Garaged 35 Years! 1968 Mercury Cougar XR-7

With its XR-7 package, power options, and air conditioning, this 1968 Mercury Cougar in Bakersfield, California would have been one sharp and well-equipped pony car when new. Today it seeks a new owner willing to finish repairing a damaged left rear and sort out other needs. The listing here on eBay includes descriptions of the good and bad. An opening bid of $6000 will begin the auction, or click Buy It Now for $7800.

The damaged left rear sidelined the car, and still shows signs of needing work. The pop-rivets securing the vinyl top are a quality touch. The sale includes a chunk of an undamaged ’68 Cougar for a proper replacement.

Even some non car-enthusiasts know the Cougars of this vintage feature nifty sequential turn signals, similar in visible operation to those used on today’s Mustangs. This video demonstrates the original look compared to available LED conversions.

Mercury’s brochure said the XR-7 “lifts you to the summit of sports car luxury!” It included “leather and vinyl” upholstery and “burnished walnut tones.” An overhead console, additional lighting, and other features raised the XR-7 a notch above the base Cougar. This one also has a console, power disc brakes, power steering, and air conditioning.

This two-barrel 390 cid (6.5L) V8 made 280 HP. The four-barrel version made 325, and a limited-production 427 made a screaming 390 HP. Check out these and other details on these fine machines at fordmercurycougarxr7.com. Though currently branded with a Salvage Title, this Cougar could earn a roadworthy title after documented repairs. My experience with that process in Virginia proved relatively painless. Against a stampede of Mustangs, a crisply restored and well-outfitted Cougar stands out, delighting young and young-at-heart with its trick rollover headlights and sequential tail lights. What would you give to stand out from the herd?

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Comments

  1. Skorzeny

    An automatic, of course.

    Like 2
    • TimS Member

      So what?

      Like 3
      • Eric

        Well, it sounds as if he prefers a manual. More fun and a built in anti theft device to boot.

        Like 1
  2. Del

    Looks like its not running.

    Lots rear rust.

    Are the GT logos legit on a Cougar ?

    Like 4
    • MorganW Morgan Winter Member

      Not this one…should have the S code 390.

      Like 1
  3. RICKY MATTHEWS

    I would pay what he did, which was prob $1500.00 but not a penny more.

    Like 10
    • Del

      Well offer 2 grand then. He needs profit for saving it.

      Like 2
  4. local_sheriff

    Great color combo and cool option package! Cougars were available as Base, GT, and the ‘luxury’ XR7 . Way cooler than any 13-on-a-dozen Mustang!

    I’d believe seller expect someone to dig deep for the 390 and AC equipment – in my world a Cougar would be just as entertaining with some high-winding SB than with the truck engine. There are still restorable Cougars to be found for less $…

    Like 7
  5. Gaspumpchas

    Hmm 4 valve 390? actually it has 16 of em. I bought a beautiful custom made driveshaft on ebay, with u joints for 225. Think they even powder coated it. Would be nice to see pics of the underbelly. Or it it runs or fires?? Think the price is a tad high, what you think?? Even with a slush box this has gotta be a screamer with the 390/ c6 combo. Looker over good, and good luck.
    Cheers
    GPC

    Like 3
    • SC/RAMBLER

      Hey GPC that 4 v is not valves.( though that may have been tongue in cheek) back in the day 2v 4v etc. was venturi or barrels as in 2 or 4 or 8 barrel carbs

      Like 13
      • Gaspumpchas

        yea I hear ya scrambler, but-
        and I quote-
        Now, I was given very little information and hazy pictures but agreed to drive a long distance due to those GT badges. Guess you can say I went big game hunting and brought back a Cougar the from seclusion of a California mountain region. The previous owners say the GT badges have been on the car all 30 plus years, but the attached Deluxe Marti Report says it all. This build was X-Code 390-2 Valve instead of the S-Code 390-4 Valve GT. Leave it to the experts, but seems the initial or soon after previous owner, long ago, changed out the “6.5 Litre” badge on this “original” paint (but honestly, I don’t see a trace of a rectangle pattern of a badge) .

        Like 4
  6. TimM

    Lots of work replacing the back end of this car and I’m in agreement with the majority that it’s not a $7800 car with the amount of work needed here!! I even think the $6000 is a little to much!! If it could be bought for about $3000 it would be worth the time spent!!

    Like 5
  7. art

    Laundering a title? Not a very good (honest) thing for the end buyer is it? Yikes.

    Like 3
    • Steve R

      The salvage title on top of the damage and that it isn’t running means it’s a parts car. Cougars aren’t particularly valuable, or popular, even one with a 390 2bbl. Someone would be better off waiting for a nicer one to show up.

      Like 6
  8. JOHN Member

    I always liked the dash treatment on the 68 XR7’s, classic wood grain, white on black instruments, toggle switches, a strong European influence.

    Like 6
  9. Boatman Member

    Why do you call them “rollover” headlights, Todd?

    Like 1
    • Todd Fitch Staff

      Hi Boatman. I wrote “rollover” as a generic phase for “hidden” or “concealed,” but that’s not accurate in this case. The old Opel GT, C4 Corvettes, and others do “roll over” but in this case there is a door covering the fixed lights. “Rollover” is the phrase that pops into my head first but I should not be so casual. Thanks for mentioning this!

      Like 3
      • Boatman Member

        You are welcome Sir!

    • JBD

      Rare X code 390-2v
      Great orig car! It should go quick!

  10. JBP

    i would love to park it in my barn, waiting for repair. but 7800$ that wount happen
    realy nice interior. i dont want or like Mustangs. there is so many you couls feed pigs, with them. but a Merc. is another case. would love to park one beside a Mustang, at Show and see peoples reaction. every kid know a Mustang, but nobody not in classic cars know a Merc.

    Like 1
    • Kurt

      There is for sure a decided similarity in their body lines but I’d rather have the Cougar XR7, and with a rag top, even more distinctive.

      Like 4
  11. Troy s

    Cougars were more upscale than Mustangs, as Mercury’s seemed to be compared to Ford in general. I like Cougars, hey it’s powered by Ford, but these never really appreciated in value as much as the overly common Mustangs. Sometimes that’s a good thing.
    The fact it has a 390-2barrel I guess adds value to it in terms of rarity, adds weight to the car too, unnecessarily as this engine is no performance mill at all. Still, the potential is there for a different car to show off and cruise.

    Like 3
  12. Andrew Franks

    I like these cars but the price is too high and I agree with the person who mentioned $3000.00. After the body work there is the engine, trans, suspension and so on. Maybe a Project in disguise?

    Like 2
  13. brian b

    A quick look through results from Mecum shows nice driver quality and better cars for $12k – $22k. Why anyone would pay $6k for this is beyond me. The body and paint would cost $10-12k alone.

    Like 4
  14. Frank Y Member

    Had a 69 dark purple 351w several years back got it Buffalo in February. Drove it back to Pittsburgh in a Balmy 30 degrees with a window that was half down ( or if u prefer up). Sent for a Marti report they asked I take a paint scraping from a non re-painted area. Turns out it was a Rocky Mountain Cougar. Spruced it up a bit took it to a few shows and then got Transferred to DC and had to sell it.
    Always like the Cougars especially those years.

    Like 2
  15. Steve P

    Left rear quarter pic at the bumper looks like maybe some condo in there, hard to tell.

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