This week we're celebrating Independence Day a little differently from how we usually do it at California Streets. Instead of featuring cars from defunct independent American manufacturers, I'm featuring defunct mainstream American brands in red, white and blue. Representing the color white today is this 1972 Mercury Cougar XR-7 convertible.
Most Cougars were hardtops and a good number of those were base models. The fancier XR-7 trim accounted for about half of all Cougar sales in 1972. How rare is the convertible? The Cougar Club of America lists 1972 convertible production as 3,169 total, with 1,929 of those being XR-7s.
This one looks resplendent in white over white with a black interior. In an era of vinyl everything, it was possible to get an XR-7 with real leather seats. This one appears to have had a wheel swap from the original 14-inch jobs. I don't think that these ever came from the factory with Magnum 500 rims (at least not in '72) but they're a popular addition and they look fantastic. The white-letter radial tires complete the muscle car stance. Out back, a matte black spoiler resembles something off of a Mustang Mach 1 and is decidedly more aggressive than anything shown in the '72 Mercury brochure. As the license plate suggests, this Cougar is indeed a "Bad Cat".
Photographed May 2018