Love sports cars? Do you know when these arrived? Around fifty years ago, the fascination with 1968 Cougar cars wasn’t about big SUVs and innovative technology. During that time, American manufacturers introduced a number of huge and lively rides. As they had V8 engines and distinctive designs, muscle cars soon came to represent the 1960s and 1970s.
Car fans like you felt on top of the world as the number of amazing muscle vehicles increased. However, it was made simpler for manufacturers to make shortcuts throughout the production process. But certain names, like the 1968 Cougar, could never lose their charm.
In the following section, you will learn some great facts about Mercury 1968 Cougar.
Let’s get started:
About 1968 Cougar Mercury Cougar
The Cougar was built by the Lincoln-Motor Division of Ford Motor Company under the Mercury brand. It had little supply to the market but was a huge hit. They sold 150,000 cars in 1967, the year of its introduction, and more than 100,000 units the following year. It explained that America was prepared for this car already.
In 1967, Cougar was brought to the public in three different configurations – the basic, the GT, and the XR-7. Both the basic model and the XR-7 came with the GT. Lincoln-Mercury, therefore, declared that it was the best-equipped luxury sports vehicle money could buy in its 1967 advertisement after this car won Motor Trend’s Car of the Year award.
The 1967 Cougar was actually a Mustang featuring new metal sheets and a 3-inch larger wheelbase. They had bumpers that were faired in, hidden headlights, and Remington shaver grilles.
The inside section included a floor shift, center console, standard bucket seats, and a steering wheel with a walnut finish. The front and rear brakes can be operated independently using the dual hydraulic braking system.
The standard engine for the 1968 Cougar vehicles was 210 horsepower 302cid V8. A three-speed manual transmission was included as standard equipment, and a 230-brake version of the 428cid GT-E V8 with 335 horsepower was also available. Gradually, it changed from being a pony car to a muscle car.
Steel wheels, double hood scoops, quadruple exhausts, and heavy-duty suspension are a plus to the enormous engine. You now finally have a stylish vehicle with a series of rear lights like a Thunderbird.
Federally required side marker lights and front outboard shoulder belts were one of the unexpected changes made for the 1968 Cougar model year. All XR-7s and early standard Cougars came with a 302 cu (4.9 L), two-barrel V8 generating 210 hp (157 kW).
This year, three new engines arrived in the options list: a 230 horsepower (172 kW) four-barrel 302 cubic inch (4.9 L) V8, a 335 horsepower (250 kW) four-barrel 428 cubic inch (7.0 L), and a 390 horsepower (291 kW) four-barrel 427 cubic inch (7.0 L) V8.
Additionally, halfway through the model year, the base vehicles without the interior décor group gained the 289 cu in (4.7 L) engine as a standard feature.
What makes Cougar a special vehicle?
Let’s explore some facts that you will find interesting about this car.
Compels you to go on a race with the amped-up V8s
The 1968 Mercury Cougar is endowed with a great selection of gas-guzzling V8 engines. It is always ready to blow up and leave a trail of chaotic skid tracks. When the Ford Mustang initially hit the road, the Mercury Cougar of the first generation was also on the road.
Only the V8 engines were carried over from the previous model year, and there were no noticeable changes for the 1968 Cougar model. Ford offered two V8 engines, a 4.9-liter, and a 6.4-liter, with robust outputs of 210 and 280 horsepower, respectively.
There were also two additional powerful V8 engines with more alluring performance. The two top-of-the-line V8 engines could increase the overall output to 335 and 390 horsepower. That much power allowed the 1968 1968 Cougar Mercury Cougar to rule over the competitive world of muscle cars.
The huge engines were the perfect match for the conventional 3-speed manual, but the riders could also choose between a 4-speed manual and an automatic 3-speed. The harsh combination of powerful V8 engines, rear-wheel drive, and twin hood scoops provided a top speed of 105–130 mph, with a 0–60 mph acceleration time of 7–10 seconds.
The Mercury Cougar 1968 was given an edgy personality with unmatched maturity and style
Although Mercury used the same frame to build the first-generation Cougar, a greater wheelbase remained to highlight the differences. Well, this would definitely create some expectations in your mind.
But sadly, opposing your expectation, the additional 3 inches of wheelbase had literally no impact on the car’s handling and road manners. Due to its steel unique body design, the 1968 Mercury Cougar felt just as lively and energetic as Ford’s most popular pony car.
The 1960s market was booming, but the bottom of the bundle had very little to offer. The Mercury Cougar proved it is a highly capable muscle vehicle with superb cornering performance and agility on winding roads and difficult circumstances. The coil-spring suspension up front and leaf-spring suspension down back equally supported its outstanding performance.
