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Old 08-12-2013, 06:48 PM   #1
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1967 Mercury Cougar XR7

Though some of you guys might enjoy checking out this little (I should say HUGE) project. Back story of the car: It belongs to a friend of my grandpa's, but stays in my grandpa's shop. I work on my car, detail cars, and pretty much hang out at that shop all the time, so I've been there for the restoration of this car from day one. The owner of it bought one of these back in 1968, and it was his first ever "expensive" car. He owned it for awhile before moving on to a couple Mustang GT350s, a Jaguar XKE, and various other cars over the years with the '67 XR7 remaining his favorite. After creating a track-spec 1964 Mercury Marauder commemorating Joe Weatherly's red and black #8 Bud Moore race car, and doing a light restoration on a '64 Comet, it was time to get back into the Mercury that started it; the XR7. But this would a car that could be driven in every setting. Something that performs like a modern car in terms of handling, braking and speed.

He started with suspension: a full coil-over setup. In addition to the coils, the whole underside of the car was braced up to eliminate all of the flex associated with '60's unibody muscle car. Steering was dealt with by adding power rack and pinion from a later model Mustang. Brakes are discs all around with Wilwood 4-pistin calipers at each corner.







Wheels are custom built replicas of the originals but in 16x8 in front and 16x9 in the rear. Rear-end is the stock 9" but narrowed to accommodate the wider tires and lower stance.



Interior is restored 100% original, using mostly parts original to the car. The door panels, dash pad, gauge cluster (aside from 8k redline tach), and console are original to the car.



As for the motor and transmission, a lot of ideas were passed around trying to figure out the best option. One idea was to build a 460 out to about 700-800 horsepower and mate it to a new 5-speed tranny, but that was simply going to be too much money. That idea got as far as buying the 460 and dismantling it, but ultimately he decided build up the original 390 and have the C6 Auto tranny rebuilt. The 390 was bored out (don't remember exact numbers), had Edelbrock Aluminum heads with roller cams, Edelbrock intake, and 4 barrel carb added. It has an MSD ignition system, billet aluminum pulleys, and all stainless steel lines. Estimated power output is around 525, but it's not running yet so it hasn't been on a dyno, obviously. Everything is hooked up, but there's just a bit of wiring left to do. Hopefully it will be running in the next week or so.







I'll get some updated pictures tomorrow.

All in all, he has about $35k into the build so far, but this car will be an absolute beast. I can't wait to see it finished up and destroying some rear tires. This will probably be the best handling '67 Cougar out there. I'll keep this updated as it comes along.
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Old 08-13-2013, 05:14 AM   #2
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I love seeing muscle cars that have modern+ suspension and brakes.
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Old 08-13-2013, 05:36 AM   #3
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Beauty! Keep the pics coming.

Here's a couple pics of a GTO resto-mod I saw at a show last year. Same principle, basically stock looking, but upgraded power and chassis--drool.







Paddle shifters.
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Old 08-13-2013, 06:17 AM   #4
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Awesome, and nice to see it done w/ a less popular car.
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Old 08-13-2013, 01:20 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Turbo00 View Post
Awesome, and nice to see it done w/ a less popular car.
That was one of the other main reasons for using a Cougar. You don't see very many, but you really never see the "dual option" cars like this one with the 390. Most of the XR7s were not XR7 GTs like this one and only had a 302.

I got a few more pictures of it today. Forgot to mention that the battery was relocated to the trunk so all of the MSD control stuff could be mounted in the engine bay.





In these two, you can see the color the car will be.




A couple of the engine all the way in:




Custom made braided lines and fittings:


Rally clock:


00000 because it's basically brand new:


Original to the car:


Here's what makes it so stiff:


Exhaust will be all custom 3" with Flowmaster 50s and electronic bypass valves for straight pipe sound at the push of a button.


That's all I've got right now. They're just doing little detail work with getting everything wired up right now.
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Old 08-16-2013, 06:37 PM   #6
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So, nobody really wants to, but it has to happen....gotta cut a hole in the hood to compensate for the larger intake manifold, carburetor, and air cleaner. To cover it up, a scoop modeled after the one found on the 1969 Eliminator series Cougar, is being added to the hood. My opinion is that it would better without the scoop, but that it won't really hurt the way it will look.



The style:

I think he is planning to paint match it though.

Also, the date has been set to start the engine. The engine builder is coming over next Thursday to oversee the startup. I'm hoping to see it move. I'll probably take a video.
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Old 08-16-2013, 09:12 PM   #7
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Le sexy! Keep up with the pics!
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Old 08-26-2013, 03:29 PM   #8
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It runs!!! Video will come in the next couple days, but holy shit, it sounds mean as hell.


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Old 08-27-2013, 04:45 AM   #9
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I actually like the scoop. At least it's OEM. Can't wait to hear it roar.
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Old 08-27-2013, 08:45 AM   #10
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I recorded the entire porcess of starting it up for the first time, so I've got about 25 minutes of video...lol I'll try to get up a video of just starting it sometime today.
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Old 09-12-2013, 05:59 PM   #11
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Still don't have the video uploaded, but its running just about perfectly now, and is getting the final touches done: paint and exhaust. They tried moving it under its own power, but the transmission wouldn't engage. The trans builder was supposed to come take a look at it sometime this week, but I don't know if he has.







A little more paint work got done and the doors got aligned last weekend.
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Old 11-04-2013, 02:33 PM   #12
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I'll throw out an update on this. It has been determined that the C6 won't handle the motor, so a new transmission has been built for it. Should be coming soon so this car get get on the road!
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Old 11-20-2013, 05:00 PM   #13
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Start up video I promised forever ago.
1967 Mercury Cougar XR7GT-First Start after Engine Build - YouTube
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Old 01-04-2014, 04:44 PM   #14
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Here are some videos. Sorry they're pretty crappy/far away. The last one is the best. When he got out of the car the first thing he said was "That's one mean little bitch!'






The final stance:


It's now ready for body and paint. Which is just a waiting game. The painter has been focusing all of his work on a '68 Ferrari Dino.
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