Just How Rare is My Cougar XR7

When I created this blog to tell tales about my classic car, historical accuracy became a mission.  I’ve read too many websites and blogs about cars and other things where the contradictions and spelling errors could and should have been eliminated with better research and editing.  I’m working on it!

Credible sources

There are a couple of individuals and organizations I want to recognize.  The Ford Motor Company isn’t one of them.  They just wanted to sell some stuff.  
  • Kevin Marti of Marti Auto Works compiled a book called Cougar by the Numbers.  It documents facts and figures for the Cougar years 1967 to 1973.  The data is drawn directly from Ford’s extensive production files.
  • Scott Ferguson, President of Fordnutz Cougar Club in Vancouver BC.  He is friends with Jim Pinkerton, Finance Director of the Cascade Cougar Club in Renton Washington.  Jim has a long history with the Cougar Club of America and is the owner of the very first Cougar off the Mercury Ford assembly line in the 1967 model year.  He’s a bit of a historian with “official” Ford manuals and photographs in his collection.
  • The Cascade Cougar Club has created special 40 year anniversary magazines for the 67, 68, 69, 70 and 1971 Cougars.  They are sold through their website.
I bought a copy of Cougar by the Numbers and a copy of the Cascade Cougar Club magazine for the 1970.  I also own a showroom brochure for the 1970 Cougar.  

Almost all of the data published here has been pulled from one of the above.  The story about fashion designer Pauline Trigère’s place in Cougar history is one I developed with the help of Google.

One exception  

The rarest fact about my particular 1970 Cougar XR7 concerns the vinyl roof.  I have not yet been able to verify a statistic given to me many years ago by an executive of the Cougar Club of America.

  • In a production run of 18,567 Cougar XR7s, only 488 were ordered and shipped with the medium brown, Houndstooth pattern inspired by Pauline Trigère.  

I do know there were Standard Cougars made with the same top because I owned one back in the day.  And I know that the check pattern was also available in black.   The numbers are low.  We can safely assume there weren’t many equipped with this option and there aren’t many originals still on the road.

Rarities confirmed

These statistics are out of the total production run of 72,345 Cougars.

Standard 2D Hardtop: 49,479 (including 2,267 Eliminators)
Standard Convertible: 2,322
XR-7 2D Hardtop: 18,567
XR-7 2D Convertible: 1,977

  1. Houndstooth interior (both medium brown or black) - 7,544 produced
  2. M code 351 Cleveland engine – 8,282 produced
  3. Power windows – 5,210 produced
  4. Décor Group Option – 16,579 produced (includes deluxe wheel covers, curb molding, luxury 3-spoke rim blow steering wheel, custom grade door and quarter trim, door courtesy lights, rear quarter arm rests and comfort weave high back bucket seats)
Rare indeed
To own a 1970 Cougar XR7 with the Houndstooth vinyl roof, the matching Houndstooth interior, the M code 351 Cleveland engine and power windows makes my classic one rare cat.  It has every option available in 1970 with these exceptions:  
  • Sun roof 
  • Air conditioning
  • Tilt steering wheel 
  • Better radio
Sadly, the radio installed at the factory is now really an antique, an AM only unit when most of the civilized world has moved to the FM dial.


  1. Nice kitty!

    I know of a salvage yard that use to have 3 of the all houndstooth top/interior 70 cougars till some dummy smoked out there during a bun ban and roasted all 30 cougars they had out in the yard. Really bad part was almost every 69/69 Cougar they had still had 95% of the car there...

  2. Ted - nice cat. My first car was a '70 Cougar XR-7. Same color, but with a black roof. And mine had the 351 Cleveland. Interesting that yours has the power windows, but no AC? And what about those wheels? I'm gonna have to read up on Pauline T.

  3. i had the exact 1970 car as a standard cougar, not the xr-7 and i so regret selling it. I have been on a quest to find one and buy it back. where do i begin to search?

    1. I am thinking seriously about selling my Cougar. I am the second owner. She has been in my garage for 26 years. If you are serious about your quest, you can email me at tedfarrmedia@hotmail.com.

  4. Evidently I have also owned a rare cat! 1970 Cougar XR7, 351-Cleavland 4 barel, gold with brown/gold houndstooth roof but leather bucket seats, with all the courtesy light and toggle switches. I've never seen another one like it.

  5. Hi Ted, I do own and have since 1984 a 70 XR-7 with the HT roof and interior but it does have every option on the list. I have had Kevin Marti do the run down and it is the only one. I also in the day parted a HT roof car back in the 90's that was an XR-7 with the cloth seats. They are rare to find. Nice!

  6. Sounds like another great example of a very rare car. Did your Marti Report indicate the exact production numbers for the Houndstooth Cougar?

  7. I had a friend named Jamie Crank who had exactly the same xr7 as in this article. He pulled the motor and had it rebuilt/balanced/blueprinted at Smith Speed Shop and installed a 671 dyer street blower on the top end. He also tubed the car and installed a 6 point roll cage. The last time I laid eyes on the car he had removed the Houndstooth vinyl top and painted the car a milk chocolate brown.