This reproduction seal is actually a for a 1971 - 1973 Mustang with Ram Air. This is a suitable replacement for a driver or if you have a good used seal maybe you would like to preserve it by using this in its place. As our comparison pictures below will show this is a decent fit out of the box. To get an excellent fit you can cut the deal at the factory seam and remove 2 1/2" of material and then bond it back together using Permatex Instant Gel. The pictures below show an original seal taken from a 1970 XR7 with a 428 CJ. The original seal has been "flattened out" from use and is hard and faded.
The pictures here show what the seal will look like when you remove 2 1/2" of material and glue it back together.
The above picture is of an original seal installed on an original 1969-1970 mid-plate.
The original seal wraps around the bottom lip tighter and with a wider path.
The seal on the lower portion of the upper picture is the reproduction. Part of the reason the old seal looks thicker is that it has been compressed over the years and no longer will relax to its original form.
This is the hole that the vacuum line passes through on the backside of the seal. You will have to "recreate" this hole yourself as the reproduction does not have this hole.
The above picture shows the reproduction seal installed as seen from the bottom side.
The holes spaced at even intervals on the reproduction seal are designed to let air escape when you close the hood. These were not needed on the Cougar seal as the large hole for the vacuum hose to pass through on the backside accomplished that function. The picture above shows what the seal looks like when you do not remove 2 1/2" of material.
Look how "messy" the section where it is seamed together from the factory is on this original seal. Not all originals looked this bad...
The reproduction seal does not cover nearly as much surface of the bottom of the mid-plate as does the original. In summary, this is a functionally good substitute that does not look entirely out of place when installed. Not for the concours Cougar but rather an inexpensive solution for a very costly, hard to obtain part.