Category Archives: The Cars

Cougar Eliminator

Mercury introduced the Eliminator in April 1969. The Eliminator came with a range of engines, from the Trans Am-inspired solid-lifter 302-cid small block to the 428-cid Cobra Jet big block.

© 2007 Publications International, Ltd.; Mercury Cougar received its first restyle for 1969, and Mercury answered the Boss 302 and Mach 1 Mustangs with the striped-and-spoilered Eliminator.
©: 2007 Publications International, Ltd. The 1969 Mercury Cougar Eliminator blended American muscle car attributes with an upscale European flair.

The 1969 Mercury Cougar Eliminator Specifications
Wheelbase, inches: 111.0
Weight, lbs: 3,780
Base price: $3,500

Top Available Engine
Type: ohv V-8
Displacement, cid: 428
Fuel system: 1 x 4 bbl.
Compression ratio: 10.6:1
Horsepower @ rpm: 335 @ 5200
Torque @ rpm: 440 @ 3400

Representative Performance
0-60 mph, sec: 5.6
1/4 mile, sec @ mph: 14.1 @ 103

Dan Gurney Special

Dan Gurney specials were produced for the 1967 and 1968 model years only. They were promoted by Dan Gurney who signed a sponsorship deal with Mercury for the 1967 Trans Am racing season. The DGS option included a chrome engine dress-up kit, “turbine wheel covers” and a sticker on the rear passenger (needs to be confirmed it was passenger side please) side window. The chrome engine dress up kit consisted of a chrome air cleaner lid, dipstick and valve covers. All of these items were available as dealer installed options for both model years and today the only real way to be sure of having a real DGS car is to get your Marti report from Marti Autoworks.

DGS Production Numbers

  • 1967 – 19,783
  • 1968 – 11,900

Please note: DGS cars are completely separate from XR7-Gs. The XR7 G is a different beast entirely. Where as the DGS was mainly a dress-up option the XR7-G cars are rare performance monsters. To this day there are still people who confuse the two designations.

1974 Cougar

1974–1976

For 1974, the Cougar was shifted from its Mustang, ponycar origins onto a new platform and into a new market as a personal luxury car. It now shared a chassis with the larger Mercury Montego/Ford Torino intermediates and was twinned up with the new Ford Elite. The wheelbase grew to 114 inches (2,896 mm) and became practically the only car to be upsized during the downsizing decade of the 1970s. These years marked the end of the “luxurious Mustang”, and the beginning of the Cougar’s move towards becoming a “junior Thunderbird” and eventually a sibling of the Thunderbird. TV commercials compared the Cougar to the Lincoln Continental Mark IV, the most notable featuring Farrah Fawcett in a 1975 TV ad.

The Cougar was being marketed as an intermediate-sized personal-luxury car to compete against GM’s Chevrolet Monte Carlo and Pontiac Grand Prix. Every GM division had an entry in this market by ’74 and the market was too large to ignore. The new Cougar paid homage to its smaller predecessor with a three-piece grille up front, topped by a new hood ornament which featured a side profile of a cougar’s head. This was a touch which would last until 1983. The car’s Montego heritage was fairly evident from the back, however. In between, it had acquired the sine qua non of the personal luxury car in the 1970s: opera windows. This body ran unchanged for three years, and during this period all Cougars were XR-7s.

The Cougar was also restyled inside due to the switch to the larger intermediate body but maintained the front fascia look from 1973 with a new styling feature including a rectangular opera window in the rear c-pillars. The Cougar also began to share the look of the Thunderbird and Continental Mark IV as the years progressed. The base model and convertible were dropped this year, but the XR-7 moniker soldiered on as the only model in the Cougar lineup.

Engine offerings from 1974 to 1976 included a standard 351 in³ V8 and optional power plants included the very rare Q-code 351 Cobra Jet V8(1974), plus 400 and 460 in³ V8s. The manual transmission was dropped in favor of the automatic.

Interior offerings during these three years included a standard bench seat with cloth or vinyl upholstery, an optional Twin-Comfort Lounge 60/40 bench seat with center armrest and cloth, vinyl or optional leather trim; or all-vinyl bucket seats with center console.

In 1975 the Cougar XR-7 continued to add more luxury features as it moved upscale. But with more features, the Cougar was gaining in weight as well. Compared to the 1967 version, the 1975 version weighed a full 1,000 lb (450 kg) more. Despite the added weight the buying public wanted the Cougar and sales figures reflected that fact. However for the performance fans, a high-performance rear axle and Traction-Lok differential continued to be on the option sheet. The standard engine continued to be the 148 hp (110 kW) 351 Windsor 2-barrel V8 with the 158 hp (118 kW) 400 2-barrel V8 and 216 hp (161 kW) 460 4-barrel V8 optional.

