Daily Features

STANDING IN THE SHADOW OF AUTOMOTIVE GIANTS: THE PONTIAC FIREBIRD AND MERCURY COUGAR

By on September 16, 2018

67

 

Mercury and Pontiac share a common bond in automotive history: both introduced pony cars in the 1960s that were Miss Congeniality cars by comparison to their Miss Universe stable mates (Chevy’s Camaro and Ford’s Mustang).

 

Mercury and Pontiac cultivated a reputation in the slightly-above-average-luxury car market and offered base models that were a notch above the Ford and Chevy base models.

 

Their upscale reputation worked against them when they introduced pony car models in time for the 1967 model year.

 

67COUG

 

The 1967 Mercury Cougar jumped into a pony car market that was already occupied by the Ford Mustang for three model years. In fact, the “pony car” nickname was already built around the Mustang legacy by the 1967 model year.

 

IMGP8984

 

It was a tough market for a Mercury-based pony car to crack when the Cougar was introduced because Mercury was new to the game and relied heavily upon its reputation as a luxury brand. The Cougar had hideaway headlights and a different style from the Mustang, but it looked like an overly upscale pony car in the opinion of many buyers.

 

news-002

 

Sales figures indicate Ford’s Mustang outsold Mercury’s Cougar (472,000 Mustangs sold compared to about 151,000 Cougars sold) in 1967. Despite the big difference, Mercury was happy with the numbers because the sales figures were larger than their own forecasts for the 1967 Cougar. However, a Cougar was never going to catch a Mustang in this race.

 

67COUG2-001

 

The luxury label was a liability to Cougar because the back nine of the Sixties was a brute force take-no-prisoners war in the muscle car world and few people viewed the Cougar as a contender in this battle. Ford fanatics already had the Mustang in their corner and this car was well on its way to beast mode in ’67.

 

IMGP7266

 

The Mercury Cougar offered a GT version with a 390 cubic inch engine option and a beefed-up suspension package that made it a legitimate street warrior- but it was still just a luxurious Mustang in the eyes of many car guys.

 

The Pontiac Firebird made its debut in 1967 at the same time as its famous GM relative: Chevy’s Camaro. The two GM pony cars may have hit their respective dealerships during the same model year but the Camaro was always the darling of the GM pony car guy world.

 

IMGP5351

 

The 1967 Camaro was a well-designed car with clean lines that were timeless in a big way. The 1967 Pontiac Firebird was designed to be different than a Camaro in terms of style and immediately became an acquired taste in pony car circles.

 

'67 FIRE

 

In other words, car guys either loved the ’67 Firebird or hated it-there was little middle ground in the General’s Poncho pony car debate.

 

The ‘67 Camaro’s cool new style made it a tough competitor for top stallion in GM’s pony car division and Firebird was unable to gain ground on its automotive stablemate over the years.

 

68

 

 

Total production numbers for the 1967 Pontiac Firebird was 82.560 vehicles; while the 1967 Camaro production numbers were substantially higher at 220,906 vehicles.

 

101_0536

 

The Firebird and Cougar have become Miss Congeniality also-rans to their own family’s Miss Universes (Camaro and Mustang) over the years in automotive circles.

The one-sided contest started in 1967 when both Firebird and Cougar made their debut in the pony car market and faced stiff competition from within their own ranks.   

    

BY: Jim Sutherland

 

Jim Sutherland is a veteran automotive writer whose work has been published by many major print and online publications. The list includes Calgary Herald, The Truth About Cars, Red Deer Advocate, RPM Magazine, Edmonton Journal, Montreal Gazette, Windsor Star, Vancouver Province, and Post Media Wheels Section. 

 

 

 

print
61878 Total Views 4 Views Today

About admin

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Facebook

Featured Ads

Rear View Mirror

june13-lenobarrett jackson 2013 154-002

JUNE 27, 2013: THE JAY LENO RUMOR–OR HOW TO GET PEOPLE TO ATTEND YOUR CAR EVENT

  The Godfather of car guys has to be Jay Leno; he even has an Italian heritage to qualify for godfatherhood.   Leno lives the dream of every car...

June 27, 2013 View more...

JULY 28, 2011 (AUGUST 2011) PLUM CRAZY ABOUT THIS PURPLE 1957 FARGO HALF TON

  We found this striking 1957 Fargo in a herd of vintage MoPar trucks at a Mopar car show.   Most of the herd was owned by the Scott...

July 28, 2011 View more...

DECEMBER 14, 2017: FIVE THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT CAR AUCTIONS

  Car auctions have become a TV hit thanks to extensive coverage over the last twenty years so auctions have been turned into show business.   They are run...

December 14, 2009 View more...

JUNE 7, 2009 MY STAR REVISITED JULY 2009-GETTING THERE IN A HURRY-1973 PONTIAC SUPERIOR COACH

Kelsey Landry saw a lot of action during his years as an EMT.   ‘He loved the job so much he coveted a vintage ambulance after his retirement from...

June 7, 2009 View more...

Most Viewed

My Star Showcase

MSCC Products and Services Showcase

These are all great businesses and they support MyStarCollector Car through their advertising  so we can continue to bring you our  insight into the old car hobby 365 days...

January 13, 2019 View more...

