The James Bond movie franchise may typically be associated with Aston Martin, but other brands have starred alongside them on screen, too.
One impressive example is heading to auction next month, having featured in the 1969 film On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.
Even if you have no interest in the world of James Bond, it still marks the chance to grab an extremely rare Mercury Cougar XR7.
Shaken, not stirred
Released in December 1969, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service was the only James Bond film to see George Lazenby play the role of agent 007.
Having to follow several impressive previous Bond performances by the late Sir Sean Connery would always be a tough call. It means Lazenby is often glossed over in movie history.
Fittingly, the Mercury Cougar had to play second fiddle to the attention grabbing Ford Mustang. However, collectors have made the luxurious pony car a desirable item today.
Welcome to Cougar Town
Eon Productions ordered three Mercury Cougar convertibles for filming duty, delivered in matching specification.
Power comes from the 428-cubic inch Cobra Jet V-8 engine, sending 335 horsepower and 440 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheels. A three-speed automatic transmission is in charge of handling all the power.
It is said to be one of only 127 Cougar XR7 convertibles built for 1969 with this engine combination.
Red paintwork contrasts with a black convertible. Red leather is on the inside, whilst the producers fitted a set of Kneissl skis on the custom luggage rack.
Who needs four-wheel drive, anyway?
Although a torque-heavy pony car may not seem like the obvious vehicle for a trip to ski slopes, the Cougar was given a special role in the film. It was driven by Bond’s love interest, Contessa Teresa ‘Tracy’ di Vicenzo, played by the late Diana Rigg.
The particular car up for sale was said to have been used in the famous ‘barn scene’ during the movie. Movie buffs will know this as where Bond proposes to di Vincenzo.
After filming, the Cougar passed through various owners, before appearing in a classified listing in the 1980s. The vendor purchased the car, and submitted it to a thorough ‘nut and bolt’ restoration.
After 30 years of maintenance, the Mercury is now said to be in concours condition.
‘An important piece of film history’
The Bonhams auction, fittingly titled as the ‘Bond Street Sale’ is set to be held in London, England on December 16th.
Along with being a rare and desirable example of an early Mercury Cougar, being a genuine movie prop pushes the price expectations even higher. Ahead of the sale, a price of between £100,000 to £150,000 ($133,000 to $200,000) has been estimated for the Cougar.
However, opportunities to purchase a Cobra Jet-powered Cougar XR7 are rare. Especially ones which starred on the silver screen.
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