The 1970 Cougar appearance wise was similar to the 1969 model, however there were numerous changes inside and out. It now sported a new front end which featured a pronounced center hood extension and electric shaver grille similar to the 1967 and 1968 Cougars. Federally mandated locking steering columns took place on the inside, and the aforementioned new nose and taillight bezels updated the look on the outside. The 300 hp (220 kW) 351 “Cleveland” V8 was now available for the first time though both the Cleveland and Windsor engines were available if you took the base model 2-barrel motor. The 390 Ford FE engine was now dropped from the lineup, and the Boss 302 and 428CJ engines soldiered along.
Nineteen sixty-eight saw the addition of 2 new model packages to the Cougar lineup. The GT-E and XR-7G. What a great year to buy a Cougar. The car maintained the same body lines from the 67 model with some slight changes. Most notable were the addition of side signal markers on the front and rear quarters, a 2 spoke steering wheel (as opposed to the 3 spoke offered in the 1967 model) and some slight badge changes to the rear quarter panel emblems.
With the huge popularity and success of the Cougar in it’s inaugural year, Ford decided to double up on the car’s winning steak by adding a slew of high performance engine packages and upgrades. Where as the 1967 cars had only the 289 or 390 engine options, the 1968 cars were offered with a 289(2bbl), 302(2bbl), 302(4bbl), 390(2bbl), 390(4bbl), 427(4bbl) and the almighty 428CJ(4bbl). The 427 engine option was available only as part of the GT-E package for the first part of the 1968 production run. The 427 option was dropped midyear and replaced with the new 428CJ block option for the last half of 1968.
(Please note this page is not complete and requires more info. Please email with any additions or corrections to these pages and ask about becoming one of the editors for the CCC information articles.)
Mercury breathed life into the first Cougar for the 1967 sales year and a legend was born. Designed with sleek styling and plenty of power the Cougar took the automotive world by storm and won Motor Trend’s coveted “Car of the Year” for it’s inagural season.
Engine Casting Numbers: – Casting Number Chart
Packages available for the 1967 Model Year:
The 1967 Cougar was based on that year’s new second-generation Mustang, but with a 3 inch (76 mm) longer wheelbase and new sheet metal. A full-width divided grille with hidden headlamps and vertical bars defined the front fascia—it was sometimes called the electric shaver grille. At the rear, a similar treatment saw the license plate surrounded on both sides with vertically slatted grille work concealing tail lights (with sequential turn signals), a styling touch taken from the Thunderbird. A deliberate effort was made to give the car a more “European” flavor than the Mustang, at least to American buyers’ eyes. Aside from the base model and the luxurious XR-7 only one trim package was available for either model: the sporty GT. The XR-7 model brought a wood-grained steering wheel, a simulated wood-grained dashboard with a full set of black-faced competition instruments and toggle switches, an overhead console, a T-type center automatic transmission shifter, and leather or vinyl seats. The GT package, meanwhile, supplied a much larger engine, Ford’s 390 in³ (6.4 L) FE-series big block to replace the small-block 289 in³ (4.7 L) standard powerplant. Along with this came an upgraded suspension to handle the extra weight of the big engine and give better handling, more powerful brakes, better tires and a low-restriction exhaust system. The Cougar was Motor Trend magazine’s Car of the Year for 1967.
Engine selection for the 1967 model year was limited to either the snappy 289 cid small block or the powerful 390 cid big block. Something to note is that although all GT option packages included the 390cid motor XR7 packages were mainly a trim option package. Therefore it is quite common for 1967 XR-7s to have 289 motors unless you are lucky enough to come across one of the coveted XR-7/GT combination cars which include the GT performance and handling package and the XR-7 trim package. 1967 was the last production year for the 289 block as 1968 saw the switch to the 302cid format. Some early 1968 cars did recieve 289s though as the blocks are entirely interchangeable and Ford continued to place them into vehicles untill they had exhausted their supply.
Brakes for the 1967 model year included either 4 wheel drum or rear drum and front disc setups. There has been much speculation and debate as to wether or not the disc brakes were part and parcel of the GT or XR-7 packages but the fact of thematter is that there are many examples of both packages coming as 4 wheel drum. The most common brake configuration for 1967 was the four wheel drum setup. The dealers were reccommending the front disc upgrade for any car ordered with a 390cid motor (wether part of the GT package or not) and for all intents and purposes the lions share of the 390 cars produced in 1967 were shipped with the front disc option. That said, big block 1967 Cougars with 4 wheel drum brakes do exist and have been authenticated through their Marti report.
Some distinguishing features of the 1967 Cougar:
- Lack of turn signal indicators on the front and rear fenders. These side marker indicator lights were added as a safety feature very early in the 1968 production run. Officially all 1968 Cougars should have these markers but there are documented cases of a small handful of the first 1968 cars that did not have the indicator lights. (Most likely due to using up the existing inventory of 1967 fenders.)
- In 1967 the steering wheel had a 3 spoke configuration with a vinyl center cap that stood out several inches from the center of the wheel. This is notably different from the 1968 steering assemblies with the 2 spoke steering wheels with the more standard low profile horn ring area. Also shown in the picture are a standard interior (Notice the lack of simulated woodgrain below the dashboard area) with a center console and AMFM radio.
- Also note the air vents in the dash area directly above the radio. Those vents were only available with factory air conditioning. Cougars ordered without factor air will not have these vents.
- On 1967 Cougars the rear quarter panel fender badges that read “Cougar” were fixed to the car with press on studs. There were 2 studs per badge. The similar badges for the 1968 model year were stick on badges. The original 1967 studded emblems were notorious for falling off the car as the press on stud clips worked their way off which is why you might see some 1967 owners sporting the stick on badges today. Fortunately there are also quality reproduction badges available through West Coast Classic Cougars which sport 4 studs and are considered quality replacements.
Correct Grille Paint:
A good match for the grille is SEM brand “Trim Black”. The grille sides were “Ford Argent” available from Eastwood.
The grille support parts are a semi flat black. I like using PPG DP90LF.
— Source – Royce Peterson
Available body series for 1967: (3rd and fourth characters of your VIN#)
91 Standard 2 door hardtop
93 XR7 2 door hardtop
Available engine codes for 1967: (5th character of your VIN#)
A 289 4V
C 289 2V
S 390 4V
The “Standard Equipment Package” for a 1967 Base model Cougar:
“C” code 289 2V engine
2.80:1 8″ rear end
4 wheel drum brakes -3 speed manual transmission
(Please note: We would like to document every cougar standard equipment item so please help us add to this list. Thank you.)
Total production numbers for 1967: 150,893
XR7 production numbers for 1967: 27,221 (Some sources place this number at 27,209)
GT production numbers for 1967: 8,444 (2,653 of those were the legendary XR7/GT combination packages)