About Mercury Cougar
The Mercury Cougar is a series of cars sold by Ford's Mercury division from 1967 to 1997 and from 1999 to 2002. Although the name is most often associated with the two-door coupe model, the Mercury Cougar was also sold as a convertible, four-door sedan, station wagon, and hatchback during the various production periods. For most of its production life, it was a legacy of the Mercury division. It was marketed as the Ford equivalent. Models varied in appearance, from the grille and headlights to almost all bodywork. Throughout production, the model shared the platform with Ford cars. Lincoln-Mercury wanted to produce its own version of the vehicle. And it offered the 1962 T-5 model. Ford was initially skeptical of both models. But in mid-1964, a Mercury version was approved. And the Cougar's design was borrowed from the successful Ford Mustang.
The first generation is known internally as the T-7. It had the same chassis as the 1967 Ford Mustang. But it had a longer wheelbase than the Mustang and was 3 inches longer. The chassis of both cars was based on the RWD Ford Falcon Compact. Mercury introduced the Boss 302 V8 engine in the Mercury Cougar Eliminator on April 1, 1969. The four-cylinder version of the Boss 302 developed 290 hp on the road. The racing version with the engine officially developed 290 hp. The Boss 429 engine was mentioned as an option for the Cougar Eliminator in sales literature. The Cougar with the Boss 429 engine was never offered to the public. The two Cougar models with the stock Boss 429 hardtop were produced as factory race cars.
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The 1967 Mercury Cougar, originally a modified version of the Mustang, received its own bodywork but retained the popular Mustang proportions of a long hood and short body. The series was presented as "European" in design and equipment. It was the first Lincoln-Mercury car with hidden headlights. Its headlamps were equipped with dual vacuum motors, whose vacuum came from the engine and was stored in a reservoir under the headlamps. The removable windshield had a split "power bar" grille with a vertical chrome surface. The rear of the car was of a similar design, with dark glass hidden behind a vertically beveled surface. Additional lighting was standard. For 1970, its front end was further modified. A straight power grille with a vertical cross member was added. The new hood had a body-colored center section that contrasted with the center section. The Cougar received a new front bumper and updated front wings. The distinctive taillights were retained but modified, as were the sidelights. The relocation of the rear axle necessitated changing the length of the side panels and rear wings compared to the 1969 model, but these changes are not visually noticeable.
In 1971, Lincoln-Mercury launched the second-generation Mercury Cougar. The company compared the Cougar's design to GM's quartet of A-class coupes and prepared the model to compete with the Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme. Most of the Cougar's bodywork was shared with the Ford Mustang, but the Mercury Cougar moved away from the soft pony concept and adopted the characteristics of a sports and luxury car. The second-generation Cougar used a modified version of the first-generation chassis. The wheelbase was extended to 112.1 inches. Although the RWD chassis was greatly improved, it was still based on the Ford Falcon monocoque design. The series had front disc brakes and rear drum brakes, but in 1973 power brakes became standard equipment. Another change was the elimination of the 3-speed manual transmission in favor of a 3-speed automatic transmission. It was used for all engines. The 4-speed manual gearbox was rarely offered.