Live Auctions

428 Cobra Jet Ram Air: 1970 Mercury Cougar XR7 Convertible

When a classic is as desirable and potentially valuable as this 1970 Mercury Cougar XR7 Convertible, the seller should provide as much information as possible to entice buyers to look closer. That hasn’t been the case with this listing, although a spot of detective work has uncovered a few answers that paint a clearer picture. The Cougar needs a new home, with the seller listing it here on eBay in Jackson, Mississippi. They have set a BIN of $115,900, but there is the option to make an offer. I must say a big thank you to Barn Finder Larry D for spotting this beauty.

The information provided by this seller is limited, but I popped on my Sherlock Holmes “deer stalker” hat, which helped me to gather some additional facts. This Cougar presents superbly, with the seller indicating it wears Special Order paint. I have determined that it is a shade offered in 1968 and 1969 that Mercury referred to as Dark Blue, with it gracing Ford panels in those same years as Presidential Blue. The paint presents beautifully, with no evidence of significant defects. The panels look perfect, with the gaps among the tightest and most consistent I’ve seen on a Cougar of this vintage. The immaculate White power-top adds a striking contrast and includes the luxury of a glass back window. The chrome and trim are faultless, and the tinted glass has no visible problems.

I’ve always felt it took bravery for anyone to order a vehicle featuring White interior trim, but that’s what we find inside this Cougar. Trim of this shade is prone to marks and stains, but the combination of leather and vinyl inside this car looks faultless. There is no wear, and the carpet is equally impressive. The dash and pad are in as-new condition, and the acres of faux woodgrain show none of the fading or lifting that can plague trim of this type. The listing had me scratching my head, especially when the seller indicated an odometer reading of 577 miles. I found the claim difficult to believe, although the vehicle’s condition suggested it was possible. However, I chanced upon information confirming the XR7 underwent a restoration in around 2017. This is purely speculation, but I wonder whether the odometer reading indicates the distance covered since that work ended. That sounds plausible and is a question that potential buyers should probably ask. Not only is the interior spotless, but it is nicely equipped. The buyer receives air conditioning, power windows, a tilt wheel, an AM/FM stereo radio, rear armrests, map and courtesy lights, and a factory tachometer.

The original owner of this XR7 wanted more than a pure luxury car, seeking to create a classic with genuine muscle credentials. Therefore, they ticked the box beside the 428 Cobra Jet V8 on the Order Form, adding the Ram Air option for good measure. That brute should produce 335hp, which finds its way to the pavement via the rear wheels, a three-speed C6 automatic transmission, and a Traction-Lok rear end. It may tip the scales at a relatively heavy 3,889lbs, but this beauty should scorch through the ¼-mile in 14.8 seconds before winding its way to 120mph. We receive no information on whether the Cougar is numbers-matching or how it runs and drives. However, if my theory about the odometer reading is correct, it appears nobody has gone out of their way to wear out this beauty since 2017! It is also worth noting that this Mercury is 1-of-37 XR7 Convertibles from that model year ordered with the 428 Cobra Jet, increasing its desirability. The seller supplied no engine photos in their listing, but I located this shot for the same vehicle from a Mecum Auction in 2017. Hopefully, it is indicative of the state of the engine bay today.

The previous auction listing I located for this 1970 Mercury Cougar XR7 Convertible indicates it sold for $72,000 in 2017. Values for these classics have recently climbed at an impressive rate that exceeds the market average. There is no way I can claim with a straight face that this Convertible is cheap, and I’m unwilling to insult our reader intelligence by trying. Any vehicle with a six-figure value requires a dedicated enthusiast to commit that sum of money to a single classic. However, the overall condition of this car is exceptional, and the V8 nestling under the hood makes it one of the most desirable variants offered in that model year. Factor in the long list of optional extras, and recent sales results suggest the BIN is justified. It isn’t cheap, but does it tempt you enough to pursue it further?

Comments

  1. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    Very nice. A big-block Cougar convertible, you aren’t going to see yourself very often. Looks like a high-quality restoration. The dark blue/white combination is striking. Well-equipped. I don’t follow prices on these, so I can’t comment on the six-figure ask.

    But I will echo Adam’s comments about lack of information in the ebay ad. The pictures are pretty good, but the description is nothing more than a list of options (like from a Marti report, which I didn’t see). I suppose the dealer assumes if you are interested, you will call and will then receive the dealer’s verbal sales pitch. To me a written description is much more meaningful, one has to put thought into what they are writing to make sure it is accurate and appropriate, as opposed to some verbal ramble. Just my thoughts….

    Anyhow, like I said, nice car.

    Like 20
  2. Michael Garner

    Beautiful!

