20th Anniversary Mercury Cougar

For its 20th anniversary in 1987, Lincoln-Mercury Division gave the green light for the first Cougar anniversary model. This special edition Cat was the brainchild of Ford Senior Designer Gary Senior, and it officially went on sale in February of 1987. Based upon the LS model, it featured a special Cabernet Red exterior with Midnight Smoke moldings and body-colored grille. Wheels were gold-painted 15″ aluminum rims adapted from the new Mustang GT. All badging on the exterior (front bumper, grille trim, trunklid nomenclature, and molding trim) were trimmed in actual 24K gold, and the special C-pillar emblems were gold cloisonné. A non-functional luggage rack was also standard.

For 1987, Lincoln-Mercury Division gave the green light for the 20th Anniversary Cougar.

Standard mechanical features included a SEFI 5.0L V8 rated at 150hp, Goodyear Eagle P225/60VR15 performance tires, and a sport handling suspension package (similar to the XR7) that included Quad-shocks for better rear axle control. It is believed that all 20ths had the 7.5″ rear axle. The only available options were a power moonroof, power antenna, illuminated entry, keyless entry, automatic climate control, engine block heater, and the Traction-Lok axle with 3.08 gears.

Orders were very quickly filled by dealers for the hot 20th model. Production was approximately 5,002 total Anniversary models, with at least 800 destined for Canada.

Thanks to Terry for the use of some of his photos below.

The sole interior color of the 20th Anniversary Cougar was Light Sand Beige. Standard equipment on the 20th model included a leather-wrapped steering wheel, air conditioning, power windows, dual power seats, speed control, dual illuminated visor mirrors, AM/FM cassette player with graphic equalizer, and the full digital instrument cluster.


Curiously, no full console option was offered. Also note that all 20ths left the factory with a column shifter.


The interior was highlighted by its unique Ultrasuede seats that were also heated, had dual power recline, and had a three-user memory profile for the driver’s seat. The seats had Cabernet Red piping to match the exterior color. Although Ultrasuede can still be purchased, the exact pattern used for 20th seats is no longer available, making restoration a bit difficult. It is common to see the seats upholstered in a different color or pattern as a result.


An illustration of the 20th Anniversary Cougar seats. This was the only 1987-88 Cougar to utilize the “high series” door panel, which was previously used only on 1985-86 LS and XR7 model Cougars.


Another feature unique to this model was the heated seat, available for both driver and passenger seats. Note also that power recline was standard, as was 6-way dual power seats.


The memory seat feature was controlled by this door panel switch. A user could program seat adjustment for up to 3 drivers (button 1, button 2, and button 1 and 2 together). It is the only known Fox Cougar to have this feature.

20th Anniversary Cougar Memory Seat


The standard full electronic instrument cluster featured a tachometer, fuel computer, and built-in warning sensor alerts. Also, the System Sentry was built into this cluster so it was included as standard equipment as well.


The full cloisonné C-pillar emblem.


A gold-tinted MERCURY emblem in the front bumper cover replaced the normal silver emblem.


The trunklid featured special cloisonné MERCURY and COUGAR nomenclature, along with the identical badge used below the clock in the interior.


The 15″ finned (or “turbine”) aluminum wheels, adopted from the Mustang GT, were gold in color and featured Cougar-emblem center caps.


Ford’s non-HO 5.0L V8 was the sole engine available in the 20th Anniversary Cougar. It made no more horsepower than the XR7 or optionally-equipped LS models that same year.

A better look at the 20th Anniversary Edition Cougar logo.

The special cloisonné 20th dash emblem, located just below the clock, that adorns all 20th models.

The radiator support build tag (aka “buck” tag) had ANNIV stamped in, as shown here. Note that this car also had a power moonroof and keyless entry.

A few weeks after the lucky original owners bought their cars, a special package was sent to them directly from Ford Motor Company. It contained memorabilia and special items emblazoned with the 20th Anniversary Cougar logo, and these items are shown here.

The special embroidered 20th Anniversary Cougar floor mats.