The 1968 Mercury Cougar’s elegant personality resulted from its unparalleled maturity and style
Older auto enthusiasts needed beautiful muscle vehicles with a more mature character, while young people were wondering about the hip Ford Mustang and Chevy Camaro. That became a distinguishing feature of the Mercury Cougar, which debuted as a high-class muscle vehicle.
The Mercury Cougar stood out in the competition because of its excellent outward appearance. The 1968 Cougar’s willingness to lift the completion was confirmed when the body’s appearance and the firestone wide oval (E70-14) tires caught the eye.
Besides, the headlights’ vertical boards were a stylish addition that gave this car a lot of personality. They were indeed a part of the enormous chrome Remington shaver grille. The rear lights also shine through many steel bars.
The 1968 Mercury Cougar’s interior is still motivating us. The elegant black-faced gauges that are positioned beneath the walnut-colored steering wheel say it all, and the traditional bucket chairs were not even the subject of criticism. A compass, air vents, four toggle switches, and a tape player – you will see them all on the center console.
The 1968 Mercury Cougar, which debuted on the market as a 2-door hardtop and 2-door convertible, is offered in a variety of trims, and you can still have fun with this legendary icon. Its powerful engine and timeless design make it deserving of its place next to the most recognizable American muscle vehicles.
It entered the market in 2-door convertible and 2-door hardtop styles and gradually came in various trims. However, this well-known legend still offers a lot of entertainment. With its strong powertrain and a look that never seems to go out of trend, it deserves to be parked next to the most recognizable American muscle cars.
A few Things You Didn’t Know about the Mercury Cougar
Now, let’s know some facts about these cars that you might not know.
The Introductory Ad
The Mercury Cougar was introduced to the world as a lift-off from the Ford Mustang. As the Mustang was already a best-seller and marketed as a manly muscle car, Cougar did not want to be perceived as equally manly.
So, they released a 30-second TV commercial, which would have caused a stir and infuriated feminists in the modern era. The chorus finishes with the “meanest, most manly road animal yet” line, and a model wearing excessive makeup yells, “Cougar. Are you a real man?
Despite the cringe-worthy marketing, the Cougar was unquestionably a distinctive and lovely car, unlike anything, America had ever seen.
The Bestselling Mercury of All Times
A lot of cars carried the Cougar nameplate when they existed, and most of them were two-door vehicles. There were Mercury Cougar station wagons, hatchbacks, convertibles, and vans.
Around 3 million Mercury Cougars were sold at that time, and nearly 2,972,784 models were made then. But unfortunately, the number was quite low than sales of this vehicle, even though the Ford Pinto was blowing up the slight rear-end bumps.
All Mercury dealers had “The Sign of the Cat” hanging on their dealer signs, and the Cougar was still considered the best Mercury model. Mercury also adopted some other cat-inspired nameplates this time – Bobcat, Lynx, and Sable are some of those, and some of these designs were really successful.
The Most Powerful Of Them All The 1968 GT-E was one of the most powerful Cougar of them all. It was a tough beast that would take roughly $4,300 out of the wallet back then, which was $1,311 more than the Cougar’s standard price. It had the biggest engine that no Mustang has ever received.
The 7.0-liter Big-Block V8 that produced a whopping 390 horsepower was installed in 357 1968 Mercury Cougar GT-E models. Although it had fewer horsepower than the Ford V8 option, another 37 were given the choice of the 428 Cobra Jet either with or without Ram Air. Despite these two fantastic power-loaded models, the desire for Cougars seemed to decline in 1968.
The 1967-70 Cougars Remained Class Favorites
Between 1967 and 1997, the Cougar nameplate was used for a full 30 years before it retired temporarily.
The Cougar’s best-selling year was 1978, with over 213,000 automobiles leaving a bunch of satisfied owners. However, the first three years are particularly special in the classic automobile market. In fact, 143 of the 203 cars were displayed at the Cougar Club of America (CCOA)’s 50th anniversary, which was 1967–1970 models.
A Legacy Left Unturned
Although the Cougar was produced for 34 years in total, its first five years were its most defining years, even though 1978 had the highest number of Cougar sales. The Cougar also lost some of its focus at the same time the oil restraint was effective, and cars started to shed muscle in favor of fat or luxury if you prefer.
With the release of the Mustang II in 1974, the Ford Mustang began a disillusioning phase. Similarly, the Cougar started to adopt the Torino platform and was promoted as a high-end car. The Cougar also fought its way back, and its amazing performance is thought to be the reason for that time’s economic downturn.
The 1968 cougar might have gone through a lot of controversies, but it is still one of the best-performing cars of all time. None of the controversies were able to pull it back. Instead, it gradually became a favorite among the riders. Include this amazing vehicle in your collection if your mind is also blown away by its splendid beauty and great performance.