(first posted 12/21/2012) There were plenty of reasons why Mercury failed, but the 1967-1968 Cougar certainly wasn’t one of them. Yes, there were a few others too, but the original Cougar clearly stands out. It was distinctively styled in a way that captured the essence of what it was trying to be: an American Jaguar.
I know that sounds like a bit of a stretch, but the name doesn’t exactly belie its intentions, eh? And what made that work is that the Cougar wasn’t actually imitating a Jag, but just going after what a Jag evoked: classy, comfortable sportiness. Thankfully, as there were no overt Jag styling cues anywhere on the exterior; the Cougar’s styling was unique and the most un-Ford just about ever. Given that it was essentially a re-skinned Mustang, one almost wouldn’t have known. The interior’s ambitions were a bit more obvious, especially in the XR-7, which featured one of the most Anglo-centric dash boards ever.
This XR-7 interior shot is not from our featured car, which is a more pedestrian version, despite the XR7 badge on the trunk. Call me a sucker, but in the fall of 1966 at the age of thirteen, this XR7 dash “board” impressed me just a wee bit. It was the first attempt by an American car at something Anglo like this. But I’d totally forgotten though what the console looked like until I found this picture; Ouch; talk about a cross-cultural mish-mash. Oh well; this was about the same time some Yank bought the original London Bridge, had it taken apart and reassembled in Arizona. He probably drove a Cougar XR7.
Our CC’s pedestrian base interior was still a half-way decent affair, especially in light of the dark vinyl-walnut appliqued caves that were to come in just a few years more. But it looks much more Mustang than Jag.
Even though the Cougar’s emphasis was on American elegance and a more refined and quiet ride than its Mustang stablemate, thanks to a three inch longer wheelbase and plenty of sound insulation, the big cat had a racy edge too, at least in its first year.
No less than Dan Gurney was hired to put a Cougar team in the Trans Am series, which was the nexus of the actual pony wars during those years. Despite a hell of an effort and four wins, the Cougars couldn’t touch Roger Penske’s Camaros.
If I’m skimming Cougar history too lightly, Aaron Severson at ateupwithmotor has a fine article about all things Cougar. It doesn’t happen very often, but I do disagree with him about the affect of the one-year Cougar TA racing effort. He says that the Cougar’s all-time high sales in its first year (150k) was the result of the racing effort, and implies that sales dropped in 1968 and subsequent years because of the Ford’s decision to kill the TA effort.
I’m going to guess that 90+% of 1967 Cougar buyers were utterly oblivious of what happened on the TA circuit, or that it even existed. TA racing didn’t really have that much of a following anyway, certainly not with typical Cougar buyers. They predictably were…your suburban next door neighbors, who were trying to one-up your 1966 Mustang.
For an extra two hundred bucks over the price of a Mustang, the brand new ’67 Cougar was dripping with cheap cachet and Safeway lot prestige. An instant recipe for success in suburbia…and what the hell is Trans Am anyway? Ford most likely killed the Cougar racing program precisely because they realized it had no relevance to its terrific initial success. And all the racing in the world wasn’t going to bail out the endless sales decline of the ever paunchier cats.
Yes, there were some hot GT-E models with 427s under the hood (unlike this 302), and the GTO-Judge imitator Eliminator. but their numbers sold were minuscule compared to Z-28 and SS396 Camaros and the various hot Mustangs, ‘Cudas and Challengers. The Cougar sold on its other qualities, which unfortunately were all too quickly watered down, and sales followed.
The ’67-68 Cougar had a sinewy body that showed off the highly toned cat muscles in an effective way. By 1969 (above), the Cougar’s newly found fat obscured the sinews. It lost much of its distinctive and crisp styling edge, gained very GM-esque hips, and its long blandification and decline was well underway. Any association with Jaguars, real or imagined, was over after 1968. I’ve often railed about how successful new American designs quickly get watered down and destroyed, and the Cougar is the poster cat of that. It was a sexy beast in its first two years, and after that it quickly became a cougar of another sort.
Saw a Cougar as a kid it must have been near new still LHD so may been embassy owned, got sucked in by the 123 turn signals, that looked pretty cool to a 9yr old
Don’t know if they’re sold over there, but Ford brought back the sequential turn signals for the current gen Mustang a couple of years ago.
