This is My Cat – Part II, The Statistics

I recently bought a book called Cougar…by the Numbers (1967 -1973).  It comes from Kevin Marti of Marti Report fame and is billed as the 2nd in a series about production facts on Ford Motor Company vehicles.  

He had help from Phil Parcells and Jim Pinkerton, both long time Cougar enthusiasts and key Directors of  the Cougar Club of America.  Pinkerton and his wife own the 67 Cougar shown on the cover.  It’s Cougar #1, the documented first Cougar off the Mercury assembly line.  
Marti’s book offers statistics compiled from Ford’s computers.  His first book was about the 65 – 73 Mustang.  

In researching content for this blog, I quickly discovered there’s not much on line about the 1970 Cougar other than top line production numbers.  The Cougar Club of America offers a VIN decoder and that’s interesting, but I wanted to drill as deep as I could into the history of my car.

Production numbers

The 1970 Cougar was available in four body styles.  The total number produced was 72,365.

Standard hardtop            49,479
Standard convertible         2,322
XR7 hardtop                   18,567
XR7 convertible                1,997

The Eliminator was an options package for the Standard hardtop only.

My Cougar XR7

Since I don't have the original window sticker for the Cougar or the actual build sheet, we begin by unraveling the information available by using the car’s VIN and the option codes on the driver’s door sticker.

Yes, it’s a 1970 XR7, built at the Dearborn Michigan assembly plant.  It came equipped with the desirable M code engine 351 – 4V (the Cleveland) plus the following options and other build data.

65B         XR7 with bucket seats
K             Paint colour is yellow metallic (Gold)
7F           Medium ginger Corinthian vinyl seats with medium ginger Houndstooth pattern cloth
M            December 1969 build date
A7           The DSO was Pacific Provinces (Canada)
9              3.25 non-locking axle ratio
X             FMX automatic transmission

More from Kevin Marti’s book
  • There were 3,704 XR7 Hardtops shipped with the M code 351 Cleveland – 4V engine mated to an FMX transmission.  
  • There were just 157 XR7 Hardtops shipped for sale in Pacific Canada.  Mine was originally owned by a woman in Victoria.  I don’t know if she bought the car on Vancouver Island or from a dealership in Vancouver.  It’s a fact yet to be uncovered.   
  • In terms of options, my Cougar had almost everything available on an XR7 in 1970, except a sun roof, factory air conditioning, tilt steering and something other than an AM radio. 
  • Mine has what is called a collapsible spare tire and that was inserted into the trunks of only 324 XR7 Hardtops and only 73 XR7 Convertibles. 
The rarest of all the options is the Pauline Trigère inspired Houndstooth vinyl roof.  There’s no reference to it in the book, however, Ron Crouch from the Cougar Club of America told me several years ago that Mercury only built 488 XR7’s with the eye catching top.  Mine also has the matching Houndstooth interior.  

A plug for the Marti Report

You can order several different reports at varying prices.  The one I want is called the Elite Report.  For $255.00 Cdn, you get a personalized statistical report of your car, plus a reproduction of the door data plate and the window sticker.  All of it mounted and framed for display.  


  1. george f gordonMay 8, 2012 at 3:41 PM

    A wonderful piece of history, European body design,
    power and elegance. A classic,,, just like its owner.

  2. Thanks George. The Mercury Cougar is an under-appreciated classic from the muscle car era.

  3. We had the white standard cougar with Black/White houndstooth top and interior. Three teenagers learned to drive in that car and the biggest mistake we ever made was selling it with 96K miles.. I would give anything to have it back today..