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LIMITED EDITIONS

Revised October 31, 2016

During the 9-year model run of the MN-12 chassis Mercury Cougar, there were several notable limited edition models made. The only factory limited edition cars were the 25th and 30th Anniversary Cougars; the 1996-97 Sport models; and the 1997 Luxury Appearance model. All other limited edition Cougars were created in the aftermarket, whether by dealer-installed packages, or conversion companies, or both.

With the sheer number of aftermarket companies producing packages for the big Cat, it's impossible to list them all here, much less give an estimate of the value that those packages add to the vehicle. To say that any company can create a package and call it "limited" would be a little misleading. After all, EVERY car is technically a limited edition—only so many can be made during a model year! However, only a certain number of packages are ever created. Perhaps a better choice of words to describe these cars is "uncommon". However you say it, these individual styling creations definitely add an air of creativity to the popular Cougar body style.

Many thanks to Keith and Alan for hunting up some of the photos shown here.



1993 Special Edition Cougar

1995 Special Edition Cougar

1997 Special Edition Cougar

Left: By far the most popular limited edition, the Special Edition (and similar Blue Max Edition) was the brainchild of several Cleveland, OH-area Lincoln-Mercury dealers and became so popular that it was offered via a regular dealer order sheet. Style-wise, the lower portion is usually argent (or charcoal, sometimes gold) with laser stripes, a special emblem on the C-pillar, and the luggage rack. Earlier (1989-92) SE's have a red stripe on the side molding, while 1993-97 cars had specific color-keyed moldings, depending upon the color of the car's interior. Some later cars have featured 1992 Anniversary-style 15" spoked BBS rims. Production between 1988 and 1993 is confirmed at over 15,000 units. The SE/Blue Max package was priced around $750 US.

Cougar Predator SS

Cougar Predator SS

Cougar Predator SS

Cougar Predator SS

Left: The Cougar Predator SS package was offered to dealers from 1994-97. It consisted of a full ground effects kit, a rear spoiler similar to that used on the 1996-97 Sport models, and a full vinyl Cougar Predator SS lettering kit for the lower half of the doors, the trunk lid, and sometimes on the windshield. The kit, which appears to have been made by Xenon, seems to be supplied by Razzi, although it's not known whether they were the OE supplier or not. Total number of Cougar Predator SS Cougars produced is unknown.

1997 Gold Edition Cougar

Left: Another Cougar with ground effects, little is known about the Gold Edition Cougar. It may be in the same family as the Special Edition. This is a 1996-97 model.

Cougar Caliente

Cougar Caliente Logo

Left: The Caliente (Spanish for 'hot') was a package created by E&G Classics in Florida. Included in the package was a vinyl half roof with special C-pillar ornamentation, a dash plaque, and matching keychains, all with the CALIENTE logo. Total number produced is unknown.

Cougar Night Cat Edition

Cougar Night Cat Edition

Cougar Night Cat Edition

Cougar Night Cat Edition

Left: The Night Cat Edition looks to be very similar to a Bostonian Edition, with gold trim and special Night Cat emblems. Total number produced is unknown.

Cougar MX Brougham Edition

Cougar MX Brougham Edition

Cougar MX Brougham Edition

Left: This is an actual 1990 XR7 with a factory-style MX Brougham vinyl top applied. Mikael from Sweden was kind enough to share photos of his car.

 

Other Misc. Editions

Most of these other limited-edition Cats featured a vinyl half-roof, special ornamentation, and a special striping package that were offered to Ford dealers by aftermarket suppliers. They were marketed all over the U.S and Canada and were produced right up until the 1997 model year. Some of these Cougar packages were regional or specific to a particular city, such as the following:

  • Bostonian
  • Coloradan
  • Houstonian

There were likely many more cities or regions that took part in this series of cars. Total production is unknown.

An interesting development in the history of aftermarket Cougars has taken place in Florida. It seems that every other dealership there had a gimmick to make their Cougar offering unique (obviously catering more toward the retirement crowd than the youth of the day). This typically featured a modified roof (half top, fake convertible top, etc.) and some type of special badging, whether it was physically applied on the car's exterior or embroidered in the seats. Most of these images are from eBay auctions; a few examples of these unique Cougar packages are below.


Prestige Edition

Left: Prestige Edition

Cougar Brougham Edition

Cougar Brougham Edition

Left: Brougham Edition (can also be MX Brougham)

Cougar Grand Floridian Edition

Cougar Grand Floridian Edition

Left: Grand Floridian Edition

Cougar Palm Beach Edition

Cougar Palm Beach Edition

Left: Palm Beach Edition

Cougar Presidential Edition

Cougar Presidential Edition

Left: Presidential Edition

Cougar All American Edition

Cougar All American Edition
Left: All American Edition
Cougar Classic Edition

Cougar Classic Edition
Left: Classic Edition
Cougar Alamo Edition

Cougar Alamo Edition
Left: Alamo Edition
Cougar Elite Edition

Cougar Elite Edition
Left: Elite Edition

 

1990 Cougar XR7 Convertible

Unlike the Fox chassis Cougars, there doesn't appear to have been any aftermarket manufacturers of Cougar convertibles from 1989-97. It's rumored that the reason was the roofline, as the MN12 cars have a shorter deck area under which to easily stow a folded top. We've looked diligently for years and have never run across one, although one-offs likely exist.

There was, however, one Lincoln-Mercury approved 1990 Cougar XR7 convertible show car. The renowned Michigan conversion company, ASC, was asked to produce the one-off car specifically for the auto show car circuit. Then-Mercury chief Ross Roberts was probing the public and gauging their reaction as to whether or not a production version was feasible. Being that the Cougar was all new in 1989, and reliability for the all-new MN12 chassis was still unknown at that time, Mercury decided not to pursue this car any further. Too bad—not only would it have given Mercury a bigger convertible than the Capri, but it would also have totally out-powered the competition (namely, the Chrysler LeBaron and Olds Cutlass Supreme convertibles). And it would have been the first factory Cougar convertible offered since 1973. As far as is known, this is the only copy of this car and ASC has it socked away in storage somewhere. An interesting part of Cougar history.


1990 Cougar XR7 Convertible

Left: A very clean profile was created with the roof gone, particularly in the former C-pillar area. The fiberglass top boot is handsomely done. Since the coupe's motorized seat belts couldn't be adapted, Mercury opted for GM convertible-style door mounted seat belts.

1990 Cougar XR7 Convertible

Left: Note the extensive chassis strengthening that required custom rocker panels.