I was 10 when these came out. Always thought they were beautiful. I didn’t know of T/A racing until ’68. The 69-70 Cougar was a step back, and forget about any after that.
Here’s a ’67 I spotted in Indianapolis in the spring, when all the babied old cars come out to play.
What a beauty.
The 1967-68 Cougar had so many great styling elements, starting with the matching front and rear end themes. Perhaps the greatest of them was the tailights. When these cars were common when I was a kid in the 1970s and early 1980s, I loved being stuck behind them at red lights, so that I could watch the sequential taillights at work. Discovering “In Her Majesty’s Secret Service” and the Diana Rigg connection sealed the car’s status as a style icon in my mind.
As an aside, I would be willing to bet that a large number of successful young professionals of the 1960s (proto-yuppies?) who later became household names owned Cougars, attracted by their upscale Mustang status. I once had a car conversation with a semi-retired gentleman who had served as FBI Director and CIA Director, and he spoke enthusiastically about his 1968 Cougar, purchased when he was a young lawyer, as one of his favorite cars of all time. There are probably many others who feel the same way.
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Back to our regularly-scheduled program:
I, too, loved the red Cougar Diana Rigg (I loved her, too!) drove in “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” – my favorite James Bond movie of all time. George Lazenby was, in my opinion, the greatest of the old Bond characters. Why? Because he added a lot of depth to his role in that movie, but I digress…
The very first Cougar I ever saw was a 1967 model. It was drop-dead gorgeous! It was dark green – weren’t 75% of them?
This was in a supermarket parking lot where we normally shopped. I was stunned by its beauty, and couldn’t take my eyes off it. Of course, I gave it a close look-see, and fortunately, it belonged to an employee, so I got to salivate over it every Friday evening when my parents shopped!
Immediately, this was the ONLY Mercury I would ever love, and had so much more class than the Mustang.
Now, having said that, the 1967 (and 1968) Mustang was my favorite of all the Mustangs, but my nomination(s) for 1967 would have to be the Camaro/Firebird cousins along with the Cougar and Mustang, which had finally grown up into a more solid car – in looks, anyway, and that’s what I’m judging – I couldn’t care less about performance – it’s how you look, after all…
I’ll go with the Camaro – just because it’s a Chevy ;-}
You can skip the “logging” in step completely and just hit Reply and then type in your username and email…your account and avatar will show up when you respond.
Like I’ve done.
I always liked the Cougars but I’d still rather have an Olds or Buick if I was going “premium”. And I’ve never been a big GM fan.
It’s there for me, Zack (bottom of right-hand sidebar content). Are you not seeing it?
Wow – Don’t feel bad Mr. Z, I never looked there either. Crap – I was hoping that my new thing to learn today might be more substantive. 🙂
Man, I missed it, too – never occurred to me to scroll down, logins are generally at the top. NOW I see it.
Well, I almost learned something new…oh, well…
LOL — I’m the third one admitting he missed it. I’ve been grumbling to myself all these months for nothing.
Back in 1973, in the employee parking lot where I parked, someone had a 67 Cougar in light yellow. It still was a beautiful car at 6 years old. I never knew who owned it, but in Western PA, I’d say the guy must have bought it from someone who used it sparingly.
There was also an old guy who still drove a Model A Ford black coupe to and from work. It was the only car he ever owned.
As far as Bond is concerned, George was the best. But the ending was just too sad for a Bond movie. As I grow older, I pass on sad stuff like that. Even the ridiculous violence, I’ll pass on today.
Wow, for $200 more than a Mustang, you got hidden headlights, full wheelcovers, sequential turn signals, and a standard 289 V8: what a deal! Until I was around 20 years old, the ’67-’70 Cougar was my ultimate dream car. I was obsessed with Cougars half of my life. I particularly loved the Cougar script that appeared on the ’69 model, and constantly practiced writing it while I was in school. Nearly everything I owned had “Cougar” scribbled across it.papers, notebooks, desks, walls, etc.
When I was fourteen or so & lived in Illinois, my father picked up a running ’67 Cougar for $500. It was about as base as a Cougar could get: red with black interior with the 289-2V engine and three-on-the-floor. Its only option was a bench seat. It was so rusted out that the shock towers had started to cave in and nobody would touch it. Before he gave up on it, he let me attempt removing the bumpers, grille, etc. so he could start painting it. I think I was able to remove one fender & part of the grille. Literally every bolt snapped off. I knew nothing about cars then but had a feeling I was wrenching on a lost cause.
