"H.O. Smith"? Was the author just not fully informed as to the actual name of the
company that was about to take over production of the Shelbys in just a
DSO 8008 is not an actual DSO number. Pete Disher
suggests the author is actually referring to DSO 8D2508, which is the
8th DSO for 1968 model year cars.
"Coleman" is Don Coleman -
he was also referenced on these
A luxury Shelby Cougar?
Indeed! It was long-known that the 1968 Cougar XR-7G program was
initially assigned to Shelby, but this document taught us that Shelby
American (Los Angeles) was involved at least as early as the
spring of 1967. It also enlightens us that this performance cat was
originally going to be named the XR-7S ("S" for Shelby), and like its Mustang-based G.T.
sibling, the Cougar XR-7S was to receive fiberglass body styling modifications, including
fender extensions and a special hood to set it apart from
Ford's regular production Cougars [these may be what
item #5 of the VanAkin letter
references]. We've found other documentation
that tells us a 428 with dual 4bbl carburetion would be available on the
In October 1966, Ford stepped in
and took control over ordering and engineering at Shelby American. Six
months later in May 1967, Ford
decided to terminate the Shelby Program. By
the time the performance cat would have entered production, Shelby was
no more; the "S" suffix reference was dropped and the special 1968 Cougar
model was named the XR-7G ("G" for Gurney) -- after all, they already had
promotional pictures of Gurney posing with the XR-7S photographic car, and
they'd previously used his name for the Dan Gurney Special. The fiberglass
fender extension modifications and the European radio never made it to the production
models. We know at least one 'prototype' example of the XR-7S was built
and a second one built for Henry Ford II. The HF II's XR-7S still exists. Hopefully someday our continued and relentless research will
uncover some concept sketches of
the XR-7S -- that would be a great day!