One thing that’s always been notable about GM’s F-Body fleet is that when you go from, say a Camaro to a Trans Am, both cars look strikingly similar. Though not completely accurate, it can even be said that Firebird was to Pontiac what the ‘Cuda insignia was to Plymouth. But in some cases, cross-platforms don’t necessarily add-up to identical body lines.
So is the case with our featured Mercury, as Kevin Oeste points out, “Some cars, like the Camaro and Firebird, that share the same platform look similar, but I always thought that the Cougars looked substantially different from their Mustang brothers,” says Oeste of the Cougar’s conception.
One of the differences, however, with the Cobra Jet, XR7 is that it was far more subtle in appearance than the Ford pony, allowing even the most “mature” of enthusiasts to slip-in unnoticed, “The XR7, Cobra Jet’s graphics package wasn’t super, ‘in your face,'” says Oeste. “There’s hood pins on the nose, it’s got a functional scoop, but it’s body color, so it doesn’t stand-out quite so much.”
For the 1969 sales year, Mercury’s Cougar switched from a grille with vertical bars to one with horizontal; prior to that year, a joke had been pushed-forward that the grille resembled an “electric razor.” Another difference with the XR7 was that it had the ‘Stang’s performance, but with far more luxury, “The XR7 was meant to be the more European version of the Cougar,” says Kevin Oeste of the Cougar’s rare trim package.
Mercury’s Cobra Jet Cougar sported a 335-horse version of Ford’s CJ 428 motor, and of the Cougars built, Kevin Oeste says around 140 were ordered with the Cobra Jet package. Other features that were included in this rare piece of Mercury muscle include 15-inch wheels, along with polished and stainless arches.
Could it be one of the Ford world’s most rare muscle classics? If not, then it’s definitely one of the smartest-optioned!
Fanatical about everything LS and Buick Turbo-6, it goes without saying that Sal Alaimo Jr. is on it, when it comes to covering anything late-model. But his musclecar roots can be traced back to Chevelles, Skylarks and the rest of the A-Body family of GM performance!