He bought an almost as equally rusted forest green non-running ’67 XR7 GT…why…I don’t know because he didn’t know the mechanics…just the
bondobodywork. That one had tan leather since it was an XR7, 289-4V, FMX transmission, console clock, chrome wheels, & AM/Stereo 8-track radio.
Both cars were gone one day so he evidently found a buyer for them.
Anyway, I actually prefer the non-XR7 Cougar dashes despite the Lach-of-Tach. Maybe it’s because I detest British cars and the XR7 gauges reminded me of those cheap-looking instruments I remember seeing in those little MG-type things. The base instruments were more Mercury-like and ornate.
I disagree with the loss-of-Cougarness with the ’69 restyle. The ’69-’70 Cougars are my favorite in the same way the ’67-’68 Mustangs are my favorite Mustang….Ford perfected a great thing IMO….then things went south.
The 67-68 Cougar was uncommonly rust-prone in the midwest. By the time they were 7-8 years old, the rear quarter panels were like swiss cheese over the wheel arches. For some reason, the Mustangs never rusted there, only the Cougars.
Bear in mind that $200 in 1967 is like $1400 today!
Well, given that Ford charged $105.63 for the basic 289-2V (C-code) V8 on a ’67 Mustang and considering that the Cougar was somewhat plusher and quieter than a Mustang (more sound insulation, for one), the Cougar was really not a bad deal. Keep in mind that Chevrolet charged $105 and change for the Camaro Rally Sport which wasn’t anything more than concealed headlights and various identification pieces to tell people you’d bought the RS pack.
I owned a ’68 red Cougar with a white vinyl roof as my second car. Wow…I fell in love at first sight. It was three years old when I bought it. It was the XR-7 model, and I drove it all through high school and college.
Red leather interior, hidden headlights, sequential turn signals, all the dash switches and gauges and fake wood and the overhead console with low gas lights, door ajar lights, etc.
Mine was the favorite car for the college gang to ride back home in; I never had to ask for gas money from the other guys. I had a great aftermarket 8 track sound system everyone liked that had the 8 track door hidden in the radio dial. Always listened to the Jethro Tull coming home from college.
One of my favorite cars. Wish I could buy a new one just like the old one. Too bad Ford doesn’t do a retro Cougar based on the ’67-’68 year, but there’s no Mercury division anymore.
In 1971, my first year of college, a friend of mine had a 1967 Cougar XR7 GT. As I remember, “XR7” got you the leather interior, and the “GT” came with the hot 390 ci V8. It was light metallic green, with a black vinyl top, and a beautiful light beige leather interior. This car was very fast, as well as very classy and luxurious.
The following year, he felt that he had outgrown the muscle car thing, and he traded it for an almost new 914. I thought this was quite a mistake. Then, I rode with him up the Big Thompson Canyon to Estes Park, CO. He could easily take the corners at more than twice the suggested speed posted on the yellow signs. I think driving a “Porsche” scored him some extra points with the girls, too.
But, I’ll bet he would love to have that XR7 GT now.
We are just tripping down JPC memory lane this week. My high school best friend had a Jeep Dispatcher (yesterday) and a 68 Cougar (today). This was in around 1977-78. It was an early 68 with the 289 that never existed (at least according to all of the books in the parts stores). It was also quite rusty with horribly freeze-prone locks and latches in the doors. More than once my buddy had to tie the doors shut with rope after getting them open in sub-freezing weather. The drivers side door hinges were also quite sloppy.
The 289 in that car was a joy, so eager to scoot and the Thrush muffler made for a wonderful exhaust note. My buddy got lucky and someone (with insurance) rear ended him. He got the entire rear end repaired and painted, and it looked very good in medium metallic blue with a strange aftermarket white vinyl roof that only went 3/4 of the way forward and ended over the midpoint of the front doors.
The car eventually got hit again and sat for many years in his parents’ backyard. I think he eventually gave up on it. The 67-68 Cougar is a favorite of mine.
If it had a 289 it was a post-strike model. Ford was stuck by the UAW in the fall of ’67 and it lasted about 6 weeks. This monkey-wrenched thier product plans in many ways. WHen the lines got going again, there were shortages of everything, including engines. I guess they had more 289s than 302s lying around, so in they went.
