During the six model years that the Fox aero-Cougar was made, many limited edition Cougars were produced.
During the six model years that the Fox aero-Cougar was made, there were many different limited edition Cougars produced. Some of these cars are illustrated below.
Please keep in mind that dealerships often received incentives to place special packages on cars to make them easier to sell, or to push out slow sellers, or to coincide with an advertising promotion. It will probably be impossible to document all of the limited edition Cougars but we’d like to think that this page should serve as a home for the current collected knowledge about them.
Should you see or own a limited edition Cougar from this time period, please contact us. Be sure to include photos (or links to photos) and a full description of the car, and why you think it is a limited edition.
Special Edition (1985-88)
The Special Edition Cougar was an appearance package added to a Cougar (usually a base or LS model of virtually any color). The cars were sold over a wide area of the United States and possibly Canada. A Special Edition package is estimated to have added $500-700 US to the price of a new Cougar. It is possible that the Special Edition is semi-related to the Blue Max Edition (see below), as the same supplier seems to have been involved with both models, Promotional Trim Conversions.
A general trait of the Special Edition is a silver- or gold-colored bottom, sometimes just a solid color, sometimes with stripes. Occasionally they have a non-functional luggage rack. There is sometimes a commemorative badge on the dash underneath the clock or, on later models, special C-pillar emblems. Often, though, there is no alternate or special badging anywhere on the car.
Another possibility is that there were dealer-added kits for the bottom color or striping. This allowed dealerships to create their own “special edition” and increase the price accordingly.
Blue Max Edition (1985-86, 1988)
The Blue Max Edition Cougar was very similar to the Special Edition, again sold coast to coast in the United States, but regionally. They seem to have originated in the northern Ohio area. It’s possible that the Blue Max was a dealer-installed package, which would explain a few things, although we admit that we don’t have evidence. Its origin, for now, remains a mystery.
First appearing in the 1985 model year, these Cats featured a silver painted bottom section. The 1985-86 cars were all dark blue, hence the name “Blue Max”. The blue color and silver paint were the only distinguishing features of this early Max Edition. No special emblems are known to have been installed on them. There was also no special dash emblem.
The 1985-86 Blue Max Cougars seemed to have been based on the GS (base) model, although it’s possible that an LS Max could exist. We have heard a report that all Blue Maxes were built on the same day at the Lorain, Ohio assembly plant but that information has not been corroborated yet.
The only variation seems to be a dealer-installed luggage rack. Most were chrome although we’ve seen them in black too. But some cars had none. Luggage racks were typically dealer-installed items so that could explain the absence.
The Blue Max became an official special edition beginning in 1988 (no 1987 Blue Max models are known to exist). Apparently the brainchild of select Cleveland, OH-area Lincoln-Mercury dealers, the Blue Max became a value-enhanced appearance package that could be ordered directly via a dealer order sheet through Promotional Trim Conversions from the Cleveland area. We regret that we still don’t have a breakdown by model year, but we do know that over 15,000 were sold between 1988 and 1993. We’d have to believe that the 1988 cars would command at least 2500 total, if not more.
The blue-colored Blue Max was once again available in newly-added light blue (Medium Regatta Blue Metallic) as well as dark blue (Twilight Blue Metallic). There was now a refinement of the package, with multi-band stripes in the lower silver area, and the addition of red striping where the chrome rub strip would be in the molding. And the MERCURY and COUGAR nomenclature on the trunklid and front bumper were red and silver cloisonné. A special “COUGAR BLUE MAX EDITION” emblem adorned the instrument panel, just under the clock. Special cloisonné C-pillar emblems (of which two different types exist) were also produced for the Blue Max Edition. The luggage rack was now black.
Overall the entire package lent an air of elegance to the new Cougar shape and was easily distinguished from a distance. In addition, the silver striping went well with virtually all wheels or hubcaps.
It was possible to get a Blue Max on a non-blue car. Shown here is a dark red metallic version. We’ve also seen them in black.
Newly discovered photos and information have confirmed that it was possible to install a Blue Max package on an XR-7 model. There are no indications that this particular car’s emblems and striping aren’t legitimate. This may be the only car like this in existence.
Thanks to George for the photos and information.
It is not known exactly how many Blue Max Editions were produced, which makes determining the value and rarity much more difficult. When it comes to resale value, though, the Maxes will hold slightly more value than a comparable base or LS model. It’s easily one of the most recognizable Cougars on the road, and the lower silver color really lends to a great-looking street vehicle.
Cougar RS (1985-86)
The Cougar RS models seem to have been made only for the Eastern part of the United States. Production total is unknown. The RS package added approximately US $300-500 to the price of the car.
The RS was adorned with prominent striping around the beltline, and an “RS” decal (reminiscent of the Mercury Capri RS) on the back decklid and on the lower stripes on the doors. The RS model has the distinction of being the only 1983-86 Cougar model besides the XR7 to have factory-installed wide side moldings, instead of the narrow type found on all base models (although vaguely recall seeing some RS models with skinny molding before).
