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Mercury Cougar XR-7 from On Her Majesty's Secret Service for sale at Bonham's Bond Street Sale

17 November, 2020

A screen-used Mercury Cougar Convertible XR-7 seen in On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969) will be auctioned at Bonhams Bond Street sale on 16th December 2020.

The Mercury Cougar XR-7 from On Her Majesty's Secret Service for sale at Bonham's Bond Street Sale

The Mercury Cougar XR-7 from On Her Majesty's Secret Service for sale at Bonhams Bond Street Sale
photo © Bonhams

In the film, the car is driven by Countess Teresa "Tracy" di Vicenzo (played by Diana Rigg).

The Mercury Cougar XR-7 in On Her Majesty's Secret Service, driven by Tracy (Diana Rigg)

The Mercury Cougar XR-7 in On Her Majesty's Secret Service, driven by Tracy (Diana Rigg)
www.007magazine.co.uk

Tracy's car has Goodyear rally tires is registered in France, with licence plate 2318 TT 75 (75 is the département number for Paris).

While in Switzerland, the Mercury has ski racks with two pairs of Kneissl White Star skis mounted on it.

The Mercury Cougar XR-7 for sale at Bonhams Bond Street Sale comes with White Star skis, as in the film

The Mercury Cougar XR-7 for sale at Bonhams Bond Street Sale comes with White Star skis, as in the film
photo © Bonhams

In 1969 the filmmakers EON Productions procured three identical Cougars from Ford’s luxury division Mercury. Early research suggests that the example offered was used in the ‘barn scene’ when James Bond (George Lazenby) proposed to Tracy as they sheltered in the car from a blizzard.

mercury cougar interior red leather interior

The Mercury Cougar XR-7 has a red leather interior
photo © Bonhams

The Cougar was built on 6 February 1969 as a special order and was registered in the UK a week later. One of only 127 XR7 convertibles powered by the desirable Jet Ram V8 engine built in 1969, this example was finished with red paintwork, matching leather interior and steel wheels.

The Mercury Cougar XR-7 for sale at Bonhams Bond Street Sale, front

The Mercury Cougar XR-7 for sale at Bonhams Bond Street Sale
photo © Bonhams

This Mercury Cougar was in a far from red carpet condition when it was purchased by the vendor, initially for its engine, from an advertisement in the classified advertising magazine ‘Exchange and Mart’ in the late 1980s. Upon discovering the car’s illustrious past, he embarked on a ‘nut and bolt’ restoration, bringing the Cougar up to concours standard over a 30-year period.

Tim Schofield, Head of Department, Bonhams Motor Cars UK, said: “We’re delighted to offer this unique Cougar which is not only an important piece of film history but also a stunning example of a 1960s muscle car. We are sure it will leave the saleroom stirred if not shaken.”

The restored car is now in a superb condition.

The Mercury Cougar XR-7 for sale at Bonhams Bond Street Sale is in an immaculate condition

The Mercury Cougar XR-7 for sale at Bonhams Bond Street Sale is in an immaculate condition
photo © Bonhams

Two other cars were used for the filming, one was most probably destroyed while filming. Another car was owned privately by a collector in Sweden, and then purchased by The Ian Fleming Foundation. The car was first put on display at the National Motor Museum Beaulieu and since 2014 in the Bond In Motion exhibition in the London Film Museum at Covent Garden where you might have seen it.

The Mercury Cougar XR-7 from On Her Majesty's Secret Service for sale at Bonhams Bond Street Sale

The Mercury Cougar XR-7 from On Her Majesty's Secret Service for sale at Bonhams Bond Street Sale
photo © Bonhams

The Mercury Cougar now on offer is estimated to fetch £100,000-150,000 ($130,000-200,000 / €110,000-170,000) at the Bonhams auction.

Visit Bonhams for more information and bidding

Read more about the Mercury Cougar in On Her Majesty's Secret Service

 

With thanks to From Sweden With Love


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