Hardtops and Ragtops

The 1970 Cougar was a one- off.  At a quick glance it looked like the 1969 but there were numerous changes inside and out.

The '70 was longer and heavier.  Those few inches showed up in all the body panels.

The front grill was totally redesigned.  It featured a pronounced center hood extension and electric shaver grille similar to the 1967 and 1968 Cougars.  Mercury also added other options that fueled the idea of the Cougar as a luxury muscle car.  

The 1970 Cougar had to be one of the first American made cars to offer a special edition styled by a fashion designer.  Pauline Trigère created the houndstooth pattern vinyl roof and matching upholstery, a car rarely seen today.  Only a small number of Houndstooth Cougars were sold and even fewer survived.

The base engine was a 351 Cleveland offering 250 horsepower in the two-barrel carb, single exhaust version.  But in the four- barrel carb, dual exhaust version, 300 horses moved the Cougar down the highway quite nicely.  You could also order the Boss 302, the 428 CJ and a new big block, the 429 V8 with Ram-Air induction, factory rated at 375 horsepower.

The three speed automatic transmission was the most common but you could order a four speed manual.  Try to find a factory original four speed today.  In more than 25 years of Classic Cougar ownership, I have seen just one.

The classy hidden headlights and sequential tail-lights are two things the Cougar is known for and the 1970 carried on the tradition.

1970 Cougar hardtops and convertibles came to the market in two option packages.  The base model was called the Standard.  The upscale model was the XR7. 
And then there was the boy racer, go fast while standing still model.  The Cougar Eliminator was only available as a hardtop.

1970 Cougar Production

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
Total Production:  72,345

The Eliminator pictured above, was an options package on the Standard 2D Hardtop.


Wheelbase, inches: 111.0
Length, inches: 196.1 (an increase of 2.3" over the 1969, due to the new center grille)
Weight, pounds: 3,431
Fuel capacity:  22 US gallons
Price, new: $3,413 (U.S.)

G 302-4V Boss - 290 bhp (Eliminator only - 469 produced)
H 351-2V - 250 bhp (Windsor and Cleveland - the most common Cougar engines)
M 351-4V - 300 bhp (Cleveland - 1,275 produced)
Q 428CJ-4V - 335 bhp (Eliminator only - 840 produced)