Definition

Mercury Cougar Eliminator Defined

1970 Eliminator CJ428 owned by Rich Ladd
Cougar Eliminator: Bold looks with performance options to back them up. (Shown here: Rich Ladd's 1970 Eliminator CJ 428.)

When Lincoln-Mercury engineers set out to create the Eliminator, they began with the most basic Cougar–a standard hardtop, then added unique parts as components of an Eliminator option package.  During 1969 and 1970–the only two Cougar model years in which the option was offered–the Eliminator packages included three basic categories of components: exterior appearance items, performance equipment and interior treatments.  Since the specific components that went into the 1969 and 1970 Eliminator option packages differed slightly, we’ll look at the two years individually.

1969 Eliminator Banner

Eliminator Paint Colors

In 1969 four “Eliminator Only” paint colors were standard on Eliminators.  However, special paint colors could also be ordered.  If you encounter an Eliminator with no color code on its data plate, but with a six digit DSO code, it is usually an indication that the car received a special order paint.  The chart below shows the four standard 1969 Eliminator colors.  The “Code” column refers to the paint color codes used on Cougar data plates.

Code Color Sample
3 Competition Orange 1969 Competition Orange
6 Bright Blue 1969 Bright Blue
9 Yellow 1969 Yellow
M White 1969 White
NOTE: Samples are approximate and may vary in appearance from actual colors due to differences in computer monitors and system color palette settings.

Eliminator Option Components (Exterior)

The 1969 Eliminator option package included the following exterior components:

Component Example
Blacked-out Grille: Thin horizontal grille bars were painted matte black, except for the center section of the grille. 1969 Blacked-out Grille
Hood Scoop: Scoop was the same color as the rest of the car and was functional with the CJ 428 ram-air engine. 1969 Hood Scoop
Driver’s Side Mirror: “Racing style” remote control side view mirror was included, but only on the driver’s side. 1969 Driver Side Mirror
Front Spoiler: Matte black fiberglass air dam below the front valance–often missing or damaged on unrestored cars. 1969 Front Spoiler
Rear Spoiler: Full width wing mounted on trunk lid and painted car color. During 1969 model year wing had no graphics. 1969 Rear Spoiler
Graphics: “Eliminator” with two stripes in black or white ran from front fender to just in front of the rear wheel well. 1969 Eliminator Graphics
Wheels: Styled 12 slot argent wheels came with chrome “dog dish” type hub caps and wide chrome trim rings. 1969 Styled 12-slot Argent Wheels
Curb Moldings: Bright metal and black rocker panel molding were the same as those used on XR-7 models. 1969 Curb Moldings

It should be noted that no Eliminators were built with factory vinyl tops.  If you find an authentic Eliminator with a vinyl top, it was added either by the dealership that sold the car or by a previous owner.

Eliminator Option Components (Interior)

1969 Eliminator Interior
1969 Eliminator Interior: Compared to the luxury appointments found in most Cougars, the Eliminator's cockpit was all business. (Shown here: Bruce Haaland's 1969 Eliminator.)

Three interior color schemes were available in 1969 Eliminators.  The choices  and their data plate trim codes were black (5A), white (EA) and blue (5B).  The interior trim was the same as standard hardtop Cougars with the following added features:

  • Hi-back bucket seats in Comfort-Weave vinyl
  • Black crackle finish dashboard
  • Full instrumentation, including 6,000 RPM tachometer (8,000 RPM w/Boss 302
  • Visual Check Panel with warning lights
  • Elapsed time clock
  • Rim-blow steering wheel
  • Custom door trim
  • Rear seat armrests
  • Door courtesy light

Eliminator Option Components (Performance)

During the 1969 model year, the Eliminator option package included an upgrade from the standard Cougar 351 2V Windsor engine to the 290 horsepower four barrel version of the 351W.  If an Eliminator buyer wanted more horses under the hood, several optional power plants were available.  The “Code” column in the chart below refers to Ford’s VIN and data plate engine codes.  Horsepower figures below engine designations are factory gross ratings.

Code Engine Notes
G Boss 302
(290@5800 RPM)
Optional engine. In Cougars, a Boss 302 engine was only available with the Eliminator option.
M 351 4V
(290@4800 RPM)
Standard Eliminator engine. In 1969 this would be the Windsor version of the 351.
Q CJ/SCJ 428 4V
(335@5200 RPM)
Optional engine. In 1969 this would be the Cobra Jet 428 engine without ram-air induction.
R CJ/SCJ 428 4V
(335@5200 RPM)
Optional engine. In 1969 this would be the Cobra Jet 428 engine with ram-air induction.
S 390 4V
(320@4600 RPM)
Optional engine. This was also known as the GT or 6.5 Litre engine.
1969 Cobra Jet Power
Cobra Jet Power: The 335 horsepower CJ 428 ram-air engine gave 1969 Eliminator buyers plenty of go power to match the car's performance styling. (Shown here: Tim Brandsoy's 1969 XR-7 convertible.)

In addition to the 351W 4V engine, the 1969 Eliminator option package included these performance features:

  • Performance axle ratio
  • Performance handling package
  • F70 14 belted BSW traction tires

1970 Eliminator Banner

Eliminator Paint Colors

For the 1970 model year, the standard Eliminator choices were expanded to a total of six.  Other colors could be special ordered at additional cost.  A data plate with no color code and a six digit DSO code most likely indicates a special paint order.  The chart below illustrates the standard Eliminator color choices for 1970.

