Junkyard Gem: 1972 Mercury Cougar XR-7

Starting with the 1939 design 12 months and continuing by means of 2011, the rule in Dearborn was that most Ford products would get a dressed-up sibling wearing Mercury badges (and Canadians even received Mercury F-100s and Econolines). When the Mustang initially strike showrooms in 1964, the countdown for a Mercurized edition began. That vehicle, the Cougar, debuted as a 1967 product marketed as “the man’s car or truck.” Present-day Junkyard Gem is a significantly-abused case in point of the early-1970s Cougar, found in a San Francisco Bay Location auto graveyard a even though back again.

Just as the Mustang packed on pounds and selling price as the 1960s grew to become the 1970s, the even far more seriously gingerbreaded Cougar did the exact same. For 1971 via 1973, the Cougar was even now based on the Mustang chassis but weighed a number of hundred additional pounds and was more than seven inches extended. The suppress weight for this auto was 3,298 lbs, versus 2,941 kilos for the lightest ’72 Mustang coupe.

Yes, there is a Mustang underneath all that chrome! When the Mustang went to a modified Pinto chassis setting up in the 1974 design yr, the Cougar moved about to the midsize Torino platform and stayed there until finally it rejoined the Mustang on the Fox system for 1980 (even though the honor of being the Mustang’s around-twin went to the Mercury Capri at that stage). For 1989, the Cougar turned an MN12 Thunderbird sibling, wherever it remained via its 30th anniversary … and then the Cougar received the axe. The Cougar tale wasn’t done at that point, having said that, simply because the name acquired revived in 1999 with a Mondeo-based mostly version that lasted through 2002 and bears the difference of remaining just one of the couple Mercury types with no corresponding Ford-badged counterpart.

Together the way, there have been Cougar sedans and even station wagons, with the suppress fat of the heaviest-at any time Cougar bloating to nicely over two tons (the winner of that honor is the 1977 Cougar Villager wagon, scaling in at an astounding 4,482 lbs .). In 1972, although, all new Cougars ended up coupes or convertibles, and all of them arrived with manufacturing unit V8 electric power.

The develop tag on this one particular tells us that it was assembled at the River Rouge compound in Dearborn and offered via the Kansas City revenue business office. That tells us that another person drove this car to California immediately after purchasing it in the Midwest Ford also developed 1972 Cougars in San Jose, so California Mercury shoppers would have acquired domestically-developed types. It really is a top-close XR-7 in Medium Dazzling Yellow paint, with the inside in Medium Ginger.

The motor was long gone when I bought there, but this sticker tells us it was a 351-cubic-inch (5.8-liter) Cleveland V8 with two-barrel carburetor, rated at 163 internet (not gross) horsepower. Junkyard customers even now get 351C engines quickly right after they strike a yard’s stock.

The construct tag specified the transmission as a 3-speed FMX computerized, and the engine pullers remaining it driving. A 3-speed manual was the foundation transmission.

The interior got picked just about cleanse by boneyard scavengers.

You will find a late-1990s parking sticker from Pioneer Substantial University in San Jose, and the kind of overall body rust California vehicles frequently bought around window trim.

The listing price tag on this auto was $3,323, or about $23,997 in 2022 dollars. This was just about as high-priced as the most costly 1972 Mercury Montego, the GT.

A 1967-1970 Cougar in this problem may possibly have been really worth restoring, but there was not significantly hope for this vehicle at the time it entered the junkyard ecosystem.

Civilized like an sophisticated girl, savage (MEOW!) like a cat. I normally experience bad for the leashed-up (and in all probability drugged) massive felines in Cougar commercials of the 1970s.