The 1980s were a unique decade in world history, particularly for the United States. Things rapidly progressed from basic to high-tech in such a short span of time. Nowhere was that more evident than with the automobiles we drove. The decade started out with carburetion and ended with semi-sophisticated fuel injection; from little-to-no computer control to nearly total computerization of subsystems; the addition of important safety features; the move from rear-drive coupes to four-door front-drive sedans; the birth of the SUV...the list goes on and on.
What's important to know is that our cars, the Mercury Cougar (and cousins Ford Thunderbird and Lincoln Mark VII) played a huge part in welcoming American consumers to the Aero Age of car styling beginning in 1983. Before our cars, just about every vehicle was shaped like a box or a brick. Little attention was given to aerodynamics and the role it could play with a common passenger vehicle; it was reserved for select sports and racing cars, and that was pretty much it. Our cars shattered that preconception by introducing the public to a mass-produced, sophisticated aero design that didn't compromise any features in the process. Ford's sales skyrocketed, and they began to design and sell more and more aero-themed vehicles that continued to break the mold (1984 Lincoln Mark VIII, 1986 Ford Taurus/Mercury Sable, 1988 Lincoln Continental, 1989 MN12 Ford Thunderbird/Mercury Cougar, etc.). Of course, other automakers began to mimic Ford and adopt their own design languages, some subtle, some blatant (we're looking at you, Chrysler LeBaron). But the world of automobiles would never be the same again, and it's all pretty much in part because of our cars.
Below you will be able to explore some of the details of these vehicles, with general information, options available, and the colors available per model year. We've also included information on the myriad of special editions, plus dealer brochures, emblems and nomenclature, advertisements, and appearances in popular movies and television shows.
|1983: General Info | Options | Colors|
|1984: General Info | Options | Colors|
|1985: General Info | Options | Colors|
|1986: General Info | Options | Colors|
|1987: General Info | Options | Colors|
|1988: General Info | Options | Colors|
|The 1987 20th Anniversary Cougar: General Info | Options|
|1983-88 Limited + Other Edition Cougars: General Info|
|1983-88 Cougar Convertibles: General Info|
|1983-88 Cougar Dealership Brochures|
|1983-88 Cougar Ads|
|1983-88 Cougar Emblems|
|Mercury Cougar, Screen Star|