Wayne Cook
May 1, 2005
Photos By: Jeff Ford

When David and Diana Scott of Las Vegas, Nevada, decided to do something different with their Ford restomod project, they wanted to do something you didn't see at the Sign of the Cat in 1967. The end result is a rare car in an unusual color-a very yellow '67 Mercury Cougar XR-7.

David purchased the car from his brother in 1994 after it sat undisturbed for 20 years. The odometer showed 109,000 miles. All the parts were there, but, needless to say, a lot of work was necessary to get the car up and running. The project took over three years to complete with most of the work being done in the home garage.

After all the bodywork was done, the outrageous Prowler Yellow hue was applied by Frank's Auto Body in Las Vegas. This color contrasts nicely with the new black vinyl top.

Complimenting this ride are 17-inch Eagle wheels shod with Toyo Proxy 235/50/17 tires in front and larger 245/50/17 meats in back. Behind these wheels are large Baer four-wheel disc brakes. David chose the Baer touring setup in all four corners for exceptional street performance. The rotors are huge at 13 inches, slotted and cross-drilled to help them shed heat and moisture.

The car's aggressive stance comes from nice suspension modifications, front and rear. The front end features new control arms equipped with polyurethane bushings. The upper arms have been dropped 1 inch to improve negative camber. New coil springs were installed along with a fresh set of gas shocks. The rear axle is controlled with stiffer five-leaf springs. Sway bars, fore and aft, control body roll.

Underhood is a '91 5.0L high output V-8 engine controlled by Ford's EEC-IV fuel injection for smooth operation and seamless power. David dressed this mill with a custom upper intake cover, chrome oil pan, polished valve covers, and Ford Racing plug wires. For added power at the rear wheels, David opted for a set of Ford Racing underdrive pulleys. Fuel delivery is handled by an MSD fuel pump and Edelbrock fuel pressure regulator. A K&N air filter quiets the intake and adds to performance. On the exhaust side is a set of JBA nickel-plated shorty headers for a nice clean installation, emptying into 211/42-inch pipes and Flowmaster mufflers. Behind the fuel-injected five-oh engine is a custom-built, AOD four-speed, automatic overdrive transmission from Henderson Transmission of Henderson, Nevada. Power gets to the peg-leg 8-inch axle with good 3.00:1 cruising gears via an aluminum driveshaft. The aluminum driveshaft lightens the load and smoothes out the cruise.

David and Diana's inner world is decked out in the correct XR-7 trim in black leather with vinyl and woodgrain appointments. In the '67-'68, this was the Cougar interior trim package to die for, with full instrumentation and an analog clock. Pro Car bucket seats upholstered in black flank the original XR-7 leather. The Grant four-spoke steering wheel feels good to hold in your hands and improves control. The original factory air-conditioning system keeps things decidedly cold and is a must for those Nevada summers. The system has been upgraded with a Sanden rotary compressor, which offers seamless operation and draws less power.

David and Diana believe they've got their car dialed-in nicely. We couldn't agree more, and, apparently, we're not the only ones. At the California Cougar West Nationals, the car placed first in the Peoples Choice modified class. It has also taken awards for best-engineered vehicle at several shows.

What makes this Cougar extraordinary is the unique balance of great vintage Mercury ponycar styling and common sense restomodications that make the car safer and more fun to drive. when it's time to hit the Vegas strip, it doesn't get any better than a code yellow Cougar and the seamless performance a late-model small-block can deliver.