During the muscle car era Mercury Motor Company marketing was designed around their marquee Cougar model. So much so that their advertising motto was “At the Sign of the Cat.” Mercury was the upscale cousin to Ford’s Mustang but the design reminded Americans of a European influence. Slightly more sophisticated. As a performance car the Mercury had to have all the performance of a big block R Code Mustang, but a luxury package that would put the Mustang in its place. Enter stage right: the 1969 Mercury Cougar XR7 R Code with its elegant design and beefy big block that could out-handle and out-perform the Mustang.
The 1969 Mercury Cougar XR7 R Code seen here is from Legendary Motorcar Company. They say it has the 428 CJ Ram Air big block Shelby style engine with Ram Air induction, but adds its XR7 Luxury Package to boot. This car fit Mercury’s ultra mod “Street Scene” marketing strategy for the muscle car era. The Cougar was full of style and presence, loaded with luxuries, and more than enough jam to deal with any number of would be challengers at a traffic light. The 1969 Mercury Cougar XR7 with 428 CJ Ram Air led the way for those looking for a more refined muscle car experience. Up front was the hide-away-headlight styling, and that imposing Cougar decal in the silver stripe on the leading edge of the hood told you it was a Cougar. Inside the XR7 model had a simulated wood-grained dashboard with a full set of black-faced competition instruments and toggle switches, a T-type Merc-O-Matic transmission shifter and leather/vinyl upholstery. At the rear the license plate was surrounded on both sides with vertically slatted concave chrome grille work concealing the famous sequential taillights.
This wonderful Cougar was born at the San Jose Plant on September 16, 1968 and later shipped to the Star Linc-Merc dealership in Glendale California. The Elite Marti Report confirms this Cougar XR7 2Dr Hardtop came in the Code “A” factory Raven Black with the Code 6F Medium Saddle Leather bucket seats. The powerful snarl of this Cat is provided by the Code “R” 428-4V Cobra Jet engine breathing through the Ram Air Induction hood and linked to the C-6 Merc-O-Matic transmission. The Cobra Jet Ram Air was conservatively rated at 335hp but was known to produce much more from the factory. This Cougar has Traction-Lok Differential, power windows, Sports Console, power front disc brakes, power steering, front bumper guards, tinted glass, AM/FM stereo radio, head restraints, styled steel wheels and the comfort of factory air conditioning.