1981 Mercury Cougar XR7 302 V8 with 430 horse power from North America


All the show with lotsa GO!!!


When I bought the car for $250, it was in a back yard collecting dust. I brought it home, tore it apart, and started rebuilding it as a custom ride.

The only thing that has gone wrong with the car since its total rebuild, is that I can't keep tires on the rear. It's too much fun doing burn outs, I can't stop. It has a high output 302 with 430 horse power, and 310 foot pounds of torque. It is also a 5-speed manual, instead of the automatic that came as standard.

General Comments:

This 1981 Mercury Cougar is probably one of a kind. It has Moroso performance suspension, complete frame (no more uni body), traction bars, and so on and so forth.

It handles incredibly well at high speeds, and still gives the Cougar luxury ride.

The interior is all custom, a.k.a racing buckets up front, with 4 point harness, and plush rear seats with crushed velvet on the headliner, and door panels. I also put a new carpet in it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th April, 2006

1981 Mercury Cougar XR-7 from North America


A great car at a cheap price


The only fault I have to my 1981 Mercury Cougar XR-7, is that I don't get very good gas mileage.

General Comments:

This car is a very fast automobile. It handles curves very easily even at a high rate of speed.

This car is all original and in excellent condition. The original color is in excellent condition, but it only shows on the hood, and the rest of the body is gray primer.

For $ 150.00 this car is the best decision I could ever make.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th May, 2004

28th May 2004, 09:34

Why is it hard to believe that a car you only paid $150 for is in "excellent condition"?

9th Feb 2007, 12:26

I do have a imported old 1981 Mercury Cougar XR-7 like yours (gray /black) low gas mileage too, although is not in good condition, but I love it, and it has long with my family for almost 15 years.

It's called for my friends as "the panther".

Carlos M.

Torreon, Mexico.

21st Aug 2008, 00:10

Does any one know what size the OE front and rear sway bar is with the 1981 Cougar XR-7 ?

Please advise.


1981 Mercury Cougar XR7 3.3 L6 from North America


Plenty of Car for the buck!


The Cougar is one of the most reliable cars I've ever owned. The only thing that has gone wrong on the car is the passenger door was stuck when I first bought it and the locks got stuck when it snowed. The car wants to cut off when you pull to a stop (just put it in neutral until you are ready to pull off) other than that, it was not a bad deal for $250 from the auction.

General Comments:

I have always been a huge Ford fan and the next car I buy will be a Ford/Lincoln/Mercury vehicle. I wish I had a 302 5.0L High-output under the hood, but the in-line 6 is running pretty good. Especially since it's a one owner and has barely over a 100k miles. The XR7's interior and features such as tilt steering, power everything including key-less entry makes it feel more like a newer luxury car than it already is. I'm definitely glad that it is a real car meaning big, fast, and rear-wheel-drive. That's how I ride.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th January, 2004

1981 Mercury Cougar 3.3L from North America


A solid, dependable car


Original alternator went at 215,000 Km.

Had to replace the front and rear oil seals at 200,000Km.

Carburator had to be replaced at 217,000Km.

General Comments:

The engine and transmission have never been touched in this car, and oil never has to be added in between changes.

It is a very comfortable interior and a nice riding car. With some performance tuning and tweaking, the little 6 cylinder has a good combination of gas mileage and power.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 13th May, 2001

27th Apr 2006, 11:21

I have an 81 XR7 with the 302 V8 in it with about 300 hp, and the thing flies like no tomorrow. But what I wanna know is how do you think your 6 cylinder 300ci has all the guts an glory? They are very nice cars (my 81 was my first and will stay with me till I die), but good advice would be to chuck the 6 banger and put a V8 in it, and watch it fly!!!

9th Jan 2007, 08:12

Well in the previous gentleman's defence, he didn't say that his 6 cylinder cougar had all the guts and glory, he just said that it was a nice car, and that it ran well, and had a decent bit of power. He never did mention that his car would be more powerful than a V8. Also if you like the car the way it is, then why mess around with it?? Sure a V8 has more power, but the amount of gas you're going to go through may not be worth it to some people. Personally I'm going to be getting an '81 cougar with an inline 6 and I doubt I'll be changing much more than the stereo, and the battery holder.

7th Feb 2007, 06:56

Cougar 4-doors are not particularly rare. They were Mercury's counterpart to the Ford Granada from 1981-1982. A wagon version was also available. Replaced by the Marquis (as distinguished from Grand Marquis, and as sedan only) in 1983.

24th Jul 2008, 23:54

I believe the 302 on the 1981 Cougar only had around 130 horsepower which isn't very much at all.