Cooley On Cars
On the road: 1967 Mercury CougarBrian Cooley goes back to 1967 and looks at the features on the Mercury Cougar to show you just how far car tech has come in the last few decades.
It's Motor Trend's Car of the Year for 67. The man's car. Cougar. The cat is out of the bag. Let's see how Lincoln Mercury pronounces mustang. As we drive the all-new all-new Mercury Cougar. I check the deck. Well, Mercury's finally got their pony car, and yes, based very much on the mechanicals of the Mustang. But you're never gonna mistake the two on the road. In fact, the Cougar and the Mustang share no sheet metal. They have a different wheel base as well. This guy's 111 inch axle-to-axle [MUSIC] The Mustang is three inches shorter. Cougar devotes its extra length to longer, more compliant leaf springs, and a little more room for the legs in the back. Other unique identifiers are, of course, that Cougar face, what people are already calling the electric shaver front end with standard hidden headlights. Sequential tail lights in the back are standard as well. And Ford's offering an electric sunroof on Cougars, the first they've ever installed from the factory. Inside all Cougars is a sporting European-style cockpit. You've got a three-spoke sport wheel. This, by the way, has collapsible impact technology as well as a padded center hub for safety. On the left is your speedometer in the main pod. On the right, the other main pod, has not only a fuel cage, but also a temperature gauge and an oil pressure and amp light. [MUSIC] The center clock is optional. Climate control includes heater, standard. You can delete that if you like. Air conditioning is optional. [MUSIC] The turn signal, if you order a speed control, is going to have a knob on the end of it to actuate and disable it. Now, the entertainment options. Youre entry level rig is gonna be an AM radio with full transistorized chassis and. Five preset buttons. Step up from there with an AM stereo tape, all integrated. Or go to AM and FM radio, but then you lose the tape. [MUSIC] Clever little storage bin down here, with a roll-up kinda chrome piano top. Now most Cougars are going to ship with a C3 automatic, that's a three-speed automatic, plus reverse, with a chrome T-handle shifter right here. There's also a three on the tree manual, it's going to be pretty rare, in the middle is going to be the four speed, four on the floor manual gearbox. Now the XR7 which we don't have here would add gauges across the center of the dash here, you'll also get some toggle switches, a roof console, leather and vinyl upholstery. We have all vinyl in this. In this vehicle. Now, speaking of safety, the '67 cougar has a full padded dash, padded pillar over here, and a breakaway rearview mirror. Headrests remain optional however. [MUSIC] In that same place, you might instead choose to hang a television. From the dealer, you can get a nine inch black and white Philco TV with custom made hooks that hang right over the back of the seat for your rear seat passengers. Seat belt includes a tongue side retractor, standard on all four positions around the car. [MUSIC] Another big differentiator between Cougar and Mustang lies under the hood. These guys do not come with any kind of a six. They're all V-8s. The most popular is gonna be this one here, the 289 two-barrel. [MUSIC] Good for 200 horsepower, 282 foot pounds of torque. Zero to 60 according to Motor Trend is about 11 seconds for a car that weighs a tick over 3,000 pounds. Observed MPG just under 16. You can also get this engine with dual exhaust, a four barrel carb and a 9.8:1 compression ratio. And that gives you 225 horsepower. Or just go all the way with a 390 cubic inch engine in the Cougar GT. That's good for 320 horse. [MUSIC] Lincoln Mercury's not kidding when they say this car has some of that Lincoln fine car touch. It maybe good marketing copy but it's actually. Relatively true and quite a bit quieter car. In general, it comes out to be a more sedate sounding and a little less tautly sprung Mustang. That also means high marks for the base engine. This 289 two barrel's a winning runner. You really feel that hefty bias toward torque at 282 [UNKNOWN] And because we have the optionally added dealer installed. Shelby-style exhaust give it a good note. The only sour note in our car is the fact that we do not have the optional power disc brakes. We have unassisted four-wheel drums. They're adequate, but coming down a road of uneven pavement and having to make a relatively. [INAUDIBLE] hard stop, you need to hang on and try and guess which way it's gonna pull. [MUSIC] Okay, let's price our Cougar. The base car, as I mentioned, has a V-8, the 289 two-barrel, and configured thusly we're just under $3,000. Now come a number of options. Emission controls are $50.64. Our automatic transmission just under $207. [MUSIC] Power steering, 95. That sports console's $57. We have the AM radio at 60 bucks, but I'm intrigued by the AM Stereo-Sonic tape at $188.50. More of that European sports car look for just $84. That gets you the vinyl Oxford roof. All in, our test car with some of those features, but not all of them, was $3650 and change. [MUSIC] The Cougar lies somewhere between Mustang and Thunderbird. It brings a more compliant ride and also a quieter ride, thanks to over a hundred pounds more sound deadening than a Mustang. It fits somewhere in the range of the person who wants a more of a GT than a sports car, with that European [MUSIC] More cars driven CNET style. Standing by on CNETOnCars.com click ON THE ROAD. [MUSIC]