First Vert







1969 Mercury Cougar XR-7 Convertible
VIN: 9F94H575103


My first Cougar was a medium blue metallic, 1969 XR-7 convertible. It was equipped with the 351 Windsor engine, two barrel carburetor and FMX automatic transmission. I bought it during my junior year of high school at an estate sale. It had just under 100,000 miles, and was a step up from my 1967 Firebird. The car was a daily driver even through the Minnesota winters. I sold it eight years later to help pay school expenses. I missed that car for the next 16 years.

Pretty nice ride for a high school kid.

I've only been able to find a couple of pictures of the car. While digging through boxes searching for more photos, I came across the Owner's Card for the car, showing the original owner and data plate codes.



The codes break down as follows:

9 1969 Model Year
F Dearborn Assembly Plant
94 Cougar XR-7 Convertible
H 351 2v Windsor Engine
575103 Sequential number (75,103rd Cougar)
76B Cougar XR-7 Convertible
P Medium Blue Metallic Paint
6A Black Leather Interior
27E Scheduled for Assembly on May 27, 1969
46 Minneapolis/St.Paul District Sales Office
6 3.0 to 1 Rear Gear Ratio (non-locking)
X FMX 3 Speed Automatic Transmission
Date Sold 5/31/69


A few years back, I was cleaning up my mother's basement and came across my old Chilton's manual. Although I had completely forgotten about it, I apparently had the presence of mind to save the build sheet from the old Cougar and had stuck it in the manual.

Build Sheets were the assembly line instructions for building the car. They specified the type of engine, trim levels, color, optional components, etc. The sheets traveled down the assembly line with the car. They would be discarded as the assembly workers completed their tasks. Sometimes, a worker would tuck one under the carpet, or into the seat springs, or elsewhere in the car.


Being a Minnesota car driven on salted winter roads, I suspect that my fondly remembered 'first vert' no longer exists except in memories and perhaps recycled steel. If you are the current owner, however, contact me so these documents may be reunited with the car.

I regretted selling this Cougar for many years ... then came Aqua Vert