FeaturedProject Cars

1969 Mercury Cougar XR7 Project Car

The body with the exception of the top was taken down to bare metal to get the body and paint right.

We have not been the best about keeping you up to date on all of our Project Cars. Unfortunately, as most of you know project cars usually take 2 to 3 times longer than you expect. However, we are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel on the Cougar and feel comfortable that we might even get it out on the road this season!

To refresh you on this project, it is a 1969 Mercury Cougar XR7. It was off the street for many years and started life in Florida. It came from the factory in candy apple red with black vinyl top and red leather interior. Options included c-6 automatic, traction-lok, console, power disc brakes, power steering, air conditioning, tinted glass, and more. When we purchased the car the 428 CJ was missing but we found a correct date code and had it rebuilt.

Engine compartment was taken down to metal, prepped and painted.

The complete front suspension was also removed, rebuilt where necessary and painted before installation. The engine compartment was also stripped to bare metal, prepped and painted in factory style paint.

Engine compartment was painted to factory color.


The front suspension was removed, rebuilt and painted.

Suspension was added so it must be time for an engine and transmission.


New date code 428 CJ ready for installation.

Once the engine bay was cleaned up it was time to put the date code correct 428 CJ in its new home.


This was a 100% rust free car so body work was not a big deal.

Since the body was rust free there was not a lot of body work to massage. The original vinyl top was in excellent condition so it was preserved.

Door jambs, trunk and under hood were all prepped and painted.

The body was stripped to bare metal, primered and base coat clear coat in the correct factory color was applied. In the photos on this page the car was being wet sanded prior to final buff.

Final wet sand prior to buff.

The car is being built to be driven. It is more of a “Day Two Car” than anything else. We were going to go all original but that means you really can’t drive it without devaluing the car rapidly. The next thought was to go to an all out Resto-Mod. I just could not bring myself to modify a car as rare and solid as this Cougar XR7 428 CJ with factory air. To me the best solution was to make it look like I would have modified it back in the day. It was designed and built to be a fast highway/in town cruiser with creature comforts. I decided to expand on that theme with a few suspension upgrades and a good tire wheel combination. With the 428 CJ and air this should be a dream ride for the likes of PowerTour.

It is starting to look like a car again. The front fender is back in place and soon the hood, grill, bumper and more will all be joining it.

Stay tuned we will be bringing you updated on the Project Coronet and AMX very soon.

Show More


I grew up and lived in Iowa for nearly 40 years before moving to Southern California and now live in Tennessee. I have been into cars since I was old enough to remember. I don't have a brand loyalty although I do prefer American Muscle especially the 1969/1970 NASCAR Aero Cars. (Check our our www.TalladegaSpoilerRegistry.com page) As long as it has four wheels on it I get excited. Few men are lucky enough to be able to share their passion for cars with the woman they love. Fortunately, my wife Katriana is also a gear head and many of our activities revolve around the cars. We have a small collection that includes at least one car from each of the Big Three. Katrina prefers all original cars while I like to modify them so we have a few of each. When we aren't playing with cars we are out with our miniature donkeys. You can see more about that part of our lives at http://www.LegendaryFarms.com.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Check Also

Back to top button