We’ve all had our fair share of movies and when it comes to flicks, actors and characters have often been the subject of discussion and praise. But every so often, cars steal the spotlight too and we’re not just talking about simple vehicles here. Think mean machines, vintage classics and even fictional remodels not even our time has seen. But of all the cars ever featured in the silver screen, one of the most celebrated and remembered is the 1967 Mercury Cougar.
But before we proceed with the movies, let’s get to know this muscle car a little bit better.
1967 Mercury Cougar
Known as Mercury’s very first and own pony car, it was a huge hit and no doubt a commercial success back in the day. The idea first came about in 1965 and it took a year to fully conceptualize, design and roll it out of production. The 1967 Mercury Cougar was made available in two models: the base and the XR-7, and two engines the 200 hp 289 cu in two-barrel V8 and the 335 hp 390 cu in four-barrel V8.
Known for being built on a hundred and eleven inch wheelbase, 3 inches longer than the Ford Mustang, it’s popular for its iconic and signature “electric shaver”: vertical bars and full-width split grilles that concealed the headlights and T-Bird sequential taillights. Apart from that, it also came with a two pod dash layout and console for the steering wheel, suspension bushings for a softer ride, coil springs mounted over the upper control A-arm, leaf springs, a simulated wood-grained dashboard, a full set of black-faced competition instruments and toggle switches, an overhead console, a T-type center automatic transmission shifter and vinyl or leather upholstery.
That was a mouthful, wasn’t it? So which classic movies featured this iconic and equally timeless car?
Walt Disney’s “Herbie Rides Again” in 1974 featured the Cougar. The flick was a sequel to “The Love Bug” released in 1968 which features a 1963 Volkswagen racing Beetle named Herbie as its titular character. Herbie was special in that it exhibits human emotions and qualities and has a mind of its own. One of the racing vehicles in the film was a 1967 Mercury Cougar.
Another flick worth mentioning is the 1972 classic crime-thriller film directed by Michael Winner titled “The Mechanic”. Starring Charles Bronson and Jan-Michael Vincent about a veteran hit man whose signature was making his targets appear as if they died in accidents, it shows how a professional killer and a stranger who befriends him and wants to be his protégée live a life of regret, suffering and lust for change. The 1967 Mercury Cougar was no doubt a scene stealer but this movie was most notable for its initial sixteen minutes of zero dialogue as Charles Bronson prepares to kill one of his targets.
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