(Photo: DW Burnett via Drunken Squirrel Racing) Color me shocked: very few people bother with 1987-88 Mercury Cougars as a fun vehicle. I can find a few builds from old CarDomain pages, and there is Greg Mayton’s twin-turbo Drag Week veteran that has been around for a bit, but overall? Clean, garage-kept XR-7s, the occasional nice beater LS, and nothing to get worked up for. Nothing. As the date to King of the Heap #3 draws closer and closer, I needed to find some inspiration for putting in the wrenching hours on the Dirty Cougar. What was going to make it worth my time wrenching in the cold-ass January elements? What did I want to enjoy?
Well…this is a damn good start. This 1987 Cougar was built for AER road racing and it was built strong from the start. The party piece you’re hearing is the 5.0L Coyote mill from a 2015 Ford Mustang GT, and yes, it’s being rowed with the Mustang’s MT82 six-speed manual trans. The suspension is stock Fox except for a mod motor K-frame modified to fit the Cougar, a Maximum Motorsports torque arm and Panhard bar. The brakes are four-piston late 1960s Lincoln units up front and out back is a stock Lincoln Mark VII 8.8 unit with welded gears in this video. We keep getting better and better ideas for that beater all the time. How cool would it be to do a $5,000 challenge build in the spirit of this car?