Sunday,17 February, 2019
Current issue | Issue 1315, (13 -19 October 2016)
Sunday,17 February, 2019
Issue 1315, (13 -19 October 2016)

Ahram Weekly

Classics in Egypt: “Ford Mercury Cougar 1971”

Travelling in a time machine to eras that you always wished to live in seems to be an idea many kids got out of science fiction comics and kept dreaming about them until they grew up. Since the theory is not applicable in real life, history aficionados reached the conclusion that the only way to go back to the good old days is by pursuing the rarities of your favourite era. For car fanatics, classic cars are the machines capable of sending them back to history. So what about Egypt? “It’s no different from anywhere else in the world,” says Amr Moussa, an Egyptian car collector and the owner of this week’s classic car, the Ford Mercury Cougar 1971.

Ford first introduced the Mercury Cougar in 1967, adding a new range between the Mustang and the Thunderbird. The Cougar kept developing each year with different motor packages to satisfy the brutal desires of the American muscle drivers, starting with two lines of the Cougar with the same body styles but with different hearts: the base model and the XR-7. The baseline Cougar came with a 4.7L V8 delivering 200-hp (149 KW), while the XR-7 had the 6.4L V8 delivering 335-hp (250kw). The first generation of the Mercury stayed until 1970, selling up to 437,025 units with many performance packages to suit every customer.

From 1971 to 1973 came the new generation, weighing less with a longer wheelbase and a facelift. Three engines were introduced: the base model with the 5.8L V8 Windsor delivering 240-hp, the 5.8L V8 Cleveland delivering 285-hp and the savage 7L 429 Cobra Jet V8 delivering 370-hp.  

Getting back to Moussa, the Egyptian classic car collector and the owner of the 1971 Ford Mercury Cougar with a 5.8L V8 Cleveland engine. The car has motor and chassis matching numbers, which adds a lot of value to any classic car. And believe it or not, the car has only 75,000 miles on it. “It all started when I was 23, when I got my very first classic car,” Moussa said. That was a Chevrolet Impala 1967. Becoming bored with the computers invading the car world, he decided to redeem the true essence of driving through classic cars.

“Spotting a classic car in order to buy it was a tough job in the past, but now the community is much closer as we all share the same dream,” Moussa says. The new social media platforms and the gatherings made the classic car community in Egypt easy to navigate through. You can find the cars you always wanted to see and even the ones you want to buy. Also when you talk about classic cars, the pleasure doesn’t come from only owning one; the journey starts from the dream you have about a car until you get it and start restoring it to bring it back to its original condition.

“This Mercury was parked in a barn by its first owner since 1982,” added Moussa who had to spend so much time and money that he can’t even count how much in order to bring back this classic piece to life. Now he’s thankful for the smile that the car draws on his face every morning he looks at her and the satisfaction he gets with the number of heads that turn to his car at every traffic stop.

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