Production Data

Mercury Cougar XR7-G Production Data

A total of 619 XR7-Gs were built.  The first ten XR7-Gs were factory show vehicles with DSO codes of 84.  A DSO code of 84 is listed in the company code list as “Home Office Reserve.”  This in itself does not automatically make a car with DSO 84 a factory show car. The DSO 84 code was also used for employee lease and purchase cars.  Cars intended for crash testing also received this code.  If you are considering purchase of an XR7-G beware of sellers’ claims of special status due to this code.

These first ten XR7-Gs were all equipped with the 390-2V engines and C6 automatic transmissions.  All received the sunroof and a 2.75 rear end ratio.  Three were painted Cardinal Red, three Black Cherry, two Saxony Yellow, and two Polar White.  They were manufactured well in advance of the balance of XR7-G production.

Cardinal Red
Black Cherry
Saxony Yellow
Polar White
Cardinal Red
Code T
Black Cherry
Code B
Saxony Yellow
Code W
Polar White
Code M

The Hertz XR7-Gs

The next 188 XR7-Gs were ordered by Hertz Corporation, which is not too surprising since Ford owned (and still owns) a controlling interest in Hertz.  The majority of these cars were delivered to Hertz under a lease agreement.  The Hertz XR7-Gs were rented from airports and train stations around the country for periods from six months to two years as part of the Hertz “Rent-a-Racer” program.  After Hertz replaced these cars, they were marketed at local Mercury and Ford dealers as “demos” or “executive program cars.”  Others were simply sold off the dealers’ used car lots.  Some buyers never knew that their car was a rental originally because the titles were never issued to Hertz in most cases.  I have seen original sales agreements showing mileage on the car at the time of sale as 1,500 miles and 13,000 miles.

Most, if not all, of the Hertz XR7-Gs should have received Rader aluminum wheels.  All the Hertz ordered vehicles were equipped with the 390 GT 4V engine, automatic transmission and 2.75:1 rear axle ratio.  All Hertz XR7-Gs also received the sunroof, power steering, air conditioning, disc brakes, and tilt away steering.  The Hertz Gs can easily be identified by their six digit DSO code–ending in 8050–on the driver door data plate.  (See XR7-G District Codes, below.)

Most other XR7-Gs produced received regular DSO designations.  There were, besides the Hertz cars, eleven specially ordered XR7-Gs which had six digit DSO codes on the driver door data plate.  The majority of these specially ordered cars were painted buyer specified exterior colors other than those available as regular options.

XR7-G Engines

The XR7-G could be ordered with any of the available 1968 Cougar engines, with the notable exception of the 289-2V and 427-4V.  The 289 was only available in standard (non-XR-7) Cougars and the 427 was only available in the Cougar GT-E.

XR7-G Engine Availability

6302 2V(Not Published)(Not Published)Low compression export only
F302 2V210 @ 4400295 @ 2400 
J302 4V235 @ 4800318 @ 3200Premium Fuel
S390 4V GT320 @ 4800427 @ 3200Premium Fuel
R428 4V CJ335 @ 5200440 @ 3400Ram Air
X390 2V280 @ 4400403 @ 2500Premium Fuel

XR7-G Transmissions

All of the available Cougar transmissions were installed in the XR7-G. Automatic transmissions came with a real wood shift handle that featured a gold plated running Cougar. The manual transmissions received a molded wood grain plastic knob with an engraved shift pattern.

XR7-G Transmission Availability

Data Plate CodeTransmission TypeTransmission
1ManualThree speed
5ManualFour speed
WAutomaticC4 (302 engines)
UAutomaticC6 (390 & 428 engines)

XR7-G Engine/Transmission Production Statistics

There have been several sets of production statistics over the years, which has led to some confusion and misunderstanding. The table below lists the latest and most accurate production figures from the original Ford production computer records. The engine designation code can be found in the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) as the fifth character. The transmission code is the last character in the door data plate.

XR7-G Engine/Transmission Production

 302 2V (6)302 2V (F)302 4V (J)390 2V (X)390 4V (S)428 4V (R)
C4 Auto (W)281140   
C6 Auto (U)   6229611
3 spd man (1) 1    
4 spd man (5) 36 143
Totals (by engine)2851466231014

XR7-G Rear Axle Ratios

There were two different rear axles used in 1968 XR7-G production. They are known by their ring gear diameter as the eight-inch or the nine-inch axle assembly. Most 302 equipped XR7-Gs received the eight-inch rear axle. All 390 equpped XR7-Gs received the heavy duty nine-inch rear axle. Cars equipped with the 428 4V CJ engine received a special version of the nine-inch axle with severe duty 31 spline axles and four pinion differential assembly. The term “locking” refers to FOMOCO’s factory limited slip device which applies torque to both wheels equally on acceleration.

XR7-G Rear Axle Availability

Data Plate CodeAxle TypeAxle Ratio

XR7-G District Sales Office (DSO) Codes

When an XR7-G was ordered, the order was placed by a Lincoln-Mercury dealer through an ordering district. Each district was assigned a code and the code for the district through which a car was ordered appeared on its data plate (located on the driver door). This indentification is referred to as the DSO code.

If the DSO code is one of the two digit numbers shown in the table below, the car was ordered with normal production options. If the car was ordered with special options–a non-Cougar paint color, for example–it received a six digit DSO code, consisting of the district identification in the first two digits, followed by a four digit special order reference code.

It is also known that all Hertz XR7-Gs had a four digit special order reference code of 8050. For example, a Hertz XR7-G ordered for delivery to Dallas, Texas would have a data tag DSO of 228050, and a Hertz G ordered for the Los Angles district would have a DSO of 528050.

XR7-G District Sales Office (DSO) Codes

DSO CodeDistrictDSO CodeDistrict
11Boston, MA41Chicago, IL
15New York City, NY42St. Louis, MO
16Philadelphia, PA46Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN
17Washington, DC51Denver, CO
21Atlanta, GA52Los Angeles, CA
22Dallas, TX53Oakland, CA
23Jacksonville, FL54Seattle, WA
26Memphis, TN84Home Office Reserve
31Buffalo, NY90-99Export (except Canada)
32Cincinnati, OHA2, A4, A6, etc.Export (Canada only)
33Cleveland, OHB4, B6, etc.Export (Canada only)
34Detroit, MI  
Notes: Some factory show cars had a DSO of 84. Most cars with DSO 84 were cars earmarked for sale or lease to an employee or contractor employed by FOMOCO. Beware of buyers claiming special status for this DSO code. Always check with the Registrar regarding an XR7-G’s status as a factory show car.

The production statistics on this page are copyrighted by Ford Motor Company. Information supplied by Ford Motor Company and Marti Auto Works.

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