I’d say Cougar is for sure Mercury’s “Greatest Hit”, but not “only”. The 1949 Merc is legendary, also. And the early 60’s Comet saved the line from going the way of Edsel.
Last hit was the Marquis/Grand Marquis, which out lasted full size Olds, Pontiac, DeSoto, and Plymouth competition. But, one car can’t keep a whole division afloat these days.
Love to see Dynacorn make reproduction bodies for the 67’s. Always liked that little storage bin under the radio with the slide up door…. A ’67 with a ’71 351C-4V swap would be ultimate
I will add though, that the big fat Cat that enthusiasts dislike, 1974-79, was a big hit with upper middle class buyers of the time. But, the flop was applying Cougar to replace Montego for mainline sedans, coupes and wagons for 1977.
The Aero 1983-88 and MN-12 Cougars were nice, but not as memorable as the original Pony Car ones.
Interesting that Paul mentions the dashboard, because that’s my only lasting memory of the ’67 or ’68 Cougar I drove briefly in, I think, 1974. It was high and hard to see over, and even though I was 17 and perhaps not fully grown, I think I was at least 5’10” and didn’t have that problem with other cars. I think the trailing edge was kicked up quite a bit above the bottom the front glass, and of course it was continuous across the full width of the interior unlike the Mustang. Nothing else memorable about that car, though the CJ429 Eliminator versions have stuck in my head as well. FWIW, I think the ’49 Mercury is more of a classic. There are a few pop and country songs about Mercuries, and I don’t think they refer to the Cougar.
“Wanna go get high? Mercury’s parked outside, under the lights”
I like the tail lights and how they work, but that color, whoa
My dad bought a turquoise 1967 Cougar in 1973 to spare a family heirloom 1950 Ford Custom from the ravages of Minnesota’s car-killing road salt. I recall it being a sporty car that felt well-built. It’s not fair to single out the Cougar for weight gain. The Mustang grew from quarter horse to Clydesdale between 1965-73, Plymouth’s Barracuda morphed into an Orca and AMC’s Javelin became a veritable ICBM. By 1970, both of GM’s Trans-Am themed pony card were packing too much displacement for the series.
The blue Cougar, to me, appears to be a 1970.
The houndstooth vinyl top signals that this is a Pauline Trigere “designer” Cougar.
From the little bits of information that I have found on these cars, the new owner received a houndstooth cape that matched the color of the car.
I would assume these are pretty rare cars. I have only seen a few examples of them on the internet.
Here is a picture of the interior of my 1970 “Trigere” Cougar.
When I lived in Kingman, AZ I used to go to Lake Havasu and walk the London Bridge. Seems out of place there, but still interesting.
My first car, in 1973, was a light-green 1968 Cougar with black vinyl interior and matching vinyl roof. It was the more pedestrian version. It was not a bad car at all, and it stayed in the family until, I think, around 1980. No air conditioning, however, and with the black vinyl absorbing all that Southern summer sun it was a bit of an oven.
My brother got a 1968 Cougar right after he got married; traded it on a 73 or 74 that he didn’t like as well.
My all time favorite car. Period.
In 1968, when it was time to replace our family’s Mercury Monterey, my dad and I went to Kroehle Lincoln Mercury in downtown Youngstown, Ohio to look for a new car. I saw a Mercury Cougar on the showroom floor and was in love. (I was all of 5 years old at the time) I still think my father was somewhat infatuated with the car too, but with three sons still at home, a car that small wouldn’t work. So, we came home with a Mercury Montego instead. From the family stories, apparently I was very cross with my father for not buying a Cougar. So, for a very long time as a child, every toy car that I received was a… Mercury Cougar.
About ten years later, my father consulted with me(!) to consider what to replace what was our third Mercury Montego. At the time the ‘new’ Cougars had replaced the Montego as the mid sized car. Even though we were in the thick of the disco era, there was simply no other choice in our minds. Unfortunately, my father passed before we could make the trip to the L-M dealer.
Even though I have had the opportunity, I have never owned a Cougar.
