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This 1967 Mercury Cougar Looks Awesome, Runs Hard And Is Going To Piss Off A Lot Of People…

This 1967 Mercury Cougar Looks Awesome, Runs Hard And Is Going To Piss Off A Lot Of People…

Even before the start of Holley’s 2015 LS Fest, I knew what I was looking for above all else: any car that would add rocket fuel to the fire of the torches of the anti-LS movement. It’s not that I’m for GM products or anything like that…honestly, I’m moderate…but there is a certain part of me that loves to stir the pot a bit. Call it trolling, call me whatever you feel like, but I like seeing the creativity. By that, I’m not meaning the myriad of Nissans and Fox Mustangs that I’ve seen before…I wanted to see something really different. And it took only ten minutes to find, a 1967 Mercury Cougar. Chad and I were just in shock as it cruised past. Even in my warped head, surely this was a Ford guy trolling the festivities. It had to be. Right?


Sorry, guys, but you know what’s coming. Andrew Borodin is the owner and builder of this Cougar, and to put it mildly, he is unrepentant. The car itself started life as a pretty basic 289/3-speed car that, Borodin included, is a three-owner. When he purchased the Mercury in 2010 the original running gear was long gone. In place of the 289 was a Boss 302 fitted with a Shelby dual-quad intake, and the three-speed had been swapped out for an aftermarket T10-style four-speed. Other original modifications included a 1970 Mustang 9″ rear axle sitting on modified leaf springs with Ansen Ground Grabber traction bars. Stewart-Warner gauges had been fitted in the dash and a LearJet 8-track radio had been installed. Sounds like a pretty decent score, right?


Somewhere along the way the plan deviated. As the car sat in storage, where it had resided since purchase, Borodin had shifted his plan a bit and by the summer of 2014 had started acquiring parts for a build. Earlier this spring, with everything ready to go and the 2015 LS Fest set as a target, the Cougar was hauled out of storage and Borodin got to work. The Ford running gear came out and in it’s place is a GM LH8 aluminum-block 5.3L, which was found in the Canyon/Colorado twins and the Hummer H3. The engine was built up with a GM ASA cam, Lingenfelter valve springs and pushrods, a Holley Hi-Ram intake with a custom top and dual GM DBW throttle bodies, Holley fuel rails, and stock LS3 fuel injectors. The engine and fuel system is managed by a Holley Dominator EFI setup and a Holley 7″ digital dash. An RPM-built dog-ring T56 with a gear set sourced from G-Force and an LS7 clutch take the LH8’s immediate abuse, and the power is shipped out via a CV joint-equipped carbon fiber driveshaft supplied by The Driveshaft Shop to the Mustang rear axle, which sports 4.33 gears, Strange axles and a Detroit Locker.


The suspension wasn’t ignored in the build, either. Up front, a Total Control Products tubular front end with a manual rack conversion and adjustable VariShock coil-overs take care of business while a Baer SS4+ disc system does the heavy stopping. Out back Calvert Racing split mono-leafs, Caltracs and VariShock double adjustable shocks handle things while the 9″ rear axle’s stock drum brakes continue to serve faithfully. The wheels are Rocket Racing pieces that Borodin anodized, with Mickey Thompson radials up front and 255/60-15 drag radials out back complete the package.

Cougar29The Cougar was built and running in about three months, and the majority of the summer was used for testing and tuning. The car was driven down from Wisconsin to LS Fest, where it made 325 RWHP on the chassis dyno and ran the quarter-mile in [email protected] That’s pretty impressive on it’s own, but the better testament to Andrew’s build is that the car was driven everywhere. When I said I was looking for a unique vehicle at LS Fest, very, very few other cars stood out in everybody’s mind like this Mercury. You would have to explain your awesome Camaro to someone, but if you said “the Cougar”, everybody knew which car you were speaking about. While purists cringe and go on about the reason the LS swap sucks, we couldn’t picture a better execution. It has old-school charm, new school technology and a middle finger waiting for anyone who thinks it was a waste of time, effort and money.

If you would like to see the videos that Andrew made during the build of the Cougar, CLICK HERE.

Cougar6 Cougar7 Cougar16 Cougar28




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48 thoughts on “This 1967 Mercury Cougar Looks Awesome, Runs Hard And Is Going To Piss Off A Lot Of People…

  1. Chevy Hatin' Mad Geordie

    You couldn’t picture a better execution?

    How about being skinned alive and tied to two (Ford-powered) Mustangs and pulled apart!

    That should serve as a warning against creating such wheeled blasphemy in the future….

    1. Nigel Mansell's Ferret

      I haven’t seen this kind of disloyalty since Harrys Halloween Costume a while back. Some things you want to “not see” in a Ford

    1. Glen

      The only thing missing is the heartbeat stripe down the side and also paint everything the same color…in this case rust red, then you will have that classic chevy look.

