Cruisin' in the Unicorn

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Parsonj
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Cruisin' in the Unicorn

Post by Parsonj » 11 May 2017, 21:48

Hi, I’m a new member from Texas who has been looking for THE Cougar that will fill a spot on my bucket list and I’ve joined this forum on that quest.
Based on research and what has been discussed on this forum I doubt the Cougar (the Unicorn) I’m looking for is still around in any condition, but I expect I’ll eventually end up with a high quality substitute.
It was early 1969 and I was a senior in high school. My Dad was the office manager for Whitten Bros Lincoln/Mercury in Richmond, Va. Dad often drove the land yacht convertibles and sometimes Cougars as his “demonstrator” because these were slow movers for the Whitten’s.
Before joining the Whitten’s in 1966, Dad had been a factory man. He was a DM for Rambler/AMC (and Studebaker/Packard before that). The Whitten’s were the only Rambler/AMC dealer he ever lost and Dad went to work for the Whitten’s to keep us from being transferred back to Wash., DC with AMC.
Dad knew cars—could take any car apart and but it back together—but was not a car guy. So, he did not fully appreciate what he brought home and let his high school senior son go cruising around in every weekend for eight weeks.
At first glance, especially the interior, it appeared to be an XR-7 without the badges and vinyl roof. It was a fully optioned Eliminator with stripes and the graphics on the rear quarter panels, but not on the spoiler. It was green—but, I really don’t believe it was Competition Green—with white interior. That’s not important.
But, the drive train is: This Eliminator was a Boss 302 with an automatic transmission!—something, that’s not supposed to exist according to everything I’ve read here.
To add to my teenage bonafides, I became a David Pearson/Wood Bros fan when he started driving Mercury's. I knew my Mercury’s.
I knew what I was driving and I know what I showed all my friends when I raised the hood. I knew what I was driving as I got the tires to give a little squeal as I manually shifted through the three gears with the automatic. I knew what I was driving when a friend and I got surrounded by a group of 10 rival high school guys who were attracted by the Cougar and began starting trouble. The Cougar got me and my friend out of that after a few punches, but only after my friend’s leg was slammed between passenger door and rocker panel.
I knew what I was driving--an Eliminator Boss 302 with an automatic transmission--I just didn’t know this Cougar was not supposed to exist. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
2011 Shelby 500 Mustang (sold)
2013 F250 Diesel
2015 Expedition King Ranch

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1967 S Code
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Re: Cruisin' in the Unicorn

Post by 1967 S Code » 12 May 2017, 06:13

Great story. Do you have any photos of this Cougar or the Vin #? That would go a long way towards figuring out exactly what your Cougar was and where it might be.
Steven
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Our Cougars

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1967 Standard
Dan Gurney Special

6.5 Litre, Black / Black, AC Whisperaire, Am/FM, Sports Console,
Front and Rear Bumper Guards, Clock

1968 XR7-G
302 4V, Lime Frost / Black Leather, AM/FM, Black Vinyl, Tilt-A-Way
Heavy Duty Suspension, Power Disc Brakes, Rader Wheels


1968 XR7-G Hertz
390 4V, Black Cherry/ Dark Red Leather, Black Vinyl, Sunroof, Tilt-A-Way,
Cruise, Rear Defrost, AC Whisperaire


1968 Convertible Conversion "Top Cat"
Standard, 302 4V, XR7G Console, XR7G Front Valance

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Royce
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Re: Cruisin' in the Unicorn

Post by Royce » 12 May 2017, 08:42

There were none built at the factory like that. The records are complete. Didn't happen. But there's no reason a dealer could not swap in a C4 in an afternoon using all factory parts from a small block Mustang application. Same goes for air conditioning, or cruise control, neither of which could be had with a Boss Eliminator.

Realistically you were likely riding in a 351W Eliminator. Time warps memories.

