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Junkyard Gem: 1972 Mercury Cougar XR-7


Feb 12, 2023
Junkyard Gem: 1972 Mercury Cougar XR-7

Beginning with the 1939 model year and continuing by 2011, the rule in Dearborn was that most Ford models would get a dressed-up sibling sporting Mercury badges (and Canadians even bought Mercury F-100s and Econolines). When the Mustang very first strike showrooms in 1964, the countdown for a Mercurized edition began. That car or truck, the Cougar, debuted as a 1967 model promoted as “the man’s motor vehicle.” Present-day Junkyard Gem is a substantially-abused example of the early-1970s Cougar, observed in a San Francisco Bay Place car graveyard a whilst again.

Just as the Mustang packed on pounds and cost as the 1960s turned the 1970s, the even much more seriously gingerbreaded Cougar did the similar. For 1971 through 1973, the Cougar was continue to primarily based on the Mustang chassis but weighed many hundred further pounds and was extra than 7 inches for a longer period. The suppress pounds for this motor vehicle was 3,298 lbs ., as opposed to 2,941 lbs . for the lightest ’72 Mustang coupe.

Indeed, there’s a Mustang underneath all that chrome! When the Mustang went to a modified Pinto chassis commencing in the 1974 design 12 months, the Cougar moved above to the midsize Torino system and stayed there till it rejoined the Mustang on the Fox platform for 1980 (nevertheless the honor of becoming the Mustang’s close to-twin went to the Mercury Capri at that point). For 1989, the Cougar turned an MN12 Thunderbird sibling, the place it remained as a result of its 30th anniversary … and then the Cougar obtained the axe. The Cougar tale was not accomplished at that issue, even so, because the identify got revived in 1999 with a Mondeo-based version that lasted as a result of 2002 and bears the difference of getting just one of the handful of Mercury designs with no corresponding Ford-badged counterpart.

Along the way, there were being Cougar sedans and even station wagons, with the curb bodyweight of the heaviest-ever Cougar bloating to perfectly around two tons (the winner of that honor is the 1977 Cougar Villager wagon, scaling in at an astounding 4,482 lbs .). In 1972, even though, all new Cougars had been coupes or convertibles, and all of them came with factory V8 electric power.

The develop tag on this a person tells us that it was assembled at the River Rouge compound in Dearborn and marketed by means of the Kansas City revenue place of work. That tells us that an individual drove this auto to California immediately after getting it in the Midwest Ford also built 1972 Cougars in San Jose, so California Mercury shoppers would have purchased locally-produced ones. It is really a major-close XR-7 in Medium Vivid Yellow paint, with the inside in Medium Ginger.

The motor was long gone when I got 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 nevertheless get 351C engines shortly immediately after they hit a yard’s inventory.

The make tag specified the transmission as a 3-velocity FMX automated, and the engine pullers left it powering. A three-velocity guide was the foundation transmission.

The inside received picked nearly clean up by boneyard scavengers.

There’s a late-1990s parking sticker from Pioneer Higher College in San Jose, and the type of physique rust California vehicles generally bought close to window trim.

The list cost on this motor vehicle was $3,323, or about $23,997 in 2022 bucks. This was nearly as highly-priced as the most high priced 1972 Mercury Montego, the GT.

A 1967-1970 Cougar in this affliction could possibly have been well worth restoring, but there wasn’t significantly hope for this car or truck when it entered the junkyard ecosystem.

Civilized like an tasteful woman, savage (MEOW!) like a cat. I generally really feel bad for the leashed-up (and likely drugged) big felines in Cougar commercials of the 1970s.

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