Say hello to the first Mercury Cougar… ever

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Next year will be a milestone period for a car that’s no longer built. For a company that’s no longer around.

We’re talking about the Mercury Cougar, as 2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the marque’s most popular model. A rather special example is soon to make an appearance, as the first-ever Cougar produced has been found and it’s in the hands of a major fan.

The Carlisle Ford Nationals is one of the largest Ford Motor Company [NYSE:F] events on the planet. The 2017 event will play host to a large number of Mercury fans because that’s where the 50th Anniversary celebration will take place. Cougar number one will likely be the star attraction, as it’s going to be on sight for all of the festivities.

This Cougar took a unique path to arrive where it is now. It was originally planned to be a show car for Canada’s largest Ford/Mercury dealer. Lee Iacocca himself helped make sure that Dryden Motors received the first example for its show room. It seems the car sat at a local car wash for nearly three years before it finally wound up sitting in the dealer display.

The dealership eventually went bankrupt after its principal died, and the car wound up in the hands of a local hardware store owner. He drove it for a few years until he parked it in a Quonset Hut and tried to sell it in 1982. He placed an ad in Cars & Parts magazine, but he never managed to move the vehicle to a new owner.

Almost 12 years later, a Cougar fan came across the ad when he found an old issue of the aforementioned magazine at a swap meet. He decided to see if the owner still had the car, and he certainly did. That hardware store owner held on to the car and was connected to another large Cougar fan who eventually wound up purchasing it and owns it to this day.

Now, that car will be on hand for all Cougar fans to enjoy.

So if you’re one of those fans, make sure you plan to be at the fairgrounds of Carlisle, Pennsylvania on June 2-4, 2017. Information on previous years’ events can be found here.

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