Most RS models seem to have had a luggage rack and/or a factory sunroof. The luggage rack has been seen in both black and chrome versions. It’s likely that both of these options were dealer-installed.
Known Cougar RS color combinations:
- White/red stripes
- Red/white stripes
- White/blue stripes
- Blue/white stripes
- Blue/gold stripes
Silver Aero (1986)
The Silver Aero Cougar originally was a Ford Motor Company promotional car for the 1986 Cougar. They were all painted silver, and featured wide moldings, a non-functional luggage rack, and headlight covers that incidentally got the cars recalled. According to information, there were 163 of these cars made, built between February and March of 1986. (By the way, the recall recommended removing the headlamp covers to comply with lighting laws.)
Thanks to Alan for the information.
1986 Silver Aero Cougar Radio Commercial (:60)
Black Cat Special Edition (1988)
The Black Cat Special Edition Cougar was, naturally, black with special gold striping and included a special gold-tone molding insert (similar to the 20th Anniversary Edition). It also featured special cloisonné emblems on the trunklid, dash and C-pillars. The interior was standard Cougar fare with the exception of the emblem below the clock. The overall look was very striking and elegant.
Total production is unknown. It may have been a dealer-added kit and possibly from the same supplier(s) as the Blue Max and similar editions above.
Night Cat Edition (1986-88)
Night Cat Edition Cougars were usually black in color, with a faux-convertible top, gold accented grille, and special cloisonné badges. Of particular interest is the gold “NIGHT CAT” emblem on the front bumper cover, replacing the standard “MERCURY” emblem. The headrests were embroidered with a “Night Cat” script lettering and the Cougar logo.
Trent writes: “Spoke with Steve at Topking in Kansas City, Kansas, USA. This company owned the names Night Cat, Top Cat, and Track Cat. He says that they were made from 1986 to 1998, covering both Fox and MN12 platforms. Of the ‘thousands’ (his word) made, 95-97% were either Night Cat or Top Cat, making Track Cat the rare breed. Night Cat had a full cloth top, gold badging, and Night Cat embroidered onto headrests and rear passenger pillars (these were covered with headliner material). Steve says that uniqueness for these Cats comes from how many are still on the road.”
Track Cat Edition (1988)
Speaking of, the Track Cat Edition Cougar is sporting a trunk badge but not much else is known about the car. It’s possible the ground effects kit was part of the package.
Bostonian Edition (1985-88)
The Bostonian Edition Cougar is perhaps the best known of all the city-themed editions known to exist. While obviously a regional favorite, the Bostonians have been seen all across North America. It seems to have been produced in greater numbers than any other.
The Bostonian details include a faux half-top, special badging on the C-pillar, and usually a matching keychain. The design of the badging varied from year to year but typically was Brush Script lettering.
Other gold-plated accents, including the emblems and the grille, were often the case.
Other City Editions (1985-88)
City Edition Cougars 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 not limited to the 1983-88 era either; they were produced right up until the 1997 model year. Some examples of City Edition Cougars are the Bostonian, Coloradan, San Antonian, Pittsburgh, and Houstonian. Naturally the cars were sold in the vicinity of the car’s city or region name. There were likely more cities or regions that took part in this series. Total production is unknown.
Philadelphia Flyers Editions (1987)
According to the eBay description for this vehicle, there were three Philadelphia Flyers Edition Cougars made in 1987 to celebrate the hockey team’s Stanley Cup win the previous year. One was made for the Flyers franchise; one was made for a player, a goalie named Ronald Hextall; and one was custom made for a Flyers fan after he saw the other two. Features include a full mock convertible top and special Flyers emblems on the windows and fenders. The Flyers logo was even embossed in the top fabric around the C-pillar area. Two of the three cars are pictured here.
(We don’t know for certain if the third car is black or white, but we’d bet on black.)
A company named E&G from Florida was responsible for selling several different Cougar appearance packages to dealerships. The main design theme was a vinyl half-top that covers the small side windows almost completely, sometimes a stainless-steel band, and also some special badging. Among these cars are the MX Brougham Series (1984?-1986), the Signature Series (1987-88), and the Designer Series.
The white 1988 Cougar XR7 shown was fitted with a contoured vinyl top, serialized E&G emblem, and an aftermarket trunklid with pronounced round hump (similar to those found on the Lincoln Mark VII).
E&G also offered simulated convertible tops that, admittedly, look quite close to the real thing.
Freedom Series Edition (1987)
Not much is known about the Freedom Series Cougar, save for a small emblem placed on the front fenders. We found this car for sale via eBay many years ago and never got any more information about it.
Olympic Edition (1988)
Made to commemorate the 1988 Olympics, these Olympic Edition Cougars featured a red, black, or blue exterior with gold trim inside the moldings, along with special Olympic badging. Total production number is unknown. Sadly, we have never found a photo of one.