Sign of The Cat: 1977 Mercury Cougar XR7 – 28K Mile Survivor – SOLD!
October 18th Update: While updating our Malaise Monday database, we confirmed the private seller of this ”67 Mercury Cougar deleted their Craigslist ad, so we’re now able to call this one “Sold!” This one may have got away, but if you have your heart set on something similar, email us the details of what you’re looking for or call Rudy directly at (908)295-7330.
September 12th Update – While preparing for our latest Malaise Monday features, we noticed the private seller of this Cougar modified their original listing with the price lowered to $9,999 and the encouragement for people to make offers.
August 26th Update – While updating our database we noticed the seller of this Cougar just lowered their asking price $1,000 to $10,500. That revised ask now has the car falling just under the high end of the NADA Guides value range.
Capitalizing on Ford’s huge success of the Mustang, Mercury launched a lengthened and more luxurious Cougar XR7 version of the pony car for 1967. Fast forward ten years and changing tastes found the fourth generation Cougar XR7 nothing more than a badge-engineered version of the Ford Thunderbird such as this example listed recently on Craigslist in Avon, Ohio. Marketed as a 28,700-mile survivor, the current caretaker has a somewhat firm asking price of $11,500. While Hagerty Insurance currently does not provide values for these fourth-generation Cougars, The NADA Guides Class Car Online Valuation Tool confirms this private seller has his XR7 priced above the “Low”, Average”, and “High” retail value range of $3,075, $6,000, $10,850, respectively.
For the 1977 model year, the fourth-generation Cougar was part of a totally revised Ford intermediate model line. The Cougar XR-7 underwent a redesign with the standard Cougar returning in place of the Montego. For the first time, the Cougar XR-7 was the Mercury counterpart of the Ford Thunderbird (a pairing that lasted through 1997) with Mercury marketing the standard Cougar as a badge-engineered Ford LTD II.
The fourth-generation Cougar continued using the Ford Torino “split-wheelbase” chassis: Cougar coupes and XR-7s had a 114-inch wheelbase while Cougar four-doors and station wagons relied on a 118-inch version.
In the redesign, the powertrain offerings were revised. In the interest of fuel economy, the 460 V8 was withdrawn from intermediates, with the 173 hp 400 V8 as the highest-displacement engine. The base V8 in coupes and sedans was a 134 hp 302 Windsor V8, with a 149 hp 351 Windsor as the standard engine in station wagons; a 161 hp 351M V8 was optional in coupes and sedans. All engines were only available with a three-speed automatic transmission.
A central part of the 1977 redesign of the Ford intermediate range was a transition from “fuselage styling” to sharper-edged lines. On coupes, sedans, and XR-7s, all sheetmetal above the bumpers was revised. To bring the exterior closer in line with the larger Marquis, the Cougar adopted a nearly square radiator-style grille; in place of hidden headlamps, the Cougar adopted four square headlamps.
As with the previous generation, the Cougar personal luxury coupe continued as the Cougar XR-7. No longer a “junior Thunderbird”, the XR-7 was the direct Mercury counterpart of the Thunderbird (a commonality remaining for the next 20 years). To differentiate the model from its Ford counterpart (and from standard Cougars), the XR-7 was given its own rear fascia. Evoking the flagship Continental Mark V, the rear fascia was given a (vestigial) continental tire trunklid (with angular lines) and taillights similar to the Continental Mark IV. The XR-7 roofline was distinguished from standard Cougar coupes by narrower hardtop windows and the use of louvers on the forward section of the opera windows.
The XR-7 included power disc brakes and steering, 15-inch wheels, rear stabilizer bar, walnut wood-tone instrument panel, Flight Bench seat, “XR-7” trunk key-hole door, “COUGAR” decklid script, large hood ornament (with cat emblem), and sport-styled roofline with back-half vinyl and rear opera side windows and louvers. The fourth generation is the best-selling version of the Cougar, with 1978 as the top-selling year for the entire model line. For 1980, Ford ended production of Torino-based vehicles, downsizing the Cougar XR-7 to a long-wheelbase version of the Fox platform.
We came across this “Sign of the Cat” commercial for the ’77 Cougar Commercial featuring Farrah Fawcett:
If you’ve always wanted a four-generation Cougar, this example may be the lowest mileage one in existence. Nicely optioned with even the a factory eight-track tape player, this Cougar represents a solid candidate to try your hand at “Preservation, Original Features” judging at Antique Automobile of America (“AACA”) events in 2021. Good luck with the purchase!
Here’s the seller’s description:
“1977 Mercury Cougar XR7
28,7xx Original Miles
A/C (pulley will need replaced soon)
Full size spare
Power trunk release
8 track player
Not much to say considering it’s basically like it was new. Few dings or chips but no rust. I have not done any paint correction as that’s up to the buyer.
This is the best Cougar you could get and it still can be. Pretty firm on price but negotiations are best done while looking at the Vehicle.“
Do you have a Mercury Cougar story you’d like to share? Comment below and let us know!