1970 Mercury Cougar

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1970 Mercury Cougar was gift from Ford to civil rights leader Whitney J. Young Jr.
1970 Mercury Cougar was gift from Ford to civil rights leader Whitney J. Young Jr.

But this isn’t just any 1970 Mercury Cougar. It formerly was owned by civil rights leader Whitney J. Young Jr., a gift from the Ford Motor Company and owned by the Young family until sold five years ago at  Barrett-Jackson’s Palm Beach auction.

“His family lovingly preserved the car after his untimely death in a swimming accident in Nigeria in 1971,” the private seller in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania, reports in the car’s advertisement on Classic Cars.com.

“His body was flown back to the U.S. on Air Force One and President Nixon provided the Eulogy at his memorial. His family cherished and preserved the vehicle after his death.”

The car is turquoise with black vinyl roof and black interior, and has been driven little more than 50,000 miles since new.

It has a 315 cid V8 engine, automatic transmission, high-back bucket seats and air conditioning.

The seller reports the car has gone through a “complete reconditioning” including rebuilding the transmission, replacing all belts and seals, and the AC compressor. The car also has new wheels and headliner and interior door panels, and the original wheel covers are included in the sale.

Also included is memorabilia about the car’s original owner, including books written by and about him, a copy of a PBS documentary video, photographs, a postage stamp with his image, and a memorial tribute album featuring solos by Leontyne Price.

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The car also comes with a Marti Report.

The asking price is $22,500 or best offer. To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

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A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

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