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XR-7? 1969 Mercury Cougar Convertible

The seller has this one listed as a 1969 Mercury Cougar XR-7 convertible and I think we can all agree on it being a 1969 Mercury Cougar convertible. It’s the XR-7 part that’s a little up in the air. What are your thoughts? They have it listed here on eBay in Chattanooga, Tennessee and the current bid price is $10,600 but the reserve isn’t met yet.

XR-7 or not, this appears to be a really nice car and a reasonably rare one at that. The first-generation Mercury Cougar was made for the 1967 through 1970 model years and they could be both luxurious and raging fast at the same time with the right engine and transmission options. As is often the case, the photos for this listing aren’t stellar and they’re all over the place, verticals, cut-off horizontals, etc. The one photo that could have shown an XR-7 badge is cut off for some reason even though there were several chances for the seller to show that far right corner of the dash.

The Cougar was a fancy cousin to the Ford Mustang but they’re rarely seen today compared to the ubiquitous Mustang. There would have also been an XR-7 badge on the c-pillar but being a convertible, those aren’t on this car. Hagerty is at $17,940 for a #3 good condition convertible with AC, just for a general reference.

Here’s where it gets a little trickier, the t-handle automatic console shifter, woodgrain dash, and paddle switches – those are typically XR-7 features. I know that I’m making too much of the trim level and I’m betting that it is an XR-7, not that it really matters anyway other than a bit more in the value department. The interior does look very nice overall and look at how solid the rocker panels and underside appear to be! There is definitely a woodgrain dash and rocker switches, but the clock appears to be the gauge second from the right rather than being on the left side of the passenger side dash which is often the case with XR-7s.

The engine should be a 351 Windsor with a two-barrel carb according to the VIN, or it would have been originally. The former owner told the seller that it was a Cleveland and they must have gotten some chatter on that so they corrected the eBay listing. It would have had 250 horsepower when new and it runs and drives great. Other than needing a new top it sounds like it’s ready to go. Any thoughts on this one?

Comments

  1. Avatar photo Stan

    Cougar…. the original sequential tail signals

    Like 4
    • Avatar photo Raymond

      Tbird was first..

      Like 16
      • Avatar photo Stan

        Okay didn’t know that Thanks for the facts Ray 👍

        Like 3
      • Avatar photo Terrry

        In ’66. A motor turned a rotary switch which had three contacts for each side.

        Like 0
      • Avatar photo DAVID G

        65 Tbird was the first sequentially-switched taillights.

        Like 1
  2. Avatar photo Raymond

    Of the first gen cougars this one year grille looks cheap and uninspired compared to the others, never looked right

    Like 0
  3. Avatar photo CATHOUSE

    This car is a standard Cougar, not an XR-7. The VIN has a 92 code, that is a standard Cougar convertible. If it was an XR-7 the code would be 94. Also the interior is all 1969 decore style, which was the standard interior in a 1969 standard Cougar convertible. The seat upholstery and door panels would be very different for an XR-7. The woodgrain on the dash panels and steering wheel center are different between a standard and an XR-7. This car has the standard style. The XR-7 woodgrain is a burled walnut look. The instrument cluster is a standard style, the XR-7 has an indash tach and a different look. The XR-7 clock is on the passenger side above the glovebox. An XR-7 has a panel with 4 rocker switches above the dash center A/C vent, this car has the standard style warning light panel. The emblem in the center of the steering wheel center pad is the standard style with the running cat, the XR-7 emblem is a smaller version of the ones that would be on the exterior sail panels on a hardtop. This car does not have the XR-7 chrome strip on the exterior top of the doors nor does it have the elongated convertible top well hockey sticks.

    Like 50
    • Avatar photo Mikefromthehammer

      Did you contact the seller so he can correct his listing?

      Like 1
      • Avatar photo CATHOUSE

        I did and he replied that he already knew it was not an XR-7. He also said that he already corrected the ebay ad, which he did not do.

        Like 2
      • Avatar photo Mikefromthehammer

        @ CATHOUSE:

        It takes all kinds to make up this world. The trick is knowing which kind you are dealing with.

