A little over two years ago, in an article entitled “And in the Beginning,” we brought you the story of the 1967 Mercury Cougar Introduction Program, making the Program available in a PDF download. The response was mostly positive, but we did receive a number of complaints about the size of the entire file. We split the file into parts to make it easier to download, but it was not exactly what we call “convenient for viewing.”
By 1969 the pony car war was in full form. Every manufacturer had at least one model in the fray. Sales people had to know their enemies’ strengths and weaknesses. Lincoln Mercury wanted to make sure that they had the information they needed. A series of Competitive Product Comparison Booklets was created, each marked “Confidential.” But now the story can be told… See how the ’69 Mercury Cougar compared to Firebird 350, Camaro, Javelin SST, Barracuda, and even the Mustang Grande.
Ford may have stood for Total Performance on the race track in the ’60’s, but with the exception of a few purpose built Thnderbolt Fairlanes, Lightweight Galaxies, and 427 powered Comets, you would have been hard-pressed to win many street races against rat motor Chevy’s or Hemi-powered Mopars. Bob Tasca knew that winning on the track was good for Ford’s image, but losing on the street was bad for Ford sales. The Cobra Jet story tells the real tale behind how one dealer was able to light a fire under Ford management that changed everything.
Hairy–A car that is a potential performer; also, a difficult race course
The newest addition to our–hopefully–increasing library of classic Cougar literature and manuals is the 1969 Mercury Salesmen’s Newsletter. It’s packed full of information about the 1969 Lincoln-Mercury “muscle cars,” including the Cougar “Boss” 302 Eliminator and the Cyclone.
There is some really intriguing information here. For example, there is the comparison chart featuring the Cougar “Boss” 302 Eliminator, the Plymouth ‘Cuda 340, the Camaro Z/28, and the Mustang “Boss” 302.
You can also find some real entertainment–the Performance Terminology. “Hairy” is only the beginning. So whether your ride is a sponge, a stone, a honker or a gook wagon, you’ll find something of interest here.
In 1969, Cougar Leads the Way in New Features and Value
A completely new sculptured body, a lower, wider, and longer profile, a convertible version, a new roofline, ventless side windows, and an all-new “instrument and command” panel were some of the changes for the 1969 Mercury Cougar extolled in the brochure Lincoln-Mercury Cougar 1969: The Winner Leads the Way! featured here on Classic Cougar Community.
The brochure goes through all the new features for ’69 in detail, as well as listing some of the options available. It’s a must-see for any Cougar fan, and will probably leave the 1969 guys drooling and/or preening.
Luxury options, dimensions and specifications, and power options–even the ram air option for the 428-CJ are all listed. There is even a quiz on page 15 to test your Cougar knowledge!
In 1968, you only got a small portion, but it was still spaghetti
If you’ve never spent a Saturday afternoon trying to figure out which vacuum line goes where on that ’68 Cougar you bought from the guy who thought his vacuum system modifications would improve things, you’re very lucky.
The fact is, even Lincoln/Mercury’s technicians needed occasional help when it came to untangling the spaghetti-like mass of vacuum lines under the hood of the ’68 model line. In that battle, they had a special weapon at their disposal that you can now add to your personal Cougar arsenal: the 1968 Lincoln/Mercury Vacuum System Diagnostic Guide. And to make things easy, we’ve also made a handy PDF version that you can download and save to print out as needed.
Hopefully, they’ll make the spaghetti a little less frustrating.
Even then, they knew just how to play you. If the 1968 Mercury Cougar didn’t have you searching your couch cushions for pennies, the Dealer Guide would.
It’s 1968. You’re standing in front of the Lincoln-Mercury dealership. The gas station on the corner is in the midst of a “gas war” with a station down the street; premium is going for 19.9 cents a gallon. Your palms are sweaty. You take a deep breath and walk through the door of the dealership, telling the salesman who meets you at the door that you’re interested in a new Mercury Cougar.
Two hours later, he’s told you all he knows about the model on the showroom floor. He’s had to pry your fingers off the wheel at the end of a long test drive, and he can tell by the gleam in your eyes that he’s got you just where he wants you. He sits you down at his desk, and with a flourish, he produces…the Dealer Guide. A showroom model will no longer suffice. You’re ready to forfeit your soul for a custom-configured Cougar if they’d only show you where to sign.
In 1963, Ford provided its salesmen with this confidential booklet in order to give them the information they needed to sell Ford’s line of 427 high-performance engines.
The booklet includes details of the 427 high-performance engine line, suggested sales prospects and selling techniques, and, most importantly, specifications for the engines.
Whether you’re running a 427 in one of your rides or not, the booklet serves as a fascinating behind-the-curtain glimpse into Ford’s approach to marketing the venerable 427 as well as an intriguing view of a time when gas was cheap and size–in cubic inches–definitely mattered.