AJ's Car of the Day 1971 Mercury Cougar 429 Cobra-Jet Convertible

Car: Mercury Cougar 429 Cobra-Jet Convertible

Year: 1971

What makes it special: This particular car is the Las Vegas show car of 16 identical Mercury Division show and publicity cars. It was restored in 2001 for the Ford 100th Anniversary Car Show.

What made it famous: It features the optional 370 hp, 429 Cobra-Jet V8 with a 4-barrel Rochester Quadra-Jet carburetor and functional factory Ram Air intake, consoled 4-speed floor shifted manual transmission, and a host of other optional goods to promote the 1971 Cougar.

Why I'd want one: It's the first year of the second generation Mercury Cougar, it's got a 429 Cobra-Jet / 4-speed manual transmission to throw you back in your seat, and with a factory power convertible top, you're in the wind. What more could you possibly ASK for?

Fun fact: Truth be told, the Mercury Cougar began well before the Mustang. Known as Project "T-7 " it sat around and languished until Ford's Pony bolted out of the gate.

( 1971 Mercury Cougar 429 Cobra-Jet Convertible photo from barrett-jackson.com )