TOP CAT: Power and comfort blend in this 1969 Mercury Cougar XR7 428SCJ

Written by independent automotive journalist Steve Statham

This 1960 Mercury Cougar is ready to pounce at the 2021 Houston Auction, selling with No Reserve.



Few American muscle cars were able to navigate that narrow lane between refinement and pure performance, but the Mercury Cougar was a leader in that elite group. The 1969 Cougar XR7 428SCJ shown here, offered with No Reserve at Barrett-Jackson’s Houston Auction, September 16-18, is the ultimate expression of that balance. The car is not only heavily optioned with comforts, but has the top powertrain option, the 428 SCJ with Ram Air induction, teamed with a close-ratio 4-speed transmission and Traction-Lok rear axle. Throw in the Medium Emerald Metallic paint, and the winning bidder will drive off in a truly singular muscle car.

The 428 Cobra Jet, introduced in 1968, was a game-changer for Ford Motor Company’s performance image. It delivered the gut-punch torque expected from big-block V8s, but was also more streetable and less expensive than the 427 V8 that had previously been Ford’s top option. It was underrated by the factory at 335 horsepower, with 440 ft/lbs of torque.

The 428 CJ was an option on all Cougars in 1969. The Ram Air induction option made the Cougar’s hood scoop functional, as well as including die-cast finned aluminum valve covers and hood-locking pins. To get the Super Cobra Jet equipment, buyers ordered the Traction-Lok differential and high-performance axle. That delivered either a 3.91 or 4.30 gear snuggled in the Traction-Lok rear end (this Cougar has the 3.91 gear). The SCJ engine was reinforced with a strengthened reciprocating assembly with beefy LeMans connecting rods, among other upgrades, to withstand the rigors of drag racing.

As you’d expect in an upscale Mercury muscle car, the Cougar carried more sound-deadener than its corporate cousin the Ford Mustang, making for a quieter commute. With its longer wheelbase and longer and wider body, the Cougar delivered a smoother ride than the Mustang as well.

The Cougar was restyled for 1969, and was both longer and wider than the 1968 models. The refreshed car had a distinctive sculpted bodyline that ran from the front of the car to the rear wheels, along with ventless side windows, wraparound backup lights and a larger 20-gallon fuel tank. Hideaway headlamps were standard on 1969 Cougars, as were sequential turn signals and a concealed gas cap.

Selecting the XR7 model added simulated burled walnut inserts on the dash, full instrumentation, a remote-control sideview racing mirror, map pockets on the backs of the front seats, courtesy lights, XR7 emblems and bright moldings. The Window Sticker for this Cougar XR7 shows it was ordered with a long list of options, including power front disc brakes, power steering, AM radio and 8-track tape player, sports console, black vinyl roof, the immersion block heater and styled steel wheels. The car rides on period correct Firestone Wide-Oval tires.

Underhood, the green cat’s R-code 428SCJ is highly detailed, with factory Ram Air components and correct markings and decals. The undercarriage is likewise detailed, with correct original red oxide finish.

For those seeking a genuinely rare and unique muscle car, it would be hard to top this Cougar. It is one of only 53 1969 Cougar XR7 hardtops built with the 428 SCJ engine and, according to the car’s Marti Report, this is the only 428 SCJ XR7 with this paint color and the 8A black Comfort Weave bucket seat interior. The winning bidder will receive substantial documentation with the car, including its original sales contract, invoice, owner’s and warranty manuals, and two Marti Reports.

For up-to-date information about this vehicle, click HERE. For a Special Preview of the vehicles headed to the 2021 Houston Auction (with more being added daily), click HERE.

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By: Barrett-Jackson
Title: TOP CAT: Power and comfort blend in this 1969 Mercury Cougar XR7 428SCJ
Sourced From: www.barrett-jackson.com/Media/Home/Reader/1969-mercury-cougar-xr7-428scj-houston-auction/
Published Date: Wed, 25 Aug 2021 17:12:46 +0000