The Corpus Christi Old Car Museum Auction

Lot 166
1986 Mercury ASC McLaren Prototype

Selling on Saturday

1986 Mercury ASC McLaren Prototype


• One of the original development prototypes from 1983
• A true piece of ‘80s automotive history
• Reliable and quick 5.0-liter V-8 engine
• Power latching rear tonneau cover

5.0-liter V-8 engine, 145 HP, automatic transmission, independent coil spring front suspension, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, power disc brakes; wheelbase: 100”

ASC McLaren Mustangs were the result of fortuitous timing, and a project that was already underway between the American Sunroof Company and McLaren. Detroit custom car builder Peter Muscat brought the idea of a Mustang with a tonneau cover to ASC after chopping the top off a Fox body on his own, and in turn ASC founder Heinz Pretcher brought the concept to Ford. Big blue was already in the midst of relaunching a Mustang convertible, which had been absent from the lineup for 10 years, so initially it was a Mercury Capri used to develop the ASC/McLaren treatment. The car presented today is an actual development prototype that paved the way for the ASC McLaren Mustangs you occasionally see today.

They gave the car some visual modifications, both inside and out, but left the Capri 5.0 powertrain untouched, and the cars still ended up costing more than $20,000. Between the high price, the economic woes of the late 80s, and disputes between Muscat and Pretcher, the ASC McLaren Mustangs were no more by 1990, with 2,678 ASC McLaren conversions completed - about 1,800 being convertibles, making them quite rare - but none are so rare as this prototype. Overall this prototype example presents well, and although not perfect, it is highly original. The original Haartz/Cambria cloth top is in great condition, and the power latched tonneau cover keeps it that way. The white paint is smooth over very good panel fit, with Italian Campagnolo honeycomb alloy wheels covering the four-wheel disc brakes.

Inside, the heated Recaro sport seats are wrapped in fine black leather, with polished hardwood dash trim and a Kenwood audio system. On top of everything else, it comes with a period-correct Cobra CB radio, perfect for talking to truckers about where those pesky smokies might be hiding down the road. The 5.0-liter V-8 was an option for both the Mustang and the Capri, and this one certainly appears to be very lightly used. If a one-of-a-kind Mustang would fit in your collection, here’s a sweet opportunity to buy the real deal.

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