Mercury Cougar

2013-01-10 09:05:11

Mercury Cougar was a part of the Ford Motor Company’s brand Mercury that was produced from 1967 till 2002 and it represented diversity of automobile series. It was the icon of this brand advertised with big cats on leashes that were hold by female models in the beginning of 1970s.

Even though Cougar of the first generation used the basic platform of the Ford Mustang, its wheelbase differed, it was 76 mm longer. The gitter with vertical lines - that was sometimes called “electric razor” – was located on the whole area of frontage, thereby it concealed even the headlights. The taillights were also hidden, as well as the turn signals. The source of inspiration for it was the design of Thunderbird.
Besides the basic and luxury model XR-7 there was available only the one sporty coupe package that was called GT.  The passenger saloon of XR-7 was full of expensive wood trim, the gearshift of automatic transmission was T-shaped, and the seats were covered with leather. The GT package was supplied with a big 6.4 l Ford 390 cu engine, while the “luxury” 289th had a standard 4.7 l power plant. In addition, engineers upgraded the suspension for larger weight of the engine, thus it improved the steering response. This modification was also equipped with more powerful brakes, dual exhaust pipes and wide cross-section tires. The standard 289 cu unit had 200 hp (149 kW), while its “muscle brother” GT had 335 hp (250 kW) with 390 cu FE V8 block, equipped with four-barrel carburetor.
In early 1968 there were introduced a couple of engines to choose from: 302 cu (4.9 l) with capacity of 230 hp (172 kW), 428 cu (7.0 l) with engine output of 335 hp (250 kW) and 427 cu (7.0 l) with rating of 390 hp (291 kW). Moreover, the power of a standard 289th increased up to 210 hp (157 kW).

The third year of production brought some additions and corrections. 351 cu Windsor was added to the list of engines, and 427 cu unit was no longer produced. This time the most efficient package Eliminator made its debut, it was equipped with a 390 cu or 428 cu engine. This model was distinguished by a black gitter, special lines on the body, front and rear air spoilers and a hood scoop. The body was painted only with bright colors, like bright white, metallic blue, orange and bright yellow.
Cougar had used the Mustang platform for seven years, and it became the true and complete muscle car. However, it was constantly developing, gradually moving from performance to luxury and back. For instance, a designer Pauline Trigere used vinyl for the roof in 1970. In 1971 the hidden headlights disappeared, but the hidden wipers occurred. And between 1969-1973 years Cougars were offered with convertible body.

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