BUILT 289CI, T-5 5 SPEED, XR-7 COUGAR, VERY STRAIGHT BODY, RUNS GREAT!
Screaming yellow means this 1968 Mercury Cougar XR7 attracts A LOT of attention. Fortunately, it's good enough to stand up to the scrutiny, and with a snarling 289 under the hood and a modern 5-speed transmission, it's a flat-out hoot to drive.
The car was torn down to bare metal and rebuilt from there. New quarters were installed and the rest was massaged back into shape before a few coats of bright yellow urethane paint were sprayed on. Panel gaps are good all around and while the car was originally black, there's no sign of it, suggesting a very thorough job. The work is about six years old now, but it's holding up extremely well and gives this semi-formal pony car a very distinctive look that works. No vinyl roof to distract from the chiseled looks that are somehow more grown up than the Mustang and there's no mistaking the grille with hidden headlights up front (yes, the headlight doors work!) and the similarly-styled taillights out back. We have confirmed that this is a real code 65B XR7, even though it carries a state-assigned VIN plate, the original is still in place. There's also some very nice chrome and stainless trim that really pops against the yellow paint.
The original sticky vinyl is gone, replaced by two-tone cloth that's a lot more comfortable, although the door panels are still original and in great shape. New carpets, headliner, and rear package tray all make it feel fresh inside, and there is an original overhead console included with the car, although it was not reinstalled following the headliner install. Big, round gauges have a European look that's distinct from its corporate cousin, the Mustang, and the toggle switches in the center of the dash look cool. You'll notice that there's no radio and there's a block-off plate in place, adding to its racy look, and yes, that Hurst cue ball shifter has five gears on its face, not the usual four. Like the Mustang, the floor of the trunk is also the top of the gas tank, but the rest of the trunk is in good shape, needing nothing more than an inexpensive reproduction mat to look right.
289 cubic inches worth of Blue Oval V8 makes this Cougar an absolute blast to drive. The block was bored .020 oversize and filled with forged pistons, a Crane Z camshaft with matching lifters, double-roller timing chain, and a stock bottom end. Stock 4V heads were reworked with a valve job and fresh springs. A Weiand dual-plane intake and Edelbrock 4-barrel carb provide the air and fuel while long-tube headers and Flowmasters handle the exhaust. Lots of chrome dresses up the Ford Blue engine, and a huge 4-core radiator and electric fan keeps it cool. With less than 6000 miles since it was rebuilt, it runs superbly with that characteristic Ford small block snarl to the exhaust. A T5 5-speed manual transmission makes a big difference in its user friendliness and the stock 8-inch rear carries aggressive 3.80 gears that are an ideal choice with the deep overdrive 5th gear. Traction bars do their best to plant the horsepower, along with staggered 205/60/15 front and 215/60/15 rear tires on shiny Torque Thrust wheels.
Big fun at a small price, this Cougar has all the upgrades you'd want in a distinctive bright yellow package that grabs attention everywhere it goes. Call today!
- Cloth Interior
- Front Disc Brakes
- Power Brakes
- Vinyl Interior
- Engine Type
- Body Style
- Interior Color
- Black & Gray
- Seating Type
- Seat Material
- Shifter Type
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