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Jay Leno Loves The New 1999 Mercury Cougar...Gets His Own Pewter Model

8 January 1998

Speaking before a packed house of automotive journalists, Ford brass and 
aspiring car designers at the Art 
Center College of Design in Pasadena, Ca last night on the eve of the 
intro of the all new and very zaphtec 
1999 Mercury Cougar TV comic/talk show host started off his remarks by 
saying the swoopy new, leading 
edge design Cougar California carspeak terms a "nice ass". He was 
referring to the sculptured 
Acura CL type rear trunk/panel treatment that is very, very daring and 
stylish. Leno, a long time Ford 
devotee who at a similar affair just one year ago at the L.A. Auto Show 
said about the new Ford Electric 
Ranger truck as he opened the hood to view the engine.."ah look at this 
rod that holds up the hood...hi 
tech is still with us"
The gala press cocktail/dinner affair was kicked off by Ford west coast 
public relations boss John Clinard 
who introduced the head of the Art Center David R. Brown. Brown told 
briefly of what the Art Center 
attempts to accomplish which is to turn out the best designers of a 
variety of products with an emphasis on 
automotive. He pointed out that recently retired Ford design chief Jack 
Telnack who was in attendance 
was a graduate of the internationally famous Art Center.
Lincoln Mercury General Sales Manager Steve Lyons said the new Cougar 
with its bold cab forward 
styling was going to do for Mercury just what the Navigator did for 
Lincoln...lots of sales and happy 
Lyons pulled back the curtain to reveal the shiny new Cougar and the 
throng gasped as Leno was caught 
in the process of polishing the car. He was told to detail the new model.
Leno explained that he has always been a Ford/Mercury fan and that he 
remembers going with his father 
many years ago in Pennsylvania to a dealership to buy a new car. It was a 
store Leno had worked at a few 
years previous and his job was odometer re-calibration"
Anyway he talked his father into buying a 7-liter Galaxy and didn't tell 
him it had special mufflers and a 
Police pursuit package...428 c.i. When his Father learned he'd been 
had...talked into buying a pure hot rod 
he would'nt talk to Jay for weeks. Then Jay found out his pop had gotten 
a speeding ticket for 110 m.p.h. 
and all calmed down.Ford folks gave Jay a desktop pewter moel of the new 
Cougar and he hung around 
and shmoozed with everyone.
As you will learn from Los Angeles and Detroit auto show coverage by The 
Auto Channel the V-6 coupe 
received rave reviews.
Matt Stone, Motor Trend,:" It's bold...I like it". Michael Hollander, 
A.O.L. " I don't think they borrowed any styling cues from anyone else. 
It's hot" B.G. Hughes, Ford 
prospect: "looks neat...a lot like the new Mustang I just purchased"

 Bill Maloney -- The Auto Channel