Mercury Cougars occupied a very distinctive place in the automotive marketplace of the late 60's. Seeking to inject some sophistication into the muscle car mix, Lincoln Mercury worked off the existing Mustang platform, but added some decidedly “across the pond” styling cues into the mix - and was met with strong results. This 1969 Mercury Cougar XR7 convertible is a rare chance to own a true classic with its wheels planted firmly on U.S. soil, yet tempered with some European refinement.
Despite sharing a number of elements with the Mustang, the distinction between the two models becomes pretty clear at first glance. This first-generation Cougar has a longer profile than its Ford brethren - the result of its longer hood and the addition of 3” between the front and rear wheels. With its very slightly inclined stance, it still sits plenty low enough to the ground to keep an effective center of gravity intact for good handling. This is a truly unique paint job, shifting from a shade reminiscent of root beer to blue and even green, depending on the angle from which you're viewing the car. Look up front, you'll see just one example of that European influence - hidden, pop-up headlights lurk behind that textured black, razor-blade grille. They were only available for a scant three years. In back, those distinctively broad taillights, their vertical ribbing nearly spanning the width of the car, are yet another distinctive “continental” feature. Convertible tops are often the first area to show vulnerability on classics, but this one appears to be in great shape, with no wear marks or tears and even the folding seam in its very clear glass window is untorn.
Inside, you'll find that the black vinyl upholstery is in good shape. Mercury went with higher backs on its bucket seats by this time and this added height, plus the inclusion of headrests, offer both more support and safety than what was found on early models. In back, the bench seat also looks good, as does the quarter trim on either side of it, often another stress area in convertibles, with their snaps to connect a tonneau cover still intact. There are some European touches inside here, as well, including the wood grain paneling on the instrument cluster and steering wheel, a prominent oval clock presiding over the glove box and a set of toggle switch controls over the center console. On either side, the door panels sit nice and flush, with their power window controls prominently displayed. One of Mercury's priorities was to find a sweet spot between the Mustang and Thunderbird and they succeeded on that account, as the Cougar's extra length also provided an obvious increase in rear passenger legroom. It still looks and is powered as you'd want in a muscle car, but it's one that will have no issues bearing four passengers while cruising.
Unlike Mustangs, Cougars of this era all came with V8's, with this one bearing a 351 Windsor in its very clean and detailed engine compartment, topped by a chrome air cleaner and paired with a C6 3 speed automatic transmission. The powerplant exhales efficiently into a set of aftermarket long tube headers leading into dual exhausts. Featuring power brakes on all four corners - with discs in front and power steering - city conditions and stop and go driving will place no roadblocks to interfere with your motoring enjoyment. This eye-catching Cougar sits on a set of Z racing rims, wrapped with Cooper Cobra Radial GT tires.
Looking for a unique, classic drop-top with unabashed flash and undeniable appeal? This 1969 Mercury Cougar XR7 is the one for you. Call today!