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I've been a Ford/Mercury fan since I started driving & I am currently looking for a XR7 convertible as a hobby. Im curious why I don't see very many 71,72 or 73 XR7 convertibles available or even bringing in great proces at some of the auctions. Anyone care to help a fellah out?
 

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Like the same-year Mustangs, IMHO, the 71-73 Cougars are often seen as moving away from the pony car/muscle car period and toward a personal luxury car orientation. While the Mustang reversed course in '74, the Cougar continued on that path. Stylistically, that's kind of how I need to view them in order to appreciate the lines of the 71-73 Cougars versus the 67-70 models. I suspect I'm not alone and so the values suffer as a result. That said, there are some very nice-looking 71-73's on the market right now at reasonable prices. Good luck in your search for one!
 

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People also see them as being massive and porky compared to even the 70' model. The scales say different, but people don't let that get in their way.
There's also a connection between small car/big engine that most people are looking for in the ponycar market along with a signature boxy and small style. That's why the 69 Camaro and 55-57 Chevys along with the first gen Mustang continue to be the acme of the American ponycar market with the MoPar E bodies close behind.
The 71-3 Cougars are nearly everything that the mid/late sixties cars were not in terms of styling. And, people really buy ponycars to be cool. So, they look for the most ponycarish ponycar and slapfight over them while others get a ho hum valuation on the market.

Be thankful. You can get a great car with lots of leg and headroom for not much money. Especially a 'vert XR7.
 

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The 71-3 years just don't have the popularity as the earlier Cats, therefore they don't command the dollars that the earlier ones do. That belief is kind of mirrored in the Classic Mustang circle as well.

Another reason you don't see that many 71-73s is the fact that they didn't make that many to begin with! Let's look at the total production figures by year...

67 - 150k
68 - 114k
69 - 100k
70 - 72k
71 - 63k
72 - 54k
73 - 61k

now if we break the total of the 71-73s down further into hardtop and 'vert
year - ht - vert
71 - 59,000 - 3400
72 - 50,000 - 3300
73 - 56,000 - 4400

So out of a total three year production of 178k 71-73 Cougars, only a little over 11k were convertibles. That 11k consists of both Standard and XR-7 models.

As with any convertible model, water leaks in and around the convertible top causing rust was the major enemy, so their survival rate is even less than the hardtops. Rust and unibody construction just don't go well together. We're talking cars that are almost 40 years old now. So what do you think is the total existing population of surviving 71-73 'verts? I'd venture that the number is well under a thousand, probably more like only a few hundred. Those that do exist are already in the hands of collectors. I mean you're not about to see one being used as a year-round daily driver any more, especially in wet/cold/rusty climates!

Of the 12-15 '71-73 Cats I've owned over they last 35 years, I only had two convertibles, both bought over 25 years ago. Even back then when they were only 10 years old they were rust buckets. I parted them both out. I regret parting out the Q-code 351C-4V '72 XR-7 vert to this day... It was one of only just over 300 built!

Now with all that said, you might luck into one coming on the market, but not very often. Inspect it very carefully for rust in the floors and inner rocker panels!
 

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You should have seen the '72 Standard 'vert listed in the local paper 25 years ago... 'Was Mint' said the ad... Yeah, maybe when it rolled off the production line! The quarters had been replaced (badly), the floors were gone, and the only thing holding the shock towers from total collapse was that they were leaning on the engine! There must have been 500 pounds of thick tar 'rustproofing' on that car, too!

Another '73 XR-7 'vert I looked at looked nice on the surface (fresh paint smell and all...) They were asking $4500. I reached under the car under the driver's door
and grabbed the inner rocker and squeezed - and crushed it. "What'd you do to my car?!?" screamed the woman... I walked away from that one... very quickly! Run Away!
 
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