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Clean Drop-Top: 1970 Mercury Cougar XR-7 Convertible

The First Generation Mercury Cougar spent years living in the shadow cast by its Ford counterpart, but the marque’s demise seems to have generated greater interest in these classics. They appeal to enthusiasts seeking a Mustang-like ownership experience with a dash of extra luxury. This 1970 Cougar XR-7 Convertible is a tidy classic. It isn’t perfect, but it is a turnkey proposition where a new owner could lift its overall presentation in a home workshop without breaking the bank. The Cougar is listed here on eBay in Granada Hills, California. Bidding sits below the reserve at $10,100, but there is time for that situation to change.

Mercury’s First Generation Cougar arrived on showroom floors for the 1967 model year, with production ending in 1970. Our feature XR-7 hails from that final year and presents well in Code T Red. The seller confirms it received a recent repaint, which is apparent courtesy of some slight overspray in a couple of spots. It shines nicely, with no signs of significant flaws or defects. The panels are as straight as an arrow, with the seller claiming the vehicle is rust-free. If it has spent its life in its current location, that tends to support the claim. The Black power top is in excellent condition, recently receiving a new rear window. The concealed headlamps work as they should, with the spotless trim and chrome adding to this car’s appeal.

The VIN confirms this Cougar rolled off the line powered by the H-Code 351ci V8, producing 250hp and 355 ft/lbs of torque. Shifting duties fall to a three-speed automatic transmission, while power assistance for the steering and brakes should provide an effortless driving experience. The engine bay still houses a 351, although the visual indications are that it sports more than just a few cosmetic enhancements. The MSD ignition, upgraded intake, and new carburetor suggest someone has worked to extract some additional power from the V8. Potential buyers should consider the XR-7 a turnkey proposition, with the seller confirming it runs and drives extremely well.

If this Cougar has a weakness, that honor falls to its interior. There is nothing horrendously bad, but it doesn’t meet the standard set by the rest of the car. The supplied images are inconclusive, but we can see that the driver’s armrest is cracked and that holes are cut in the rear trims to house aftermarket speakers. The seller admits the carpet has wear on the driver’s side but that they recently replaced the dash pad. The seatcovers and remaining Black upholstered surfaces are in good order, meaning that the listed shortcomings could be addressed in a home workshop. If I were this classic’s next owner, I would splash $70 on a pair of replacement armrests, $170 on a carpet set, and fill the holes in the rear trims with another set of speakers. That would lift the appearance significantly for a reasonably modest outlay.

Mercury sold 72,343 examples of the Cougar in 1970, but only 1,977 of those buyers went the extra yard by ordering an XR-7 Convertible. That makes this a relatively rare car and one worthy of preservation. The action has been quite subdued, with only thirteen bids submitted at the time of writing. There is plenty of time for the situation to change, but are you tempted to throw your hat into the ring for this gem?


  1. Robert Proulx

    Gorgeous looking, and finally a clean engine bay to match the rest. Edelbrock carb is a nice addition with the intake. Is that a remote oil filter setup ? All very nice. Now why is it i’m thinking “On her majesty’s secret service “

    Like 7
    • terry

      Really nice Cougar. The only change I would wish for is a 4 speed but I would be mighty proud to drive it as is. These cars look much better than the Mustang stablemates in my book.

      Like 9
      • Ray

        While I prefer a manual, given the chassis flex and cruising nature of convertibles, this is completely acceptable, especially since most Cougars had automatics from the factory.

        Like 2
    • Blu

      Looks like an electric vacuum pump, the vacuum line is disconnected from brake booster.

      Like 0
  2. Ray

    The lack of the center console and rocker trim make me question if this is truly an XR-7 convertible. I’d want to see pictures of the dashboard as well, since XR-7s had rocker switches to operate the top and courtesy lights. Those appear to be1969 style wheels… 70s would have the option of the charcoal 5 spokes with trim rings. Even regular convertible would still be rare.

    I have a 1970 XR-7 convertible. Blue on blue with a white top. 351C auto. Center console with color matched shift knob. Tilt steering with the “Rim Blow” horn.

