AJ's Car of the Day 1968 Mercury Cougar XR7-G

Car: Mercury Cougar XR7-G

Year: 1968

What makes it special: The 1968 Mercury Cougar XR7-G's "G" designation stood for Gurney, as in road-racing legend Dan Gurney. It was a one year only model, and was based on the upscale XR-7, with final assembly handled by the same production facility that managed the same-year Shelby Mustangs, named A.O. Smith in Detroit. A mere 619 examples were produced.

What made it famous: With other V8's available, the top of the Cougar XR7-G's engine option chart was the 10.5:1 compression, 335 hp 428-cu.in. Cobra Jet big-block, with a 4.13 x 3.98-inch bore and stroke, 4-barrel carburetor, a dual exhaust system and a functional Ram Air system. Just 14 of these R-coded engines were bolted into the XR7-G.

Why I would want one: The first generation Mercury Cougar is one of the only cars that I have owned multiple times. ( a 1967 as well as a 1968 ) This rare optioned Cougar would be a "most wanted" on any muscle car fans list.

Fun fact: To this day, the 1968 Mercury Cougar XR7-G still manages to cruise under the muscle car radar. Although markings pertaining to the XR7-G package were virtually nonexistent under the hood, Mercury/A.O. Smith occasionally included aluminum "running cat" rocker-arm covers.

( 1968 Mercury Cougar XR7-G photo from hemmings.com )