1969 Mercury Cougar XR7 428 …

1969 Mercury Cougar XR7 428 CJ Convertible: Muscle Car Of The Week Episode 342

It might be hard to define what’s cool, but it’s easy to know it when you see it… and this 1969 Mercury Cougar XR7 428 CJ Convertible Muscle Car Of The Week is as cool as they come. Cougars were always intended to be a bit more reserved than their Mustang cousins, but that didn’t mean they were any less of a thrill ride. And this one delivers the goods on all levels.

Styling was new for ‘69, with a full-length, deeply sculpted coke-bottle contour running from nose to tail. The black body looks more like a panther than a cougar, and we really dig the red pinstripe, which is echoed on the redline tires. Paint-matched bullet side mirrors point towards the ram-air scoop in the hood, almost reminding oncommers to take heed of what lies beneath. A silver stripe spills the beans on the engine size, but a happy little kitty cat provides distraction at the nose of the hood. Headlights were hidden behind a precise horizontal slat grille and headlight doors, a revision on the previous “electric shaver” design of the ‘67 and ‘68 cars. Look closely and you’ll see the stray cat strutting in the passenger headlight door. The taillights, however, retained their vertical ribbed details, and thankfully, their dancing turn signal lights. And there’s few pleasures in life like wheeling a big-block drop top on a warm summer night. Cougars were always stylish rides, and the ‘69 redesign was on-point.

This car was ordered on September 25, 1968, built on October 18, 1968, but the sale didn’t happen until July 3, 1970… I wonder what the big delay was. Maybe the dealer kept it on hand to entice buyers? What do you think?

As cool as it looks, this Cougar packs some serious heat under the hood. The 428 Cobra Jet V8 made for an awesome driving experience. 440 pound-feet of torque pours on with the mash of the throttle, and peak engine power was advertised at 335 HP at 5200 RPM, but it’s widely known that these made more juice than advertised. 10.3:1 compression, big valves, low restriction heads and a hydraulic camshaft made it happen, all under a 735 CFM 4-barrel carb fed by the functional ram-air hood scoop. This one spins a C6 automatic transmission, with a 3.0:1 geared rear end. The 428 has the grunt to shake things up even with a highway gear out back.

Inside, the Cougar does not disappoint, with a rich red interior complete with comfortable bucket seats and a full length console leading past the automatic shifter to the A/C controls and A Philco AM radio that provides the opening act for the rumbly pipe duet that sings down the road.
The dash is equipped with fuel and amp meters next to a 120 MPH speedo and a 6000 RPM tach… and yep, the speedo has the redline, and not the tach. To the right is an oil pressure indicator with numbers, but a “C” to “H” temp gauge.

428 cars were equipped with a performance tuned suspension system to manage the road, and this one rolls on 14” redline tires wrapping styled steel wheels hiding power-boosted front disc brakes. It’s crazy and wild, with cat class and cat style.

CLOSE: Like the song says, this one’s got it all. Huge power, a great design, and drop-top fun, all rolled up in a classy Mercury Muscle Cat. We thank everyone around the world who shares a few minutes with us here at Muscle Car Of The Week, and special thanks to The Brothers Collection for picking up such cool cars. We’ll be back next time, hope you are too!

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