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This 1969 Mercury Cougar Appeared In A James Bond Movie

The Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles is a veritable treasure trove for enthusiasts, chock full of cool, historically significant, and oftentimes obscure vehicles that rotate in and out on a regular basis. Recently, Ford Authority had the chance to visit the Petersen, which is where we spotted a very cool, somewhat forgotten piece of Blue Oval history – the 2001 Lincoln MK 9 Concept. However, not to terribly far away from that concept, we also came across the Bond In Motion exhibit, which included this movie-famous 1969 Mercury Cougar XR-7 convertible

The Bond In Motion exhibit was created in collaboration with EON Productions and The Ian Fleming Foundation (named for the author and Bond creator), and was the very first in the U.S. to feature original vehicles from the James Bond film franchise. In terms of timing, the exhibit celebrated the 60th anniversary of the 007 films in general, as the very first – Dr. No – was released in 1962.

This 1969 Mercury Cougar XR-7 convertible starred in the 1969 Bond film On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, and is on loan from the Ian Fleming Foundation for this particular exhibit. Equipped with Ford’s famous 428 cubic-inch Cobra Jet V8 cranking out 335 horsepower, this vintage muscle car played a prominent role in the film, as it was driven extensively by the only Mrs. Bond in series history – Tracy Draco, who was played by actress Diana Rigg.

1969 Mercury Cougar

This particular film is notable because it marked the only appearance by George Lazenby as the British spy, while the red drop top appeared in both the movie’s pre-title sequence and the main car chase scene. In that segment, Draco shows off some impressive driving skills to elude a series of henchmen on icy mountain roads in Switzerland before winding up in the midst of a stock car race on a frozen track – which was made by simply flooding a nearby field and allowing it to freeze overnight.

We’ll have more cool movie cars like this to share soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for more Mercury news, Mercury Cougar news, and around-the-clock Ford news coverage.

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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Comments

  1. Ford Owner

    Diana Rigg was a very beautiful spy in the British TV series “The Avengers” co-starring with Patrick McGee who also starred in the later James Bond movie “A View to a Kill”. Diana died of cancer as many other movie stars have.

    Reply
    1. RWFA

      In that generation cigarettes were ubiquitous.

      She smoked from 18yo and as late as 2009 was still nailing 20 cigarettes a day.

      But man, in her prime, was she ever a cutie!

      Reply
  2. Ford Owner

    More movie trivia: Telly Savalas was the villain, and the romantic theme song “We Have All the Time in the World” was sung and played by Louis Armstrong. This song was so great that it reappeared in the last James Bond movie “No Time to Die” where Bond actually died.

    Reply
    1. RWFA

      Telly also died of cancer, bladder cancer, the top cause of which is smoking.

      As for Telly the actor, if you wanted a villain in the late 50’s through the early 70’s, Telly was your man. He later successfully played against type as Kojak.

      Reply
      1. Kevin James

        Kevin James

        Reply
  3. JohnK

    Such a beautiful car. Such style. As I recall, the car ran out of gas during the snow storm in the movie. The platform gave us the specialty coupe series: Mustang, Cougar, Thunderbird and Mark III all distinctive with their own flair. Maybe we can see the rebirth of the personal car as a personal SUV. (but not with the egg look that the imports are doing because they all look like fat hamsters) The new personal SUV needs to capture that personal distinct feeling of style from the past brought into the future.

    Reply
    1. RWFA

      I’m pretty sure t-bird and mark were on a completely different platform.

      Not sure if T-bird and M3 platform was shared with the big Lincoln as it was in the early 60’s between the curvy bird and the Kennedy Continental.

      Reply
  4. Rob Mcginley

    The Cougar was a really wild looking car back in the day. There were so many ugly cars back then but the Cougar really stood out in a crowd.
    It was so sharp.
    I believe the Cougar was the first car with sequential turn signals.
    What happens Ford? The designer of the Cougar go to GM ?

    Reply
    1. RWFA

      Sequential signals premiered on the 64 t-bird and were governed by an electric motor making connections somewhat like a distributor (some called this a firecracker distributor) it was also used in the Mustang California Special.)

      For 69 the Cougar debuted a solid state control module, about the size of a modest billfold, that hung off a hook beneath the trunk floor in the left rear qtr panel void. Apparently these didn’t stand up very well when a lot of current was being pulled through them (e.g. when folks stood on the brakes too long or added a trailer loom) so they were superseded with a version with an added series of relays (the later versions were backward compatable, i.e. a ‘73 box would plug into a ‘69 and work just fine.)

      Reply
  5. RWFA

    Kind of bugs me that nobody blocked the headlamp doors into the down position.

    Once the vacuum leaks out of the system there are clocksprings that force the open doors (heavy as the grill feature is cast zinc and mounted on stamped thick steel doors); this is a safety feature in case of vacuum loss while driving but on display it spoils the look of the grille once the doors pop up.

    Reply

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