10 Reasons Why The 1967 Mercury Cougar Is One Of The Coolest Pony Cars Ever

Going into the 1967 model year, Mercury was adrift. The mã sản phẩm line had devolved into pale, redecorated Fords with awkward names like “Park Lane” and “Montclair.” Maybe there was some excitement in the Comet Cyclone, but not that much. Then came the Cougar.

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While it was obviously a riff on the Mustang, it managed khổng lồ have its own vibe. Hidden headlights in front, a cabin stretched out over a 111-inch wheelbase (three inches longer than the Ford), và a tail with sequentially activated tail light segments, meant the oto looked naturally more elegant, more grown up and more sophisticated than the horse next door. Suddenly, Mercury seemed kind of relevant. & an astonishing 150,893 were sold that 1967 debut year. All were hardtops and 27,221 were high-end XR-7 models.

To put that 150,893 number in perspective, Mercury sold 122,169 full-size models – that’s Monterey, Montclair, Park Lane, & Marquis – across four names. That number drooped to 113,726 in 1968 and never recovered from there.

Mercury supported the Cougar’s launch with an aggressive assault on the SCCA Trans Am series that year led by Bud Moore with road racers Dan Gurney và Peter Revson doing most of the driving. All-star superstud Parnelli Jones and NASCAR’s David Pearson also jumped in occasionally. The Cougar team won four times. Once each with Gurney và Pearson and twice with Revson. However, Mustangs also won four times that year lớn take the manufacturers’ championship.


With such a stunning success, Mercury became “The Sign of the Cat” in advertising & promotions for years khổng lồ come. Lots of ads of fantastically dressed models out walking their exotic felines became an ongoing element of the Mercury sale aura. The Cougar growl ended every Mercury ad.

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And yes, that’s Farrah Fawcett in this commercial caressing the “glove soft vinyl” of the 1975 Cougar XR-7:

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Mercury overplayed its Cougar hand. The name was plastered on ever larger “personal luxury” cars in the 1970s. Was shrunken down oddly in 1980. And eventually was plastered all over Mercury’s mid-size line including the wagons. Kind of sad. The last Cougar was a slightly gooey replacement for the front-drive Ford Probe that was sold between 1999 & 2002. Mercury itself was offed by Ford in 2011.


This particular ’67 Cougar was spotted in the Hidden Valley neighborhood of Santa Barbara, California in late September. It’s just around the corner from where I grew up và a leap across the 101 freeway from where I live now. It’s not an XR-7, but it is original down to lớn the hubcaps & the yellow-on-black six-digit California license plates.

It would be tragic if someone restored it.

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John Pearley HuffmanSenior EditorJohn Pearley Huffman has been writing about cars since 1990 và is getting okay at it.