This Coyogar Mercury Cougar by Ringbrothers is packing a Ford Coyote V8

Custom car builder and parts maker Ringbrothers has unveiled its newest 1969 Mercury Cougar restomod. Affectionately called the Coyogar, it's a masterful interpretation of the highest-selling vehicle from Ford's now-defunct Mercury brand. This first-gen Cougar restomod is a feast for the senses, but wait until you see what's under the hood.

"We put our heart into each car we build, and this Cougar is no exception," said Jim Ring, co-owner of Ringbrothers. "The finished product is mild and classy, yet any enthusiast instantly knows it's not stock."

Ringbrothers went for an engine swap, but they wanted to keep it within the family, so to speak. The next best thing is a naturally-aspirated 5.0-liter Ford Coyote V8 from a first-gen Ford F-150 Raptor truck. But instead of a standard manual stick, this Cougar has a slick 10-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters.

Yep, this '69 Cougar is packing some new tech underneath, but the frame-off restoration stays true to the car's original design. Ringbrothers gave its latest creation new floor pans and a new transmission tunnel. Suspending Coyogar on all fours is a custom DSE suspension kit. Meanwhile, the HRE Series C1 C103 three-piece forged alloy wheels are wrapped in sporty Michelin tires. It also gets upgraded anchors for better stopping power.

Finished in Augusta Green Metallic paint by BASF, this green hue is the same Highland Green factory paint option from 1968. "I imagine this is what Mercury designers would have come up with if they were building the Cougar today," added Mike Ring.

Inside, the period-correct cabin with its wooden tiller and fancy wood appliques is slightly ruined by a single fault: That fat, unpleasant gear shifter that looks out of place in an otherwise brilliant restomod. We're sure the judges at SEMA will see it as an eyesore, but the Coyote V8 makes up for this glaring oversight.

Other than that, this 1969 Mercury Cougar looks as fresh as the day it left the factory 53 years ago. "While we couldn't bring the cart to the SEMA show, we hope it can be shown to the public soon," concluded Mike Ring, co-owner of Ringbrothers. "We had never done a Cougar before, so this was a fun build."