Mint Merc: 1977 Mercury Cougar XR7 – Sold?
May 7, 2021 Update – We just confirmed the listing for this “Classifind” expired, so with no replacement found we’re assuming this ride “Sold?” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call Rudy directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.
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 originally listed on Craigslist in April 2021 in Agawam, Massachusetts with an asking price of $6,500. While Hagerty Insurance currently does not provide values for these fourth-generation Cougars, The Collector Car Market Review confirms this private seller has his XR7 priced between this guide’s #3 “Good” estimate of $5,600 and its #2 “Very Good” appraisal of $8,100.
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 In the interest of fuel economy, the 460 V8 was withdrawn from intermediates, with the 173 hp 400 V8 as the highest displacement engine.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 sheet metal 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 trunk lid (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. In 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:
Candidly, the condition of this Cougar belies the 141,000 miles the seller indicates their XR-7 has traveled. We love how well-optioned this Cougar is right down to the rare factory Eight-Track tape player that allows you to crank up the Captain & Tenille hits while you enjoy fresh air provided by the even rare moon roof. Good luck with the purchase!
Here’s the seller’s description:
“Jade Green/Dark Green
351 V8 141,000 miles
Less than 1,000 miles on tires
Adult owned and well maintained
Drives great. Road ready.
Call with a question. Please leave your name and number.
$6,500 or BRO
Show or go: what would you do with this Cougar XR-7 Survivor? Comment below and let us know!