Cohort Sighting: A Couple Of Cats – Downsizing Exemplified


It’s not often we get a Cohort submission of this sort, but AGuyInVancouver manage to spot and capture two Cougars in almost the same color, both in good shape, one pre-downsizing and the other, after.  The Cougar never reached the Thunderbird’s insane proportions, and as such, the ’77-’79 models didn’t embody the same perceived restraint as its Ford twin, but there was still a lot of room to make these personal coupes smaller and lighter.  As a result, the upcoming models would be based on the Fox, but those cars are not remembered fondly today.


I can’t say I can understand what the controversy is all about as far as the T-bird is concerned, but in the case of the Cougar, I get it; the 77-79 at the top of the page has a nice hardtop look that the T-bird, with its opera window in the B-pillar, lacked.  It’s an attractive car, and I never thought I’d hear myself say such a thing.  Equally surprising to everyone else is that I can’t look at this 1980ish successor with much scorn at all.  I’m sure that statement will evoke enough of that emotion to last our readers quite some time; it’s okay, I can handle it.


But really, am I that insane for thinking this way?  It was, after all, a series of very deliberate choices and actions which brought this car into being, so I can’t be the only person who understands replacing one rolling casket with a slightly smaller one.  It’s not that I think ol’ Bigbutt here is pretty, but it wasn’t exactly taking the place of a car like any of those in Don Andreina’s piece earlier today and I can’t help but like the ur-Fox chassis cars in any form.  Even with all the extended tail and hilarious roof, my eyes fixate on the front and center section.  Most of you therefore see an abomination, where I just see a dressed up Fairmont.  Speaking of dressed up, that Cavalier clone to the left of the Mercury actually looks quite fetching; perhaps I really am losing it.


I can sense some resentment over my viewpoint, so here’s the ol’ beauty again.  I could definitely see rolling around in this on a daily basis, slowly turning corners with a single finger on the wheel.  How the Cougar made the leap to this Garfield-inspired fat cat is beyond me, but like that comic (which coincidentally debuted in 1978), it was immensely popular, selling roughly 600,000 units over three years, many with the “sporty” XR7 package.  The smaller 1980-82?  Just about 210,000 units over the same period–a disaster, in other words.  Nevertheless, it’s the more hated car among these two which is in better shape, so someone clearly loved theirs (besides the Cougar and Sunbird below, note the Landcruiser and VW in the background; lucky shot!).  So let’s hear it CC; can anyone else admit to liking the cut down Cougar below?  Inquiring minds want to know.



Related reading:

Cohort Capsule: Mercury Cougar Sedan – Bob Barker Reminds You To Spay And Neuter

Car Lot Classic: 1980 Mercury Cougar XR-7 – That Very Common Dishonest Car – Yours For $2995; Hurry!

Curbside Classic: 1980 Ford Thunderbird – The Fabulous FUBAR Edition

Curbside Capsule: 1981 Mercury Cougar XR7 – Mercury Throws a Cutlass at the Cougar