Sunday, January 12, 2014

San Francisco Street Sighting - 1970 Mercury Cougar XR-7 Convertible

It's winter now and much of the United States is gripped by frigid temperatures and snow. So this week, let's look at some convertibles!

Up first this week is a sunny yellow 1970 Mercury Cougar XR-7 droptop. I've long loved the '70 Cougars with their neat styling, athletic looks and performance to match. The 1969 front end left a bit to be desired in my opinion, and the '70 facelift gives the car a more aggressive, symmetrical look. The electric shaver grille with hideaway headlamps of the early Cougars is my favorite design element. Mind you, there is still a balance of performance and comfort shown here. The formal-looking "Lincoln-Mercury Division" badge on the taillight panel is there to remind you that this isn't your teenage son's Mustang.

The 1970 Cougar, unlike the Mustang on which it was based, was available with V8 engines only. They could be had with a 302 small block, 351 Cleveland or Windsor, high-performance "Boss 302" small block or 428 Cobra Jet big block. A total of 72,343 Cougars were built in 1970, but only 4,299 were convertibles. XR-7 convertibles accounted for 1,977 of those.

This is a fine example of the Cougar. The lemon yellow color sets off the body and makes it look cheerful without being completely juvenile. These cars came from the factory with 14" wheels, but a near-exact 15" reproduction of the styled steel wheel is available and doesn't use an outer trim ring like the original. I suspect that's what these are, in order to run more aggressive wide radial tires. The body is in really nice condition and probably restored. I really like this one.

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