        Like 1
    • Avatar photo Scotty Gilbertson Staff

      Wow, that’s great info, CATHOUSE! Thanks much.

      Like 9
      • Avatar photo CATHOUSE

        You’re welcome Scotty. Thank you for the write up.

        Like 2
    • Avatar photo normadesmond

      Mike drop.

      Like 3
    • Avatar photo Bill

      Your comments n the above notation for XR7 are correct. I am most familiar with the XR7s from this era. Thanks for setting this straight. Bill

      Like 6
    • Avatar photo Jim Shee

      Always amazed at the knowledge some of you guys have. Thanks!

      Like 8
    • Avatar photo MTBorst

      Yes ! My 69 XR7 had like a burly wood walnut or a dark stained Maple birdseye. Been a long time ago.
      I don’t understand why some came with 351W and other with the Cleveland. My 351W was no slouch for the times. Loved that car !

      Like 0
  4. Avatar photo Kenbone

    To Cathouse…very impressive

    Like 9
    • Avatar photo CATHOUSE

      Thank you Kenbone. I did manage to learn a few things about Cougars in my 40 years of collecting them and dealing in their parts.

      Like 4
  5. Avatar photo Steve LaSalle

    In 69, the Cleveland was not available in production cars. That appears to be a 351W with is either an M code (4V) or H code (2V). The confusion comes into play in 70 when an M code could only be a 351C (4V) and the M code is either 351 engine with 2V.
    Not sure why Ford did that, as the Cleveland & Windsor are not in the same engine family and not having unique codes could be a problem…

    Like 3
    • Avatar photo Bill Hall

      TO tell A Winsor from a Cleveland is no big deal, look at the fuel pump bolts, up and down Cleveland , side by side Windsor. Up and down could also be A 400 as they where also built in Cleveland.

      Like 1
      • Avatar photo CATHOUSE

        A few other things that are quick and easy to see. The valve covers on a W are the same as on a 289/302 with the rounded upper corners. The covers on a C are squared off. The t-stat housing on a W will point toward the front of the car, on a C it points toward the sky.

        Like 0
    • Avatar photo MTBorst

      Not so. I looked very closely at a 69 convertible XR7 had Cleveland 4V in it. And little old lady when I looked at it was original owner

      Like 0
      • Avatar photo CATHOUSE

        Highly doubtful MTBorst. The 351C was not available in any 1969 Ford/Lincoln/Mercury product. My guess as to what happened would be A) someone did not know how to tell a W from a C, B) the car was actually a 1970 model, C) the engine was swapped at some point in time. Now IF it truly was a 1969 with a C I would need to see things to document that like a Marti report and the correct 1969 VIN stamped on the engine block.

        Like 5
  6. Avatar photo Steve LaSalle

    Sorry – I noticed I said the 2V was M code – that is the H code in either engine

    Like 1
  7. Avatar photo Maestro1

    Very well done Barn Finders. Happy Holidays to all of you

    Like 4
  8. Avatar photo DS

    The vin# say this is not an XR7 and came with a 351w 2Bbl motor.

    Like 2
    • Avatar photo MTBorst

      The lid on the intake filter doesn’t match the rest of the blue fade. You can tell by the smaller valve covers it’s not a Cleveland.
      The car still looks nice.

      Like 0
  9. Avatar photo Jwzg

    This car is less than 2 miles from my house. It appears to be in pretty good shape from the road. I might go by and look at it up close tomorrow.

    Like 3
    • Avatar photo MTBorst

      Fill us in ! Please

      Like 1
  10. Avatar photo Terry Bowman

    Not an XR7, could be a higher code due to it’s Rag top. The heads are huge on the Cleveland compare to the Windsor. Still a nice car.

    Like 1
  11. Avatar photo ed

    whomever wrote this knows not a damn thing about cars, first off all 67-72 Cougars came w a t handle automatic shifter if it was auto equipped, second the 69-70 are considered 2nd gen I hate when these so called auto journalists cannot get their facts straight when Google is so easy to use

    Like 0
    • Avatar photo CATHOUSE

      It looks like the correct T handle automatic shifter to me. The standard cars usually will have the all chrome metal T handle. The XR-7 will have the color keyed plastic wrapped T handle.

