I may have far more Chevrolet Corvettes (17) and Ford Mustangs (21) in my collection but the Mercury Cougar will always be special for me. It may have been the first American Muscle Car I was aware of, back in 1968 Matchbox had a Mercury Cougar and a Ford Mustang in their range,
The Mercury Cougar was closely related to the Ford Mustang, sharing the same basic platform. In the Ford Range it slotted between the Ford Mustang and the Ford Thunderbird, the Cougar was something of a plush pony car.
The Mercury Cougar may have been the first American Muscle car I was aware of. In the late sixties Matchbox introduced a Mercury Cougar and a Ford Mustang to its range. The lime green Cougar “Rat Rod” was “Made in England” in around 1971 and illustrates Matchbox response to the competition from Hot Wheels, sporting Superfast wheels and a hot rod design. The other Cougars are recent Hot Wheels‘ castings. The white one is a new casting for 2014 and looks fantastic with its black Engine cover and spoiler. I’d love to find a Regular Wheels Matchbox Mercury Cougar to go with these.
The lime green Matchbox Superfast “Rat Rod” (#62) marked the evolution of the Regular Wheels Mercury Cougar, the Superfast Wheels and exposed engine were Matchbox’s attempt to compete with Hot Wheels which had made a huge impact on the diecast market when they were launched in 1968. The station wagon in the picture is a Mercury Cougar Villager made by Matchbox in 1981. The silvery blue model with the black roof is a Hot Wheels model from 2001. The other four Mercury Cougars here are recent Hot Wheels editions. The orange, blue and white models being different castings of a ’68 Mercury Cougar and the turquoise model with the yellow flames is a model of the ’69 Mercury Cougar Eliminator.