It\'s a shame that Ford pulled the plug off its Mercury brand after 70 years of being known in the automotive industry. The marque ceased to exist on June 2, 2010 after producing a long list of vehicles and Mercury parts throughout its decades-long journey. Despite its departure in the automotive scene, Mercury left one particular model worth discussing today. Let\'s take a walk through memory lane and learn how the Mercury Cougar got into the spotlight.
Creating Ford\'s entry level luxury brand
Mercury was created in 1930 to serve as a brand which is a notch between Ford and its luxury marque Lincoln. Its first 8 years saw the production of around 17,000 units. The production figures escalated further in the next few years reaching 155,000 units. However, this was disrupted due to the Second World War. The American manufacturing force turned its attention to supporting the war machine through the first half of the 1940s. After the war, auto manufacturers rejuvenated themselves slowly. As for the Ford marques, they started churning out new models and components like Mercury parts. The post-war period up to the 1970s got Mercury flourishing along with other companies that also stepped up in the competition. But the recent development within the Blue Oval is meant to solidify the luxury marque Lincoln as it competes head on with the likes of Cadillac and Lexus. Throughout its stint, memorable models were built out of Mercury auto parts. But of course, we are here to celebrate the Cougar.
The Mercury Cougar was the marque\'s answer to the muscle car segment that induced adrenaline rush during the mid 1960s to the early 1970s. The Cougar actually shared same parts with its Ford counterpart, the Mustang. However, this luxury pony was a notch higher than the popular Blue Oval pony in terms of class and amenities. Despite the difference in positioning, the car was blessed with Mercury car parts as well as the engines that powered up the Mustang. Some of the engines that the customer could choose from the list were the following:
- The 351 Windsor V8 equipped with a four-barrel carburetor that powered both the Mustang Mach 1 and Torino. Conservatively speaking, the Windsor block was capable of 290 horses and 385 ft lbs of torque. But it got even more interesting when owners got playful with an x-pipe, aftermarket headers, bigger carburetor, and hotter cams.
- The 390 ci V8 engine that drove the Mustang GT390 crazy. Also equipped with a four-barrel carburetor, this baby gave out 320 horses and 427 ft lbs of torque.
- The Cobra Jet 428 with a four-barrel carburetor. This was the biggest engine fitted to the Cougar as a factory option. This engine combination gave the Cougar 335 horses and 440 ft lbs of torque. The engine was derived from the 428-4V Police Interceptor engines taken out from cop cars and fitted to the lighter Blue Oval coupes. It\'s really as good as it got. But because of its massive power, owners had to make sure that they had Mercury spare parts just in case things got nasty.
From these ratings, the Mercury Cougar definitely had a say during the height of the muscle car era. While not as abundant as the Mustangs, this car can still turn heads as it roll down the road.