Two Engines Included! 1967 Mercury Cougar XR7

Recalling back when the 1967 Mercury Cougar was introduced, it immediately caught my attention. A neighbor had just purchased a new ’67 Mustang and I wasn’t wild about its minor restyling from its ’66 predecessor. I knew the Cougar was related to the Mustang but was too young to know much beyond that generic point – but I liked it! And I still do and as is often the case with new models, I prefer the first iteration of the Cougar (’67-’68) over all others. Today’s 1967 Cougar example is a notch-up from standard and known as an XR-7 model, and it has experienced a mechanical change so let’s examine it further. Located in Phoenix, Arizona, this Mercury Cougar is available, here on eBay for a current bid of $4,650 with fourteen bids tendered as of this writing.

First-year Cougar production numbers were pretty stout as they totaled about 150K units with 27K of those wearing the XR7 designation. What did that mean, exactly? Mostly appearance items such as vinyl/leather combined upholstery, fake walnut interior appointments, and black face “competition-styled” gauges. Of that 150K total number, there were 8K+ performance-oriented GT Cougars assembled too with about 2,600 of those possessing both the XR7 and GT option.

Our subject car has given up its original 200 gross HP, 289 CI V8 engine, for something else…but what? The seller doesn’t elaborate though it could be another 289. Nevertheless, we’re gettin’ the old, “When parked the engine was in operation” but that was twenty years ago. Anyway, the original engine is included in the sale and a three-speed automatic transmission is still in place.

The body of this XR7 is fair, the seller points out some problem areas but states, “No rust at all on the floorboards or within the trunk” and there are two sound-looking replacement fenders included in the sale. The installed fenders don’t appear to be in too bad a shape but they do show evidence of some repair – perhaps some parking by ear has occurred? As noted, the rust-through in the passenger door seems to be the body’s biggest foible.

The XR7’s strong suit was its interior, unfortunately, that is no longer the case here. The seats are just shredded and the covered backrest for the rear seat is probably hiding sun damage. Ditto the dash applique, it’s looking pretty weathered. The bare floors are exposed, there’s no carpet in place, but that’s not a bad thing as one gets to inspect the floors closely. While the interior is in poor shape, one has to remember, as long as the bottom hasn’t fallen out, or the dash somehow disappeared (that happens!), it’s all cosmetic.

So, the good? Decent body with replacement sheet metal, structural integrity and it’s not the commonly found Mustang. The bad? The engine – it could be serious, and then again maybe not but that remains a big, and potentially expensive, unknown. Show of hands please, ’67 Mustang or ’67 Cougar, what’s your preference?

Comments

  1. Howard A Member

    The Cat, no question. Cougars were like a Mustang in an evening gown, the XR7, even more. Why they put the oil pressure gauge in front of the passenger is still a mystery. This looks like kind of a plain one, most Cougars were decked out, it’s why buyers bought them instead of a Mustang in the 1st place. I think it’s a nice project car, there will always be a following, if that ’63 Impala, where the person stuck $85 grand ( and lost $40 grand selling it) in restoration is any lesson, this one won’t be cheap either. The biggest plus here, is when done, you’ll have a sweet car, not some frumpy Impala with a truck motor. Your choice, I guess. Nice find, for sure. I wonder if the “sequential” rear turn signals still work, a Cougar/Tbird exclusive, and those pesky headlight doors,,,saw more that didn’t work properly.

    Like 4
    • Boatman Member

      I don’t think it’s an XR7, Howard.

      Like 2
      • CATHOUSE

        You would not say that if you knew anything about Cougars. The biggest clue is the VIN supplied by the seller, 7F93C******. 7 is 1967, F is built in Dearborn, 93 is Cougar XR-7, C is 289 2V engine. So unless the VIN is bogus this car is an XR-7. To add to the clues on the exterior this car has the XR-7 emblems on the sail panels and it has the XR-7 only hash marks on the rear of the rocker panels. In the interior it has all the correct XR-7 pieces. The seat covers, the rear side panels, the console, the shifter handle, the door panels, the armrests, the inside door release handles, the door pulls, and the compete dash and instrument cluster are all XR-7 only items. So yes, Boatman, this is an XR-7.

        Like 2
    • Howard A Member

      Impala lovers, lower your weapons, I liked that ’63 too, my point was how much it costs to restore a car properly today.

      Like 3
    • RATTLEHEAD

      Howard i never knew the Impala to have a truck motor. The 348 was designed for big cars according to G.M. so its more accurate to say” damn that truck has a hot car motor”. I love your knowledge of old cars and trucks my friend but that “truck motor” b.s. should be put to bed.

      Like 2
      • Howard A Member

        Okay, I don’t mind being corrected, but when someone calls BS on me, thems fightin’ words, Jack. I won’t bother with links, but look it up. The 348 was INDEED created as an alternative to the 283 in light-medium size Task-Force Chevy trucks, in 1958. From ’62-’64, it was used exclusively in light trucks only.

        Like 1
  2. CATHOUSE

    This car does have a few decent options. Automatic, Power brakes (cannot tell if drum or disc), A/C, console, tilt/tilt-away steering column. And there is a AM 8 track radio in the trunk which may be the original radio.

    Like 1
  3. Stan

    Be a nice cheerful cruiser when done 💰

    Like 1
  4. Sam Shive

    Whiskey Dents on both front fenders. Someone stuck the nose where it wasn’t suppose to be. If the floors are solid and the seat frames are good, She’d be worth the $$$$$ to restore. I’ve seen RUSTANGS it a lot worse shape for a lot mote money. I’m to old and no place to restore it but I hope someone does.

    Like 4
  5. James Quinn

    I find the rust through on the door to be odd, especially for a southwest car. I’ve had over 10 Mustangs/Cougars (Currently have an early 67 GT before the XR-7 was available), I’ve never seen rust through that high up on a door without there being bigger issues elsewhere.

    Like 4
  6. Steve Makowski

    Cougar all day long!

    Like 3
  7. Howie Mueler

    $4,950 now, sellers feedback (0).

    Like 1
  8. trav66

    I like these body styles, probably more than the Mustangs. This looks like a very solid start to a simple project and affordable if it stays close to where it’s at, $5300 with 6 hrs to go!

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