Parked Since the 1980s: 1969 Mercury Cougar XR7

If this 1969 Cougar XR7 is as good as it appears to be in the supplied photos, then there is a real possibility that the new owner is going to be on a winner with this car. It has been parked in a garage since the mid-1980s, but it seems to have emerged from hibernation none the worst for the experience. Barn Finder Matt R spotted this one for us, so thank you for that Matt. The Cougar is located in Madera, California, and is listed for sale here on Craigslist. The owner has set a price of $7,200 for the XR7.

The outward appearance of the Cougar looks quite good, with no real indications of any rust issues. The owner doesn’t provide any information regarding the state of the frame or floors, so we really must take things on face value. The paint looks good, although I believe that the car may have undergone a repaint at some point in the past. There is some indication that it may not have rolled off the production line finished in its current Medium Gold Metallic. I can see a couple of spots around the car where there is what appears to be green or blue paint visible, which might be Dark Aqua Poly. That is something that would need to be investigated further. I have also noticed that the badge is missing off the C-Pillar on the driver’s side, but otherwise, it all looks quite promising.

The interior is another area that shows a fair amount of promise. The front seats will need new covers, but the rest of it looks like it would present fairly well with a really deep clean. This is evident when you look at the floor console and items like the armrest on the driver’s door. It just looks like it needs some plain old hard work to bring it up quite nicely. The dash and pad appear to be close to perfect, with no obvious deviations from original.

With a 351ci 4V Windsor engine under the hood, performance should be fairly impressive. The Cougar also features an automatic transmission, power steering, power brakes, and air conditioning. The engine looks very clean, and while it does run, this is only possible using an external fuel supply. It seems like the Cougar will need its gas tank either cleaned or replaced before it will run okay. Given the fact that the car has been sitting for more than 30 years, there will be plenty of checks that will need to be undertaken before you venture out onto the road for a bit of fun.

On face value, this Cougar XR7 shows a heap of promise. I really hope that it is as solid and good as it appears because after sitting for so long, I’d like to see the car returned to the road sooner rather than later. Given the fact that it was one of our Barn Finds readers that brought the car to our attention, I can’t help but wonder whether it is going to be another of our readers who will be the car’s next owner.


  1. Capriest

    There is one like this around the corner from me. Same color only no vinyl top and it has cragars. Gorgeous car! I always liked these better than the mustangs. Luckily for me because if this was a 69 fastback with a 351w 4v it would be at least double.

    Like 7
  2. RoughDiamond Member

    The non-vinyl top Cougars on any model year are not that common.

    Like 4
  3. 86_Vette_Convertible

    Rather have this one over the S code 69 Mustang 390 listed elsewhere. IMO this is the much better car.

    Like 11
  4. Troy s

    Decent looking car, 351W four barrel was/is a good engine for peppy performance and reliable enough, but I’d have to stay away from it. Too nice of a classic to start fiddling with and changing various things.
    I have to admit outside of a few Mustangs I actually like the Cougar a little more than the pony. Sounds kinda weird.

    Like 6
  5. PDR479

    I had a cougar xr7 when I was 18 (I live in the uk all my life) amongst other US motors, I loved it and compared to the uk cars it was so far ahead of its time plus it went like stink! Compared to the local boy racers of the time I was top dog.

    Like 9

    The seller has provided a photo of the door data plate. The paint color code is S, which is Medium Gold Metallic so it is the original color on this car.

    Like 9
  7. JBP

    So much better than a Mustang. Love it. Also color. Super cool ride.

    Like 4
  8. Blueprint

    Author’s doubts on paint probably come from the RF fender, visibly replaced with another one from a teal donor. Nice Cougar indeed!

    Like 5
  9. Ron

    The engine and air breather sure look freshly repainted. Stands out like a sore thumb with the condition of the rest of the engine compartment.

    Like 3
    • Karl

      A buddy in high school had a beautiful 69 cougar with a 302 backed by a 4 speed manual with Cragers on it, the car was in extremely nice shape since his dad owned a body shop in town. I drove the car a lot and it really was one heck of a nice car!

      Like 2
  10. Heath Braunstein

    Had a 69 XR7 convertible with the 351 Cleveland performance motor – thought the Cleveland was standard for the XR7?

    • Tony S

      Cleveland didn’t come out till 1970 so someone either changed the engine or you had a Windsor.

      Like 2
  11. Little_Cars Saul Member

    To me, a 67-69 Cougar in gold with Cragars was the quintessential ride to have back in the day. A lot were ragged out between high school burn outs and antics on the road. The right front fender is usually the first to go when a hot dogger is trying to accelerate hard into a curve. Puts the vehicles into the right front every time. I’ve had two MG Midgets and a 1968 Skylark all show up at my shop with a replaced/repainted right front “wing.”

    Like 1
  12. local_sheriff

    Surprised it’s still available; $7200 for an xr-7 can’t be the worst muscle car deal in this condition.
    In my 20s I would’ve walked away from this xr-7 only due to its intestine color; now I tend to appreciate those subdued under-the-radar earth tones.If it were mine I’d even be tempted to add the fugly houndstooth roof…!

    Like 5

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.


Keep me in the conversation via email. Or subscribe without commenting.