Mercury in the Earth is a valuable element and a great discovery of the outer space. Amazing isn't it? Yet, what we are talking here is not about either of that two. What we are referring to is a vehicle brand, the Mercury. This name was sold with the Ford Motor Company's Lincoln-Mercury Division, which after generations have created its own popular identity, almost independent from its maker.
Under this renowned name is an automobile called Mercury Cougar. Like other Mercury vehicles, the Cougar's basic platforms are based from Ford models. The Mercury Cougar parts were have taken their values originally from Ford Mustang, later from Thunderbird, then finally from Contour. In 1967, Cougar had gotten into the market earning Motor Trend magazine's "Car of the Year" with the two trim packages luxury XR-7 and sporting GT. These first Mercury Cougars were witnessed to have offered unique design of full-width divided grille, better known as the electric shave grille with hidden headlamps and vertical bars on the front-end. The design of its rear, its license plate, sequential tail lights and grille works were based on the Thunderbird. XR-7 features wood-grained steering wheel and dash, full set of black-faced instruments and toggle switches, leather and vinyl seats overhead console, and T-type center transmission shifter. The GT on the other hand offered 6.4-liter engine, redefined suspension, improved tires and low-restriction exhaust system.
As a concept of personal luxury car in 1974, the vehicles incorporated higher level of Mercury Cougar parts to show seriousness with the intermediate personal luxury market. Its chassis embodies the larger body of Mercury Montego, Ford Torino and Ford Elite. And this time, the fascia was designed to boast three-piece grille and new Cougar head profile ornament, and became known for the "opera windows". In the next generation, Cougar became more popular with its modern electronics, digital instrumentation and trip computer functions, which during that time was very much advance. And in every change and evolution of vehicle trend and technology, the Mercury Cougar had undergone constant body transformation and Mercury Cougar parts upgrading.
Also with the change of trends, the Cougar sales continued to decline, compelling the company to take it out the business. Mercury Cougar existed for 35 years, 2002 as its last. And for its final year, Mercury launched an anniversary edition, for the commemoration of its 35th year in the industry.
Regular Maintenance for your Special Mercury Cougar
The Mercury Cougar is one of the most stylish classic cars there is. Not only is it stylish, it is also packed with power. Regular car maintenance is all it needs to keep it in perfect working condition. In maintaining your Mercury Cougar, you don't need to go the extra mile. Simple car maintenance tips are all it takes. Here are a few:
- Give your car a regular tune-up.
If you don't have your Mercury Cougar tuned up, you will have drivability problems. Your car will be hard to start up. It will use up more fuel than it normally would, without giving you optimal performance. These are just some of the problems you will experience with your car if it is poorly tuned up. However, these can be avoided if you follow the recommended car servicing schedule.
- Replace your engine oil and oil filter periodically.
Your Mercury Cougar's engine needs motor oil in order for it to run smoothly. It is highly recommended that you have the engine oil flushed and replaced with fresh and clean motor oil according to your owner's manual. If you do not replace the motor oil at the recommended replacement schedule, your engine might break down and get damaged. Damaged engine is very costly to repair and in some cases, the damage is already irreparable and the entire engine will be replaced. These costly damages will certainly be avoided by just replacing the oil at the right time.
When the motor oil of your Mercury Cougar is replaced, have your oil filter replaced as well. The oil filter prevents dirt and oil buildup from getting into the engine, thereby preventing damage on the engine parts. The oil filter will be clogged up eventually, so it needs to be changed periodically.
- Don't forget to check the tires all the time.
Your Mercury Cougar's tires should be checked regularly. The air pressure on all the tires must be checked weekly to avoid uneven and premature wearing out of the tires. It will also help in maximizing fuel economy. Have your tires aligned and balanced once a year to make sure that the tires will last longer. It will also improve handling of your vehicle. Check your tires' tread depth. The treads should be still deep enough so that they will maintain grip on the road while you are driving.
- Have your car battery checked at least annually.
Your Mercury Cougar's battery powers your car up. It stores the needed energy required to start up your vehicle and to keep the a/c running as well as all the other parts that need electrical power for it to work. Car batteries can give you a good 5 years, but it can be lower, depending on where you are. If you live on hot places, the batteries usually last shorter. It will also depend on how you use your car. Frequent short drives will lessen the battery life. Have the battery charged once a year to make sure that there is always electrical energy stored in it.
Mercury Cougar: The Sleek and Brawny Icon
Known as one of the truly great muscle cars, the sleek and easy gliding Mercury Cougar has swept the automobile market scene in its budding with its luxurious appeal and brawny engine. This performance icon has evolved through the years from muscle to charisma. Even with its stop in 2002, the Cougar remained an iconic vehicle of legendary status in power and class.
1967-1970: The charming brawn
First introduced as an upscale version of the Ford Mustang, the Mercury Cougar boasted a mature and luxury oriented styling while maintaining its reputation as a muscle car. Not only that, this performance car also featured a longer wheel base and was available in XR-7 and GT trims. By 1969, a coupe model was made available, and its appeal earned the fancy of drivers right away. This batch of charismatic Cougars would soon be the transition from muscle to luxury.
1971-1973: A shift to luxury
The second generation signaled the end of the muscle car era with new configurations leading to luxury and fuel economy. The plush pony Cougar is now made compact with a sportier look. While it received a major overhaul to be more luxury oriented, the revamped Cougar received a drop down in performance with only a standard 163hp engine.
1974-1976: Larger Cougar
With a more upsized Cougar frame, the big-block V8 engines were now specifically designed for torque instead of horsepower because of its heavier curb weight. Also, only the XR-7 trim of the third generation survived the end of the muscle and pony market.
1977-1979: Size change due to fuel crisis
Because of the fuel crisis, the manufacturers decided to lean to a larger and more personal-luxury oriented Cougar that mirrored the Ford Thunderbird. Despite this change of market, the automobile continued to sport the 302 V8 engine but with a decreased motor size.
1980-1982: Following the downsizing trend
The fifth generation of the Cougar featured a boxier and more angular look. This change of aesthetics, however, was not received well by the public. This giving in to the downsizing trend led to a noticeable decrease in the vehicle’s sales.
1983-1988: Back to the basics
Because of the last batch’s unpopularity, Mercury decided to offer only a two-door coupe Cougar. It featured an AMC Gremlin-style quarter windows, which were well loved by the consumers. By the end of the batch, a 20th Anniversary Edition package was offered with special configurations for the luxury coupe.
1989-1997: A sportier Cougar
The seventh generation highlighted with a sportier and larger redesign. Additionally, a squarer rear quarter windows, which no longer upswept were also equipped. Aside from the installation of new type of windows, the Cougar also received a longer wheelbase and a fully independent rear suspension for the first time.
1999-2002: Cougar’s end
The last generation of the Mercury Cougar was equipped with a contemporary package of DOHC four-valve engines, a fully independent multilink suspension, and a front-wheel drive. It was also the first and last generation to offer a hatchback Cougar. However, despite the package, the production of the Mercury Cougar was discontinued by 2002 in Ford’s restructuring plan.