Model Year Info

The 1987 20th Anniversary Mercury Cougar

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Page Revised: 10 May 2019


1987 20th Anniversary 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.

1987 20th Anniversary Cougar Interior

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.

1987 20th Anniversary Cougar Interior

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

1987 20th Anniversary Cougar Seats

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.

1987 20th Anniversary Cougar Memory Seat

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.

1987 20th Anniversary Cougar Seats

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.

1987 20th Anniversary Cougar Memory Seat

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.

1987 20th Anniversary Cougar Dash Emblem

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

1987 20th Anniversary Cougar Electronic Dash

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.

1987 20th Anniversary Cougar C-Pillar Emblem

The full cloisonné C-pillar emblem.

1987 20th Anniversary Cougar Trunk Emblems

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

1987 20th Anniversary Cougar Bumper Emblem

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

1987 20th Anniversary Cougar Wheel

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

1987 20th Anniversary Cougar Logo

The 20th Anniversary Edition Cougar logo.

1987 20th Anniversary Cougar Floor Mats

A few weeks after the lucky original owners bought their cars, a special package was sent to them directly from Ford Motor Company. Included were these special embroidered 20th Anniversary Cougar floor mats.

1987 20th Anniversary Cougar Toolkit

Also included with the car was a traveler's convenience (tool) kit with booklet. The kit contained the following:

  • First aid kit
  • Flash and 7-way emergency light
  • Batteries for flashlight
  • Pair of utility gloves
  • Kit manual
  • Pair of pliers
  • 4-way functional screwdriver
  • 2 elastic tie down cords
  • Shop towel
  • Tire pressure guage
  • Bright orange vinyl poncho
1987 20th Anniversary Cougar Book

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

1987 20th Anniversary Cougar 5.0L V8 Engine

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.

1987 20th Anniversary Cougar Radiator Tag

There were approximately 5 special models that were made for the grand unveiling of the 20th Anniversary Cougar at the New York International Auto Show in February of 1987. These cars have NEW YORK SHOW stamped on the radiator support build tag (aka "buck" tag). All others had ANNIV stamped in that place, as shown here. Note that this car also had a power moonroof and keyless entry.

1987 20th Anniversary Cougar Window Sticker

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

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:

Download Guide

Tech Specs

ENGINE 150 hp SEFI 5.0L (302 cid) V8
TRANSMISSION 4-speed overdrive automatic (AOD)
BRAKES Front: 10.0" vented disc
Rear: 9.0" drum
(Rear 10.0" drums with optional towing package)
SPECIFICATIONS 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
CURB WEIGHT 3,350 lbs. (estimated)


Production Breakdown

  • 5,002