Fact or Fiction?

Good Evening All,

Interested in hearing thoughts about this. I was going thru some boxes of stuff we have laying around
as my wife and I are contemplating moving to a different state so I can have a bigger workshop/garage
to do some serious work on my cars.
Anyway, ran across an April 1986 issue of Collectible Automobile magazine.
In it is an nice 22 page color article written by Chris Halla. I don’t know if he is a member here or not.
The article talks about the Mercury Cougar for model years 1967 to 1973. At the beginning it states that
the Cougar Styling work began in February of 1963 and went thru 5 development stages before becoming
finalized in late 1964/early 1965, which is why if you look at the early pictures of the Cougar, it shows a
date of February 1965. I have the Big Book of the Classic Years by Don Skinner, but don’t see any reference
like this. I may have missed it however.

Thoughts anyone??

Can’t answer your question.
Haven’t heard the name Chris Halla in awhile.
Don’t know if he has a Cougar.
At one time he worked for Old Cars Magazine in Iola, WI.
Good friends with my Brother-in-law.

As I recall Chris Halla once wrote a book about Cougars, that was probably back in the 1990s. Somewhere around here I have a copy.

The article is correct about the early Cougar development. Any time a new car is being developed it will start several years before the final product is actually released for the public to buy… It is not hard to find that information. I seem to recall that some of the early styling mule photos were posted here on this forum in the past.

Randy Goodling
CCOA #95

You may want to check out some interesting Cougar/Mustang history here…


Is this the book. Not sure why it is sideways.
Sadly, Chris Halla passed away in January of 2014, after a battle with cancer.

The Cougar on the cover looks familiar.

This book came out in 1984 and the photo of the G on the cover is credited to Bud Bevard, who it would seem was the owner according to info in the book.

There was also the Gary Witzenburg book that was published in '87 and was an expanded article from Automobile Quarterly.

Obviously, due to the time that these were written, there are several errors but still a lot of great info and vintage photos.

Both are long out of print and I’m not sure what used copies are going for these days.

I’m gonna see if Amazon has these books!! :slight_smile:

Since this thread has been resurrected I’ll post a photo of the version I picked up back in the 90s when I first got my Cougar.

The Eliminator on the cover is a CJ car credited to Carl Beck.

I’m gonna see if Amazon has these books!!

Here is an article on Carl Beck’s Eliminator. He’s sold it since then, but it’s still very nice and making the rounds at shows.


I actually had that picture /article on my bedroom slider doors in the 90s, along with a 67 that was blue with a red and yellow stripes down the side along with ken wells 70 428cj red convertible. I`m going to see if I can find them books online or amazon or even barnes and nobile.


As per my copy of Muscle Machines July 2017, 50 year annv of the Cat, Cougar 1 VIN 7F91S500001, Date of Tag is 04C, DSO A1, The article said it debuted on Sept. 30, 1966, in Moncton, Canada. So anything earlier then that might be in question. IMHO