The 1967-68 Cougar was not Mercury’s only or greatest hit. As mentioned earlier, the 1949 Mercury was a huge hit that has had a greater impact on the auto enthusiast world than the Cougar. It has been popular with customizers, so much so that there seem to be more with chopped tops than restored originals. And it has been immortalized in song. Remember Bruce Springsteen’s line in “Cadillac Ranch,” referring to the car in Rebel without a Cause: “James Dean and his Mercury ’49”
Those sequential turn signals were such an incredible feature. As a kid I couldn’t wait to be be behind a Cougar at a red light. Even today I love to be behind a new Mustang to see them. I think the original Cougar was a beautiful car, and surely a hit for Mercury. But I also feel the 1977-79 Cougars were wildly popular as well and had to be a huge profit maker for Ford/Mercury. They were everywhere in the late 70’s – especially the blue/chamois edition that was such a hit – I remember that being the one to own.
A friend of the family had a beautiful ’79, loaded to the max. It was triple burgundy, power moonroof, alloy wheels, illuminated entry system, cornering lamps, you name it – I always told her I wanted that car when she sold it. She kept it in mint condition and put very few miles on it. She had it for about 10 years and then someone in her family needed a car and she gave it to them. It died a very painful death as the last time I saw it, it was an absolute mess. We hadn’t seen or spoken to her in many years and about 2 years ago I ran into her and mentioned the Cougar. She said she was sick over what happened to that car and wished I had gotten it instead. Oh well………what could have been!!
A similar situation occurred to me regarding a 71 Olds Cutlass. A guy I worked with (we were in our mid 20’s) had a metallic brown with leather interior coupe. It was decked out more like a Regency than a Cutlass. I told the guy to give me first chance when he sold it. He ended up coming to work with a new 75 gray Cutlass, equally decked out to the max. I asked him about the 71. He laughed and said the guy that bought it totalled the car a week later. The car had less than 10K on the clock.
When I voiced my disapproval that I wasn’t given the chance to buy it, he basically told me to “blow it out my a–.” I didn’t speak to the guy after that.
I don’t know why, but people have a tendency to rather have a stranger get a great car rather than someone they know.
I’ve been a long time fan of these since I was 9 when I saw a new 67 LimeFrost Green Cougar driven by a US airman near my Grandparents home. We always looked out for them during our American and Canadian holidays in the 60s and 70s.Fast forward 33 years and I had a boyfriend with a Black Cherry 68 302 4 barrel auto,it is still the American car I would love to own above all others.I loved the colour of the car and had my hair dyed to match it and found a matching nail polish,I liked the car more than him and we split after a few months.The 69 and later Cougars looked podgy and bloated compared to the sleek 67/68s,another case of got it right first time so let’s mess with it!
My brother had a ’68 Cougar with a three speed on the floor and 302 V8. Very sharp car. Plenty of power, plenty get up and go!!
Then he married and ditched the Cougar for a ’70 Ford Galaxy Sedan. At least the Galaxy had A/C. Can’t say much for the marriage……
To me Mercury’s greatest hit was the 1969-78 Mercury Marquis, I’ve thought Mercury found its niche in the upper medium luxury car market with that car.
Oh agree completely….beautiful cars! Also the 1968 Marquis with its own vinyl-covered roof styling.
Totally forgotten all about the 1967-68 Mercury Marquis’s! You’re right that they were really nice looking cars, I always felt that era of the Marquis’s were underrated and didn’t get enough attention that it truly deserved, were they more luxurious than the Park Lane of the same vintage?
OK– These Cougars are cool! (’67-68s; the later ones less and less so). I would have bought one new.
Interesting that you would make a connection to Jaguar. I never associated Cougars with Jaguars, but I do own a 2005 Jaguar S-Type. So following your train of thought, I guess it makes sense that I like these Cougars also.
Great Cougar ad:
That ad’s already shown. Here’s another–“Mercury: The Man’s Car!”
I have likely mentioned my 68 Cougar before. However, as the subject is the first gen Cougars, Mine was a 68 XR-7 In Black Cherry with a balck Oxford vinyl top and White leather bucket seat interior. Equipped with a 302 and 4 Bbl carb. and FMX automatic. thin line White walls with Mercury Wire Wheel covers. Also had the Am-8 track (soon changed out at the local CMC, and AC. It was sitting on the used car lot of Hilltop Lincoln Mercury on Page Ave. in the western suburbs of St. Louis a few miles form where I grew up. I was I need of another car as my 64 Cutlass had been broadsided the previous December, This would have been in early 71. It is my 1st choice if I had the chance to again have a car from my past.
