1968 Mercury Cougar

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The Blue 1968 Cougar sat under a carport in Hillsboro, Ore. for about six years and was so covered with dust that you couldn't tell what color it was or what the interior was like. The hood latch was rusted so bad I couldn't get the hood open.

The car was located 200 feet from my brother-in-law's house for the past four years.

On our annual visits, I would try to convince the little old lady next door to part with it. The answer was always the same "Some day I'll get it fixed up."

Well, in September 1997, she decided to let it go and I was there with the cash.

We towed it on a dolly behind my camper some 1,485 miles to Payson.

It turned out to be an XR7-GT. It has the deluxe trim and interior package with the 325HP 390 GT engine. Everything was original.

In 1968 the Cougar was leased to an executive of the Los Angeles Times Mirror newspaper: total cost $4,136.87. At the end of the lease the executive's secretary purchased the car. The same little old lady I purchased it from in Oregon, by the way, lived in Pasadena, Calif. at the time.

I spent the next two years of my life rebuilding the all-original car to a like-new condition with a total drive-line rebuild, and a completely new interior. I finished it off with a great paint job (the only thing I didn't do).

The completed project took first place for 1967-68 Cougars at the Arizona Cougar Club show in 2001.

It is a great highway car and we love to travel in it, and it will peg the spedo at 120.

Larry and Nancy Bertram

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