1972 Mercury Cougar
2dr Hardtop Coupe
8-cyl. 351cid/164hp 2bbl
With an experienced team and a lot of data.
It’s tempting to say the Cougar was declawed in 1972, as stiffer emissions laws doomed the big powerful engines. The remaining 351 cid V-8 staggered along with an 8.6:1 compression ratio. With a two-barrel carburetor it generated just 164 bhp and even with a four-barrel carburetor you got only 262 bhp with an automatic transmission.
The GT package was available for a short time at the start of the year and for $115. 95 with a hood scoop, dual racing mirrors, full instruments, a higher rated rear axle and improved cooling system. Later it was replaced by the CJ Performance Package. This offered competition suspension with front and rear sway bars, an optional 4-speed as well as an auto transmission and dual exhaust, but it was only good for 266 bhp.
Sales fell to 53,702 units, divided into 23,731 base Hardtops and 26,802 XR-7 models. Base Convertible sales skidded to 1,240 units but XR-7 Convertible sales actually increased by 200 sales to 1,929. Sticker prices dropped. The base Hardtop started at $3,061, while the XR-7 cost $3,323. Base Convertible began at $3,370 and the ZR-7 was $3,547.
Mercury analyzed the options: 98.5% had automatic transmissions, 1% 3-speeds, 0.5% 4-speeds, 99.1% had power steering, 87.9% had power disc brakes, 83.5% tinted glass, 10.6% power windows, 5.7% had power seats and 81.2% air conditioning.
The paint range was still extensive, with 25 colors offered, though increasingly conservative in tone. Colors and codes were: Light Gray (1A), Black (1C), Bright Red (2B), Red (2E), Maroon (2J), Light Blue (3B), Medium Blue (3D), Competition Blue (3F), Dark Blue (3H), Bright Blue (3J), Blue Glamor (3K), Bright Green Gold (4B), Ivy Glamor (4C), Bright Lime Green (4E), Medium Lime (4F), Medium Green (4P), Dark Green (4Q), Light Green (4S), Light Pewter (5A), Medium Brown (5H), Ginger Glamor (5J), Tan (5L), Light Goldenrod (6B), Medium Yellow Gold (6C), Yellow (6D), Medium Bright Yellow (6E), Gold Glamor (6F), Gray Gold (6J), White (9A).
A total of 12 interior colors were offered, reportedly the same as 1971. They were Black, White, Medium Blue, Medium Green, Medium Ginger, Dark Ginger, Dark Red, Dark Tobacco, Light Gray, Medium Gray, Charcoal Black and Medium Vermillion. Vinyl tops were available in Black, White, Sandalwood, Buckskin, Dark Blue or Dark Green. Convertible tops were Black, White or Ford Blue.