This Cougar entered its last year largely unchanged from 1975. There was a new body for the Cougar in 1977, so nothing else major was done to the Cougar this year. Only some minor trim pieces served to differentiate this year from last. Engines continued unchanged as well. The high performance axle and Traction-Lok differential were dropped this year. Twin Comfort Lounge reclining seats, with or without velour cloth trim, were the only major change for the interior, but it also showed how much the performance aspect of the Cougar had disappeared.

Total Production:

  • 1974 – 91,670
  • 1975 – 62,987
  • 1976 – 83,765

Wikipedia’s Mercury Cougar Wiki

1973 Cougar

Aside from minor grille and taillight changes, 1973 would be largely a carryover year for the Cougar, but it would mark the last year of the Mustang-based Cougar. In 1974, everything would change.

Power figures continued to change as new federal/EPA regulations began their stranglehold on the V8 engines. The new figures continued to fluctuate but engine options remained unchanged from 1972. The standard engine continued to be the 168 hp (125 kW) 351 Cleveland 2-barrel V8. Optional was the 264 hp (197 kW) 351 Cobra Jet V8. The following years changed to the Thunderbird/Torino chassis.

Total Production:

  • 1971 – 62,864
  • 1972 – 53,702
  • 1973 – 60,628

Wikipedia’s Mercury Cougar Wiki

1972 Cougar

1972 Mercury Cougar ConvertibleAccording to “Cougar by the numbers” (Book produced by Kevin Marti of Marti Autoworks) there were 69 Standard Q-code convertibles and 368 XR-7 Q-code convertibles built in the ’72 model year.

The climate had begun to change as the muscle car era ended. No longer able to use gross power numbers, the manufacturers had to use net power figures which dropped the once mighty figures down substantially. Engines were shuffled around a bit. They were now the standard 163 hp (122 kW) 351 Cleveland 2-barrel V8, 262 hp (195 kW) 351 Cleveland 4-barrel, 266 hp (198 kW) 351 4-barrel Cobra Jet V8. Other than that, the Cougar remained a carryover from 1971. Only minor trim details were changed in 1972. The big blocks were gone for 1972 and 1973. The days of the performance oriented muscle car were coming to an end.

Wikipedia’s Mercury Cougar Wiki

1971 Cougar

For 1971, the Cougar was completely restyled. Starting to move upmarket as a near-personal luxury car, the Cougar looked bigger, but actually weighed less and had only a one-inch-longer wheelbase than its predecessors (112 vs. 111 ).

The front end now featured four exposed headlights; the disappearing headlights were gone for good. The center grille piece, or cat’s nose, was now larger and more noticeable than ever.

The rear featured a semi-fastback with a “flying buttress” sail-panel.

However, the convertible returned as did the XR-7 as well as the GT package. The Eliminator package was gone forever, but the Ram Air option remained.

The engine lineup was shuffled slightly for 1971 as well. Now only three engines were offered—the standard 240 hp (179 kW) 351 Windsor 2-barrel V8, the 285 hp (213 kW) 351 Cleveland 4-barrel V8 and the 370 hp (276 kW) 429 Super Cobra Jet 4-barrel V8. However, the end of the muscle car era, which was caused by high insurance rates and rising gas prices, would spell the end of these high power engines.

Wikipedia’s Mercury Cougar Wiki

1969 Cougar

Packages available for the 1969 model year: Standard, Convertible, XR7, GT, Eliminator

The third year of production, 1969, brought several new additions to the Cougar lineup. A convertible model was now available in both standard and XR-7 trim. These highly anticipated soft tops proved quite popular and today are considered, by many, among the most desirable of the ’67-’70 production run.

Exterior-wise, the grille switched from vertical bars to horizontal bars, and a spoiler and a Ram Air induction hood scoop were added as options. A new performance package appeared and several disappeared. The XR-7G and the 7.0 L GT-E disappeared, but the 390 and 428 V8s remained. The 290 hp (216 kW) 351 Windsor V8 was added to the engine lineup.

The Eliminator performance package appeared for the first time. A standard 351 in 4-barrel V8 under the hood, with the 390 4-barrel V8, the 428CJ and the Boss 302 available as an option. The Eliminator was the new top of the line performance model of the Cougar lineup. It also featured a blacked-out grille, special side stripes, front and rear spoilers, optional Ram Air induction system, and a more performance tuned suspension and handling package. It also came in a variety of vibrant colors like White, Bright Blue Metallic, Competition Orange, and Bright Yellow.

Only 2 Cougars came with the Boss 429 V8, making them the rarest Cougars ever built.