The phenomena of replicating exotic cars on the cheap is nothing new; everyone's seen at least one tragic Ford GT40 replica with a Pontiac Fiero underneath. But there's a rarely seen, more extreme version of hubris which can compel someone to attempt to pass off a 17-year-old economy coupe as a multimillion-dollar hypercar. Under the affliction of this arrogance, one Florida resident decided that the perfect candidate to underpin a Bugatti Veyron replica was a 2002 Mercury Cougar. My god, what have they done?
Originally listed on Craigslist in Orlando for $125,000, this Cougatti (as we'll call it) has since reappeared on Car Export America for the princely sum of $128,000—about $12,000 more than what you'd spend on a brand new Mercedes-AMG GT coupe. The only thing that matches this car's outrageous price is its instrument cluster, whose odometer reads 129,239 miles, and whose speedometer goes to an optimistic 280 mph. Note that the photo of the latter taken at an "indicated" 130mph, which sounds like a lot for a Mercury Cougar. A Cougar fansite, CougarDB, suggests this speed is indeed possible though we're still skeptical.
This car's performance capabilities get even more suspect when you notice the gauges are just the plasticky Ford originals with Bugatti decals laid liberally onto their face. The clock, which comes from a Chrysler 300, also gets the Bugatti treatment, though for some reason they didn't remove the Chrysler logo when they added the EB emblem.
It's no better throughout the rest of the interior, which is plainly not that of a car which originally cost seven figures. The leather upholstery? Colors don't match. The back seats, which a real Veyron doesn't have? Dirty. The center console? Crusty, like someone has been wiping their nose with it. As a whole, the interior looks as if it's not recently (if ever) been cleaned.
In news that should surprise no one given the owner's clearly abnormal taste, this car shares its driveway with the obscure Mercedes-Benz R-class minivan. The picture isn't detailed enough for us to tell if it's the holy grail of high-performance minivans, the R 63 AMG, but as only a couple hundred are believed to exist, odds of that are near nil.
In a tale littered with strange twists and turns, the strangest thing about the owner of this Cougatti is that in spite of the generation's proclivity for questionable kit cars, they likely aren't Baby Boomers. We say that because the supplied photos of their driveway have Snapchat banners across them, such as the above, and complains of "my haters," indicating that they're of the youth generation. Maybe it's time we apologize to Boomers?
And if that's what you need to call your critics to cope with what you've wrought, by all means, continue. Just don't pretend your 17-year-old, 129,000-mile Mercury Cougar is worth six figures. Because it's not.