CLASSIC VEHICLES FOR SALE

EG AUCTIONS 12th ANNUAL CALGARY PREMIERE AUCTION–JUNE 21-23   Call to consign 888 296 0528 toll free Or email consign@egauctions.com Also we have 100 pieces of no reserve automobilia...

January 12, 2019 View more...

MSCC MARKET REPORT 2019

  MSCC MARKET REPORT 2019   Welcome to the MyStarCollectorCar Market Report.   This will be a regional look at prices for collector vehicles based on actual sales so...

August 3, 2017 View more...

JUNE 2019 CAR SHOWS AND EVENTS

  JUNE 2019 CAR SHOWS AND EVENTS     MAY 31-JUNE 2: THREE HILLS, AB Cruise Weekend   JUNE TBD: WINFIELD, AB Wheels in Winfield Show & Shine  ...

September 20, 2015 View more...

More At My Star

FATHER’S DAY WEEKEND WAS A CAR SHOW TRIPLE-HEADER HERE AT MYSTARCOLLECTORCAR

  There is nothing better than a car show here at MyStarCollectorCar-except for three car shows in two days.   The automotive trifecta began on Friday night in Red Deer, Alberta at the Michener Extendicare, then included Saturday shows at Cam Clark Fordin Airdrie, Alberta with the Alberta Mustang Association show, and concluded with the See More

Top 3 S197 Panhard Bars from AmericanMuscle Best-of Options for your 2005-2014 Mustang

  PAOLI, Pa. (June 12, 2019) – For all of the Mustang purists out there piloting their ‘Stang through a traditional live-axle rear end, AmericanMuscle’s (AM) Justin Dugan produced this ‘Best of’ video featuring three popular Panhard Bars for 2005-2014 S197 Mustangs. For those not in the know, an adjustable Panhard Bar is a vital See More

MSCC JUNE 14 FEATURE FIVE FOR FRIDAY: FIVE GOOD REASONS WHY SCHOOL IS NEVER OUT AT MYSTARCOLLECTORCAR

  It is not exactly a secret that MyStarCollectorCar has spent the past 10 years learning the ropes as Canada’s go-to online source for the car hobby.   Summer may be upon us-but school is always in session for MyStar because every day of every year is part of the learning curve when it comes See More

MSCC JUNE 12 “WHAT’S IT?” WEDNESDAY—THE CLUES FROM THE FRONT AND THE SIDE

  There’s a different strategy in play this week with “What’s It?” Wednesday because you get the full grille for the first clue.   Typically, the 2nd clue would be a taillight or some other shot form the back of the car but today you get a full side shot to solve the puzzle.   See More

Editor’s Picks

HISTORY ROAD 2019: COLD WAR MOTORS, A DORIS DAY CONNECTION— WE LOVE THIS CAR SHOW

  One of MyStarCollectorCar’s favorite events is History Road held in June every year at the famous Reynolds-Alberta Museum in Wetaskiwin, Alberta.   The museum runs with the big...

June 8, 2019 View more...

FLEX-A-LITE’S COLE QUINNELL EXPLAINS HOW YOUR RIDE CAN BEAT THE HEAT THIS SUMMER

  One of the biggest challenges faced by car guys is summer heat and its effect upon their beloved vehicles. In fact, the summer car show season can turn...

April 24, 2019 View more...

NOVEMBER 23, 2018 FEATURE FIVE FOR FRIDAY: FIVE QUESTIONS WITH EG AUCTION’S TODD SCHWINDT

  EG Auctions has been a player in the western Canadian car hobby for years and they’ve grown to the point where they have expanded into the U.S. market....

November 22, 2018 View more...

EG AUCTIONS 2019 Calgary Collector Car Auction June 22, 2019

  EG Auctions Is Proud To Present: Our 12th Annual Calgary Premier Collector Car Auction at the Grey Eagle Casino! SATURDAY MAIN EVENT June 22ND – 2019 INDOORS!!!! CONVENTION...

May 31, 2018 View more...

Car Shows and Events

FIVE QUESTIONS ABOUT ST ALBERT’S ROCK’N AUGUST

  St. Albert Rock’n August is one of the premiere events of the summer car show in Canada.   This is a massive event and it takes place over...

March 12, 2019
JULY 27, 2019 20th ANNUAL MICHENER ALLEN CLASSIC AND COLLECTOR CAR AUCTION

MICHENER-ALLEN AUCTIONS FEATURE: 1968 FIREBIRD 400 AT THE 20th ANNUAL COLLECTOR CAR AUCTION JULY 27, 2019     The best way to celebrate the 51st birthday of a classic...

June 19, 2017
JUNE 22, 2019 EG AUCTIONS PRESENTS THE 12th ANNUAL PREMIERE COLLECTOR CAR AUCTION AT THE GREY EAGLE CASINO

  COLLECTOR CAR AUCTIONS – CLASSIC CAR AUCTIONS EG Auctions Is Proud To Present: Our 12th Annual Calgary Premier Collector Car Auction at the Grey Eagle Casino! SATURDAY MAIN...

April 21, 2017
JUNE 2019 CAR SHOWS AND EVENTS

  JUNE 2019 CAR SHOWS AND EVENTS     MAY 31-JUNE 2: THREE HILLS, AB Cruise Weekend   JUNE TBD: WINFIELD, AB Wheels in Winfield Show & Shine  ...

September 20, 2015

Ads

Ads responsive