Sep
08
1977 Mercury Cougar XR-7

1977 Mercury Cougar XR-7

For Mercury, 1977 was eventful year. The brand’s staple Comet compact cars were making one last appearance, while the midsize Montego lineup was redesigned and renamed.

The single best-selling model in the Mercury lineup—by far—was the Cougar XR-7. A near clone of the Ford Thunderbird, the XR-7 accounted for almost 125,000 sales. The base Monarch coupe came in a distant second at just under 56,000 units.

If you’ve spent time with any of these now-classic rides, tell us about it. We’d love to hear about your experience.

The Plymouths of 1976

 

Bobcat

1977 Mercury Bobcat

1977 Mercury Bobcat Runabout

Base price: $3516 (Runabout) – $3862 (Villager)

Base engine: 89-horsepower 2.3-liter four

Optional engine: 93-horsepower 2.8-liter V6

Clones of the Ford Pinto lineup, the Bobcats rolled into 1977 mostly unchanged. Unlike the Pinto, Bobcat was not offered in 2-door sedan trim, leaving customers to choose from the Runabout 2-door hatchback, and the Villager 2-door wagon. At $301, the available V6 engine provided only four extra horsepower over the base engine, but brought a meaningful dollop of extra torque. The V6 was also reportedly much smoother than the standard engine.

 

Comet

1977 Mercury Comet

1977 Mercury Comet coupe and sedan

Base price: $3379 (6-cylinder 2-door) – $3607 (V8 4-door)

Base engine: 96-horsepower 200-cubic-inch six

Optional engine: 98-horsepower 250-cubic-inch six

Optional engine: 137-horsepower 302-cubic-inch V8

Mercury’s gussied-up take on the Ford Maverick would be retired after 1977. For 1978, the Comet’s soft curves and subtle contours would give way to the hard edges and general boxiness of the Zephyr and its Ford companion the Fairmont. Comet shoppers were asked to decided between AM/FM radio in stereo ($229) or more-affordable mono ($135).

 

Monarch

1977 Mercury Monarch

1977 Mercury Monarch coupe and sedan

Base price: $4083 (base 2-door) – $4771 (Ghia 4-door)

Base engine: 96-horsepower 200-cubic-inch six

Optional engine: 98-horsepower 250-cubic-inch six (standard Ghia)

Optional engine: 137-horsepower 302-cubic-inch V8

Optional engine: 161-horsepower 351-cubic-inch V8

A small big car of sorts, the Monarch and Ford cousin Granada were popular with people who wanted to downsize, but were keen to drive something that looked and felt familiar. Equipped with either available 6-cyinder engine the Monarch returned reasonable fuel economy, and performed about as well as anything else in the class. An available 351-cubic inch V8 appealed to the lead-foot crowd.

My 5 Favorite Wagons

 

Cougar

1977 Mercury Cougar lineup

Mercury Cougar coupe, wagon, and sedan

Base price: $4700 (base 2-door) – $5363 (Villager wagon)

Base engine: 137-horsepower 302-cubic-inch V8 (all but wagons)

Optional engine: 161-horsepower 351-cubic-inch V8 (standard wagons)

Optional engine: 173-horsepower 400-cubic-inch V8

Apparently tired of the Montego name, Mercury branded its entire midsize lineup Cougar for 1977, including the personal-luxury coupe which traditionally wore that badge. The name change was accompanied by a significant sheetmetal update and the elimination of the MX trim level. Coupes and sedans were offered in base and Brougham guise, while wagons were offered in base and upscale Villager versions. The XR-7 name was carried over for the topline luxury coupe.

 

Marquis

1977 Mercury Marquis

1977 Mercury Marquis

Base Price: $5268 (Marquis coupe) – $4678 (3-row Colony Park)

Standard engine: 173-horsepower 400-cubic-inch V8 (Marquis, wagons)

Optional engine: 197-horsepower 460-cubic-inch V8 (standard Marquis Brougham, Grand Marquis)

Famous (or infamous) for its role as Buck Russell’s car in “Uncle Buck,” the Marquis and Grand Marquis lineup capped Mercury’s 1977 product portfolio for 1977 in both size and price. Coupes and sedans were offered in Marquis, Marquis Brougham, and Grand Marquis trim levels, while wagons came in base and Colony Park guises. The Marquis was the last model in Mercury’s lineup in which you could still find Ford’s once-ubiquitous 460-inch V8. The 460, and the 400, would return one last time for 1978, leaving the 351-inch V8 as Mercury’s powerplant top dog.

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