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The Rare and Iconic 1969 Mercury Cougar XR7 from “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” Up for Auction

To a James Bond Fan, This is a Very Cool and Important Car

Welcome to our in-depth exploration of the rare and iconic 1969 Mercury Cougar XR7 featured in the James Bond film “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.” For fans of both Bond and classic cars, this vehicle holds a special place in the heart. While not James Bond’s car in the movie, the Cougar played a memorable role alongside the Aston Martin DBS. With its powerful performance, unique design, and significant film history, this Cougar captures the imagination of enthusiasts and collectors alike. Join us as we delve into the fascinating details of this remarkable automobile and uncover the story behind its auction and restoration.

Key Takeaways

  • The 1969 Mercury Cougar XR7, one of three used during the filming of “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service,” is up for auction by Bonhams.
  • While the Cougar was not James Bond’s car in the movie, it played a crucial role, including in a thrilling chase and a demolition derby on ice.
  • This XR7 model was fitted with a rare 428 CobraJet Ram Air V8 engine, making it a coveted muscle car with 335 horsepower.
  • The 1969 Cougar features a unique body design with horizontal grille slats that extended over the headlight doors, setting it apart from later models.
  • Bonhams estimates the sale price to be between $130,000 and $200,000, reflecting the car’s rarity, film connection, and meticulous restoration.

The Bond Connection and Film Significance

While this 1969 Mercury Cougar XR7 was not James Bond’s car in the movie, it had its fair share of screen time and played a vital role in the storyline. In the film’s pre-titles sequence, Bond follows Tracy di Vicenzo, driving her eye-catching bright red Cougar, as they embark on a thrilling chase. Later, in Switzerland, Tracy rescues Bond using the same Cougar, sacrificing its stunning red paint and bodywork in an exhilarating demolition derby on ice. The car also appears prominently in a pivotal scene where Bond seeks refuge with Tracy in a barn during a blizzard.

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A Muscle Car Marvel

Even without the Bond connection, this Cougar stands as a testament to automotive excellence. Only 127 of these XR7 models were produced in 1969, and this particular one boasts the top-of-the-line 428 CobraJet Ram Air V8 engine, delivering an impressive 335 horsepower. The rarity of this powerhouse, combined with its convertible body style and the striking matching red exterior and interior, makes it an incredibly desirable find for collectors and enthusiasts alike.

The Unique Styling of the ’69 Cougar

The 1969 Mercury Cougar represents a distinctive era in automotive design. This year saw a complete redesign of the Cougar, with its new body captivating the eyes of onlookers. Notably, the horizontal grille slats that extended over the headlight doors gave it an undeniably cool and sleek appearance. Unfortunately, this design feature did not carry over to the 1970 model, leading some to argue that the ’69 Cougar was the pinnacle of its aesthetic evolution.

The Auction and Price Expectations

For avid car collectors and James Bond aficionados, the opportunity to own this 1969 Mercury Cougar XR7 is a dream come true. Bonhams, a renowned auction house, has scheduled the sale for December 16. With its rarity, film connection, and the fact that it underwent a complete restoration by its current owner, who stumbled upon it in a classified ad in the late 1980s, the estimated sale price is nothing short of substantial. Bonhams anticipates bids ranging from $130,000 to $200,000, reflecting the car’s exceptional qualities and its significant place in James Bond cinematic history.

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FAQ

1. How many 1969 Mercury Cougar XR7 cars were used in the filming of “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”?

During the filming of “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service,” a total of three 1969 Mercury Cougar XR7 cars were used. While James Bond himself drove an Aston Martin DBS in the movie, the bright red Cougar driven by Tracy di Vicenzo played a significant role. This particular Cougar was one of the three vehicles used throughout the filming process, making it a rare piece of Bond memorabilia.

2. What makes the 1969 Mercury Cougar XR7 featured in the film unique?

The 1969 Mercury Cougar XR7 featured in “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” holds several distinctive characteristics. Firstly, it boasted a top-of-the-line 428 CobraJet Ram Air V8 engine, delivering an impressive 335 horsepower. This powerful engine made the Cougar a true muscle car marvel. Secondly, its convertible body style added an element of glamour and excitement to its appearance. Lastly, the striking red exterior and interior, with a color combination that perfectly matched, added an extra level of visual appeal to the vehicle.

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3. Was the 1969 Mercury Cougar XR7 the only car used by Tracy di Vicenzo in the film?

No, the 1969 Mercury Cougar XR7 was not the only car used by Tracy di Vicenzo in “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.” In addition to the Cougar, she also drove a variety of vehicles throughout the movie. However, the Cougar was the most prominent and memorable car associated with her character. Its appearance in the thrilling chase scenes and the subsequent demolition derby on ice added to its significance within the film’s storyline.

