50 Years of the Cat

Cougar_50thBased on the Mustang chassis (3 inch longer wheel-base), with European styling like the Jaguar, this American Cat was sporty and luxurious. In 1967, the first Mercury Cougar rolled off the assembly line and into icon history. Featuring a base-model and the luxury XR-7, the first generation Cougar also had a performance package, the GT. But what a magnificent car was the XR-7 with its simulated wood-grained dashboard, black faced instruments, toggle switches, overhead console, leather-vinyl upholstery, and more. So not only did the car have speed, but it had style, even with what people were calling the “electric shaver” front end grille.

67CougarMTThe 1967 Cougar was introduced with the music of Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass’ “The Work Song”, (Watch a rare video here), and was a success from its introduction and helped increase the sales figures for the Lincoln-Mercury Division in 1967. The Cougar was Motor Trend magazine’s car of the year for 1967.

Comfort and performance – that was the mantra. But let’s not forget the limited models, especially the Cougar XR7-G, named for Mercury road racer, Dan GurneyDanGurney. With add-ons such as a hood scoop, fog lamps, and hood pins, there were only 619 of these rare cars, and only 14 featured the powerful 428 CJ engine.

The Cougar was a Mercury icon for many years. We hope you were able to attend one of the 50th Anniversary shows this year. From all of us at Auto Krafters, Happy 5oth Birthday, Cougar!

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