Parsonj wrote:
11 May 2017, 21:48
Hi, I’m a new member from Texas who has been looking for THE Cougar that will fill a spot on my bucket list and I’ve joined this forum on that quest.
Based on research and what has been discussed on this forum I doubt the Cougar (the Unicorn) I’m looking for is still around in any condition, but I expect I’ll eventually end up with a high quality substitute.
It was early 1969 and I was a senior in high school. My Dad was the office manager for Whitten Bros Lincoln/Mercury in Richmond, Va. Dad often drove the land yacht convertibles and sometimes Cougars as his “demonstrator” because these were slow movers for the Whitten’s.
Before joining the Whitten’s in 1966, Dad had been a factory man. He was a DM for Rambler/AMC (and Studebaker/Packard before that). The Whitten’s were the only Rambler/AMC dealer he ever lost and Dad went to work for the Whitten’s to keep us from being transferred back to Wash., DC with AMC.
Dad knew cars—could take any car apart and but it back together—but was not a car guy. So, he did not fully appreciate what he brought home and let his high school senior son go cruising around in every weekend for eight weeks.
At first glance, especially the interior, it appeared to be an XR-7 without the badges and vinyl roof. It was a fully optioned Eliminator with stripes and the graphics on the rear quarter panels, but not on the spoiler. It was green—but, I really don’t believe it was Competition Green—with white interior. That’s not important.
But, the drive train is: This Eliminator was a Boss 302 with an automatic transmission!—something, that’s not supposed to exist according to everything I’ve read here.
To add to my teenage bonafides, I became a David Pearson/Wood Bros fan when he started driving Mercury's. I knew my Mercury’s.
I knew what I was driving and I know what I showed all my friends when I raised the hood. I knew what I was driving as I got the tires to give a little squeal as I manually shifted through the three gears with the automatic. I knew what I was driving when a friend and I got surrounded by a group of 10 rival high school guys who were attracted by the Cougar and began starting trouble. The Cougar got me and my friend out of that after a few punches, but only after my friend’s leg was slammed between passenger door and rocker panel.
I knew what I was driving--an Eliminator Boss 302 with an automatic transmission--I just didn’t know this Cougar was not supposed to exist. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
1968 GT-E XR-7 W code 427 Augusta Green / Saddle
1968 XR-7 R code 428CJ Ram Air Red / Black
1910 Model T Ford Touring Red / Black
1914 Model T Touring Maroon / Black
1915 Model T Ford Touring Black / Black
1917 Model T Ford Torpedo Runabout Green / Black
XR7-G Registrar

Parsonj
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Location: Fort Worth, TX

Re: Cruisin' in the Unicorn

Post by Parsonj » 12 May 2017, 09:37

Well, I knew I would get push back. It was a Boss 302. I knew I was driving something special--but, was actually disappointed that it was a small block. Everyone knew "Boss" at the time because of Mustang, especially Boss 429. The Whitten's were not into high performance cars much less mods. As I said, they saw Cougars as slow sellers. Very unlikely they would authorize that and then give it to Dad to drive--and, Dad would not have been the least bit interested. But, "Boss" was a really big deal at the time and it may be possible that a customer got them to do what you suggest, didn't close the purchase--and they "stuck" Dad with driving it (Dad and the Whitten's were 4 door guys). I believe the next generation Whitten sons still operate the dealership. I knew them in the day. Writing this may have inspired me to make contact and see if there's any possibility they still have records from 1969 and would be interested in locating this unicorn.
2011 Shelby 500 Mustang (sold)
2013 F250 Diesel
2015 Expedition King Ranch

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Re: Cruisin' in the Unicorn

Post by xr7g428 » 12 May 2017, 09:51

Since you know the dealer name, the color and the time frame, it would be very easy to ask Kevin Marti to do the research to find out exactly how the vehicle was equipped when it left the factory. https://www.martiauto.com/martireports.cfm

Another possibility is the Eliminator Registry. Since you know the dealer name that can be matched at the District Sales Office (DSO) level. Then you could filter for color, trim, and build date, and see if any of the cars registered match up. In some case there is additional information about the car.