Actually, the 1967 Bud Moore Cougar Trans-Am team out performed the Penske Camaro that year. The difference in the manufacturer championship (which was the only official championship in 1967) between champion Ford and second-place Mercury came down to a Mustang finishing second and a Cougar finishing third in the last race. Chevrolet finished third in the championship; the official standings are artificially close because only the best nine race results are counted.
As Paul suggests, Ford/Mercury probably pulled the plug on the Cougar team after 1967 because Cougar’s mini-Thunderbird image didn’t fit racing. Bud Moore was out of Trans-Am in 1968, then back as one of Ford’s factory backed Mustang teams in 1969. Moore was the only factory backed Mustang team in 1970.
The first generation Cougar was a beautiful car, something I’d seriously want to buy with my own money, circa 1968. It was the perfect car for me: compact, nice styling, good interior and excellent drivetrains.
I’m one of the few males in Canada who doesn’t like to drive huge vehicles. The successive generations of the Cougar got to gargantuan size, and they actually sold a lot of them. I’m seeing the same thing in today’s cars. They are still getting bigger. Bigger sure wasn’t better in the Cougar.
When I think of the Cougar, this and the last version are what I think of. Those in between, not so much.
I am another of those Canadians that don’t drive a F350, Suburban, or RAM. I drive a 2016 Forester XT and my wife is 6 months into a 2017 QX50. No big stuff for us, which is why I like this era of Cougar.
Honestly, the idea of making a more luxurious Mustang is such a great one, I’m surprised that Ford doesn’t make a version for Lincoln today.
Paul’s cat comparison is accurate, my friends cousin gave him a ’68 XR7 390 automatic around 1974. The car his cousin replaced it with was a ’63 XKE.
Ford hit a bullseye on the first gen Cougar. Seems like people just really like them, more then the sum of their Mustang parts. Sometimes the styling of a car just appeals to a lot of people in a memorable way.
I’ll take a ‘68 or ‘69 XR7 with what I hazily recall was a wood (-like) tambour door in the console. Classy and sporty, how can you lose? It’s sad how quickly L-M lost the thread of the Cougar’s styling after 1968.
And while these are iconic, spare a thought for the one-year-only ‘64 full-size coupes. A Silver Anniversary edition Park Lane Marauder with white buckets, please.
In 1989 I bought a very clean 68 Cougar from the original owner. It was lime gold, two-tone green interior with a big brushed aluminum console that swept into the dashboard. It wasn’t a hot rod though, all stock. I had no a/c so I decided to try to sell it and get something with a/c. One day I stopped at a little used car lot and the owner took interest in my car. He offered $5000 cash right there and I only paid $2300 for it so I made the deal. A few weeks later I drove by his place on the way home from work and noticed my old Cougar sitting in the lot looking heavily damaged all over. I stopped by and asked him about it. He said he changed the rims and someone didn’t tighten the lug nuts. He drove it like that and the wheels came off going around the corner and he rolled it a few times…. He wasn’t hurt at least but that pristine Cougar was totaled.
I’d absolutely love a ’67-’68 XR-7 with a smallblock v8, 4-speed, A/C, and no vinyl roof. The 1969 restyle was a mistake because of the flat grille (rectified for 1970) and the Buick-like side sweepspear.
My personal time machine. Everything in the glove compartment, the few things in the storage compartment to the Churchill body surfing fins in the trunk date back to 1970-73. At that point the Cougar became a fun car while other cars took over the daily duties to this day. I first sat in this car when I was 14 as my father was buying it off the show room floor.
The only picture of me next to the car. Circa 1974
I took a photo of one of these on a recent trip to Portland OR.
The subject car looks to be in decent condition.
Also, saw one on the road on my way to work in New London CT last year.
It was very exciting to get up behind it and see the sequential turn signals in action.
I have a 68 XR7 428 Cobra Jet with a C6 auto. Have owned it since 1973. Muscle cars were a dime a dozen back then because of gas crunch. Smoked many cars at the stop light drags. Most thought “here is some idiot who slapped a hood scoop on his mom’s Cougar and thinks he’s got a race car”. Left many in the dust. Can’t imagine what it would have done with todays tires. Those G60 Poly-Glas tires did smoke. The car was a bit of a stripper, power steering(what a pain), power brakes, no vinyl roof, H78-14 tires, hub caps, no posi-traction. Nice Maroon color, inside and outside. Am radio, leather interior.