1987, if you were around to experience it, was one hell of a year. Many consider it to be the pinnacle of the Decade of Excess, and looking back, it really was chock full of awesomeness. For example, The Simpsons (in their primordial form) and Star Trek: The Next Generation debuted, on TV, Hair Metal was at it’s peak of power with epic releases by bands like Whitesnake and Dokken (if you like that sort of thing), and soon-to-be classic video games like The Legend of Zelda and Castlevania were getting played by kids everywhere.
And then, there were the cars!
Chevrolet and Pontiac were finally getting their groove back with the 350-powered Camaro and Firebird, and Buick unleashed the legendary turbocharged GNX. Ford updated cars across their lines with refreshed exteriors, like the Mustang and the Thunderbird Turbo Coupe. Electronic Fuel Injection was proliferating across many manufacturers, bringing new levels of reliability (and complexity) to dealer showrooms everywhere. After years of the performance equivalent of hot garbage, things were finally starting to look up again!
Ford’s Mercury Division was also caught in the technological and stylistic wave that was cresting during 1987, with updated models across the line. One of them was the Mercury Cougar, which had received updated styling alongside it’s platform mate, the Ford Thunderbird. They started the year with two trim levels: the personal luxury LS, and the sportier XR7. In 1987, the XR7 was the top dog in the Cougar lineup, featuring the low-output 5.0 MPFI V8 and the 4-speed AOD automatic. While not enough to light your Aqua Net-crusted hair on fire like the Grand National, it featured struts up front and the Mustang GT’s quad shock rear axle in the rear, albeit with a Traction Lok 7.5″ ring gear instead of the Mustang’s 8.8 inch unit. It also borrowed the Mustang’s 15″ 10-hole alloy wheels and featured sporty (for the era) rubber. Inside, you got a fat sport wheel and a console shifter, and a set of really cool digital gauges with a fuel and trip computer. For the time, it was a nice package overall.
About midway through the year, Ford remembered that it was the 20th Anniversay of the release of the Cougar, and hastily pumped out a commemorative model. They were a mix of the LS, XR7, and the upcoming 1988 XR7 in one convenient vehicle! All of them were maroon with the Mustang Turbine wheels, painted gold. Interiors were similar to the LS cars, with tan split bench seats with red piping. According to the Fox Body Cougar enthusiast site CoolCats.Net, Ford cranked out exactly 5002 of these majestic beasts. And you know where this is going: yes, we found one, and it’s for sale! Let’s take a closer look at this forgotten kitty.