I was positive this was a Ford product when I first spotted it in the parking lot of Fry’s at 19th and Union Hills. But as I walked closer to it, I began to doubt myself when I noticed the wreath on the back.
After I got a little bit closer I realized it was a Ford vehicle after all. One that I am pretty sure I haven’t seen before. I mean, yeah it resembles a Thunderbird from that time period, but something just looks odd about it. Apparently, the XR7 models like this one had special louvers on the side windows in an attempt to make people mentally associate the car with the Lincoln Mark V more so than the Thunderbird. The decorations do a pretty good job, the car looks a lot meaner and more interesting than a Thunderbird.
Of course, since it was the late 70s, the car was slower than a glacier of frozen piss. The only engine offerings I can find any mention of were a 302, a 351m, or a 400m with 134, 161, and 173hp, respectively. No, I’m not kidding. 134 horsepower in a car with a curb weight of right around 3,900 pounds. And you thought the “frozen piss” comment was a little bit uncalled for at first, didn’t you?
So yeah, maybe the car wasn’t all that fast from the factory. And maybe it’s not quite up to the mobster-sized proportions of the Mark V, but it’s definitely still something unique. If it were mine, I’d probably just pop the hubcaps off, cut the springs, scrape off the vinyl, and drop a Cleveland motor into it, but it’s cool that someone is out there keeping it stock too, because you don’t ever see these any more. It’s the first one I’ve ever seen for sure.