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Everything About The ASC McLaren

Many forget about the unique build quality of the ASC McLaren. We at LMR provide all the info that you need to learn about this incredible Mustang.

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What Is An ASC McLaren? - What Is An ASC McLaren?


In the 80s, the customers who wanted a little more luxury with their vehicles bought a Mercury Capri, and if you wanted more performance, you would go with the ASC/McLaren. Both versions of this car came as a brainchild of engineer Peter Muscat, who created an SL-Esque convertible roof for the mechanically similar Mustang. He convinced Mercury to offer some limited support for this new project. The Capris was contracted to be built by the American Sunroof Company (ASC), partnered up with the McLaren. ASC also decided to offer a coupe version with a few upgrades. Even though customers were impressed by both coupe and convertible options, the biggest issue was pricing. The Convertible option added $12k to the $10k base price of the 5.0 L Capri, which was already about $6k more expensive than the GT convertible. Also, the ASC/McLaren coupe was only $4k more expensive than the Capri based on but didn’t find a huge number of buyers. Once the Capri production was finally halted, ASC/McLaren offered a version of the Mustang convertible. Muscat and ASC had disagreements over licensing and royalties throughout this process, which ended in a stop in production in 1990.

1984-1986 ASC McLaren

What Is An ASC McLaren? - What Is An ASC McLaren?

A collab was done with McLaren to produce a Capri coupe in the McLaren colors of blue and orange. The following was added to make this a one of kind vehicle with the following:

  • Add-on front air dam with driving lamps
  • Rocker panel applique
  • Add-on rear fascia
  • Custom body-side graphics
  • Custom lace-design wheels

There was a leap from coupe to a Euro-style roadster and Muscat presented the idea to Heinz Prechter who was the ASC founder. He accepted the proposal because he believed it to be a good continuation of the ASC/McLaren theme. ASC then began production and the 5.0SC was born. During production, these stock capris got the following upgrades:

  • Body buck tags stamped “D32” (ASC/McLaren Code)
  • Roof removal
  • Bent a-pillars back roughly 2.5 in
  • Welded many body reinforcements
  • 2 storage compartments that replaced the coupe’s rear seat
  • Hardwood dash trim
  • Custom center console
  • Premium sound system
  • Power leather Recaro seats

While this vehicle was deemed an “image” car, not many performance upgrades were added. It still had the stock V8. In 84’ a Holley carburetor was used and made 175hp, then in 85’ a hotter cam brought with it 210hp, and finally fuel injection in 86’ meant 200hp. All three of these year models came with a Borg-Warner T-5 or Ford AOD automatic. Although it did get an upgraded suspension with unique lowering springs, special BFGoodrich radials, lowering springs, and different shock valving.

1987-1990 ASC McLaren

What Is An ASC McLaren? - What Is An ASC McLaren?

This model came out because of the high sticker price of the 84’-86’ versions which resulted in low production. In 86’ Mercury discontinued production and the work shifted to Mustang for the 87’-90’ models. Even though there was very few mechanical changes or engine mods, this build still ended up costing more than most customers wanted to pay. In its 4-year span only 1,806 Mustangs were converted which made them such a rare vehicle. Starting in 87’, adjustments were made to the existing electrically fuel-injected engine that boosted the output from the previous year’s 200 hp to 225. This was achieved by the installation of a larger intake plenum, a 60mm throttle body, 9.0:1 compression forged pistons, and Ford truck cylinder heads. Here are some additional upgrades that were included in this build:

  • 100.5” wheelbase
  • Honeycomb mesh, cast-aluminum, 15” wheels
  • Directional Goodyear VR radials
  • Manually-folded top
  • Power metal tonneau cover
  • Windshield pulled back about 20 degrees
  • Side skirts, tail lamp covers, rear spoiler
  • Removed stock emblems
  • Rear seat removed
  • Extra padding on front seats with embroidered leather
  • Redesigned door panels and armrests

While this was a limited production vehicle there is still a huge collection of ASC/McLaren specific parts for anyone whose are needing restoration parts for their vehicle.

ASC Mclaren PRODUCTION Numbers

ASC McLaren 5.0 SC Production Numbers

Year Convertible Coupe
1984 50 25
1985 257 150 + 30 Grand Prix IV Cars
1986 245 115 + 47 Euro Coupes

ASC McLaren Ford Mustang Production Numbers

Year Convertible
1987 479
1988 1,015
1989 247
1990 65

ASC Mclaren PRICES & Paint Codes

What Is An ASC McLaren? - What Is An ASC McLaren? What Is An ASC McLaren? - What Is An ASC McLaren?

Mercury Rising

Fox Body Restoration: Project Mercury Rising | ASC McLaren

Follow along as Late Model Restoration restores and updates an employee's ASC McLaren with all of the latest and greatest parts.

Project Mercury Rising EP: 1 - Fox With A Foundation | ASC McLaren Restoration

In episode 1 of Mercury Rising, we take a look at the history of the ASC McLaren and how this Fox Body has found its way to LMR employee Ted Vaughn. Follow along weekly as we take you through this Fox Body restoration project that will bring new life into this ASC McLaren.

Project Mercury Rising EP: 2 - Disassembly Required | ASC McLaren Restoration

In episode 2 of Mercury Rising, we strip down the ASC McLaren and drop it off at C&C Collision for some much needed body work. Mercury Rising gets some much needed new body parts and a fresh coat of primer.

Project Mercury Rising EP: 3 - Body Builder | ASC McLaren Restoration

In episode 3 of Mercury Rising, we take the car to a remote location to get the car buttoned up before it heads off to paint. The ASC underwent a full 5.0Resto hardware restoration to ensure that everything is back to factory specs.

Project Mercury Rising EP: 4 - Primary Colors | ASC McLaren Restoration

In episode 4 of Mercury Rising, we get the ASC McLaren onto a rotisserie and deliver to the paint booth. Check out the beautiful color that was laid on every part of this Fox Body.

Project Mercury Rising EP: 5 - Piece By Piece | ASC McLaren Restoration

In episode 5 of Mercury Rising, the Capri takes a trip to a local body shop to get the last bit of body work it needs before paint. With a fresh coat of paint, the ASC heads back to the hideout for the full restoration.

Project Mercury Rising EP: 6 - If You Build It... | ASC McLaren Restoration

In episode 6 of Mercury Rising, we pick up where we left off after installing the front windshield and rear bubble glass. All new components were added to the vehicle to really modernize the ASC McLaren. The car was outfitted with a custom set of one-off wheels for the icing on the cake on the exterior.

Project Mercury Rising EP: 7 - Final Destination | ASC McLaren Restoration

In episode 7 of Mercury Rising, the ASC McLaren gets the final touches before being prepped for the grand reveal. Last minute touches included finishing up the interior, a new custom splitter, exhaust, and much more!

Project Mercury Rising EP: 8 - The Reveal | ASC McLaren Restoration

In episode 8 of Project Mercury Rising, the fully restored ASC McLaren is revealed to Uncle Ted. Family, friends, and LMR employees help to surprise Ted with the car and he takes it on it's maiden voyage.

About the Video

Project Mercury Rising Ep:1

Check out our YouTube channel for even more tech tips, installation videos, how-tos, and more. The best place to go for anything Mustang related!

Published on 2019-04-05
In episode 1 of Mercury Rising, we take a look at the history of the ASC McLaren and how this Fox Body has found its way to LMR employee Ted Vaughn. Follow along weekly as we take you through this Fox Body restoration project that will bring new life into this ASC McLaren.