Both the Mustang and the Cougar grew in 1971, but the Cougar seems to wear the extra size better than its cousin. This 1971 Mercury Cougar XR7 convertible represents either an affordable vintage cruiser or a great starting point for an amazing resto-mod.
The paint is recent and nicely done, and we like the burgundy color that gives it a grown-up look that suits the Cougar's upscale mission. The chiseled good looks reflect both the pony car and Lincoln DNA in its family, and adding big wheels and some attitude only enhances the image. The narrow front grille with "power dome" hood are certainly reminiscent of Lincolns of the same period, while the kicked-up quarter panels behind the doors are pure Mustang, making for a very attractive package. The late-model color works quite well on the vintage bodywork, and it's easy to imagine it with, say, a blacked-out hood and a modest spoiler out back for some balance. But even as it sits, it's rather handsome and the Cougar's shape has aged quite gracefully. The front bumper is in good original condition, but we'll admit the rear bumper needs to be re-chromed if your intention is to keep it stock. But beyond that, this is a great-looking car.
If you've driven an early '70s Mustang, you'll feel right at home here. The bucket seats are a little wider and a little softer, but the array of round gauges are pure pony car. It's possible that the interior is original, so the driver's seat has a split and the fabric is a little faded, but new seat covers are included with the sale. You'll note nice black carpets on the floors to provide some welcome contrast and a center console adds to the performance vibe. The gauges are custom white-faced dials that look great in a machine-turned instrument panel that definitely works in the XR7. For entertainment, the original radio was dumped in favor of a JVC AM/FM/CD stereo, although the door speakers have yet to be installed (another opportunity for you to do it your way). The power convertible top is in good shape and the trunk is outfitted with a full mat set and a full-sized spare tire.
Ford's 302 cubic inch V8 was torquey and very user-friendly in the Cougar, offering good performance without being fussy. This one has been significantly upgraded with FITech fuel injection, an Edelbrock intake manifold, an HEI distributor, and a set of long-tube exhaust headers, so you know where the real money was spent. With those cool Edelbrock Racing valve covers and a serpentine belt drive system, along with a set of adjustable strut tower braces, it looks far more modern under the hood than you'd expect. Power steering and power front disc brakes were standard equipment on the heavier, more luxury-oriented Cougar, but the recent Flowmaster dual exhaust system has a wonderful low burble that totally sounds like a muscle car. The automatic transmission snaps off quick shifts, so this Couger feels a lot like a late-model 5.0 Mustang rather than a vintage cruiser. The undercarriage is pretty original, but this car has spent most of its life in a warm climate so while it's a little grungy, you won't be worried about its structural strength while you're out cruising. It's also fitted with 4-wheel disc brakes which look ideal behind late-model Mustang wheels carrying 235/55/17 performance radials.
Lots of money was spent where it matters, making this Cougar a blast to drive and only a few upgrades away from being something truly special. Take this opportunity and make it your own. Call now!