1969 Mercury Cougar Is Not Quick Enough for 1970 Buick GSX in Classic Drag Race

1969 Mercury Cougar vs Buick GSX 1 photo
Photo: Cars And Zebras/YouTube
Introduced in 1967, the Mercury Cougar was pretty much a Ford Mustang with different exterior styling. The first-gen model shared the same V8 engines, including the almighty Cobra Jet. Although it's not as popular as the Mustang, the Cougar is also a collector's item nowadays and restored examples are quite valuable.
These cars are usually spotted at classic car shows, but some owners also opt to take them racing in the Pure Stock Muscle Car Drag Race (PSMCDR) category. The Cougar you're about to see below is a 1969 model fitted with the range-topping 428 Cobra Jet and the Eliminator package.

The bundle turned the Cougar into a sportier looking coupe by adding a rear wing, a front spoiler, engine hood scoop, and stripes across the sides. It also added bucket seats inside the cabin and a few unique touches to the instrument cluster.

The 7.0-liter Cobra Jet V8 was the most powerful mill that Mercury offered on the Cougar in 1969. It generated 335 horsepower and 440 pound-feet (597 Nm) of torque. In this car, it goes to the rear wheels through a three-speed automatic transmission.

In this classic drag race, the Cougar is going against a 1970 Buick GSX. A higher performance take on the Gran Sport nameplate, the GSX was slightly bigger than the Cougar, but it had plenty of power to boot. This Stage 1 model came with a 7.5-liter V8 rated at 360 horsepower and 510 pound-feet (691 Nm) of torque under the hood.

That's a bit more than the Cougar, but the GSX was slightly heavier too. Just like the Mercury, this Buick is fitted with a three-speed auto gearbox.

As the spec sheets suggest, this is a close battle. The GSX driver takes good advantage of the extra power and torque and wins the quarter-mile by almost a half-second. The Buick takes the flag in 13.47 seconds at 102.29 mph (164.61 kph), followed by the Cougar in 13.92 clicks at 98.83 mph (159.05 kph).

The second leg sees the Cougar get a better start, so it crosses the finish line first in 13.86 seconds at 99.22 mph (159.67 kph). The GSX came in second, but had the best ET at 13.76 clicks, to go with a trap speed of 102.34 mph (164.70 kph).

The third round is very similar to the first one. The GSX moves in front and takes the win with a 13.56-second ET at 101.22 mph (162.89 kph). The Cougar arrives at the finish line after 13.9 seconds, speeding at 98.94 mph (159.22 kph).

The GSX was actually eliminated from this round since it ran quicker than its qualifying benchmark, so the Cougar was declared the winner, but it's pretty obvious that the Buick is the quickest of the two. I'd still take the Cougar over the GSX any day of the week for its unique looks.

If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram
About the author: Ciprian Florea
Ciprian Florea profile photo

Ask Ciprian about cars and he'll reveal an obsession with classics and an annoyance with modern design cues. Read his articles and you'll understand why his ideal SUV is the 1969 Chevrolet K5 Blazer.
Full profile


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories