Are you a Mercury man?

Mercury Cougar.
Mercury Cougar.

In the US, automakers competed directly with each other in various niche markets, and even competing with itself. Take Ford and its Mustang, the first of the ‘pony’ cars, where three years after the Mustang Ford released its own Mercury Cougar.

Where the Mustang was considered a compact, the Cougar was a big car, and Ford regarded the Cougar as a bigger pony car. Amazingly, a niche.

With a choice of engines (4.7 liters through to 7 liters), a niche within a niche formed and the Cougar generated a strong following. The performance wasn’t all that brilliant, zero to 100 kph in 7.7 seconds and a top speed of 170 kph, about the same as today’s shopping trollies. But Cougar made a statement during its life (1967-1973) and still draws attention even today.

Locally, most of the 60’s – 70’s American iron were brought over by GI’s stationed at U-Tapao or Ubon Ratchathani and were left here when the US pulled out of the Vietnam contretemps.

There are a couple of Cougars in Pattaya, one a restoration in progress, and still has the original 351 engine, the Isuzu diesel being an engine found in many of the large Americans, but this one escaped.