4. How rare is the 1969 Mercury Cougar XR7 with the 428 CobraJet Ram Air V8 engine?

The 1969 Mercury Cougar XR7 with the 428 CobraJet Ram Air V8 engine is a highly sought-after and rare vehicle. Only 127 of these models were produced in 1969, making it a limited edition muscle car. The combination of the XR7 trim, convertible body style, and the potent CobraJet engine adds to its exclusivity and desirability among collectors and enthusiasts. Owning such a rare piece of automotive history would undoubtedly be a remarkable achievement for any car enthusiast.

5. What other notable features distinguish the 1969 Mercury Cougar XR7?

Beyond its performance and rarity, the 1969 Mercury Cougar XR7 showcased several notable features. Its new body design for 1969, with the horizontal grille slats that extended over the headlight doors, provided a distinctive and cool aesthetic that set it apart from other models. Unfortunately, this unique design feature was not carried over to the following year’s model, further enhancing the ’69 Cougar’s appeal. The combination of power, rarity, and eye-catching design elements makes the 1969 XR7 an iconic representation of automotive excellence.

6. Who found the 1969 Mercury Cougar XR7 featured in the film?

The 1969 Mercury Cougar XR7 featured in “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” was discovered by its current owner in the late 1980s. The owner initially stumbled upon the car through a classified advertisement. Interestingly, at the time, the owner’s primary interest was the car’s engine. However, upon further investigation, he uncovered the car’s connection to the James Bond film. This unexpected discovery added a whole new level of significance and value to the vehicle, ultimately leading to its complete restoration and its forthcoming auction.

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7. What is the estimated sale price for the 1969 Mercury Cougar XR7 at the upcoming auction?

The auction house, Bonhams, has estimated the sale price for the 1969 Mercury Cougar XR7 from “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” to be between $130,000 and $200,000. The rarity of the CobraJet Cougar, its connection to the James Bond franchise, and the extensive restoration undertaken by its current owner contribute to its substantial value. The estimated price range reflects the extraordinary nature of this particular vehicle, making it an enticing prospect for serious collectors and passionate Bond enthusiasts alike.

8. Will the buyer receive any documentation about the car’s history?

While the auction listing does not mention the availability of a Marti report, it is customary for vehicles of such significance to come with a comprehensive documentation package. This package typically includes records detailing the car’s history, ownership, restoration, and any supporting evidence of its connection to the film. The buyer can expect to receive a wealth of information that further enhances the car’s provenance and adds to its allure as a collectible piece of automotive and cinematic history.

9. Is the 1969 Mercury Cougar XR7 in drivable condition?

Yes, the 1969 Mercury Cougar XR7 featured in “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” has undergone a complete restoration. The current owner, upon discovering the car’s Bond connection, invested time and resources to bring it back to its former glory. Consequently, the vehicle is in drivable condition, ensuring that the lucky buyer can not only own a piece of cinematic history but also enjoy the exhilarating experience of driving this powerful and iconic muscle car on the open road.

10. How can I participate in the auction and potentially own the 1969 Mercury Cougar XR7?

To participate in the auction and have a chance to own the 1969 Mercury Cougar XR7, you will need to register with Bonhams, the auction house handling the sale. Prior to the auction date, detailed information, including registration requirements and bidding instructions, will be available on Bonhams’ official website. By following the provided guidelines, interested individuals can join the bidding process and compete with other collectors and enthusiasts for the opportunity to become the proud owner of this remarkable piece of automotive and James Bond memorabilia.

Conclusion

The 1969 Mercury Cougar XR7 from “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” represents a unique fusion of automotive excellence and cinematic history. As a Bond fan, owning a car associated with the iconic franchise is a dream come true. Beyond its film connections, this Cougar stands as a testament to the allure of vintage muscle cars. With its powerful engine, rare features, and eye-catching design, it captures the spirit of adventure and elegance that defines James Bond movies.

The forthcoming auction by Bonhams presents an extraordinary opportunity for collectors and enthusiasts to add a remarkable piece to their collections. The estimated sale price reflects the significance and desirability of this particular Cougar. Whether it’s the Bond connection, the rarity of the CobraJet engine, or the sleek styling, this car holds an irresistible appeal for those who appreciate automotive and cinematic history.

Don’t miss the chance to own a piece of James Bond’s legacy and experience the thrill of driving this exceptional 1969 Mercury Cougar XR7. As the gavel falls, one lucky buyer will embark on an exhilarating journey with this iconic car, forever tied to the world of 007.

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