Mercury Cougar Parts And Mercury Cougar Accessories
Sign up for email updates on the latest exclusive offers
The Mercury Cougar evokes memories that vary depending on when you first saw-and rode-this storied automobile. For baby boomers, the Cougar is a V8-powered pony car that went toe-to-toe with its upstart cousin, the Ford Mustang, while younger generations will remember the Cougar as a compact, highly maneuverable sport coupe. But regardless of its variations through the years, all of the Cougars share a common history under the Mercury nameplate.
The Mercury came out in the late 1960s as Mercury\'s attempt to compete with the Ford Mustang. Mustangs were all the rage during those years, and Mercury wanted a piece of the action. This resulted with the Lincoln-Mercury T-7 prototype, which was designed as an upscale version of the Mustang, in 1963. The T-7 eventually became a production project a year later and formally debuted in 1967 as the Mercury Cougar. It was marketed as the car that had the horsepower comparable to the pricey Ford Thunderbird coupe and the accessibility of the Mustang.
The first Cougars were equipped with a variety of V8 engines, soft rubber suspension bushings, heavy sound insulation, and the now-signature \"electric shaver\" look of the front and rear. These features helped the Cougar quickly become a critical and commercial success, comprising around 40% of Mercury\'s total sales in 1967 and winning various industry awards.
After considerable success, Mercury rolled out the second-generation of the Cougar in 1971. It was lighter, had a longer wheelbase, a redesigned fascia, and a smaller but more powerful selection of two- and four-barrel V8 engines. But what made the new Cougar stand out was its \"flying buttress\" rear sail panel, giving it a one-of-a-kind look amongst its competitors.
Despite these upgrades, however, the decline of the muscle car era in the 1970\'s took a toll on the second-generation Cougar. Cougar sales barely reached the high numbers of the 60\'s, while succeeding iterations swapped the big-blocked engines for more economical ones.
With consumer tastes rapidly shifting away from gas-guzzling pony cars in the 80\'s and 90\'s for more fuel-efficient vehicles, Mercury did a complete makeover of the sixth generation Cougar in 1982. The new Cougar swapped its blocky exterior for a more aerodynamic one, and did away with the sedan and station wagon versions in favor of a smaller sport coupe with a front-wheel-drive configuration.
After its release to the market, the Cougar showed great promise with its accurate handling, a well-designed and highly comfortable interior, a utilitarian body style, and a price that was less than other competing models of the time. However, the Cougar was unable to shake off its past amongst finicky buyers. Its design, while groundbreaking on its own, was quickly overshadowed by coupes made by other automakers. Faced with disappointing sales and an increasingly challenging market, Mercury finally pulled the plug on the Cougar nameplate in 2002.
While the Cougar had been phased out of production, Mercury Cougars can still be found roaming the streets. Early versions of the Cougar have also become attractive to collectors due to their close relationship with the Mustang.