Code Color Sample
1 Competition Orange 1970 Competition Orange
D Competition Yellow 1970 Competition Yellow
J Competition Blue 1970 Competition Blue
M Pastel Blue 1970 Pastel Blue
U Competition Gold 1970 Competition Gold
Z Competition Green 1970 Competition Green
NOTE: Samples are approximate and may vary in appearance from actual colors due to differences in computer monitors and system color palette settings.

Eliminator Options Components (Exterior)

For its second year, the Eliminator’s exterior styling got a little wilder with the addition of a hood stripe, bolder side stripes and a rear quarter panel graphic.  The exterior components found in the 1970 Eliminator option package included:

Component Example
Blacked-Out Grille: On Eliminators, the two halves and center of Cougar’s split vertical theme grille were blacked out. 1970 Blacked-out Grille
Side Graphic: Two wide tape stripes followed the contours of the 1970 Eliminator from nose to tail. 1970 Side Graphic
Hood Graphic: A three part graphic began at the grille center piece and wrapped over the hood, disappearing into the scoop. 1970 Hood Graphic
Rear Quarter-Panel Graphic: The word, “Eliminator,” in outlined letters appeared in front of each rear side marker light. 1970 Rear Quarter Panel Graphic
Hood Scoop: 1970 Eliminators received the same hood scoop as 1969 models, but the scoop was painted matte black. 1970 Hood Scoop
Front Spoiler: Matte black fiberglass air dam below the front valance and stone guard between light covers and bumpers. 1970 Front Spoiler
Rear Spoiler: Wing mounted on trunk lid and painted car color–extra weight required prop rod to keep trunk lid open. 1970 Rear Spoiler
Rear Spoiler Graphic: The rear spoiler received a pair of horizontal stripes with “Eliminator” spelled out in the wider stripe. 1970 Rear Spoiler Graphic
Side Mirrors: 1970 Eliminators received two racing style side mirrors. The driver’s side was adjusted by remote control. 1970 Side Mirrors
Blacked-Out Tail Lights: The chrome surround and vertical bars on the tail lights were blacked out. 1970 Blacked-Out Taillights
Gas Door Badge: Instead of a L-M Division badge, Eliminator gas doors received a “running Cat” emblem. 1970 Gas Door Badge

Again, in 1970, no Eliminators were built with factory vinyl tops.  If you find an authentic Eliminator with a vinyl top, it was added either by the dealership that sold the car or by a previous owner.

Eliminator Option Components (Interior)

1970 Eliminator Interior
1970 Eliminator interior: John Benoit's 1970 Boss 302 four-speed Eliminator was ordered with black Comfort-Weave vinyl and an optional console. Note the aluminum handle on the Hurst shifter.

Interior trim schemes were expanded from three to seven in 1970.  The choices and their data plate trim codes were:

  • Black vinyl (1A)
  • Medium blue vinyl (1B)
  • Black vinyl w/houndstooth check (3A)
  • Black Comfort-Weave vinyl (5A)
  • Medium blue in Comfort-Weave vinyl (5B)
  • White vinyl with black components (AA)
  • White Comfort-Weave vinyl with black components (EA)

The interior trim on 1970 Eliminators was the same as on standard Cougars with the following additions:

  • Hi-back bucket seats
  • Black “camera case” instrument panel finish
  • Tachometer (6000 RPM–Boss 302 got 8000 RPM)
  • Elapsed time clock
  • Visual check panel with “door ajar” and “low fuel” warning lights
  • Full instrumentation
  • Simulated wood grain gear shift knob w/automatic transmission
  • Hurst shifter with T-handle w/manual transmission

Eliminator Option Components (Performance)

1970 Boss 302During the 1970 model year, the Eliminator option package included an upgrade from the standard Cougar 351 2V Cleveland engine to the 300 horsepower four barrel version of the 351C, however, some Eliminators received 351 Windsor 4V engines due to shortages of the Cleveland engine.  If an Eliminator buyer wanted more horses under the hood, several optional power plants were available.  The “Code” column in the chart below refers to Ford’s VIN and data plate engine codes.  Horsepower figures below engine designations are factory gross ratings.

Code Engine Notes
G Boss 302
(290@5800 RPM)
Optional engine. In Cougars, a Boss 302 engine was only available with the Eliminator option.
M 351W 4V
(290@4800 RPM)

351C 4V
(300@5400 RPM)
Standard Eliminator engine. In 1970 this could have been either the Windsor or the Cleveland version of the 351, depending on build date and availability.
Q CJ/SCJ 428 4V
(335@5200 RPM)
Optional engine. In 1970 all CJ428 engines were given the Q code, whether or not they came with ram-air induction.
1970 Eliminator owned by John Swanson
Password for Action in the '70s: The Eliminator went a long way toward making Mercury's advertising slogan a reality. (Shown here, John Swanson's 1970 Eliminator)

In addition to the 351 4V engine, the 1970 Eliminator option package included these performance features:

  • Performance axle ratio (3.25:1)
  • Performance handling package
  • F70 14 belted BSW traction tires w/raised white letters