Supercharged Mercury Mountaineer

Remember the Mercury Moutaineer?  If so,why?  Anywho, this was a badge-engineered Mercury Explorer, which means it was available with the 4.9-liter V8 previously used in the Mustang and just about everything else.  Someone decided to modify this one for street performance, which, in and of itself, is odd.

The seller includes several pictures in the ad, all seemingly from different times.  That always makes us worry, as the current condition is not well documented.  Still, if you arrange to view this oddity, you can verify that.

Quite a bit of info on the mods and history is included in the ad (and pasted below); but we're not sure who built it as a "prototype" and there's no link to the alleged magazine article.  It does sound like it was thoroughly upgraded, so it might be pretty darn fun.  We'd go for a stripe delete to make a sleeper; but that's a personal choice.

Click for Craigslist ad
Huntington Beach, CA, USA

Yep, this is an Explorer with a Merc grill.  This partcular one has Shelby-esque stripes adn custom wheels.

Here's a shot from a track.  Note the different wheels and the windshield banner.  When was this taken?

Here's another mystery photo.

Here's an apparent drag strip shot with those same wheels from the track.

The interior is all stock, with added a-pillar guages.  The column shifter must be fun on the track!?  Note the double-DIN head unti, which means you can add modern navigation with Anroid Auto and CarPlay.

Here's the 5.0 (well, 4.9...) liter V8 with the supercharger to the left.  The supercharger seems to be a Powerdyne unit, which may or may not have been marketed by Ford Racing (based on interwebs research).

Ad text:

For Sale: 1998 Mercury Mountaineer/Ford Explorer SportTruck prototype study
This SportTruck is 1 of 1 and was built for over $50k in 1998 as a prototype to be sold by Ford Motorsport dealers. It was track and dyno tuned and was also featured in a 1999 Turbo Magazine article. Seeking $6995 or best offer.

Ford 5.0L V8 w/ 6psi Powerdyne Supercharger (CARB legal) and K&N Air Filter
Ford 4R70W 4-speed Automatic Trans w/ furnace-brazed Torque Converter and
shift profile modifications by California Performance Transmission (Art Carr)
BellTech Suspension - 2.5-in drop
Custom torsion keys, rear leaf springs and re-valved performance shocks
Uprated front/rear sway bars and bushings
Fittipaldi Tubulare Wheels - 17- x 8-in
inc. color-matched gold spokes and also carbon fibre spoke/center cap kit
Performance 255-50/17 tires
AutoMeter Instrumentation on Pillar Pod - Vacuum/Boost and AFR (Air-Fuel Ratio)
Bassani 3-inch Cat-Back Performance Exhaust System with Chrome Tip
Ford Motorsport LSD
Running Board and Roof Rack Delete 
Custom Toreador Red/Dark Toreador Red/Gold Color Key Paint w/ Dual Rally Stripes

Recent maintenance items include new alternator, battery, tires, front shocks, front/rear brakes, upgraded radiator

This is a one of a kind vehicle and you will not find another one even close. It will lap the race track with the best sports cars and still make a run to Home Depot or Vons. Runs very strong, passed a recent smog exceptionally well and is good for title transfer. Some clear coat oxidation which can be easily addressed if desired.

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