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Barn Cat: 1969 Mercury Cougar XR-7 Convertible


Note to self: when painting a car do more prep work than just wiping it down and then spraying it a different color. That’s one issue with this otherwise desirable 1969 Mercury Cougar XR-7 convertible that has been parked in a barn since 1993. This green and/or gold ragtop is on Craigslist with an asking price of $5,500 and it sounds like they might negotiate a bit. It’s located in West Union, Ohio – let’s check it out.

The first-generation Cougar has to be the most desirable for this model and a convertible just adds to the mix. 1969 is when the classic divided electric-razor grille was replaced with the one seen here and it looks like these headlights are both in the closed position. Usually that’s a good sign, unless it’s night time and you’re trying to drive home and they don’t open. This car has 67,000 miles on it according to the seller and as you can see it’ll need a full restoration, hopefully back to its original gold color.

The seller mentions: “25-30 years ago two patch panels were installed on both sides in the lower quarters behind the rear wheels, the car was ‘prepped’ badly with just a wipe down and repainted a green over the original gold color and now the paint is ‘flaking off’.” They talk about its storage history: “was pulled into a barn 25 years ago (1993 plates) to put on new brakes and a new top. The brakes got done, but not the top, so it sat there until last month when it was purchased and loaded on a trailer for a 100 mile ride to its new home. The original top became ‘black confetti’ on the way but still has the two piece rear glass.”

The interior looks better than I thought it would with that shredded convertible top but you can see that it’ll take more than a quick cleaning to flip, I mean to bring this car back to its former glory again. 1969 was the first year that a convertible was offered on the Mercury Cougar and thankfully the original buyer of this car splurged for the XR-7 model over the base model. That included the fancy faux woodgrain and nice upholstery seen here. This car would have been a touch over $3,500 new in 1969, or less than I have lost on a couple of cars when reselling them recently. Ouch. To have a time machine!

This is the 351 cubic-inch V8 which with a two-barrel carb would have had 250 hp. The seller says that “351 Windsor motor and C-4 Trans and has been soaked with ATF before turning over. Pulled a valve cover and it is ‘clean as a whistle’.” Hopefully the next owner can get it moving again. If there aren’t any hidden rust issues other than the mentioned rear quarters, this could be a nice project for someone. Hagerty is at $12,800 for one in #4 fair condition so $5,500 or offer sounds like a decent price.


  1. jbourne

    left message

    Like 2
  2. Steven

    $2500 an not a penny more , as your looking at a total restoration with lots of time and money..

    Like 3
  3. Jimmy

    Not a vert fan but I do like the early Cougars, if no major rust yes than it would be a nice car to flip or drive. I would try negotiating a little lower on the price with the work the car needs.

    Like 4
  4. Bongo

    High retail sale value 26500 at 5500 you would have to do all the work yourself to break even. I still love this car.

    Like 4
  5. Al_Bundy John m leyshon Member

    Does the clock work ?

    Like 3
  6. Lroy

    $2500 would be a great deal for your average car guy. If you make a living bringing back these cats $4k works. I would get it running and go off the hook at the cruise night. Burn outs doughnuts usual bad behavior. Go home pressure wash the green paint off. And take my gold car back to cruise night.

    Like 8

    It looks like it could be a half decent project, if the under side is not too rusty. The bigger problem with this car though is that it is a very low option car. I only see the XR-7 package, convertible, PS, AM radio. It looks to have manual drum brakes, no console, no other options. The photos do not show it well enough but I do not see the convertible top switch. Although maybe it is there as the listing says that the top works. I also doubt that the car has a C4 unless someone swapped it in the past. This car should have an FMX transmission.

    Like 4
  8. Mountainwoodie

    In the early seventies I had a similar ’69 Cougar convertible in much lighter shade of green……..what I remember is the front floated and the hood seemed so long…..but then again I was probably up to no good and my reflexes and perception were askew.

    Like 5
  9. Karl

    In high school a buddy had a 69 hard top with a warmed up 302 and a 4 speed. The car was painted Yello with a black top and cragar SS wheels, I thought that was one of the coolest cars I ever drove!

    Like 4
    • z28th1s

      Your buddies Cougar must have had a motor swap. A 302 wasn’t available in the ’69 Cougar. A 351 was the smallest engine that was offered that year.

      Like 0
      • CATHOUSE

        Unless the car was one of the 169 1969 Eliminators built with the Boss 302 engine. Then it could have been factory.

        Like 0
  10. Boss351

    Not too bad of a cat to work with for a project. Although it is an XR-7, it is very basic with few options. (Manual drum brakes, no console, etc. ) I would need more pictures of the underside since it is from Ohio.

    Like 0

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