There are cat people and there are dog people, and then there’s the pan-animal that like ‘em both. Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Mercury is a cool cat, but will its newly lowered price still make you think it’s a dog?
The now defunct Olds brand once attempted to present a sassy new attitude by claiming in its promotions that it wasn’t “your father’s Oldsmobile.” That anti-patriarchal positioning didn’t fly with car buyers and of course today Olds is no more.
Buick has followed a similar path in reorienting its brand, introducing new cars that are smaller, sportier, and maybe even hipper than their ancestors. But really, if you’re going to buy something with a Buick badge on it you’re going to want a car that oozes down the road and coddles you in the trappings of traditional luxury. You want your grandfather’s Buick.
Yesterday’s 1996 Buick Riviera was literally somebody’s grandfather’s pride and joy, and it looked it in the pics. It’s two-grand asking also brought a lot of joy, as well as a solid 82% Nice Price win.
As I noted about that Buick yesterday, the class of personal coupes has over the years been supplanted by crossovers, and today there are vastly more high-waisted five door wagons than slinky and sinuous two-doors on the dealer lots. That means a lot of famous names have fallen by the wayside. Models like the Monte Carlo, Cutlass, Thunderbird, and today’s contender, the Cougar, can only be found in the annals of history… and here on NPOCP!
This 1999 Mercury Cougar represents from the nameplate’s last stand and being both FWD and of relatively diminutive proportions it is the odd duck, er… cat of the Cougar family. The eighth-generation Cougar shared its underwear with its Mercury Mystique sister, and hence the Ford Contour and relatedly Ford of Europe’s Mondeo.
The European ties continue with the styling. Long before Cadillac got edgy, but about the same time BMW was being Bangle-ized, Ford was flirting with what they called “New Edge” styling. That was evidenced in unexpected creases, hard lines, and intersecting elements that created an iconic styling dialog. That look was shared across the pond on cars like the Ford Puma and it finally started the company’s products to gel on a global scale.
This generation of Cougar isn’t just the nameplate’s first front-driver, it’s also the first Cougar with a hatch and the first to feature an available DOHC, 24-valve V6 engine. That optional six is present here, and that’s a Duratec 2.5-litre with SVO-esque mating snakes intakes and 170-bhp to its name. Next to that is Ford’s CD4E four-speed automatic undertaking shifting duties. And yes, a manual would be more fun, yada, yada, yada. There’s no mention in the ad as to how all those spinning and sliding bits all work, but as you’ll shortly see there hasn’t been much opportunity for them to wear out.
I can’t think of the last time I even saw one of these on the road, but I’ll bet you when I did that the headlights had fogged over as that’s what they all do. Well, all but this one. The lights on this medium blue car are clear as the coast, while the rest of the body appears equally up to snuff. Factory alloys underpin and look to have never met up with a curb.
The interior too shows little evidence of use. The only issue in here might be the passenger airbag lid which looks to have been installed with little thought to its alignment with the surrounding dash. There also appears to be a modern double DIN in there for your tunes.
How did this Cougar get here looking this good? Well, apparently it didn’t have far to go. Presently located in Calgary, Alberta, it only has 8,620 miles to its name.
If you’d like to add to those miles you’ll need to come up with $4,999.99—which I’m rounding up to five-grand. That’s in U.S. funds despite the car being Canadian, eh. That also represents a recent drop from $5,900 in its eBay listing.
What’s your take on this rare and low-mileage Cougar and that new low, low price? Is that a deal to let the cat out of the bag? Or, is even a low mileage FWD automatic Cougar just not worth that?
H/T to Miltec for the hookup!
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