Featured here is a 1967 Mercury Cougar. The first generation Mercury Cougars were produced from 1967 through 1970. The Mercury Cougar, when first introduced, gave Mercury its own “pony car”. The Cougar was placed between the Ford Mustang and the Ford Thunderbird. The Cougar became the performance model Mercury and attained great success.

1967 mercury cougar styling
1967 Mercury Cougar

The First Mercury Cougar

The development budget for the Mercury Cougar was modest. This was the reason that for 1967 only a two door hardtop was the only model offered. The two styles available in 67 were the Base and the XR-7. The XR-7 came with a wood trimmed steering wheel, a simulated wood grained dashboard, a full set of competition instruments and toggle switches, an overhead console, and a leather covered T-type center automatic transmission shifter. As for performance, the GT Performance Group option package was available for either the Base or XR-7 models. The Cougar GT Performance Group option came with a 390 cubic inch V-8 with 320 HP. In 1968 this was bumped up to 325 HP and higher.

The 1967 model, being the first year for the Cougar, was positioned between the Ford Thunderbird and Ford Mustang. What started as a Mercury version of Ford’s Mustang changed a lot over time.

mercury cougar gt performance groupThe Ford Motor Company really did not want to produce a direct competitor to the Mustang with it’s Mercury division. Instead, they wanted to create a more luxuriously trimmed Mustang with European flair. This story is somewhat similar to the first Thunderbird vs. Chevrolet’s Corvette.. Ford positioned the Thunderbird as a two seater sports car but with more creature comforts than the Corvette..

There are many who look at Mercury’s Cougar as the divisions version of the Mustang, but in reality they are very different automobiles. Cougar did offer all the same performance mechanics as the Mustang, but the Cougar was actually a very upscale car that was both larger and better appointed than the Mustang.

Mercury Cougar was in production from 1967 to 1997 and from 1999 to 2002. During this time a total of 2,972,784 Cougars were built making the model the highest selling automobile ever produced by the Mercury brand;

66 mercury cougar specs1967 Mercury Cougar Specifications

The 67 Cougar had as standard a 289 cubic inch V-8 engine. The 289 delivered 225 HP. Another available engine was the 390 cubic inch V-8 with 335 HP. There were two other 390’s available with 280 and 320 HP. For the 1968 model year Mercury took performance a step further with a 427 and 428 cubic inch V-8 with 390 and 335 HP respectively.

Transmissions included three and four speed manuals along with an automatic three speed Merc-O-Matic. The GT Performance Group Option required an optional transmission. This was a heavy duty 3-speed manual, 4-speed manual, or heavy duty C-6 3-speed automatic.

Brakes were four wheel hydraulic drums. The GT Performance Group option offered front disc brakes.

The GT Performance Group option used stiffer front and rear springs and heavy duty shock absorbers.

Dimensions include an overall length of 190.3 inches, width 71.2 inches, wheelbase 111.0 inches. Weight was about 3,140 lbs.

Additional related Auto Museum Online articles are on the links below…

1969 Mercury Cougar Convertible

1966 Pontiac Ventura

Reference material for this article includes…The Complete Book of Classic Ford and Mercury Muscle Cars: 1961-1973 by author Donald Farr...Mercury Cougar Muscle Portfolio 1967-1973 by R.M.Clarke…Ford Lincoln Mercury Archives.

The 1967 Mercury Cougar Collector Car

The 1967 Mercury Cougar was the first pony car produced by the Mercury Division of Ford Motor Company. You could describe the Cougar as not quite a Mustang, and not quite a Thunderbird. The relatively luxury interiors were something in between. Ford built 437,084 1967–70 Mercury Cougars. These represented the first generation and we would say the most popular generation. Motor Trend named the 67 Mercury Cougar the Car of the Year.

67 cougar performance optionAlthough Mercury Cougar first generation models cannot really be compared to the Mustang for a variety of reasons, these 1967-70  Cougars can bring surprisingly high prices at auctions. Where for 1967 the only models produced were two door hardtops, there were a small number of convertibles built for the 1969 and 1970 model years.

As of this writing, the 1967 Cougars are priced in a general range of about $14,000 to $30,000. A reasonable price to start a classic car collection. As always, the exact engine performance model, originality, mileage and condition will dictate value.

(Article and photos copyright Auto Museum Online)