COOL CATS - The 1983-88 Mercury CougarCOOL CATS - The 1983-88 Mercury Cougar


Revised July 22, 2016

During the six model years that the Fox aero-Cougar was made, there were several special edition Cougars produced. The following illustrates some of these cars.

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 special edition Cougars but we'd like to think that this page should serve as a "home base" 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.

Convertibles (1983-88)

Click here for more information on Cougar convertibles.

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 believed that the Special Edition is almost directly related to the Blue Max Edition (see below), as the same supplier seems to have been involved with both models.

1986 Cougar Special Edition
1986 Cougar Special Edition
Left: A general trait of the Special Edition is a colored bottom with stripes (usually silver, black or gold) and a non-functional luggage rack. There is sometimes a commemorative badge on the dash underneath the clock. Often, though, there is no alternate or special badging anywhere on the car.
1988 Cougar Special Edition Left: Shown here is a 1988 Special Edition with gold lower accents, a variation of the typical silver striping.


Blue Max Edition (1985-86, 1988)

The Blue Max Edition was very similar to the Special Edition, again sold coast to coast in the United States, but regionally.

1985 Blue Max Edition Left: 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 dash emblem.
1985 Blue Max Edition
1985 Blue Max Edition
Left: 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 reports that all Blue Maxes were built on the same day but that information has not been corroborated yet.
1985 Blue Max Edition Left: The interior was standard fare, no differences from a regular Cougar.
1986 Blue Max Edition Left: The only variation was a dealer-installed luggage rack, shown here. Most were chrome although we've seen them in black as well.
1986 Blue Max Edition Left: This Blue Max has no luggage rack.
1988 Blue Max Edition
1988 Blue Max Edition
Left: The Blue Max became an official special edition beginning in 1988 (no 1987 Blue Max models 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. 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.
1988 Blue Max Edition Left: A special "COUGAR BLUE MAX EDITION" emblem adorned the instrument panel, just under the clock.
1988 Blue Max Edition Left: The Blue Max was once again available in newly-added light blue metallic, as well as dark blue. 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. 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.
1988 Blue Max Edition Left: 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.
1988 XR7 Blue Max Edition Left: Newly discovered photos and information have confirmed that it was possible to install a Blue Max package on an XR7 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.
1988 Blue Max Emblem Left: It is not known how many Blue Max Editions were produced. That makes determining the value and rarity much more difficult. However, when it comes to resale value, these cars 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 road 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.

1985 Cougar RS
1985 Cougar RS
Left: The Cougar 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 we've seen some RS models with skinny molding before.
1985 Cougar RS
1985 Cougar RS
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.
1985 Cougar RS
1985 Cougar RS
Known color combinations:
  • White/red stripes
  • Red/white stripes
  • White/blue stripes
  • Blue/white stripes
  • Blue/gold stripes


Night Cat Edition (1986?-88)

1988 Night Cat Edition
1988 Night Cat Edition
Left: Night Cats 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.
1988 Night Cat Edition Top Left: A closer look at the Night Cat's faux-convertible top.
1988 Night Cat Edition Emblem Left: A special "NIGHT CAT" emblem adorned each C-pillar with a third version attached to the dash panel beneath the clock. Total production of this car is unknown.


Black Cat Special Edition (1988)

1988 Cougar Black Cat Special Edition
1988 Cougar Black Cat Special Edition
Left: Similar to the Night Cat is the Black Cat Special Edition, which was black with special gold striping and included a special gold-tone molding insert (similar to the 20th Anniversary Edition). It appears that Black Cat Editions did not have the mock convertible top. Total production is unknown.
1988 Cougar Black Cat Special Edition Left: The Black Cat Edition also featured special cloisonné emblems on the trunklid, dash and C-pillars.
1988 Cougar Black Cat Special Edition Left: Once again the interior was standard Cougar fare with the exception of the emblem below the clock.


City Editions (1985-88)

City 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 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.

1985 Bostonian Edition
1986 Bostonian Edition
1988 Bostonian Edition
Left: Perhaps the most well-known of the City Edition Cougars is the Bostonian Edition. It also seems to have been produced in the most numbers as well.
San Antonian Emblem

Left: These emblems adorned a San Antonian Edition.

PGH Edition Left: Shown here are emblems from a Pittsburgh Edition.
1987 Cougar Philadelphia Flyers Edition
1987 Philadelphia Cougar Flyers Edition
1987 Philadelphia Cougar Flyers Edition
Philadelphia Flyers Edition
Left: According to the eBay description for this vehicle, there were 3 Philadelphia Flyers Edition Cougars made in 1987. 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 one of the other two. Features include a mock convertible top and special Flyers emblems on the windows and fenders. This is a great example of a Cougar being adapted to a local specialty version.


E&G Series

A company named E&G from Florida was responsible for selling several different Cougar appearance packages to dealerships. Their main design theme is a vinyl half-top that covers the small side windows almost completely, and also some special badging.

E&G MX Brougham Series Cougar Left: MX Brougham Series (1984?-1986)
E&G Signature Series Cougar

Left: Signature Series (1987-88)

E&G Designer Series Cougar
E&G Designer Series Cougar
E&G Designer Series Cougar

Left: Designer Series. This particular 1988 Cougar XR7 was fitted with a contoured vinyl top, serialized E&G emblem, and a trunklid with pronounced hump (similar to those found on the Lincoln Mark VII).


Track Cat Edition (1988)

1987 Cougar Freedom Series Edition
1987 Cougar Freedom Series Edition
Left: This 1988 Cougar XR7 is mysteriously labeled as a "Track Cat". We know nothing else about this car. It may be possible that the ground effects kit was part of an unknown Track Cat package.


Freedom Series Edition (1987)

1987 Cougar Freedom Series Edition
1987 Cougar Freedom Series Edition
1987 Cougar Freedom Series Edition
Left: Not much is known about the Freedom Series Cougar, save for a small emblem placed on the front fenders.


Silver Aero (1986)

The Silver Aero originally was a Ford Motor Company promotional car for the 1986 Cougar. They were silver, and featured 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.


Olympic Edition (1988)

Made to commemorate the 1988 Olympics, these Cougars featured a red, black, or blue exterior with gold trim inside the moldings, along with special Olympic badging. Total production number is unknown.


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