Mercury entered the "pony car" market in 1967, pitting parent Ford against the Chevrolet Camaro. Handsome styling ensured it caught on, selling 150,000 in its first year. If Mercury had any female buyers, they lost them all this year. The sales brochure started with the following passage: "The relationship between a man and his car is a very special thing. For a car is many things to a man. A passport to adventure ... an open road beckoning ... and a well-traveled trip to work."
However true this may have been, nowhere did the copy make mention of women drivers or buyers. Mercury was not the only automobile company to use this type of selling technique, as Chrysler's 1967 brochure gave Chrysler specifications with line, "At last-specifications your wife can understand." The women's movement was just gearing up, and this type of advertising was proof of the prejudice still aimed at women when it came to automobiles. Over the next ten years the industry would make a dramatic turnaround.
Mercury introduced a new breed of pony car to America this year. Sharing major components with the best selling Ford Mustang but stretched 3 inches in wheelbase, the Mercury Cougar was designed to be something of a luxury sports car. Hidden headlights, contoured body panels and a plush interior were all standard equipment. Motivation was by way of a full range of V8 engines, including a 390 CID V8 that was included as part of the Cougar GT package.
Full-size Mercurys were completely restyled this season, and once again shared major body components with Ford, although outside of the rooflines, they had totally different body panels and longer wheelbases. The grille had a now common "Lincoln" appearance, and at the back were vertical taillamps mounted in the trailing edges of the rear quarter panels. The 4-Door Breezeway Sedans this year operated differently than in the past. The entire back glass retracted, but only a few inches-just enough to provide ventilation. This allowed the glass to be mounted in the standard position (as opposed to being rear-slanting), and still keep moisture out of the car.
Model changes included the discontinuance of the Monterey 2-Door Sedan and the addition of four new models: the Montclair 4-Door (non-Breezeway) Sedan, and three new top-of-the-line models. The Brougham 4-Door Hardtop and 4-Door Sedan and the Marquis 2-Door Hardtop were all new "near luxury" type cars that took Mercury to the top end of the mid-price market. This was territory that Mercury had been into in the late fifties when the Edsel was introduced. At the time, they had little success with models such as the Turnpike Cruiser, but this time around, the cars were very stylish and met consumer demands. The mid-sized Comet/Capri/Cyclone line returned with only minor trim and detail changes. Last year's Cyclone GTA models were classified as GT models with automatic transmissions this year.