HomePick of the DayRemember the Mercury Bobcat?

Remember the Mercury Bobcat?


Anyone out there remember the Mercury Bobcat?

I’ll admit that I’d forgotten about the Mercury version of the Ford Pinto until I stumbled across this advertisement for one on ClassicCars.com. Having so stumbled, I was intrigued enough to share it as Pick of the Day.

“Here we have a genuine 2-owner 1978 Mercury Bobcat,” says the dealer advertising the car from Stratford, Wisconsin.


Ford introduced its sub-compact Pinto for the gas-crisis challenged 1971 model year. Mercury, which had its imported Capri, didn’t get its version of the Pinto until the 1975 model year. 

For 1978, Bobcats got new styling, interior colors, a long list of updated equipment and were available with 4- or 6-cylinder engines.

The Pick of the Day has the 2.3-liter 4-banger connected to a 3-speed automatic. It also has bucket seats with floor shifter, power steering, power front disc brakes and the “rare factory pop-out sunroof,” the dealer notes.

“The Bobcat runs and drives like the day it was sold new in 1977!” the dealer proclaims, adding that the 28,655 miles showing on the odometer are the car’s correct lifetime mileage.

The asking price is $12,995.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall
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.


  1. Last few picks are getting a little lame. Seeing a 78 bobcat is great once in a while. But we’ve seen to many bobcats lately. Sorry, just my humble opinion. JT

    • The 6 cylinder was an option in the form of a German built 2.8 litre V6 which was the same engine originally used in the Mercury Capri and then offered also in the Mustang II

      • Peter & Art,
        Thanks for the info on the 6cyl. I did end up looking it up and sure as heck, it was offered. Had no idea and never seen one that I can remember. I do remember the Merc Capri with the same V-6 and they could be hopped-up pretty good so i’m sure some of the Bobcats went that way too. Thanks again for the info.

  2. Had the 78 Ford version of this car was stolen I missed it so much.. I’m heartbroken while working as an automotive lot boy at a Chevy dealer drove home whatever I wanted to people would trade in all types of cars being the first one at the dealership in the morning to open business and the last one to leave I was privy to driving whatever I want conversion vans to vets 2 iroks 2 Porsches I wound up with this Pinto I fell in love with it as a young man I couldn’t destroy it!! I moved on to be a quality control technician at aMercedes Benz BMW dealership and brought the pinto with me where we rebuilt it I used to run it up to Lime Rock Park really hard …onback on the Backroads of Connecticut along with my friends my young friends they had like 320 BMW M series you know the red white and blue Edition turbo-charged Toyota pickup trucks Mini Coopers( old school) 280Zs and bigger BMWs we would run the hour 20minute trip from New Haven to Kent almost flat out… my Pinto had stiffer Springs in the head cam and headers balance ported polished 5-speed Mustang transmission small 4-barrel Holley carburetor rear end gears miss that car I’m so heartbroken I left it with a friend that owns an auction he had about six of them he was doing 8thMile quarter mile Circle Track. They were in various forms of race car at the time ( to me they looked like banged-up Demolition Derby cars …He wanted one for the street but didn’t want to give me the price I want it he said leave it come get it when you want it back… at that time we were dissolving our used car dealership I no longer had a garage to keep her in about 3 years ago … somehow somehow the vehicle was stolen I really missed it I’m so heartbroken the sound and the field it generated and the wow factor with the cam the headers the high compression wow factor at the stoplight was amazing ..when life gives you lemons you make lemonade I miss my American Pinto … I could start a blog I should: the American Car culture what happened: when I look at cars like the success stories of cars like the Subaru WRX the Honda Civic brand vs cars like Pontiac G6 Solaris Ford Focus Dodge Daytona Dodge Spirit RS what happened in American Car culture someone should get to the heart of the matter probably with fossil fuel cars it’s too late for American car companies to recoup but someone should definitely wake them up for the future

    • Now that I see it, I remember it. Back then we were surrounded by Vegas, pintos, bobcats. Back on 1980 l picked up a 1974 pinto. still have it today. It’s gone into a resto mod. Real clean and still fun to drive after 37,38 years.

  3. 6 cyl available? I don’t think so. I was a mechanic from 1970 – 1980 never saw a 6 cyl Bobcat or Pinto. Interesting. Anyone have Info on this?

    • @Mike Paull I can confirm that the ‘79 Bobcat had a V6 option. I had one. I don’t know about other years though.

    • My 1978 Bobcat had the 60-degree 2.8L V6 which I purchased from the Mercury Dealer which was one of their “Demo” cars…. It indeed existed and powered my Bobcat reliably for many, many miles…

  4. Of course. In the 90s this was the “secret Mustang II” IFS spot (along with the Pinto). Dad put a Bobcat front in a ‘29 Model A Coupe.

  5. My mom had a 77 Mercury Bobcat, was that golden color (she bought it new). Was a fun car. In 1980 she bought a Honda Accord and just raved about it incessantly. I had a 78 Mercury Comet, 302/v8 that was a screamer! (Bought in 86 with 20 miles, west coast) I also had a 76 Pinto wagon, was ok.

  6. I currently own a 76 bobcat with exactly 10k miles. It has the cologne 2.8L V6 motor. All stock and I plan on keeping it that way.

  7. My parents bought one new in 76 or 77. At about 1,000 miles the transmission quit working. Fixed under warranty. They were surprised the transmission worked at all since not all the transmission components were even installed originally. Think the engine blew up around 40,000 miles.

  8. Worst car I every owned. The main problem was with engine oiling. They finally had to recommend a different engine oil. Best fix was using Marvel Mystery Oil.

  9. I had the 1977 Mercury Bobcat V6 Orange with a white stripe on the bottom and the orange inside black dashboard it had all the striping all original I had 52,000 miles on it when I traded it in for an RS Camaro although I know about the car about the dangers having that car if you were hit in the back but such a beautiful car and it was actually a sports car it had the same power of my RS 1987 Camaro I wish I had that car still he was in mint condition


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Recent Posts