This is an original 1967 Mercury Cougar XR-7 that was factory-fitted with the top-of-the-line 390 cubic inch (6.4 liter) “Marauder” V8 producing 320 bhp.
This car is said to have been in storage in a barn for the past 25+ years near Jacksonville in Florida. It’s now being offered for sale on eBay with a Buy It Now price of $12,500 USD.
Fast Facts –The Mercury Cougar XR-7
- Launched by Mercury, a division of Ford, the first-generation Cougar was introduced in 1967. It was designed to offer a more upscale and luxurious alternative to the Ford Mustang, with a focus on a blend of performance and comfort.
- Based on the Mustang platform, the first generation Cougars were equipped with two V8 engine options – a 289 cubic inch V8 and the more powerful 390 cubic inch V8. Unlike the Mustang, no six cylinder engine options were offered.
- The XR-7 variant was introduced in 1967 as a more luxurious version of the Cougar. It featured a more upscale interior with leather seats, wood-grain details, and additional gauges. This variant aimed to blend muscle car performance with European luxury GT car elements.
- The Cougar made its mark in the racing world, participating in the SCCA Trans-Am series in 1967. Represented by the Lincoln-Mercury Racing Team and often competing directly against Mustangs.
- The most famous car in the Cougar family is almost certainly the 1969 Mercury Cougar XR-7 that featured prominently in the classic James Bond film “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” starring George Lazenby and Diana Rigg.
The Mercury Cougar: The Mustang’s Sibling
The Mercury Cougar debuted in late 1966 as a new model based closely on the then-new 1967 Ford Mustang platform. The Cougar was developed at Mercury, a division of the Ford Motor Company, to offer a slightly more luxurious GT-style alternative to the Mustang, with a slightly higher price tag to match.
Though it shared the same platform as the Mustang, it did have a slightly lengthened wheelbase to offer a little more interior leg room. The car was initially only offered as a coupe with no convertible or fastback option, and its most distinctive design hallmark was its concealed headlights, which were hidden behind left and right vacuum operated doors.
At the time of its release the 1967 Mercury Cougar cost $284 USD more than the equivalent Ford Mustang, with a base price of $2,854 USD. That said, the fully-optioned XR-7 version of the Cougar cost $4,500 USD – a hefty chunk of change that was on par with the cost of a new base model Ford Thunderbird.
Unlike the Mustang, the Cougar wouldn’t be offered with a six-cylinder engine option at the time of its release, buyers could choose between the 289 cubic inch V8 and the more powerful 390 cubic inch “Marauder” V8.
Both 4-speed manual and 3-speed automatic transmissions were offered, as well as various options like GT suspension, air-conditioning, a center console, a “Tilt-Away” steering wheel, speed control, and various interior trim levels.
The most high-end version of the Cougar was the XR-7 which came with a (faux) wood-trim dashboard, full instrumentation consisting of black-face gauges with a tachometer, additional toggle switches, and an overhead console. If it was optioned with one, the automatic transmission was fitted with a T-handle console shifter.
It seems that Ford wasn’t sure just how well the Mercury Cougar would sell, so it came as a shock to many in Dearborn when the new model became an overnight best-seller, accounting for almost 40% of sales in the entire Lincoln-Mercury division.
The general public overwhelming seemed to love the car, and so did many period magazine reviewers, with the Cougar receiving the 1967 Motor Trend Car of the Year award.
The first generation Cougar would remain in production from 1967 until 1970. It would be followed by a total of seven more generations that ran all the way through until 2002, though none of the later models have become cult classics like the original.
The 1967 Mercury Cougar XR-7 Shown Here
The 1967 Mercury Cougar XR-7 you see here was factory-fitted with the desirable 390 cubic inch “Marauder” V8 which was capable of 320 bhp when new. It’s also fitted with the 3-speed C6 automatic transmission as well as a 9-inch rear and and the GT suspension package.
The 390 V8 is fitted with a 4-barrel Holley carburetor sitting atop an Edelbrock intake manifold, and the car originally came with air-conditioning, a “Tiltaway” steering column, a center console, the simulation wood trim dashboard, power steering, and power assisted front disc brakes. These all remain in place today, however the car is currently non-functional and requires a full restoration.
The good news is that the seller states the engine isn’t seized, though it’s clear from the photographs that a very intensive rebuild will be needed to get the car back on the road.
As an original Cougar XR-7 with the 390 V8 and many of the most desirable factory options it seems unlikely that the car will have any trouble selling, particularly with the Buy It Now price of $12,500 USD, which puts it well into affordable territory for many.
If you’d like to read more about this unusual barn find or enquire about buying it you can visit the eBay listing here. It’s being offered for sale out of Jacksonville, Florida and the seller notes that they have a significant number of other American classics either for sale right now, or coming up for sale soon.
Image courtesy of eBay Motors
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