Cougar Club of America
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1968 Cougar 500                                                                                                                                                                                 Phil Parcells         2-27-15   Not much is known about the 1968 Cougar 500. It appears to have been a regional dealer promotion in the Atlanta and Washington DC districts. They have 1968 Cougar script on the rear quarters followed by block 500 letters from the 1968 Ford Custom 500, then a 64-67 Cyclone checkered flag. The part numbers of the flags are: C7GY-16300-A (RH) and C7GY-16301-A (LH). They were sold in the Atlanta (DSO 21) and the Washington, DC (DSO 17) districts only. All are standard (91) Cougars. Per Bill Quay, Cougar R-code registrar, and Marti reports there were 54 Cougar 500s built in 1968. 38 of them are small block cars, and 16 are R-code CJ cars. All had white exterior color with either red or black interior, standard or deluxe. They could have either a manual or auto transmission. The Cougar 500’s were all scheduled to be built on May 1 or May 2 of 1968. We presently (as of 2/15) know of the existence of a small block Cougar 500 in Tennessee, VIN 8F91C5x, and another in North Carolina VIN 8F91F5x. We know of the existence of 5 of the 16 R-code Cougar 500s. Due to many similarities, the Cougar 500 promotion seems to be tied to the Cyclone 500 promotion, but we have no firm documentation linking the two programs together. The Cyclones were all delivered to the track 5 hours before the Atlanta 500 race in March 31 of 1968. Their buyers got to drive 2 laps on the track before the race began. There also were 3 hour appearances by Cale Yarborough in select dealerships. 85 of the 145 dealers in the Atlanta district participated in the Cyclone 500 Driveaway program. However there were no Cougars involved in this program, as this pre-dates the build of the 54 Cougar 500's. Per a magazine ad from Antietam Motors in Hagerstown, MD, there may have been a second similar promotion in May of 1968 at the Charlotte 600 race. Due to the build dates of the Cougar 500s, perhaps they were delivered to this race. This is pure conjecture at this point, but logically it makes sense. Known dealers who sold Cougar 500's: Ferrell Lincoln-Mercury, Decatur, GA  (Cyclone 500) Parks - Bayless LM, Atlanta, GA (Cyclone 500) Stovall Motor Co, Cornelia, GA  (Cyclone 500) Leader Linc-Merc Inc, Atlanta, GA Coliseum Lincoln-Mercury Inc, Hampton, VA O'Brien & Rohall Inc, Arlington, VA Courtesy Motors Inc, Richmond, VA Zeller Linc-Merc Inc, Roanoke, VA Dave Pyles Motors Inc, Marlow Heights, MD Antietam Motors, Hagerstown, MD Guy Steuart Mtrs, Silver Spring, MD Scenic Motors, Inc, Mount Airy, NC Wilson Motors, Inc, Columbia, SC Cox-Fitz Motors Inc, Florence, SC  Barnes Linc-Merc, Montgomery, AL What may help us immensely to solve these type of mysteries is outlined in Kevin Marti's Cougars By The Numbers book. Any members who live in or around the Atlanta and D.C. areas and who frequent the Public Libraries, may want to search the newspaper archives for Lincoln-Mercury dealer advertisements. This may shed some light on who, what and why in regard to these special Cougars.