    Like 6
  3. Mitch

    I don’t follow this but i remember their pricing was about 25k
    for the cv, original and unrestored examples good condition
    (means road safe to euro specs no rust no leaks etc) but not
    a 428 and one of only 37 ever made.

    The rarity makes the price. Very nice.

    Like 1
  4. cobrajetter

    Red flags here. 1970 CJ cars have 1970-only parts under the hood, and are notoriously difficult to find. For this money, all the date codes should match, including the sheet metal. BIG requirement for a PPI here.

    Like 4
  5. Dusty Rider

    I always wonder about the first owner of a car like this and how thrilled they must have been. Heck, I’ve had only 2 new cars, 3 new trucks and 2 new Harleys and I was so excited to have been able to buy them (the thrill wore off the two VWs pretty fast though). I never had a car such as this one and I’m sure that the owner was beside himself (or herself) with joy riding home from the dealership the first day. I wish it was me and wish I knew the story!

    Like 5
  6. CATHOUSE

    This is a very nice looking and desirable car. I can see though where a few shortcuts were made. When the car was repainted the pinstripes were not put back on. It is missing the XR7 emblem that goes on the decklid. The hood center grille is from a standard Cougar, not the correct XR7 grille. The headlight doors and grille pieces are not refinished correctly. The radio and knobs are not the correct 1970 pieces, they are later model items. In my opinion for the asking price these items should be corrected and the seller should also post the Marti report so anyone interested can verify the information.

    Like 25
    • Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

      Excellent detailed info Cathouse, completely appropriate for a high-end car such as this.

      Like 8
      • Wayne Meyer

        Jackson, MS fell victim to massive flooding very recently. I would make sure that this car, especially at this price, and with the issues raised by Cathouse, was nowhere near the high water. Not saying the seller would do it, but flood car sellers have been known to forget to mention that detail.

        Like 1
  7. Mike_B_SVT

    1,997 XR-7 Convertibles were built in 1970. 37 of those had the Ram-Air CJ Engine, of which 2 were ordered with the Special Paint Option (1 “Silver”, 1 “Presidential Blue”).

    Some sales / auction history for this one;

    2014 Apr – Mecum Houston. “Sold” for $77.5k. Consignor had purchased the car from the original owner who had kept it for nearly 40 years. “Restored to factory specs”. I do have some old contact info for the person who had the car restored and consigned it for this auction.

    2015 Jan – Mecum Kissimee. Bid to $75k.

    2016 Jan – Mecum Kissimee. Bid to $95k.

    2016 May – Mecum Indy. No sale price recorded.

    2017 Nov – Mecum Las Vegas. “Sold” for $72k.

    2021 Apr – MAG Auctions. “Sold” for $66k. (That price was a steal, and I believe this sale was liquidation of an estate).

    Auction video from 2021
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z-DVbGlatZM&t=18174s

    Auction house description from 2021
    https://www.motorsportauctiongroup.com/article/9813/1970-Mercury-Cougar-XR7-428-Convertible

    Like 12
    • Stinger

      Excellent info and back ground information. Thanks for the super sleuthing Mike.

      Like 5
    • B Wallace

      Wow you should be a detective. I had a cousin who had a 69 Convertible with a 390 and when he sold it in the late 70’s he might have got $1000 for it. In 1978 I could have bought a mint 71 Mach 1 429SCJ for $4400 I passed on it because at the time that was a fortune for a 71 Mustang.

      Like 1
      • CATHOUSE

        Mike does a great job keeping track of any 1969-1970 Cougar Eliminator that comes up for sale. He has been doing this for years. Apparently he also keeps track of some other rare Cougars as they come up for sale too. Great job Mike.

        Like 5
  8. CJinSD

    Maybe if it was the one that Diana Rigg drove in a James Bond movie.

    Like 3
    • CATHOUSE

      You are going to need more money than the asking price for this 70 convertible. If I am recalling my facts correctly Mercury provided 3 cars to the movie company for that Bond movie. One of those cars was sold at auction about 2 years ago and if I am recalling correctly the hammer price was in the 450K area.

  9. Howie

    Yes it looks great, no interior photos with the top down?

    Like 1
    • CATHOUSE

      If you scroll down in the listing there is a box you can click on to view the full sized photos. There are a lot of interior photos with the top down.

      • Howie

        Thank you CATHOUSE, this might do better at a auction where the drinks are strong.

  10. SirLurxaLot

    This is a beautiful car and probably the nicest Cougar I have ever seen but I don’t share the author’s enthusiasm for the fitment of the body panels. The picture at the very top of the article shows that the hood and right fender don’t line up and aren’t really that close. The trunk lid sits higher than both rear quarter panels. The passenger door appears to be out at the bottom front and in at the bottom rear but that could just be the photograph.
    Don’t get me wrong, I still love the car.

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