1968 XR-7 Cougar X code 390

Posted on Sunday, April 15th
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1968-cougar-390-2v'68 Big Block Cat Saved!

Thanks to Steve N. for sending in this survival story. Way too often you see that great muscle car sitting in the weeds because the owner says he's going to restore it some day. Usually they sit so long that there's nothing left to save after a few decades of rust. But this big block Cougar has found a new home and is on it's way to being restored and back on the road again.

So what kind of big block has a 2 bbl carb? It's actually a very rare X code 390. Ford made a handful of these as some strange way of marketing the heavy big block FE engine as a fuel efficient choice. Not too many fell for that sales pitch, making the X code very rare today. They came on both Cougars and Mustangs, but only in 1968. The engine itself was identical to the S code 390-4v, but with a 2v carb and intake. This breathing restriction equated to a 45 horsepower hit as compared to the 325 hp 4v version.

This particular Cougar is also an XR-7, which was Mercury's luxury interior package. The XR-7 featured real leather seats, simulated wood grain dash and steering wheel, upper and lower consoles with clock, map lights and deluxe door panels. Steve's new project also has a nice list of options including air conditioning, power brakes and power steering. There was also an almost complete tilt-a-way steering column, but he's not sure it's original to this car. The interior is gutted and most of the XR-7 parts are going to have to be sourced from parts cars or careful NOS searching.

Good luck Steve getting this rare cat back to prowling the roads!



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