1969 Mercury XR-7 “R” CJ Convertible
1969 Mercury Cougar XR-7 R Code convertible: 428CJ engine
- Auto, A/C, leather, tilt, console, AM/FM, PS, PB, SS wheels
- Only 127 ’69 XR-7 R Code converts made, 96 auto trans, 4 in yellow
- Just 45 of the 127 above are known to CCOA’s 428CJ registry
- CCOA Concours Gold (2x), AACA Grand National Senior Award
- Original factory invoice, owner’s manual
- NOM, properly date coded, correct carb, fuel pump, distr.
- Engine is .030 over, align honed, balanced, forged pistons
- Original CJ C-6: cast iron tail shaft, 5 clutches
- Featured: Speed’s American Muscle Car T.V. Show: aired 6/05
- Rotisserie restored to Concours specs by Ed Gaczek in 2004
- Under 1k mi since above: humidity/climate controlled storage
- Seller has owned for 32 years: purchased from family friend
An Elite Marti Report Certification came with this classic
The Mercury Cougar
The over-whelming success of the introduction of the Ford Mustang in 1964-65, encouraged fellow FoMoCo Division mate Lincoln-Mercury to introduce their own version to be called the Cougar. Coming to the market in September 1966 for the 1967 model year, the Cougar would, over the coming years, eventually fill various demands over eight generations before finally going out of production in 2002.
The First Gen Cougar (1967-1970) was based on Mustang’s sporty architecture but with a three inch longer wheelbase (111 in) and new sheet metal. While showing its kinship to the Mustang during these years, there was a definite shift toward more luxury. A full-width divided grille with hidden headlights and vertical bars defined the front fascia—it was sometimes called the electric shaver grille. Meanwhile at the rear, a similar treatment had the license plate surrounded on both sides with vertically slatted grillwork concealing the tail lights. A deliberate effort was made to give the car a more "European" flavor than the Mustang, at least to American buyers' eyes, drawing inspiration from the popular Jaguar E Type. The First Gen Cougar was the only one that featured hidden head lamps.
By the third year of production, 1969, several new additions came to the Cougar lineup. A convertible model was now available. The grille switched from vertical bars to horizontal bars. While the tail lights still spanned the entire rear of the car and retained vertical chrome dividers, they were now concave rather than convex. The Cougar featured sequential tail lights that were borrowed from the T-Bird. Body sides now featured a prominent line that swept downward from the nose to just ahead of the rear wheels. Vent windows were removed and it carried federally mandated seat belts.
The capstone of this particular Cougar was the fact that it came from the factory as an XR-7 wearing the highly desired “R” code with the 428 Cobra Jet engine and heavy duty suspension. With fresh cool air being stuffed down the intake, this “R” code V-8 was good for over 400 hp and 440 fp of torque and all this brute power came with that touch of Cougar continental posh and class. That power led Tiny Lund to enter and drive Cougars to victory in nine of the fifteen NASCAR Grand American Series races that year against other pony cars.
As noted above the Cougar was a versatile platform that Mercury used toward many different ends over the years. For Instance, as the 1st Gen Cougars were aimed at the luxury pony car market, the 2nd and 3rd Gen cars were aimed at personal luxury cars such as the Buick Regal, Olds Cutlass, and Chrysler Cordoba. By the 7th Gen (1989-1997) foreign competition such as the BMW 6 series, Mercedes 560 SE, and Jaguar XJS had become their targets
Later generations of Cougars may have searched for an identity but in 1969, as seen in the Lang Collection’s beautiful yellow XR-7 “R” code Cobra Jet, they knew exactly who they were and what they wanted to be and were eminently successful in that realizing that goal.