    Like 6
    • Stan

      Sounds like a beauty Ray 😎
      This one’s already gone. 🎶

      🎸 🥁 🎙” well I heard some people talking just the other day….and they said you were going to put me on a shelf, let me tell ya, I got some news for you, and you’ll soon find out it’s true, and you’ll have to eat your lunch all by yourself…. Because I’m already gone and I’m feeling strong
      I will sing this Victory song….. 🎶

      Like 8

      The VIN of 0F94H confirms that this is an XR-7 convertible. The 94 in the VIN means that it is an XR-7 convertible.

      The door panels have been modified by adding the carpet along the bottom. Most likely the lower section of the door panels are damaged and will need replaced if the next owner wants the car to be correct.

      It is missing the wheel opening mouldings, the rocker panel mouldings, the decklid XR-7 emblem and the fender to hood bumpers.

      Like 5
    • Yblocker

      Those are 68-69 Mustang/Torino wheels

      Like 1
      • PRA4SNW

        Those wheels look really nice on this car.

        Like 0
  3. CCFisher

    The floor console was not standard equipment on the XR-7


    Wheel opening and rocker panel moldings were standard, and this car would look better with them installed. It looks incomplete as-is.

    Like 1
  4. Robert Atkinson, Jr.

    The over spray on the paint job suggests a quick paint job to freshen the car up for a quick sale. The missing trim pieces and badging only serves to reinforce that impression. The interior issues suggest that this cat was run hard and put away wet, but could be brought up to scratch for relatively short money. Only body panels and interior bits are hard to find these days, everything else is Mustang underneath the Mercury Cougar skin. I liked these when they were new, and I’ve grown to appreciate them even more now.

    Like 4
  5. Michael Garner

    This item is no longer listed for sale! I wonder if he got an offer he couldn’t resist.

    Like 4
  6. Sam61

    Do a James Bond tribute car and get Dianna Riggs autograph on the glove box door.

    Like 2

      Except that the Bond car was a 1969 with a 428CJ. It will be quite a trick to get the actress to sign anything since she has passed away.

      I wonder what happened to the comment that I posted the other day about this car??

      Like 1
  7. PL

    It’s gone of course, but we’d be very cautious of these. There was no mention, that we recall of it being an original California car. Regardless, a close inspection of the undercarriage would have been the first thing on our checklist. It’s had a flipper paint job, so who knows what else might be lurking here.

    Like 0
  8. AndyinMA

    Cougars are great when the top comes down

    Like 8
  9. PL


    Like 1
  10. Mike

    Electric fuel pump I think

    Like 0
  11. Blu

    I think vacuum pump, the fuel line is coming from under power steering pump, which is where the mechanical is.

    Like 0
  12. Grape Ape

    Like the way the strut towers are braced into the firewall for additional strength being a drop top. Gorgeous vehicle imo, with the torque should be a smooth ride. White top likely keeps the car cooler when up, opposed to the body color. Balanced nice ride.

    Like 1
    • Robert Atkinson, Jr.

      I’m sorry to burst your bubble, but that bracing wasn’t unique to the convertible, it appears in all Cougars, Falcons, Mustangs, and Mavericks, convertible or not, since all of those cars are descended from the Falcon platform. The shock towers held the upper control arms and their bushings, which were supposed to be “permanently” lubricated, but most assuredly were NOT! Replacement bushings had grease fittings, and you had to remove the front wheels to access the grease fittings, unless you did what many owners, including my Dad did, and cut holes into the shock towers with a hole saw or acetylene torch to access the grease fittings!

      Like 1
  13. Todapo

    I’ve always wanted a Cougar but at my age I figure they’d all be in a nursing home, oh, sorry, different kind of Cougar.

    Like 1
  14. Nelson C

    Cuter than the girl next door. Just as nice to show up with.

    Like 0
  15. Rich kasiurak

    The eBay listing says deposits are non refundable. That is really dumb. If that is true they could sell it for dirt and still make a killing.

    Like 0
  16. Ron Robinson Member

    The Bond car was in His Majesty’s Secret Service.
    It was a red 1969 Cougar XR7 428CJ Ram Air 4 speed.
    One of seven with those options. I had one of those seven, the only non XR7, for 30 years, now in SoCal. At Ford shows, it would be placed as far from the front of the show as possible.

    Like 0

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