When first introduced, the Mercury Cougar automobiles shared the same platform as the Ford Mustang. Later, they would use the Ford Thunder's platform. The final Cougar were built atop the Contour platform. The Cougar was Mercury's pony car performance machine. There were two models to chose from, the base and the XR-7. There was only one body-style and that was the two-door hardtop. There were a variety of engines to select from starting with the 289 cubic-inch 4-barrel V8 which was rated at 225 horsepower to a 390 cubic-inch V8 4barrel which produced 335 horsepower. The performance package, the GT, was offered on both the base and XR-7 versions. The GT package added the 390 cubic-inch V8 engine and a handling and performance upgrades.
The Mercury Cougar XR-7G, named after the famed racer Dan Gurney, could be ordered from the factory and included many performance add-ons, including a hood scoop, Lucas fog lamps, and hood pins.
The 1968 Mercury Cougar XR-7 finished in red with white top was offered for sale at the 2006 World Wide Group Auction held on Hilton Head Island where it was expected to fetch between $25,000-$35,000. The XR-7 option included a wood-rimmed steering wheel, competition-type instrumentation, walnut dash, toggle switches, leather-covered T-handle automatic transmission shifter, combination leather/vinyl seats, and an overhead console. At the conclusion of the auction the vehicle had been sold for $22,000. By Daniel Vaughan | Nov 2006