1969 Cougar XR7 Convertible Restoration
A rare and desirable find indeed. The
1969-70 Mercury Cougars were the
first and only models to see the
convertible option. The 1969 XR7
Package was even more rare with only
4,024 ever made.
Stage 1
Get it running again
After basic inspection it will need plugs, wires, coil, belts, battery, wiring harness repairs, fuel line repairs, fluid
and filter changes, and carburetor rebuild. Below are pics of the rebuild of one of my favorite fuel delivery
systems....the Holley 4160 (600cfm).
Page 2
This is the image story of one of our customer's Rare classics
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Lots more work this past week. The Magnum 500 wheels arrived and they received new BFG rubber. The engine bay is partially refreshed
since we had to dismantle numerous things. The radiator is cleaned inside and out, new radiator cap, new hoses everywhere, new plugs,
wires, cap, rotor, battery, fuel line, fuel filter, voltage regulator, ignition module, and cleaned up a lot of wiring issues. The rebuilt Holley 600
was installed and hooked up as well. A couple more very small parts to go and we are ready for a test fire!!!
Very long couple of weeks. Things were progressing nicely above and then we hit a very big brick wall called "butchered wiring". The car had
an engine swap sometime before our customer purchased it. The 390 GT was replaced with a 351 Cleveland. During this transplant, the
factory "points style" ignition was upgraded to the Duraspark 2 set up. Though not era correct, it is still a Ford factory item on later model
Cougars and a good set up. Unfortunately the previous garage this car was sitting attempted to rewire several things and ended up making
more of a mess than anything else. The above photos explains some of what I was dealing with. We overcame and successfully fired her up
today and had her running. Check out the video on the above right. Now it's time to get in in the garage and start getting it ready for the road
and doing some much needed body work.
Firing it up!!!
Just got back from the Carlisle Pa. Ford Nationals auto show/swap meet. We went there to pick up numerous
parts we preordered for the restoration. We also got a chance to see a lot of good looking Cougars there.
Above are just a few.
We are steadily moving forward on the body work this past week. We began with the new panels we purchased at Carlisle (above). We began on the doors and
immediately had a bit of a setback. Both doors appeared to have light body work done to them. Unfortunately someone had used a lot of filler in an area that
could not be seen from the inside. We didn't notice it until we began sanding. We took the time to hammer/dolley out the dents as well as shrink the metal. After
we were done, the doors look great. While we were at it, and because parts for these cars are difficult to find at best, we stripped the inside door metal as well as
the inside of the door well. To ensure a long life on the door, we used a rust converting and preventing primer on the entire inside of the door (shown in black).
We will be using this on all of the other panel undersides as well. The hood is now stripped as wel,l and the factory Eliminator scoop is aligned and drilled.
We had to take a short break for a while and finish up a 66 Mustang Coupe for another customer. Unfortunately we were told it was a quick paint job, but it turned out to be a full restore
needing severe body work, frame work, and more. This put us nearly 7 weeks behind on the Cougar. Since then, we have been chugging right along getting the remaining body panels
and small pieces prepped and ready for paint. The car was stripped down to nearly a shell when we discovered the bottoms of the rear quarters had numerous small holes hiding under
degrading paint. The bottoms of the quarters had to be cut out and prepped for replacement patches. These were ordered from West Coast Classic Cougars since the areas we needed
to repair had numerous curves, lips, and edges. Our review of these products will come shortly.

During the wait on parts, we stripped the interior of the car down to the floor and received a real shock. We knew there may be some patch work needed as when I originally tested the
strength of the floor I found a soft spot. Once the carpet came out we discovered that nearly 3/4 of the floor was unsalvageable. We are ordering a 1 piece floor and some other areas
that need attention shortly. We have begun to cut out the floor in preparation for the replacement. We were hoping to have paint on already but these two discoveries have set us back
several weeks.
We had to take a short break for a while and finish up a 66 Mustang Coupe for another customer. Unfortunately we were told it was a quick paint job, but it turned out to be a full restore
needing severe body work, frame work, and more. This put us nearly 7 weeks behind on the Cougar. Since then, we have been chugging right along getting the remaining body panels
and small pieces prepped and ready for paint. The car was stripped down to nearly a shell when we discovered the bottoms of the rear quarters had numerous small holes hiding under
degrading paint. The bottoms of the quarters had to be cut out and prepped for replacement patches. These were ordered from West Coast Classic Cougars since the areas we needed
to repair had numerous curves, lips, and edges. Our review of these products will come shortly.

During the wait on parts, we stripped the interior of the car down to the floor and received a real shock. We knew there may be some patch work needed as when I originally tested the
strength of the floor I found a soft spot. Once the carpet came out we discovered that nearly 3/4 of the floor was unsalvageable. We are ordering a 1 piece floor and some other areas
that need attention shortly. We have begun to cut out the floor in preparation for the replacement. We were hoping to have paint on already but these two discoveries have set us back
several weeks.