Mercury Cougar Boss 429 by Fast Eddie
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Mercury Cougar Boss 429, the muscle car that Ford did not dare to market

We are talking about a car that would easily be around 500 HP and that Ford did not dare to put on sale, as it did with an equivalent version of the Mustang.

If you understand anything about American cars, you will know that the “posh” cousin of Ford Mustang The first generation was the Mercury Cougar.. In 1968, Ford presented in Los Angeles a prototype of the Mercury Cougar Eliminator, the equivalent of the Ford Mustang Boss, a homologation special that had to be sold to race in the NASCAR and racing Trans am.

El 1969 Mercury Cougar Eliminator It was available with various V8 engines, from the 351 Windsor to the 428 Super Cobra Jet, with powers from 290 to 335 HP on paper. In fact, some engines gave much more, but they didn't want to scare the insurance companies. However, The 375 hp engine of the Mustang Boss 429 was not offered to Mercury customers. Well, the 375 HP was just saying, it was closer to 500 HP.

Ford considered doing it, initially they thought of manufacturing 50 units, but in the end there were only two Mercury Cougar Boss 429. Like the Ford Mustang Boss 429s, a pair of Mercury Cougars were sent from the Dearborn assembly line in April 1969 to a “skunk shop” 60 kilometers away. It was Kar Kraft, who worked exclusively for Ford, and he managed to fit that 7-liter engine in the space of those cars -compact from the American point of view of the time-.

1969 Ford Boss 429 Mustang Assembly Line KK
Assembly of a 429 Ford Mustang Boss 1969 in KK.

To make them fit, the front suspension towers had to be moved an inch to each side and the lower arm mountings had to be moved a little further down. The KK workshop was in charge of shimming the engine and transmission. In theory, in KK the chassis numbers were changed, replacing the letter R (means 428 Super Cobra Jet engine) with Z (means 429), but both Cougars were not going to enroll because they were going to be for display, basically.

THE MERCURY COUGAR BOSS 429 IN ACTION

The pilots "Fast Eddie” Schartman and “Dyno Don” Nicholson, well known in the quarter mile world at the time, received two cars, painted in white, with chassis numbers 9F91R567772 and 9F91R567773. In exchange for a dollar, they had to wear them on the track to attract attention and, after a year, return them. But Ford never saw those cars again nor made any effort to recover them..

Fast Eddie's 429 Mercury Cougar Boss 1970
The yellow Mercury Cougar Boss 429 from "Fast Eddie."

Schartman painted his Mercury Cougar Boss 429 yellow and, after a few months, he changed the front end to that of the 1970 Mercury Cougar. He didn't win awards, but he did 10,36 seconds in an NHRA Pro Stock race. It changed hands and the chassis and body ended up being cut. Its current owner, the fourth, has been collecting the parts, including the body, which he was able to find repainted in blue.

Dyno Don's 429 Mercury Cougar Boss 1969
Dyno Don's Mercury Cougar Boss 429 nicknamed the “Plastic Puma.”

The other car was painted red and orange. Nicknamed “Plastic Puma”, was not to the liking of Nicholson, who removed the 429 engine and installed another one, although he did not change the front and maintained that of the 1969 model. Certainly, these cars had not been assembled to withstand the rigors of that type of racing. He also ended up split in two, and after years, It ended up being restored with the pieces that could be rescued. It was displayed at the 2014 Carlisle Ford Nationals.

WHAT THEY COULD BE WORTH...

Both cars are considered “holy grails” within the history of the Mercury brand, which Ford took over after the 2008 crisis (it was straddling Ford and Lincoln as an aspirational brand). However, They have not survived to this day in one piece and have no racing pedigree.. The Ford Mustang Boss 429 has more cachet, of which 1.358 examples were produced at Kar Kraft from January 1969 to January 1970.

If they have been preserved whole, Who knows what these two Mercury Cougar Boss 429s could be worth?, a wild one and a half. You can learn more about these two very special cars in their respective Facebook groups: Eddie Schartman Super Stock Boss 429 Cougar y Dyno Don Nicholson's Boss 429 69 Cougar “Plastic Puma”.

What do you think?

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Written by Javier Costas

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