44k Original Miles: 1968 Mercury Cougar XR7 Survivor

Deciding to part with a classic car can be a difficult choice to make. However, when that car is 52-years-old and has been part of the family since new, that ramps it up a notch. That is also the story behind this 1968 Mercury Cougar XR7. The owner had grand plans for it, but life has changed for him. Therefore, he has chosen to list the vehicle for sale here on eBay. It is located in Salem, Oregon, and while bidding has reached $17,100, the reserve hasn’t been met. If you believe that you must own this XR7, there is a BIN option. This has been set at $24,000.

The owner’s grandparents took delivery of the Caribbean Blue Cougar in April of 1968. They chose to equip it with a few optional extras and used it on a semi-regular basis until it was inherited by the owner in 1979. He had some grand plans for the car, but they never came to fruition. He does use it from time-to-time, but it spends most of its life hidden away in a garage. This sort of life has seen the Mercury survive in remarkable condition. The original paint is quite tired, but the car is completely rust-free. The Black vinyl top is in good order, with no signs of lifting or bubbling. The external trim and chrome is all present, and although the bumpers would benefit from a trip to the platers, the rest of it looks pretty good. One of the options that the original owners chose was tinted glass. This is all present and is free from significant flaws.

Apart from some wear on the carpet and age cracking on the seats, the interior of the Cougar is in impressive condition. If the buyer is seeking a high level of presentation, then they will probably choose to replace the carpet. A good interior detailer should be able to condition the leather on the seats. This would have them not only looking great but would ensure that they remain soft and supple. The original radio has been upgraded, but everything else is as it left the factory. The rest of the trim looks nice, with no signs of any cracks in any of the plastic, the dash, or the pad. The woodgrain inserts show no signs of lifting, while the console is close to faultless. There is a clock fitted to the console, and the Cougar also scores a tilt-away wheel.

Occupying the engine bay of the Cougar is a J-Code 302ci V8. This should be producing 230hp, which finds its way to the rear wheels via a 3-speed automatic transmission. The original owners also ticked the boxes beside power steering and power front disc brakes on the options list. With this mechanical configuration, the Mercury should be capable of running through the ¼ mile in 16.5 seconds. The Cougar is a numbers-matching car, and the owner had intended to perform some upgrades to the engine. He made it as far as fitting a new Holley carburetor before proceedings ground to a halt. That carburetor is still there, although the original is in the trunk. The seller states that the XR7 is roadworthy but only sees the road a few times per year for weekend outings. He does claim that it has a genuine 44,000 miles showing on its odometer. The documentation folder for this car is impressive and contains everything right back to the original Order Sheet. I do not doubt that there is everything that you would need to confirm the mileage claim.

As you can see, when this 1968 Cougar XR7 was in its prime, it was a real eye-catcher. There is no reason why it couldn’t be once again because it is a complete and original survivor. The Cougar represents a more affordable alternative for any enthusiast who is hankering for a 1st Generation Mustang. They don’t tend to be as expensive, and they do offer a few extra luxury touches. With that in mind, I can’t help but feel that the BIN price might be a bit on the ambitious side. It will need a repaint, new carpet, and the engine and its surroundings will need to be painted and detailed to present at its best. Couple those factors with the availability of tidy examples for around the $30,000 mark, and you can probably see why I believe that it’s too high. However, if the reserve has been set at around the $22,000 mark and someone secures it at that price, they could be looking okay.

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Comments

  1. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    I’m not going to comment on the value of the car (other than to note that the bidding has been strong); all I want to say is that this1968 XR-7 in its attractive Caribbean Blue/Black scheme was a great-looking car in its day. I hope someone will bring it back to that level.

    Like 12
  2. FordGuy1972 FordGuy1972 Member

    I’ll agree with the writer that the price is a little high as a re-paint and some re-chroming will be needed. Other than that, this seems like a nice Cougar with an attractive interior color. The 302 is a good motor that can be given improved performance if so desired but should give reasonable performance as-is. A quality paint job won’t be cheap but at least it seems there isn’t any rust to contend with. I like it and it seems many others do too judging by the active bidding.

    Like 9
  3. george mattar

    Why have a Mustang, of which there are 100 million of at car shows, when you can have this? I would walk toward this than any other car at a car show, maybe except a factory L88 Corvette. This is cheap when you consider people on here want $20,000 for a clapped out 72 Chevelle, boring. I would trade my mint 73 Corvette plus cash for this car TODAY. Beautiful. Another reason stupid Mercury went out of business, they stopped building beauties like this.

    Like 21
    • piston poney

      exactly, in my opinion the mercury cars were the best in the 60’s, we have a 1963 comet convertible and it is great

      Like 3
  4. local_sheriff

    It’s the trunk lid and quarter extensions that show the most damage – the rest doesn’t look bad at all for a driver. Maybe try having only those pieces repainted and see if the remaining OE paint can be saved…?

    Strong bidding indeed but an XR7 doesn’t come along every day. Still plenty of much cheaper low-optioned Cougars around but of course in varying condition. Fully agree with the above that a Cougar is a MUCH more desirable classic than any Mustang. I’ve always been into Chevs/GMs myself but wouldn’t mind a 1st gen Cougar should I consider a FoMoCo

    Like 7
    • rocketbrian

      I’m with you being a GM guy, in that I find the first generation Cougar to be a very attractive car, especially an XR7. Much nicer than a Mustang. They are one of the very few Ford products that appeal to me.

      Like 2
  5. Frank Sumatra

    What source do you guys get your reference values from?

    “Couple those factors with the availability of tidy examples for around the $30,000 mark,” Show us please.

  6. CCFisher

    The price may not be as high as you think. Hagerty values a #4 condition J-code XR-7 at just over $20K

  7. Steve Clinton

    what happened to the rear end?

  8. carappraiser

    i have had a few Cougars over the years, of both of the automotive and the female kind. Good times! The XR7 is one of the best looking US built cars of the 60’s that is relatively affordable, but the market is catching on as prices seem to be going up

    Like 7
  9. Scott

    BIN lowered to $22k.

  10. Steve Clinton

    That is just rude.

    Like 15
  11. Robin Baker

    Looks like the twin to my ’68 XR-7G! That car was amazing!

    Like 1
  12. Lance Platt

    The Cougar generally was more of the personal luxury car cousin to the performance Mustang. This 302 version would fit that category as a beautiful sporty cruiser. Wished it had air conditioning! Body/paint look rusty and worn. Styling has aged gracefully..looks better than any current jelly bean sedan or toaster on wheels minivan or SUV.

  13. Maestro1 Member

    Even at the lowered BIN price it’s too much money. But nice find.

    Like 1
  14. JimmyinTEXAS

    Really nice car, too bad the owner decided to sell and not keep it in the family longer, but life gets in the way. I wish I had room and resources to bring it back.
    current bid 18.656 K. BIN 21.5 K. 22 hours left on the auction. My money is on it going to a new home.

  15. Chuck

    I’d rather have a 67….Car of the Year…no hideous oversized side marker lights.

    Like 1
  16. Steve Clinton

    I’d rather have a 1968 Chrysler product with small marker lights. Then the government forced them to change them for 1969 for being too small!

  17. Harry Risher

    Great buy for a Mercury Cougar XR-7 model ! For those like me personally I would never consider a generic and uninspiring Generic Motors vehicle of any kind–So this rare and awesome Mercury Cougar XR-7 is a beautiful and gorgeous choice of a unique and classy 1960s pony/muscle car at a very fair price…

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