- Written by webmin
First, the good news: M2‘s new 3-inch 1968 Mercury Cougar looks fine. The body is spot on, though the gigantic hideaway headlamps, grille, taillamps and bumpers lend a more agreeable exaggeration than do the wheels and tires, which manage to make the look wheel openings look too small, although they are, in fact, prototypically correct. The new tool, seen here in $3 Drivers series form, has no opening features and a plastic chassis – doubtless, a full-detail variant, with opening doors and hood, plus a metal chassis, will be along shortly.
No, it’s the color on this one that has us scratching our heads, and herein lies a tale. About a dozen years ago, your author made the acquaintance of a gentleman who owns the full-scale version of what you see here – Jade Green, black vinyl, and he was rolling American Racing mags. At the time, he worked for someone who did some prototyping work for a number of die-cast companies, including Hot Wheels. And, right around the same time, his car appeared on the cover of HOT ROD magazine. When it came time for Hot Wheels to do a new ’60s-vintage Mercury Cougar casting, what color scheme did they choose? Why, Jade Green with a black top. It was very clearly an homage to this man’s car, and though he had no actual say in the color scheme, other than to be asked if it was okay, he was quite tickled. And it’s quite a rush to see your car – the one in your driveway, the one you took to work today – on the pegs at every Walmart, Target, Meijer’s, and ToysRus in the country.
Fast forward about two years later. Your author was working at Johnny Lightning, trying to pair up HOT ROD magazine covers with existing castings in JL’s lineup in the weeks after the company snagged the magazine’s licensing rights away from Mattel. And this Cougar, in the same green color, was produced in the JL line in 2002. Some accused JL of plagiarism, but it wasn’t the case – rather, both companies utilized the same source material. But I would be lying if I didn’t also include it as a poke at my friends in El Segundo. The owner claims that the JL release is his preferred one, if only because it links everything back to the cover of the magazine. Whether he says this to assuage my ego is another question entirely.
And now, a decade on, here is M2′s effort. The car owner still has his car; he’s working for one of the top custom-car shops in the nation now, though he remains on good terms with his ex-boss the toy prototyper. And this is my only guess as to why we’ve seen three jade green/black vinyl early Mercury Cougars in small-scale. Because otherwise, what are the odds?