|Find the Convention Cougar on eBay|
If course that is my opinion, but now that we are a week removed, I keep returning to the Mercury Cougar as the best exclusive model from the event.
That is not to say I dislike the Datsun Wagon. It is clearly the most sought-after model from the event, and deservedly so. It looks sharp in black with its Mustang Boss-esque decor. I am happy to have one in my collection, and happy I only had to pay $25 for it.
But let's be honest. We are in a bit of a Datsun Wagon overkill. I have always subscribed to the "more the merrier" approach to diecast, but the Wagon has been a little overexposed. Of course I will add the Kmart exclusive to the collection, and the Car Culture version (also in black) coming next year is a must-have, but maybe it is time for a little break. I never thought I would say it, but I miss the muscle.
So maybe that is why the Mercury Cougar keeps demanding my attention. I have loved the casting since Rob Matthes designed it. I have never found an actual vehicle it is based on, but seeing the Cougar Trans-Am'd out is fantastic. And every deco the model has sported since its release has been fantastic.
But nothing beats this version created for the Dinner held in Rob's honor at the Convention. The color is great, the racing deco and wheels fit the Trans Am theme, and if you look closely, you will see that this is a modified version. Gone is the upsloped, track-friendly chin for the basic version, replaced by a more realistic front grill. That means two things: One, this is the must-have version of this casting, and two, hopefully we see this in future premium lines. The casting certainly deserves it.
There seemed to be a bit of an underwhelming response to the model when it was first released, but I think this is one of those "let it grow on you" models. It certainly has for me. It takes the cake in an even that was full of fantastic exclusives.
(If you don't have one, you can find one on eBay...)