72. Mercury Cougar 1967-1997, 199-2002 United States
Cougar is a diverse series of automobiles manufactured by the Mercury division of the Ford Motor Company spanning 8 generations over 4 decades. Originally debuting as a pony car in 1967, the Cougar shared its platform with several Ford models, as was common for the Mercury brand. Situated between a Ford Mustang and Ford Thunderbird, Mercury’s pony car was a performance icon. The original Cougar established the Mercury name. Available with either a two or four-barrel V8, the car had brawn and beauty. The exterior was purposely designed to appear more European in style to American buyers compared to the Ford Mustang. In 1974 the Cougar was redesigned as a personal luxury vehicle, shifting from pony car line to a platform shared by the Ford Torino. In 1997 Mercury halted production of Cougars. In 1999 Mercury introduced an 8th generation Cougar as a sports compact car, the model was not successful.