August 17, 1967
Ordered and Built
On June 12, 1967 new orders were received by Ford in Dearborn Michigan from an Ontario California car dealer named "Weber & Cooper Lincoln Mercury".
The orders were to build a new polar white XR7 with saddle tan interior. Scheduled for an August 4, 1967 build this new Cougar was actually built on August 17, 1967, mere days before the 1967 build year was to be completed and the new 1968 model year was to begin. This particular polar white XR7 Cougar was the 148,663rd Mercury Cougar scheduled to be built that year of a total 150,893 finally built for model year 1967, the very first year of the Mercury Cougar.
Not a highly optioned car, this Cougars most noticible option is the XR7 package. Other option details include C4 Automatic Transmission, 14" White Sidewall Nylon Tires, Console with sport clock,, Power Brakes (Drum), Power Steering, Air Conditioning, AM Radio, Tinted Windshield, Door Edge Guards, and Rear Bumper Guards.
There were 13,040 '67 Cougars built with this Engine/Transmission combination (289-2V,C4), 12,133 also had the Whisperaire AC, 3,477 were ordered from this D.S.O.(LA order district), 2,504 were painted Polar White (M), and 362 were painted Polar White with the Saddle Tan interior (6F). The trim code is actually 6F1, and that extra "1" following "6F" indicates there was some unusual variance in the trim (interior) that was out of the norm. What that difference was is not identified and so far we have not been able to figure this little mystery out. If you think you may know send us an email.
Who bought this then new Cougar from Weber & Cooper in Ontario remains an unknown. I have been in contact with the son of John Cooper, the man who owned the dealership back in 1967. Jim Cooper, the son of John Cooper indicates his father has since happily retired and the dealership no longer exists. I've requested a copy of any photos of the dealership Mr. Cooper might be willing to share with me but have not received any. Weber & Cooper was in operation from 1961-1981 according to Jim, he recalls seeing a large painted sign in the dealership window that advertised the new Cougars for $2399. (Update: John Cooper has since passed away in Reno Nevada).
Working backwards to determine the cars history the story reads as follows. I purchased the Cougar in June of 1989 in Colorado from a young couple (Mike H.) who had purchased it to restore. That restoration never happened for them as they discovered they were starting a family and needed the money to help finance having a baby. I'm certain I over-paid for the car at the time but I could afford it and they needed the cash. They did little more to the car than to have it painted (poorly I'm afraid) with what I believe was a GM appliance white color - $800 for the work according to receipts. I believe those previous owners are still living in town although I have not had any contact with them since '89.
Sometime in the late 1990's after creating a website on the Cougar restoration I received an email from a gentleman (Ken S.) who saw the web page and identified the car as his at one time. He said he purchased the car from "Canon City Classics" for $2000. We communicated via emails for a brief time and I learned a bit more of the cars history. For example; he added a cruise control from another 67 parts Cougar that he had. The engine had been replaced with one from another 67 Cougar according to Canon City Classics and Ken, so the motor was not original although it was "correct". Ken later hit a point where he needed the cash and sold the car to "a young girl and her boyfriend" as he said in an email, "for the same $2000 I paid for the car" Ken said. I think that may have been the couple I later purchased the car from. Prior to Canon City Classics the ownership trail remains unknown.
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