Debuted for 1967 and derived from Ford’s wildly successful Mustang, the Mercury Cougar was based on a slightly longer-wheelbase chassis and exuded a sophisticated “personal luxury” persona. Performance was also part of the stylish Cougar’s charm, with the full range of Ford Motor Company V8 engines and drivetrains available. A handsome restyling came for 1969 with longer, wider body, plus a new convertible and the Boss Mustang-styled Eliminator, and the XR7 was always the image-leading Cougar with upscale trim and amenities. More than just a stylish cruiser, the Cougar earned its performance stripes in 1967, when Mercury nearly won the SCCA Trans-Am racing series over Ford Motor Company’s own Mustang, but internal politics stopped the Cougar’s charge on the track.
While they were a robust seller when new, relatively few well-heeled buyers bought the high-level Cougar in XR7 guise with the S-Code, 390ci high-performance engine. According to the seller, this very attractive example is accompanied by a Marti Report documenting it as 1 of just 188 produced. A Texas car, it has factory-original A/C and is advertised for sale with the original numbers matching engine, which was rebuilt during 2014 with receipts for the work included. Other recent work consists of the installation of a new Comfort-Weave vinyl interior, plus new seat foam, weather stripping, window felts, and carpeting. Unfortunately, the A/C system is not presently installed, but it does come with the car, and the seller has provided a link to a walkaround video with the Cougar running (and it sounds great!!). He is also willing to provide additional details as needed to any prospective buyers.
Despite all their strong points, Cougars never seem to bring the same money as a similarly-equipped Mustang. While that’s a shame to car lovers like us, it also makes the Cougar a desirable alternative to its better-known Ford running mate. According to Hagery, an S-Code 1969 Cougar XR7 hardtop should be found between $17k for a #4 “Driver” and $46,400 for a full-on #1 “Concours” level example. The interior and exterior of this one look extremely attractive in the photos and the undercarriage and underbody appear sound with just surface rust visible. If it’s as nice and clean in person as in the photos and video, we think it’s a bargain.
Check out this classic Cougar commercial from 1969: