HomePick of the DayPick of the Day: 1976 Mercury Cougar XR7 driven just 12,228 miles...

Pick of the Day: 1976 Mercury Cougar XR7 driven just 12,228 miles since new

All-original survivor was purchased from the dealer by the seller’s father


The Mercury brand served as the mid-priced nameplate for Ford Motor Company for about 73 years, bridging the gap between Ford and Lincoln.  Defunct since 2011, the brand seemed to love cat-themed model names, offering vehicles that included the Bobcat, Lynx, Sable and Cougar over its lifetime.

The Pick of the Day is a one-family-owned, very-low-mileage 1976 Mercury Cougar XR7 listed for sale on ClassicCars.com by a private seller in Taylorsville, Illinois.

Showing just 12,228 miles on the odometer, this 46-year-old Cougar is described as being a true original. 


“My father bought this 1976 Mercury new at the local Mercury dealer,” the listing states. 

Pride of ownership is evident in the vanity plate with 76 CAT, a Cougar-branded baseball cap in the back seat, and more than 50 images showcasing the car’s condition.

The Cougar was Mercury’s second-longest-running model, with a 34-year production run (the flagship Grand Marquis, at 36 years, had the longest).  The Cougar nameplate evolved through eight generations between 1967 and 2002.  While most widely known as a two-door coupe, some Cougars were offered in hatchback, four-door sedan, and even station wagon body styles. 


The third-generation model like this one, sold between model years 1974 and 1976, was available only as a two-door hardtop and shared chassis underpinnings with the Ford Torino.  Characteristic design elements for this generation of Cougar were opera windows in the C-pillar and a standard vinyl roof.

“Always a show winner and a time capsule,” the seller states, followed up with “lots of documentation.”

cougar, Pick of the Day: 1976 Mercury Cougar XR7 driven just 12,228 miles since new, ClassicCars.com Journal

The photo gallery substantiates that statement with an image of the Cougar with the nearly 10 different trophies and plaques received over its lifetime, as well as a trunk full of booklets, brochures, and owner information.  The sheet metal, interior, and underbody appear to be in prime condition consistent with the mileage reading.

Engine sizes for this era of Cougar were offered in 351cid, 400cid, and 460cid displacements, but a three-speed automatic was the only available transmission.  This Cougar is powered by the 400cid V8 and looks to be completely stock from top to bottom, right down to the eight-track tape player. 

cougar, Pick of the Day: 1976 Mercury Cougar XR7 driven just 12,228 miles since new, ClassicCars.com Journal

A period-correct CB radio is mounted beneath the dash and a cougar figurine is prowling the rear window deck.

The seller is asking $25,000 for the well-preserved classic cat.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

Tyson Hugie
Tyson Hugie
Tyson Hugie grew up in a family of gearheads and enjoys anything to do with automotive and motorsports. He is a contributing editor to Redline Reviews, a YouTube channel with coverage from major auto shows. He also writes for Arizona Driver Magazine and holds leadership positions with a number of car clubs. Tyson has lived in Arizona for 10 years and his current obsession is Japanese cars from the early 1990s which, though hard to believe, are now becoming classics. Tyson can usually be found exploring offbeat and obscure road trip destinations on his blog "Drive to Five," which started as a way to share travel stories and experiences with his now-550,000-mile Acura.


  1. How is a sable included in the cat-themed model names? A sable is a type of marten, and is related to weasels, ferrets, minks, and polecats. They belong to the musteleid (or weasel) family. It is not a cat. Even polecats are not cats.

  2. Good article! But, admit that I had to cringe at the “Sable” (a type of deer) referenced as a cat. But, Democrats have done worse in their strange correlations.
    Thanks for the otherwise interesting info !


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