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1973 Mercury Cougar

Illustration for article titled 1973 Mercury Cougar

Poor Cougar, always forgotten in the big shadow of its Mustang sibling! I found this car parked just down the street from the '61 Valiant of a couple weeks ago.

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By 1973, the Mustang and Cougar had become the Fat Elvis version of their former selves. The '73 Cougar weighed in at 3396 pounds, nearly 400 pounds more than the '67 model.

Illustration for article titled 1973 Mercury Cougar


But, like Fat Elvis, they still had some style. Vegas style, sure, but that counts too! The standard engine for the '73 Cougar was a 168-horse 351 Cleveland. However, a 254-horsepower Cobra Jet 351C was available, as was a 4-speed manual transmission.

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Did any other car have rear bodywork quite like this?

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This car could use some paint, but it's definitely a number of notches above beater status.

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Now that's a Mercury!

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Compare this Mercury's headlight area to that of the '71 Monterey we saw here a while back. It's true that Mercury had to make do with rebadged Fords, but the designers did what they could to make them stand out from their blue oval brethren.

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Illustration for article titled 1973 Mercury Cougar


The rear view looks almost Ranchero-esque.

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Cougars had the super-cool sequential turn-signals, which gave a sort of Vegas neon-style appearance to the car when turning. Of course, the system relied on a motor-driven control device that usually went bad within a couple years, but it was great that they did such a thing in the pre-digital-controller era.

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DISCUSSION

MarionCobretti
MarionCobretti

Two things: First, that's one nice Cougar, although as far as whether any car had rear bodywork quite like this, the buttresses seem sort of Jag XJS-ish. The next time I see an XJS owner, I'm going to try to convince him that the styling of his car was inspired by the Fat Elvis '73 Cougar, just to piss him off.

As for the other thing...

@imoody:

Ah, the P1800! That reminds me of my own DOTS story. My route home from work passes by a Steak and Shake, and it seems an impromptu small car show occurs there every Friday evening. Last week I had to stop because I saw something I'd never seen before—a P1800 roadster. After excitedly scurrying up to the owner and complimenting him on his car (which was being ignored by kids drooling over a Vette with a friggin' automatic), I found out that it was a conversion that had been done (rather well, I might add) for the previous owner by a coachbuilder in Salt Lake City. Next time I see this car, I'll get a picture or two.