The hardcover book, MERCURY COUGAR 1967-1987, which detailed the history of the Cougar to that point, was also sent to the original owner.

Also included with the car was a traveler’s convenience (tool) kit with booklet.

The kit contained a first aid kit, flash and 7-way emergency light with batteries, pair of utility glove, a manual, pair of pliers, 4-way functional screwdriver, 2 elastic tie down cords, shop towel, tire pressure gauge, and bright orange vinyl poncho.

We have provided a digital copy of the toolkit booklet for owners of 20th Anniversary Cougars who may not have one (many thanks to Keith). You can download a high-resolution color version here:

As you can see, the 20th Anniversary Cougar package was not very cheap, even for 1987!
Thanks to Tom for the scan.

Tech Specs


150 hp SEFI 5.0L (302 cid) V8
4-speed overdrive automatic (AOD)
Front: 10.0″ vented disc
Rear: 9.0″ drum
(Rear 10.0″ drums with optional towing package)
Wheelbase: 104.2″
Overall Length: 200.8″
Overall Width: 71.1″
Overall Height: 53.8″
Cargo Capacity: 14.6 cubic feet
Fuel Capacity: 22.1 gallons
Passenger Rating: 5
3,350 lbs. (estimated)

Production Breakdown


20th Anniversary Mercury Cougar

NOTE: All features listed are in addition to the standard 1987 Cougar features.


Features + Options
5.0 liter sequential multi-port electronically fuel injected V8 engine with 4-speed automatic overdrive transmission
Conventional axle
P225/60VR15 BSW Goodyear Gatorback performance tires
Sport handling suspension
Light group
Power lock group
Power windows
Electric rear window defroster
Electronic instrument cluster
Electronic AM/FM stereo cassette radio and graphic equalizer
Automatic parking brake release
Headlamp convenience group
Front cornering lamps
Fingertip speed control
Interval windshield wipers
Unique Medium Cabernet Red exterior paint
Black greenhouse moldings, door handles, lock cylinders and antenna
Wide bodyside moldings with gold insert
Front/rear fascia with gold molding insert
Body color power outside mirrors
Cloisonné design decklid badge with 20th Annniversary graphics
Cloisonné design side pillar 20th Anniversary emblems
Gold anodized aluminum “Mercury” and “Cougar” decklid nomenclature
Gold “Mercury” front fascia nomenclature
Black luggage rack
15″ x 7″ aluminum wheels painted gold with Cougar cat head in center
Standard paint stripes deleted
Dual Twin Comfort lounge seats with Sand Beige ultrasuede (perforated) and leather trim with a Medium Canyon Red welt and ultrasuede (perforated) 4-way headrests
6-way/6-way dual power seats with dual power recliners
Heated seats (driver and passenger)
Programmable seat (driver only)
Sand Beige ultrasuede (perforated) door trim panel and quarter trim panel inserts
Cloisonné design instrument panel badge
Leather-wrapped steering wheel
Tilt steering wheel
Dual illuminated visor vanity mirrors
Unique front floor mats with 20th Anniversary embroidered logo
Luggage compartment convenience kit with 20th Anniversary logo
Hardcover book, MERCURY COUGAR 1967-87, describing the history of the Cougar car line
45A Traction-Lok axle
573 Automatic temperature control
91H Power antenna
47J Illuminated entry system
144 Keyless entry system
21B Power moonroof
NOTE: 47J and 144 required to be ordered together.
Engine block heater
Front license plate bracket
The follwing order codes were used when ordering the 20th Anniversary Cougar:

  • M60 Cougar LS
  • 170A Preferred equipment package
  • 99F 5.0L EFI V8 engine
  • 2H Medium Cabernet Red exterior paint
  • TY Sand Beige Ultrasuede/leather interior

Dealership Ordering Information
20th Anniversary Mercury Cougar Release Letter

20th Anniversary Dealer Release Letter
Thanks to Tom for the scan.

20th Anniversary Mercury Cougar Order Sheet

20th Anniversary Dealer Order Sheet
Thanks to Tom for the scan.