What is it?

The Mercury Cougar was a series of vehicles marketed by Ford Motor Company and available between 1967 and 1997, and again from 1999 to 2002. Most of the models were two-door coupes, but a convertible, four-door sedan, station wagon, and hatchback were also available through the years.

When and where was it made?

The focus of this week’s Classic Ads series is the seventh generation of the Cougar. It was introduced in 1989 and was sold until 1997. Ford’s Ohio assembly plant produced more than 566,000 examples of the car. The last Ohio-built Mercury rolled off the assembly line on September 4, 1997, becoming the last-ever RWD Cougar..

1989-1997 Mercury Cougar


Why is it awesome?

By 1972, the muscle car era was rapidly dying, and Mercury decided to reposition its model as a personal luxury coupe. It shifted from its Mustang platform to a different and larger architecture. The seventh generation had almost nothing in common with its predecessor – according to some sources, only six parts from the construction of the car were carried over from 1988.

The chassis was borrowed from the Ford Thunderbird and provided smooth and comfortable ride. A multi-link rear suspension was adopted for the first time in the history of the Cougar, while the wheelbase was stretched by nine inches for additional rear leg room. All this made the Cougar one of the most comfortable coupes on the road.

Well, it wasn’t the prettiest model on the market, but it featured harmonic, well-balanced lines and traditional coupe proportions. In 1994, the Cougar was facelifted to receive new headlights and tail units, and, most importantly, a brand new interior design.

1989-1997 Mercury Cougar
1989-1997 Mercury Cougar

                                            (Interior of pre-facelift model (left) and facelift model)

Looking from the perspective of current car interiors, the 1994 Cougar was nothing special. But at the time it debuted, this was one of the few vehicles on the market with driver-oriented dashboard with rounded, stylish lines. Additionally, two airbags were part of the standard equipment, as well as steering wheel controls, digital climate control, and massive, super comfy seats.  

What’s so special about this ad?

Honestly, two things caught our attention. First – the animation at the beginning with the magically appearing dashboard around the model. Pretty cool for, the mid-90s, right? Second, the charismatic appearance of actress Kate Jackson.

More from the 'Classic Ads' series:


Gallery: 1989-1997 Mercury Cougar

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