  2. John T

    I get it Bryan, I think its awesome! I really dont get why theres so much hate for the LS’s. Lets face it, if this had a bog stock 289 or 302 in it it’d make 200 hp on a good day…

  3. mooseface

    As a reformed anti-LS Torch-And-Pitchforker, this car is just amazing.
    I love the worn and unrestored body and pro-street stance. I really enjoy the fact that it’s not dripping in billet or chrome, the Ed Hardy Jeans of car parts.
    The best part is that it’s not “just-another-LS”. Who uses the 5.3? Why go through all the effort of two TBI units on a high-riser ram when factory EFI can be had for less money and effort? This thing’s embraced two pieces of orphan tech wholeheartedly, and it’s just downright incredible.
    The builder thought this through and designed a car that infuriates the purists and confounds the LS-swappers. I cannot enjoy this car more.

      1. mooseface

        Misread it, my bad.
        Are you the builder? If so, I’m cruising your thread right now. This is a really cool build.

    1. Chad Reynolds

      Moose, everyone is the answer to who uses a 5.3. LOL They are more prolific in the racing community than 6.0 blocks at this point. Throw a 4 inch crank in one and bore it .030 and they are a 383 and can support well over 1500 horsepower in a turbo application.

  4. trailerqueen73

    Awesome build and I am a GM guy! Love them or hate them the LS platform is here to stay.
    I own a 1961 Oldsmobile 98 2 door that’s bagged rolling on 20’S with a RamJet 350 and have thinking about doing a 6.4 Chrysler Hemi just to be different. Change is good, that’s what Hot Rodding is all about!

  5. doug gregory

    Unfortunately I have to mostly-agree with Bryan on this one. The execution is pretty good (I HATE coils on the cover) and the vibe of the car with the hood down is spot on. An LS can be made to look good. None of the parts are cheap. Yes, you can get a boneyard motor for good money, but once you start building it up the cost-savings are out the window. The aftermarket is really supporting this so there is a plethora of quality parts to screw one into almost anything. I am not in favor of fads or the lemmings that can’t do something different. This is different in a not-terrible-way. Clean up the bits under the hood that make an LS very ugly and I’d call it a win-win, but not a budget build. Mind you….not long ago I was super-anti-LS in ANYTHING. I have even seen a few with coils on the covers that I liked. It can be done folks. Don’t put engine covers on them…..those are for lead sleds. If your motor is so ugly you need engine shrouding – don’t open the hood.

  6. JustJoe

    Seriously – the guy pulled a Boss 302 out for that? …if it was actually a Boss 302 (and not just a regular 302), then this swap was like drawing a mustache on the Mona Lisa. If it was a regular 302, it still pisses me off.

    Someday I’ll get me a ’63 Split Window and plug a Duratec V6 in it…

    1. mooseface

      Trust me, the 302 is in a very deserving home, according to the thread it was destined for a clean period-correct mustang.
      This wasn’t sacrilege for the sake of sacrilege, this was giving a disused car with a cool history new life while passing the drivetrain down to someone who needed it.

  7. angryjoe

    Look, all the arm chair QB’s came out to play! LS Booohooo, was a 302 -Booohoo – Not original – boohoo….Christ, STFU and go build something “imaginative, original, or whatever” drive it reliably everywhere while racing the snot out of it…then we’ll talk.

    Bryan, You knew from the start I would agree 100% on this one…our tastes are eerily similar…..

    1. Alan Schneider

      I had been looking for an ls swapped early mustang or cougar for helpful hints for my 67 cougar. I saw this one being built, then decided not to be a copycat (no pun intended). Mine is getting a 4.8 LS With turbo and AWD. The AWD part is already in (same components as Syclone). The cougar in the article has awesome detail. Very well done.

  8. HotRod

    Oh wow! Another Joe Blow wanting to do something different so he took a LS engine and…….. I think I’ll put a Ford engine in a Camaro. That way I’ll really have something different.

    1. Chad Reynolds

      Do it Hot Rod. Then the rest of us Chevy guys can bitch and moan and whine like all you Ford guys when a Chevy goes in one.

      That way we can also feel your pain, which we probably deserve for as many Chevy’s are now in Fords.

      1. HotRod

        I like a lot of cars. Some are Fords, some are Mopars and some are GM. A very few are even foreign.

        I really don’t care who puts what into what. I’m just tired of the lack of imagination on the part of Chevy guys that think putting the same bellybutton engine into anything is being different.

        My current project is putting a 451 into a 72 Celica that’s only about 1/8 done after 3 years. Haven’t decided yet if I’m going to put a blower on.

  9. RodneyAwesome

    It doesn’t piss me off at all, its a very nice car. The builder obviously has some talent, just wish it would have went in a different direction. I get the LS thing ,availability and HP per dollar are high, its just that they are everywhere.

