• 1968 Mercury Cougar by Ringbrothers

This is another Ringbrothers creation that we can all get behind

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Wisconsin-based custom car builder Ringbrothers has unveiled its newest restomod: a 1968 Mercury Cougar that’s affectionately been dubbed the “Coyogar.” The all-encompassing restoration includes a lot of the typical modifications and upgrades you’d expect from a Ringbrothers project. Co-owners Jim and Mike Ring even sourced a Ford 5.0-liter Coyote V-8 engine from a Ford F-150 Raptor for the build. The finished product is more toned down than previous Ringbrothers projects, but it’s still easily identifiable as a Ringbrothers project that combines classic looks with a modern technical side.

1968 Mercury Cougar by Ringbrothers
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Ringbrothers’ 1968 Mercury Cougar wears an Augusta Green Metallic finish that came courtesy of BASF. The paint was a factory color in 1968 where it went by a different name: Highland Green.

The bumpers, grille, and badging are all aftermarket and are part of the frame-off restoration approach that the company took for this project. Ringbrothers also added subtle period-correct touches on the exterior to add authenticity to the build.

The period-correct theme extends to the interior where a wooden tiller and fancy wood appliqués complement the predominantly leather-dressed cabin. The cabin looks plush as Cougars from the late 1960s were. The only thing that looks out of place in the interior is the big, fat gear shifter.

1968 Mercury Cougar by Ringbrothers
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The Coyote V-8 that Ringbrothers used in the Coyogar produces 460 horsepower. Instead of a standard manual transmission, the coachbuilder opted for a Ford 10-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters.

The car’s suspension was also overhauled with the help of DCE. New brakes peeking from behind the fresh set of HRE Series C1 C103 three-piece forged alloy wheels wrapped in Micheline tires and a Flowmaster exhaust system are also included in the Coyogar build.

1968 Mercury Cougar by Ringbrothers
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The Coyogar was supposed to be showcased at the 2020 SEMA Show, but with the coronavirus pandemic scuttling those plans, Ringbrothers was more than happy to unveil its project the way most automakers do these days: online.

“We had never done a Cougar before, so this was a fun build,” Mike Ring said. “I love working with new shapes and coming up with new ideas.”

Final Thoughts

1968 Mercury Cougar by Ringbrothers
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For a custom shop that’s known for wild builds — the 1,100 horsepower 1972 AMC Javelin AMX is a good example — this 1968 Mercury Cougar “Coyogar” represents a different approach that accomplishes the same goal. The finished product looks every bit like a late 60s Cougar, but underneath the era-specific look is a modernized mechanical side that can lay waste to other performance rides that underestimate its capabilities. The Coyogar is another slam dunk build from a custom tuner that rarely draws iron.

1968 Mercury Cougar by Ringbrothers
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  • Leave it
    • Out of place gear shifter in the interior
    • More could’ve been done if Ringbrothers pushed the envelope
    • Not suited for some people
Kirby Garlitos
Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert - kirby@topspeed.com
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read full bio
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