Since it was a high school car, having a Marti Report would be a cool thing to have regardless of how it was built at the factory.
Bill Basore, Editor / Publisher
Legendary Cougar Magazine
Currently in the Cat House
'67 XR7 GT 390 4 speed, AC, AM FM, Lime Frost Green
'68 XR7-G 428CJ C6, Tilt-Away, AM, Black Cherry
'68 XR7-G 390 4 speed, Sunroof, Cardinal Red
'68 XR7 GT-E 427 C6 AM Cardinal Red
'68 XR7 resto mod 351W, soon to be AOD, Black Cherry

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1969XR7Vert
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Re: Cruisin' in the Unicorn

Post by 1969XR7Vert » 12 May 2017, 11:43

There have been a couple of instances I recall of people mistakenly calling a 302 (Windsor) a Boss 302. This in spite of how easily each is identified. I am not saying that this is the case with your story but what I have described has happened more than once.

As others have suggested, research and inquiry is a possible way to add verifiable facts to the story.
Isabel, the realization of a seven year long dream:



Canted--Texan on the351cforum: "One of my most impressive attributes is that.......a lot of people don't like me.....or the horse I rode in on"

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R Code
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Re: Cruisin' in the Unicorn

Post by R Code » 12 May 2017, 12:45

CSB (cool story bro), but you never told us what makes you so sure you were looking at a Boss 302 engine in the car.

Please don't blame us for being skeptical, since the production records run counter to your recollection. You would not be the first guy to mis-remember something like that (not the last either).

It's still a cool story.

PS - except for the Boss 302, there were no 302's in '69/'70 Cougars
- Chris

1967 Std 4 speed conversion
1969 XR-7 "R Code" Convertible

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Royce
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Re: Cruisin' in the Unicorn

Post by Royce » 12 May 2017, 16:33

I think that's highly unlikely too since there were no 302 low performance Cougars in 1969 Eliminator or plain or XR-7.
1969XR7Vert wrote:
12 May 2017, 11:43
There have been a couple of instances I recall of people mistakenly calling a 302 (Windsor) a Boss 302. This in spite of how easily each is identified. I am not saying that this is the case with your story but what I have described has happened more than once.

As others have suggested, research and inquiry is a possible way to add verifiable facts to the story.
1968 GT-E XR-7 W code 427 Augusta Green / Saddle
1968 XR-7 R code 428CJ Ram Air Red / Black
1910 Model T Ford Touring Red / Black
1914 Model T Touring Maroon / Black
1915 Model T Ford Touring Black / Black
1917 Model T Ford Torpedo Runabout Green / Black
XR7-G Registrar

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Mike_B_SVT
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Re: Cruisin' in the Unicorn

Post by Mike_B_SVT » 12 May 2017, 18:36

Hi ParsonJ, welcome to the board! Sorry for the rough welcome here so far. Hopefully we can help you figure out exactly what you had, and maybe find out if it still exists out there somewhere!

Like the others have mentioned, the best way to start is with a VIN number. With that, you can order a Marti Report (http://www.martiauto.com/martireports.cfm) for about $20. It uses Ford factory data to provide a list of components, colors, and options that the vehicle left the factory with (i.e. original factory configuration of the car).

If you don't remember your VIN, you might try finding some old insurance documents, or sales info on the car, or any of the original paperwork. Also, as mentioned, you might be able to submit a research request to Marti Auto with the dealer, time frame, and known colors / options, in order for him to turn up a matching vehicle.

Also, if you have a VIN you can submit a request through the Cougar Club of America, and they will check thier registered database of VIN to see if your car is recorded. They MIGHT also be able to help if you have the dealership, time frame, and known colors / options as well.

Ok, lets look at the problem from a more positive perspective: instead of telling you what is "wrong" with your car, lets gather some more information about the car itself...

