What factory build mistakes have you seen on Cougars?

Cougar enthusiasts, I wanted to hear from you on what ‘factory build’ mistakes you may have seen on Cougars over the years. I’m looking for true factory build errors, not errors made by a Mustang guy who is attempting to restore a Cougar for the first time.

I’ll get things started by relating 2 errors that I have seen within the last few months.

  1. VIN stampings on the shock towers on a 1970 Cougar. They should start with a “0” for 1970, but on this Cougar on both shock towers, the VIN stamping started with a 4. Obviously the car was not a 1974 Cougar!

  2. Missing XR7 C pillar emblem on a 1967 Cougar XR7. Recently picked up a new project car, and it was missing this emblem on the passenger side. The car had been repainted (no vinyl top), so I thought that someone had filled the holes, but to my surprise, the holes were not filled. The inner side of the roof skin showed the holes were never there from the factory. The driver’s side XR7 emblem was present, so this car left the factory with just one C pillar emblem. :open_mouth:

No rear side reflectors on a 1 owner original paint 68 GTE. Mustang Vin on a 68 dash with the correct vin placed squarley over it but not fastened, one rocker moulding on a 68. Something to do with the strike in 68? Maybe…

69 glue in windows and 69 / 70 wiring

69 XR7. The interior rear side panels never received any screws to hold them in place. Also the passenger side door panel never received a pull strap. There were no holes through the original material in any of these places.

I had a 69 Standard hard top that had 2 locations in the trunk for the spair tire J hook to be held in place. One it the correct location for a hard top under the package tray and one where a convertible would have one on edge of the right hand drop off. That one had had the hoop cut off.

It’s not a classic, but a friend had a mid-80s Thunderbird that had Cougar emblems on the front and Thunderbird on the back. Of course we called it the ‘Thunder Cat’.

Are you sure that extra J hook holder wasn’t for a space saver tire?

Seen a '67 390GT in a Ft. Worth, TX junk yard that had the “S” vin on the door tag but a “T” in the same spot on the VINs on the inner fenders.

Owned a 1967 390GT that had an “S” on the title and door tag but had a “C” in the same spot on the VINs on the inner fenders. I parted it out, the wrecking yard turned in the title to the state and crushed it after I stripped it of anything worth saving.

The space saver uses a bigger bracket that also holds the full bottle. So I am fairly sure.

Nothing that I would consider a “mistake.” But there were several design issues that I would consider mistakes.
I recall tearing my car down the first time when I was 15. Working together with my Dad, any time we’d come across something stupid my Dad would always quote the old campaign slogan:

“Ford’s Better Idea”

Old timers here will understand how long ago the time period was.

On my '68 standard, late July '68 San Jose build: RH only rocker panel molding installed (shouldn’t have any, base interior car), one Mustang/one Cougar kick panel, sloppy window sealer around the windshield. Rear seat belts installed incorrectly. Also, the dash fascia padding had two small screws helping to hold it on. I thought a previous owner had done this until I saw exactly the same thing on two other San Jose-built cars.

Must have been the Friday shift. :smiley:

My 68 standard San Jose November 67 build has a woodgrain steering wheel, 67 light switch knob, and had a remote mirror installed that had no interior handle installed. Also no vacuum cannister for factory tilt away column under the battery tray.

Mike, early '68 standards with the base interior were equipped with woodgrain steering wheels. This feature, along with rocker panel moldings and rear armrests, was deleted from cars with base interiors beginning approximately February 15th.

Dennis, Thanks, I didn’t know that. I love learning about these changes and details regarding how they built them and why.

Lots of pre drilled holes. Tilt in door jamb & canister holes under battery tray, but no tilt on Marti report. Parts & pieces left in the body( doors, quarters, on the floor.

P.S. The spare tire brackets:

You have me curious. Did they have different timing at the different plants? Mine was scheduled for January 30, 1968 (don’t have Marti report for actual date, but don’t think it’s more than a couple of days off), is a base interior C-code car and was built in Dearborn. The original rear interior panels didn’t come with arm rests and the steering wheel is non-woodgrain. It did come with rocker panel moldings, though. My understanding is the plain panels (and seats) started about the first of the year when they reintroduced the 289 2V with the “low grade” interior. Are you referring to the “original” base interior that was similar to the '67’s and sometimes referred to as the decor interior (although that’s probably not the correct terminology). Any insight would be great.

BTW, I really like your car. It’s equipped nearly identical to mine other than the original interior color.

They probably did have different timing at different plants. The base '68 interior, at the start of production, is the one with the horizontal Mustang style pleats on the seats, and the door panels without the “woven” inserts. Though different in detail, the '68 Décor interior is basically the same as the '67 standard interior. Little known fact is that rocker panel moldings became optional after their discontinuance as standard equipment – the price was $15.76 per official price lists beginning January 2, 1968.

So, early in '68, many standard cars with the base interior would have had the 302 (2V) engine before the change to the 289 (2V) was made standard in February.

And thank you for the kind words about my car!

More of a line miscommunication than a defect but mine was supposed to be built with a vinyl back window for export/lease but was built with the more common glass window. Someone on the line just said F-it and passed it on.

Yours still has the original top? Does it say “Corning Glass” in the corner?