This is a reproduction front valance for your Mercury Cougar. This valance is an excellent reproduction in every detail. Below are pictures of it next to a NOS valance for comparison sake. As you will see, this is an "A" class reproduction in every aspect. Rarely is a reproduction ever a match in any way to NOS. This one is an exception to the rule!
Click on images to enlarge.
The fasteners for the license plate are just slightly different but the function and placement are dead on. These reproductions are nice enough that some might offer them as NOS. The difference in these fasteners would be about the only way you could differentiate one from the other.
This was a real surprise... The reproduction weighs a tad more than NOS at 4.85 pounds vs. the NOS which weighs in at 4.65 pounds.
The mounting tabs on this reproduction look nicer than the NOS example, (notice the wrinkles). This NOS valance was one of the last Ford made, the valance that was used to make this reproduction was an earlier service replacement part.