April 1, 2024
by Peter Disher
with help from Phillip P and Royce P

Cougars have always been interesting to me. They were built on the same production lines as Mustangs. They also share a lot of the same parts.
One particular model Cougar is exceptionally outstanding. That would be the 1968 Cougar XR-7G. Not only were these cars built on the same assembly lines as Mustangs, they were sent to AO Smith just like the 1968 Shelbys! Some people have even called these "Shelby Cougars".
I'm not going to review all the XR7G parts, but provide a place for some information.

AO Smith converted just over 600 XR7G Cougars. They came in two flavors, The XR7G and the XR7G Hertz.
The following newspaper photos came from the Ionia Sentinel-Standard, April 20, 1968.

This Hertz brochure shows both the Shelby and the Cougar XR7G.

AO Smith also provided the engineering by working with Ford on the design aspects.

AO Smith had a XR7G on display in front of the plant.

You may recognize Schanzmeyer as a franchised Shelby dealer.

An advertisement for an XR7G touting some of the unique features, including the unique sunroofs.

This is a special XR7G "show car" that was used at the Hemisfair in Texas to promote the cars. Picture courtesy of Phillip P.

Race car driver, Dan Gurney does a promotional shoot with the new XR7G. Picture courtesy of Ford Motor, from the Internet.
You can see the special hood scoop, fog lights and special, XR7G emblems. This color is called Grecian Gold when its on a Cougar. On a Mustang, it would be Sunlit Gold.

I highly recommend this book if you like Shelbys and Cougars. Its very well done, packed with statistics and all the cool features these cars have. You will get to see things like the Cougar dress up packages for the engines, fog lights, special consoles, the Hertz cars and much more.