1970 Houndstooth Cougar

1970 Houndstooth

Written by David Hyatt

Houndstooth, also known as dog’s tooth, is a duotone textile pattern characterized by broken checks or abstract four-pointed shapes which originated as a pattern in woven tweed cloth from the Scottish Lowlands, but also used in many other woven fabrics aside from wool. In 1933 it was used on club checks and as a spring men’s suits collection. The term Houndstooth was first recorded in 1936.

1970 Houndstooth

In 1970, Pauline Trigère was commissioned by Lincoln-Mercury to design a special edition trim package for the Cougar consisting of a vinyl roof and matching upholstery which came in two colors, black and gold.


Per Kevin Marti’s book Cougars by the Numbers, Mercury only produced 7,544 Cougars total in 1970 with the Houndstooth design. Among the Houndstooth Cougars, 5066 were Standard Cougars and convertibles, and 2478 were XR7’s and XR7 convertibles.


So why was this year of the Cougar so important among other years? The predefining years of the Cougar were genuine muscle cars of their time. This was the defining year to gradually shift away from performance and toward a car of luxury. A deliberate effort was made to give the car a more “European” flavor in the eyes of American buyers.


Most people of today would not understand the history behind the Houndstooth Cougar or have ever heard of Pauline Trigère without doing some research or having learned about it elsewhere. The history behind what makes the Houndstooth Cougar a rare muscle car is a story of inspiration for us all.


Houndstooth Definitions


Houndstooth Statistics

1970 Houndstooth Cougar Marti Report

Conan Tigard’s 1970 Houndstooth Mercury Cougar Marti Report