Was the dash panel wood grain? or black?
Did it have black faced guages or did they have little silver disks?
Was there a passenger side clock in the dash?
Was the shifter a knob, or a Hurst T-handle?
If it was a knob, was it black or brown?
Were there switches in the top-center of the dash?
Power steering? Power brakes? AC? Power Windows?
Was it a leather interior? vinyl / simulated leather? or was it a woven vinyl / comfort weave?
Did the door panels have pull handles, or just arm-rests?
Did the door panels have any wood-grain?
Were there speakers in the doors?
Was it an AM, AM/FM, or AM/8-Track radio?
Was there a center console?

Was the green paint a metallic? Was it dark dark green? A medium "emerald" green? Or a "lime gold" green (like you often see on the '67 Shelby's)?
Was there a hood scoop? If so, what color was it?
Was there a front spoiler?
Were the stripes black, or white?
Did the stripes run the entire length of the car, or did they end at the rear wheel?

Did it have trim around the wheel openings?
Did it have a "fang" on the front of the hood that you would whack your head on when working on the engine?

Also, are you sure about the "Early '69" time frame? or could it have been "Late '69"?



Ok, I know there are a lot of questions there. Hope to hear back from you soon, and we'll go from there!
Mike B.
CCOA # 9553

1970 Cougar Eliminator (Competition Gold / Black Decor Interior)
1 of 70 with 428SCJ, Ram Air, 4-speed.
Cat Bites Man!

Looking for an Eliminator? Then be sure to check out the "Eliminators on the Market" thread in the Classic Cougars For Sale section of the forum!

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1969XR7Vert
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Re: Cruisin' in the Unicorn

Post by 1969XR7Vert » 12 May 2017, 20:02

Mike_B_SVT wrote:
12 May 2017, 18:36
Hi ParsonJ, welcome to the board! Sorry for the rough welcome here so far. Hopefully we can help you figure out exactly what you had, and maybe find out if it still exists out there somewhere!

Like the others have mentioned, the best way to start is with a VIN number. With that, you can order a Marti Report (http://www.martiauto.com/martireports.cfm) for about $20. It uses Ford factory data to provide a list of components, colors, and options that the vehicle left the factory with (i.e. original factory configuration of the car).

If you don't remember your VIN, you might try finding some old insurance documents, or sales info on the car, or any of the original paperwork. Also, as mentioned, you might be able to submit a research request to Marti Auto with the dealer, time frame, and known colors / options, in order for him to turn up a matching vehicle.

Also, if you have a VIN you can submit a request through the Cougar Club of America, and they will check thier registered database of VIN to see if your car is recorded. They MIGHT also be able to help if you have the dealership, time frame, and known colors / options as well.

Ok, lets look at the problem from a more positive perspective: instead of telling you what is "wrong" with your car, lets gather some more information about the car itself...

Was the dash panel wood grain? or black?
Did it have black faced guages or did they have little silver disks?
Was there a passenger side clock in the dash?
Was the shifter a knob, or a Hurst T-handle?
If it was a knob, was it black or brown?
Were there switches in the top-center of the dash?
Power steering? Power brakes? AC? Power Windows?
Was it a leather interior? vinyl / simulated leather? or was it a woven vinyl / comfort weave?
Did the door panels have pull handles, or just arm-rests?
Did the door panels have any wood-grain?
Were there speakers in the doors?
Was it an AM, AM/FM, or AM/8-Track radio?
Was there a center console?

Was the green paint a metallic? Was it dark dark green? A medium "emerald" green? Or a "lime gold" green (like you often see on the '67 Shelby's)?
Was there a hood scoop? If so, what color was it?
Was there a front spoiler?
Were the stripes black, or white?
Did the stripes run the entire length of the car, or did they end at the rear wheel?

Did it have trim around the wheel openings?
Did it have a "fang" on the front of the hood that you would whack your head on when working on the engine?

Also, are you sure about the "Early '69" time frame? or could it have been "Late '69"?



Ok, I know there are a lot of questions there. Hope to hear back from you soon, and we'll go from there!
Great job Mike! :beerchug:
Isabel, the realization of a seven year long dream:



Canted--Texan on the351cforum: "One of my most impressive attributes is that.......a lot of people don't like me.....or the horse I rode in on"

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