Midsouthern Restorations

1970 Mercury Cougar

This 1970 Mercury Cougar from Sparta, Tennessee area shows the reason why some rattle can paint should be thrown away from a garage. This customer seen our 1970 Torino Cobra and then wanted the motor to look as good as the 429 Cobra Jet. The original owner said he repainted it before and did not like it now. The cool cat also had a dent in the fender and needed a re-chroming on the bumpers and the owners wanted to add power steering. He also stated the car did not have as much horsepower and was a dog. He said he put on a new four barrel carburetor awhile back.

Upon opening the hood we could see this was a mess. We were surprised by the lack of any type of thought in the paint scheme on the 351 Cleveland motor. The new 30 year old four barrel turned out to be a Holley “Economizer” 2 barrel from the gas crunch days purchased by the owner in 1980. It had very small venturies indicating a low CFM carburetor that was wrong for the car, purchased by someone not knowing what they were doing. Even 2 Barrel 351 Cleveland heads have huge ports and valves and need a decent size carburetor. He still had the original Ford Motorcraft two barrel carburetor. This was sent off and professionally restored. The motor was removed and all old paint removed. The motor then received a new timing chain and high volume, high pressure oil pump. A power steering pump was taken from a 1976 Ford LTD and fitted to the Cleveland motor and a steering gear from a Ford Fairmont was installed. Everything was cleaned and repainted. The motor looked new, and the body was then repaired and bumpers put back on.

Once tuned in, the old /new motor ran extremely well and was video taped smoking the tires down the block. The car was delivered back to the owners. And the wife was told to lock the paint cabinet and the husband was told to drive the car like he stole it, at least just once.