We have some new information on the 1968 Cougar GT 500 we told you about last week. We have known about these cars for sometime but we are just now beginning to get some good details on an actual car. The owner and I still need a lot more information about these rare Cougars and the NASCAR race track promotional programs Mercury ran back in 1968 and 1969.
It is interesting to note that the Elite Marti Report does not mention the “Cyclone GT500” option on this particular Cougar where the regular Deluxe Marti Report did. I am now wondering if it was only listed on the other report because it was destined for the Charlotte Raceway program like the Cyclones? Possibly the “Cyclone GT 500” option was only listed on those Cougars and Cyclones that were actually used at the tacks on race day or delivered to their new owners at the race track. You will also note that the emblems on the back of the Cougar do not say “GT 500” only “500”! So is this a GT 500 or a Cougar 500? We have also seen similar differences on the Cyclone 500s and Cyclone GT 500s but that is another issue.
This particular Cougar GT 500 was taken to the NASCAR Charlotte 600 race on Memorial Day weekend in 1968. The build date was April 30, 1968. It was then shipped to the Speedway in Charlotte leaving the factory on May 5th and arriving on May 11, 1968. The car may have been on display at the track or used as a courtesy car for race officials and staff. It is assumed the dealer picked the car up at that location and had it shipped back or more likely it was driven back to his dealership for retail sale. It was sold in July of 1968. The original owner’s family stated he was upset because he had to wait to take delivery due to the car being used at Charlotte.
The current owner does have the original title showing the July date of sale. The Cougar was purchased from the family of the original registered owner, who died a few years ago. There is no evidence or memory by the family of the owner ever going to Charlotte to drive the Cougar. The original owner purchased the car at the dealership but did not order the car built.
Here are some questions for you:
- Do you have any Race Programs, Newspaper Ads, or Magazine articles that might further explain or document the Cougar or Cyclone GT 500 participation in the Charlotte 600 in 1968?
- Are there any dealers or anyone who worked for a Mercury dealership in 1968 who can help with this task?
- Have you ever seen any other Cougar GT 500s?
- Were there any other colors besides Polar White in the Cougar GT 500?
- How about engines? Where they all 428 CJs? Were they all Ram Air?
- How were other cars equipped?
IF YOU HAVE ANY ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON THE CYCLONE OR COUGAR GT 500 CARS PLEASE LET ME KNOW AT RFLEENER@COMCAST.NET.