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Here's Why The Mercury Cougar Eliminator Is A Great Restomod To Take On The Dodge Challenger

HotCars 1/28/2023 David O'Callaghan
© Provided by HotCars

Most people can agree that the peak of the muscle car happened in the period between the late 60s and earl 70s, before things would steadily more watered down as the fuel crisis and various other factors wreaked havoc on the humble performance coupe.


There are some interesting limited-run models that stood out from the usual model lines, such as the Dodge Super Bee, the Pontiac GTO Judge and many more, but the Mercury Cougar Eliminator is just as worthy of attention nowadays even if it played second to Ford's Mustang.

It’s perhaps not most people’s first thought when considering deceased muscle car nameplates to revive, but this concept by HotCars artist Timothy Adry Emmanuel brings back the iconic design for 2023 in a big way and the Dodge Challenger suddenly finds itself up against some stiff competition.

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The 2023 Mercury Cougar Eliminator Is Here At Last In This Concept Render

If you know the Mercury Cougar, you will notice the iconic style reemerging here in the orange render, with the grille and headlights undeniably the main direct influence.

The original orange color on Eliminators got called Competition Orange, and the hood scoop, decals and other details like the center stripe all get inspired (or copied) from the 1969 Mercury Cougar Eliminator.

A spoiler up back is an important touch, and up back there are some new features like the full-length light bar which seems to be an extension of the vintage car’s long rear light units; the quad-exhaust setup hints at a potent powertrain that would likely be under that hood.

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What Is The Mercury Cougar Eliminator And Is It A Rare Muscle Car?

Mercury’s Cougar Eliminator ran from 1969-1970, it was a performance-oriented trim which came with various upgrades from the styling to the equipment and chassis/tires. The Eliminator came with a 5.7-liter V8 with 290 hp and 385 lb-ft.

There was also the option of the 7-liter Cobra Jet engine with 335 hp and 440 lb-ft, but this render could just as well do with the modern, 5.2-liter, supercharged V8 from Mercury’s ex-corporate cousin Ford, the engine currently in the Ford Shelby Mustang GT500 which makes 760 hp.

With comfortably under 5000 units made, the Mercury Cougar Eliminator is a rare car today and currently has a value of around $79,000; based on’s auction results database of which only 37 got reported as sold over a 5-year-period.

The styling and body shape of the render certainly has its fair share of Dodge Challenger in it, especially at the rear haunches and with the coupe coke bottle style. As a cousin of the Ford Mustang, it could return to take on the 2-door Challenger and offer an upmarket performance experience for 2023.


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