SMOOTH RUNNING 351 WINDSOR V8, XR7 PACKAGE W/ FACTORY TACH AND A/C
You probably saw the price on this clean 1969 Mercury Cougar XR7 and did a double take; I know I did. Somehow the Mustang's grown-up cousin doesn't seem to get the same kind of attention that the more common ponies do, and it's hard to explain why. With V8 power, lots of luxury options, and a sporting look that fits the car's personality perfectly, this represents a great deal of top-down fun for the money.
The Cougar certainly has all the right muscle car details for the era, and it walks with big car swagger that the Mustang has never quite managed to capture. The styling is familiar, if not a little more sophisticated, from the subtle body crease running from the front fender to the rear wheel opening to the hidden headlights that were definitely more Lincoln than Ford. The bright red paint certainly looks right on the sporty ragtop, and the XR7 package included the stripes, hood scoop, and wing out back, adding some definite bravado to Mercury's pony car. Finish quality is quite good for an older restoration, with good gaps and a great shine that'll win more than its fair share of admirers at the next cruise night. A few extra dollops of chrome, including the gorgeous sequential taillights with their chrome surrounds, and this car manages to look both sporting and elegant at the same time, which was entirely the point.
We strongly suspect that the white interior is original, and if that's the case it tells you all you need to know about how well-preserved this car truly is. The high-back bucket seats look a lot more plus than the Mustang's chairs and while there's some minor wear, the overall look is just too nice to consider replacing. Power options include factory A/C, power windows, and a tilt wheel, and it's got a cutting-edge (for the time, anyway) AM/FM/cassette stereo that actually sounds pretty good. Lots of burled walnut appliques give the interior a very upscale vibe and the rocker switches on the dash are just plain cool. The gauges are in excellent condition including the factory tach, which is a rather rare item all by itself, and the white power convertible top fits well and includes a matching white boot. Even the trunk is nicely finished with a correct mat and a full-sized spare.
Somehow the 351 cubic inch Windsor V8 feels smoother than it does in a Mustang, and it moves the sleek ragtop with effortless ease. The top side of the engine bay is dominated by the big Ford Blue air cleaner and A/C compressor, plus a set of finned valve covers to dress it up a little bit. Turn the key and it starts easily and pulls with a great V8 rumble from the dual exhaust system. Backed by an FMX 3-speed automatic transmission and 3.00 gears out back, it's a superlative highway cruiser that easily lives up to the performance image it wears. The underside is unquestionably original, but thanks to a life somewhere dry, it doesn't have the issues that northern cars always face and you won't have any qualms about putting this one on the road every chance you get. Stylish styled steel wheels should look familiar to any Ford fan, with this car rolling on Cooper white-letter radials.
This is a heck of a lot of car for not a lot of money, and it's only a matter of time before Cougar prices join the Mustang's upward march. In the meantime, you can be enjoying one of the best luxury/performance machines of the era. Call now!
- Air Conditioning
- AM/FM Radio
- Cassette Player
- Front Disc Brakes
- Numbers Matching
- Power Brakes
- Power Steering
- Power Top
- Power Windows
- Tilt Wheel
- Vinyl Interior
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