Fab 69 Mercury Cougar

Cougar photo Mustangs muscle car Cougar

Jeff and Linda began phase two of the Cougar makeover about four years later, upgrading the tired 351 Windsor under the hood. Limited by its two-barrel carb and automatic transmission, the high-mileage V-8 needed to go, and was replaced with a new 351 Windsor crate engine from the Engine Factory in Lebanon, New Jersey.

It pumped an impressive 400 hp to the beefed up AOD transmission. That extra power comes from a Christmas list of aftermarket goodies squeezed into the Windsor that includes hypereutectic 9.5:1 pistons, a nodular cast crank, roller rockers, and an Elgin cam. Breathing was enhanced with Edelbrock Performer aluminum heads, a Performer Air Gap intake manifold, a 650-cfm Thunder series carb, and a K&N air filter. An MSD ignition with a 6AL box lights the fire, while full-length, ceramic-coated Hedman headers dump exhaust gases into a pair of aluminized MagnaFlow mufflers. A Be Cool aluminum radiator keeps coolant temps in the green.

Power without control isn’t much fun, so planting the ponies was the next task. That began with a Global West front suspension package that included tubular control arms, 1-inch lowering springs, and subframe connectors. A Monte Carlo bar was added under the hood and a Scott Drake Mustang lowering kit was adapted to the Cougar rear suspension. A Unisteer rack-and-pinion modernized the turns, while new SSBC front brake rotors guaranteed quick stops, and KYB gas shocks stabilize all four corners. For bulletproof reliability, a Ford 9-inch rear with 4.11 gears was bolted in, along with a Richmond Powertrax Lock-Right Locker to ensure both rear tires light up on command. The upgrades gave new life to the old car, modernized even more two years later with a new Tremec five-speed transmission and a Slick Stik shifter.

The Details
Jeff and Linda Stone’s ’69 Mercury Cougar XR7 Convertible

351ci Windsor V-8 built by The Engine Factory
TransmissionTremec T-5Z five-speed manual
Ram Powergrip clutch and steel flywheel

Ford 9-Inch with 4.11 gears
Powertrax differential