing touch to make '69/'70s look like awesome muscle cars. Besides that I think the only thing I'll change will be some engine dress up pieces like valve covers and air cleaner. If I had your car I think I'd be making the same changes and leaving the rest original.

OK, what is that thing under the b-ball hoop?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,097 Posts
C Gauch said:
OK, what is that thing under the b-ball hoop?
I dunno, it's not mine. Maybe a trampoline for summersault jams :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
405 Posts
I am on my fourth Cougar at the age of 51. I still long for my 67 XR7 with power everything including windows and tilt. It only had a 289 in it but was only $1k in 74. I still remember taking my girlfriend on long trips through the foothills near Auburn the year I bought it.

I bought my last one going on two years ago. It is a 69 standard, later found out it was a Sport Special from the guys on this board when I posted pictures. I bought it because it was very solid with no damage. It had 17" bullet rims and low profile tires, but was otherwise stock. (I am not mentioning the early 80's Cougar emblem the guy slapped on the hood) :realshk: It was a 20 footer. The interior was all original and parts of it worn, but not bad. In hindsight I would have looked for something as solid but not in as good a shape.

This brings me to why any of this is relevant to your question. I would have felt bad, even back in the day, modifying an XR. I intentionally bought a car this time that I could change things on and make what I wanted. The interior went from gold to black. I bought new upholstery and carpet and had the seats redone. I bought XR7 door panels, but I always liked the "deluxe" design for the seats more than the XR, so that is what I bought. They share design features and textures with the XR panels. I did the whole thing, including headliner and package tray. I has 6x9 speaker holes cut as it came from the factory with 4x10 cutouts. I redid all of the suspension, uncluding springs and shocks, front end, and stearing. I slapped a new gas tank in it, had new lines run, new hoses and belts and pretty much anything that looked sub par replaced. Including the radiator. I upgraded to electronic ignition, added an Edlebrock performer 4bbl maniforld and Holly carb, and had the tranny rebuilt. Did a ton of stuff to make the car drivable and dependable. I don't hesitate to take it anywhere now.

How does this apply? I plan on keeping my Cat and driving her. I get a kick out of weekend cruises. It is not a high performance Cat by the forum standards, but it is nice to drop the peddle now and then and feel the 351 come to life. It was not done as an investment. If I had spent the same money restoring a more collectable Cat, it might have increased the value. Many might think I tossed money down the drain because I did this to a standard. Frankly I do not expect to recoup my expenses in any way other than turning the ignition key and rolling down the road.

I have two XR7 dash clusters and wiring harnesses in the garage if I ever get motivated to add those, however my daydreams now take me to a set of Autometer in place of factory, tastefully done in an original configuration. I will likely update the air conditioning. I also plan on repairing the one bad spot of metal found when I had the battery tray replaced, and getting a paint job, but that can wait a while, it is fun as it is.

I kept the old parts, and should there be some demand at some time in the future I guess I could put it back to standard, that is if I ever sell it. Most likely I will pass it on to one of my neices or nephews when the time comes.

A standard is a great place to start. But if you are planning on doing what I did, keep in mind it does not cost any more to replace a bad part than it does to replace a good one. There are a lot of $2k Cougars out there that would benefit from the work and you would not have to think twice about any of the issues you pose. If you are in that price range with the car you describe then count your blessings and have some fun. Don't expect to get your money out of a stndard if you make any meaningfull changes.

On mine, the single most noticable upgrade other than the carb, was replacing the front window. Best $220 I ever spent. Really changes the feel inside the car.

I really admire the Eliminators and CJs I see posted and talked about. Having had some nice XR7's and many other cars, I find I don't "worry" about my current Cat when I go for a ride. I worry more about my 05 Mustang than my Cat. Worry is not a good thing :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
69 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Thanks for all the advice

After alot of thought, and reading all of your recomendations, I have decided to modify and make her my own. I purchased the car for fun, and not as an investment, and modifications will make her more enjoyable to drive. I also plan on keeping her for a long time so the money spent will be enjoyed in the long run. I will keep all the parts if I do ever sell her. First modifications have been ordered. Replace the 2bl carb with a 4bl. New edlbrock intake manifold, change from points to an electronic ignition, and replace original fuel pump to a new fuel pump. Changes should make her more dependable and more fun to drive. I will let everyone know how she is running when she is done. Thanks again for all the input.....................:ylsup:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,279 Posts
When I bought my cat, still had the original engine (302 2V), transmission, original plug wires, Autolite distributor cap, even the 22F battery tray.
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top