  10. 3nine6

    Why not a mod motor? Really? They barely fit in the cars they’re designed for, let alone a shock tower everywhere Cougar! Haters gotta hate, especially Angry, chevy hard-on hater Jeffery (or whatever his handle is) from the backwards old UK. Are you trying to take over the #1, most hated spot of Guitar Slinger/Colorado Kid, etc. of posters on this site?

    1. Wes

      I’ve done more than my fair share of them in all sorts of Fords including shock-tower challenged Mustangs and Cougars of this generation. Plasma cutter, metal brake, and a TIG welder solved any clearance issues while retaining the Falcon front suspension (some guys just gotta have it).

    2. Nigel Mansell's Ferret

      I think it is pronounced “jordy”. I’m new to BS so I went looking for guitar slinger and first post I find he is recommending a chapter out of a Malcolm Gladwell book. Wtf? I could do the same with Ayn Rands Virtue of Selfishness and how she is telling you that so long as your car is you who cares what motor is in it. But this is BANGSHIFT ya filthy sack nuzzlers and I will quote Smokey Yunick. Paraphrasing here about how to make a effcient I.C.E. Its like tryin to turn a 80 year old whore into a 18 year old virgin. All this guy did was put the best (for the money) whore under the the hood.

  11. Andrew

    All the people that are saying that this is just another “cookie cutter” LS, can you please direct me to a build that has a tunnel ram intake and dual DBW throttle bodies?

  12. Carl at Chassisworks/TCP

    Congrats on the feature, Andrew! You and the car deserve it. It was a pleasure working with you on this car and I’m glad that it’s working so well for you.

    Oh, and if I had a Coyote motor laying around I would totally stuff it in my El Camino just to see the heads spin. I bet the boss-man would even make me a set of motor mounts.

  13. Lon

    Coming from a guy who used Dodge Dakota suspension, with a Chevy drive train in a 53 Ford F100, I love this car. I’ve always like the Mercury Cougar, and the LS engine is our generation of the revolutionary Small block Chevy. Check the history. When Chevy released it’s new V8, it was swapped into everything. If the internet had been around then, it would have been flamed from the beginning just like the LS is now.

  14. Tim

    Purists make me laugh! I personally Love this thing. The tunnel ram setup is pretty cool, and not something I see a lot of running around my town. Nailed the look, and lets be honest it looks like a fun car that gets driven and beat on. Jesus, isn’t that the point behind hot rodding? Yeah I’m a Chevy guy, but to all the others that think dropping (insert motor here) into (insert car here) is so terrible, read back to how many other engines were used in old hot rods, regardless of the make of car. You wanna drop a coyote in your Camaro…DO IT! I want to see it done. You know why I don’t care? It isn’t MY car. Would I drop another make of engine in my Chevelle? No, then again I do dream of dropping a 426 HEMI into it, but sadly I neither have the money nor resources to do that at the moment so I’ll stick with my big block. The point is its his car,and his right to do what he wants with it. Just like your car is your car, and its your right to do what you want with it. If it really bothers you that much, and you have a car of your own(sadly I feel many of the internet haters do not) then get to work! Build your cougar with badassed Ford power and call the guy out for a match race! Otherwise shut up and enjoy YOUR car! Don’t be concerned what someone else chooses to do with theirs.

  15. Pizzandoughnuts

    Man just when I was having thoughts of putting my 4V Cleveland in a Datsun pickup I’m sure the haters would come out for an outing. Sorry haters swaps have been around longer than you have been alive.

  16. Fartabulous Fartagamus

    Since when is a 289/3speed a Boss? It says right in the article that the car started off as nothing special. I love watching the purists little lips quiver and cry over things that have absolutely to connection to them. Would you rather see it rotting away in a field someplace? Hats off for being different. Don’t worry if these cool kids who all have to be alike do no like you. THEY are the damned establishment so **** them.

  17. SSLance

    I watched Andrew’s build on this Cougar from the beginning, the work and detail that went into every little part is top notch. I’m just glad he decided to put the hood back on it instead of running it hoodless. Nice job Andrew, and congrats on a successful LSfest.

  18. Fiat38

    Now someone needs to take a original 1967 427 Corvette, and put a Ford 427 Cammer in it. Stand back, and watch all the Corvette, and Chevy purists heads explode.

  19. Wink Dinkler

    Do something really different ! Put a mill out of a International Scout in you later model Mustang or Camaro. How about a Buick nail head in your 78/79 Cutlass.
    Or lastly a big Cummins in an old Caddy. I am trying to come up with a good combo for a 90’s F150 anything but DSL wife wont cant stand the smell. Been down that road.

  20. cambridge ratrod

    Why not use the LS? Where else can you get around 300hp for about 500$ and reliable.
    There is more LS parts sitting in junkyards right now than anything else.
    I am a die hard mopar guy and just put an LS in a 57 dodge p/u.
    In my area the early and high mileage 5.7 hemi is way out of my budget!

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