1970 Mercury Cougar Eliminator
2dr Hardtop Coupe
8-cyl. 302cid/290hp 4bbl Boss
With an experienced team and a lot of data.
By 1970, the Muscle Car wars were starting to wind down thanks to EPA regulations and rising insurance rates. The Cougar received a facelift, returning to a divided grille with a “catspaw” in the center, while the bars reverted to vertical. The taillights remained the same as 1969, but Eliminators had a both a blackout grille and rear panel. Sales figures fell to 72,363 with 18,565 being XR-7 Hardtops and 4,299 Convertibles, of which 2,322 were base cars and 1,977 were XR-7s. Base Hardtop MSRP prices started at $3,114, Convertible at $3,382, XR-7 Hardtop at$3,413, and XR-7 Convertible at $3,692.
This would be the last year for the Eliminator and only 2,267 were delivered. The base engine was a new 300 bhp, 351 cid V8 with angled valves like the 302. The high-revving, solid lifter Boss 302 was optional with a functional hood scoop. It was only available with a 4-speed. The 335 bhp, 428 cid Cobra Jet V-8 was available and the Super Cobra Jet (SCJ) Ram-Air induction, boosted it to about 400 bhp. A new offering was the Boss 429, with a 375 bhp version of the NASCAR 429 cubic-inch V-8, but reports indicate only two cars were so equipped.
Eliminators could be recognized by the front and rear spoilers, full-length side stripe, hood scoop and center stripe and Eliminator script on the rear quarter panel and rear spoiler. No Eliminators had vinyl tops and the rear spoiler was body color, while the hood scoop was black to match the hood stripe, as was front spoiler. Special Eliminator Competition colors were Orange, Yellow, Blue, Gold, Green and Pastel Blue. High-back bucket seats were fitted along with a competition handling package with stiffer springs, bigger sway bars and angled rear shocks.
A houndstooth cloth interior was an eye-catching option, and high back bucket seats were now standard on all Cougars. The Competition Handling Package was now standard on the Eliminator and optional on other models. The front sway bar grew to just under an inch, and a half-inch sway bar was added to the rear. Options could push prices past $5,000 easily, and could be divided between performance and luxury.
A total of 20 other colors were available for Cougars in addition to the Eliminator paint. They were, with codes: Black (A) Dark Maroon (B), Dark Green (C), Dark Bright Aqua (F), Medium Lime (G), Bright Gold (K), Light Gray (L), White (M), Medium Ivy Green (P), Medium Blue(Q), Medium Gold (S), Red (T), Pale Yellow (W), Dark Blue (X), Medium Bronze (Y), Light Ivy Yellow (2), Medium Brown (5), Bright Blue (6), Light Gold (8), Yellow (9). Vinyl tops were available in Black, White, Sandalwood, Buckskin, Dark Blue or Dark Green.
The Ford Mustang would be significantly redesigned in 1971 and the Cougar along with it. The Muscle Car period was almost over and the new model would veer towards Thunderbird luxury, just as the Thunderbird began to resemble a Lincoln Mk IV coupe.