      Like 2
    • Avatar photo Gary J Lehman

      Have another cup of coffee, ed.

      Like 1
  12. Avatar photo Lea Kahn

    Agreed – 1st generation v. 2nd generation. I had a 1st generation Cougar – 1968, red with a black vinyl top and black vinyl interior, non-XR7.1967 Cougars did not have side marker lights, 1968 Cougars did.

    Like 0
  13. Avatar photo 15 yr old

    Who peed in your cornflakes “Ed”? The people who write these articles are taking time out of their day, and by no means are they professionals, they’re not trying to be professionals, but they write because we share a common love, cars. Thanks barn finds writers you guys write interesting and informative articles.

    Like 9
    • Avatar photo Scotty Gilbertson Staff

      Thanks for the kind words, 15 yr old! “ed” is correct that none of us are professional “auto journalists”, as if there is a single person on the planet who knows everything about every vehicle ever made, that’s literally not possible. But, clearly, neither is “ed”. The first-gen Cougars are most definitely 1967 until the end of 1970. The 1969 and 1970 models received a bit of an update but they’re still first-generation Cougars.

      We do this because, as you mentioned, we love cars and nobody including the website owners are making a fortune on this website. They are the ultimate car lovers and car fanatics who came up with an idea to share old finds and were lucky enough to be able to find a few writers who can help out. If “ed” or anyone else thinks they have what it takes as far as being called losers and no-talent bums who don’t know anything about cars, they’re more than welcome to send in an application. We all make mistakes and nobody, and I mean nobody – not even “ed” – knows every single fact about every model and generation of every vehicle ever made without looking a few things up on the internet.

      Thanks again for your nice comment and for reading, and thanks to everyone for being a part of the Barn Finds family!

      Like 5
  14. Avatar photo Steven M LaSalle

    67-70 cougars are “normally” considered GEN I – all 4 years were based on the same year mustang & targeted pony car buyers

    Like 2
  15. Avatar photo Justin Pelletier Member

    @Cathouse I read all of your comments and most of all within the 69 Cougar Xr7 lecture I grabbed onto one fact and most important to me. That would be you collecting and dealing with them for 40 years. So I’m sure you can see the writing on the wall here…..yeah I’m curious if you have any parts left to sell?? As you know how they aren’t the easiest car to be searching for parts even worse in a 69. Up here in the Northeast anything found is typically rusted very badly. So please let me know if you do. Great info tho on the Cougars. I’m sure you could show me a few resto tricks on my 69 Xr7.

    Like 2
    • Avatar photo CATHOUSE

      Hi Justin,
      I too am in the Northeast, PA to be exact. Yes, I still have quite a few parts here. Probably not as many as WCCC has. I do set up at the Carlisle All Ford show each year.
      Randy

      Like 2
      • Avatar photo Mikefromthehammer
      • Avatar photo Justin Pelletier Member

        CATHOUSE, I am a bit more North East then you up here in Maine. I live on a Island that borders the Penobscot River and the Atlantic. Yeah it would be hard to compete with WCCC on what they stock. Seems like they bought every Cougar available on the West Coast and beyond. As there prices reflect. If you dont mind my email is jpelletier@netechair.com if you could email me, we may be able to do some business. I have some money I would love to put in your pocket.
        Thanks
        Justin

        Like 1
      • Avatar photo CATHOUSE

        Justin,
        I sent you an email last week. Did you receive it?
        Randy

        Like 0
  16. Avatar photo Jim

    I have a 69 convertible and the interior is identical to this one, mine is not an xr7

    Like 0
  17. Avatar photo Scotty Gilbertson Staff

    Auction update: this Cougar sold for $12,702

    Like 0
  18. Avatar photo Stevieg

    Sharp looking car. If mechanically sound, someone got a great deal at just under $13,000.

    Like 0

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