Saturday, July 28, 2012

Santa Cruz Street Sighting - 1968 Mercury Cougar XR-7

One of the great things about Santa Cruz is that someone, somewhere, always has their old car out for the day. They're rarely concours examples, but usually a decent driver. I found this 1968 Mercury Cougar XR-7 while looking for a parking space near Marianne's ice cream shop. The shop is extremely popular and has a tiny parking lot, so we had to go down the block and around the corner to find parking. I was with a friend who's a huge fan of early Cougars so this was a good sighting for both of us.

I love the styling of the 1967-68 Cougar. Considering that they were given a Mustang to work with as a starting point, the finished sporty luxury coupe that resulted is a masterpiece. I'm more partial to the '67 mainly because it lacks the '68's side marker lights, but this car is a good example of its breed and model year.
I'll start by saying I love this color combination. Deep metallic green with a white vinyl top just works on this car. The white pinstripe along the car's beltline ties in nicely with the roof color. One of the great things about this car is how subtle it is. So many Cougars have been turned into snorting street machines with big chrome rims and loud colors and deep, throaty exhaust systems. You can't even see the exhaust system on this car. It makes no claims about itself, it has nothing to prove, it just sits there and looks pretty. The thin whitewall tires are perfect but it desperately needs hubcaps to dress it up a little. Factory Cougar turbine-style wheelcovers would do nicely. Then a wash and wax with the chrome trim polished up would make this car downright beautiful.

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