1973 Cougar XR7 Convertible
Between 1967 and 1973 Ford/Mercury produced the Cougar as the pony car in its lineup. These early model Cougars were largely mechanical twins of the more popular Ford Mustang. By 1972, the muscle car era was coming to an end under the weight of new Federal EPA emissions and fuel economy standards. 1973 was the last year the Mercury Cougar would be built on the Mustang platform, and was the last year of the Cougar convertible. The engines used for the 1973 model were the 351 Cleveland with either a two-barrel or four-barrel configuration. Over the years, the 2bbl has proven to be the most reliable and effective for street use because of its higher torque at low-to-mid range RPMs, while the performance heads in the 4bbl has substantially more power at high RPMs, but labors at low-to-mide range RPMs.
This 1973 Cougar XR7 convertible is an extremely rare Arizona car that was stored in a garage and has only 75,000 original miles. The paint appears original and only has a few minor defects. A unique pin-stripe design applied done by Butcher’s Custom Pinstriping” – an artist in the Phoenix East Valley who was very popular in the 1970s and 1980s. The interior was in a survivor condition with minor cracks on the door panel (common for Cougars) and in need of upholstery repairs. Mechanically, the 2BBL was truly a survivor car. While kept out of the elements, after nearly 45 years most of the bushings, seals, pumps and suspension needed replacement. Because this car is such a good example of the last cougar XR7 convertible, the restoration goal is to retain the look and feel of the original while making a few subtle modifications to improve performance, safety and driveability. The body and interior will be left in “original condition” except where minor upholstery repairs are necessary. The entire suspension, braking and steering systems will be restored to “like-new” condition. The rear end will be removed and rebuilt using a 3.50:1 ratio and posi-traction third member. The transmission is a recently rebuilt FMX and will be retained, but a higher RPM torque converter will replace the original. Minor modifications to the engine and exhaust will be made to include: Sanderson shorty headers, MSD electronic ignition, cylinder ported heads, Edelbrock Air-Gap intake manifold, Edelbrock Thunder Series 650 CPM 4-BBL carburetor, and custom tuning. These modest changes will keep the car extremely reliable and increase the horsepower from around 168 (that was a stock 2BBL) to around 260 HP. Finally, the steering box will be replaced with a Borgeson upgrade to provide a better steering ratio and a crisp handling experience. With the changes to the suspension, braking, power train and exhaust this Cougar XR7 convertible will be very nice, reliable muscle car that can be used either as a daily driver or a weekend cruiser. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call us if interested in purchasing and/or modifying further.