Mercury LN7 - 1981 PPG Pace Car

Mercury LN7 – 1981 PPG Pace Car

Jack Roush, SVO and ASC got together to build this one-off, turbocharged LN7.




It featured a dramatic front chin spoiler, brake-cooling ducts just ahead of the rear wheels, and a wrap-around rear spoiler all provided by ASC (American Sunroof Company) and Ford. The power plant was an early turbocharged version of the 1.6L CVH built by Jack Roush and Ford’s SVO, featuring a reworked version of the factory 2-barrel carburetor, TRW cold-forged pistons for 8.5:1 compression, polished factory connecting rods, ported head milled down .06″ on top a European 1.6L CVH head gasket, 3-angle valve seats, a turbocharger adding just 8psi, and water-alcohol-injection all adding up to 7,000RPMs (electronically limited) of 180 horsepower. The transmission is a factory Escort/Lynx/EXP/LN7 4-speed manual transmission blue-printed with extreme care and tight tolerances at an aircraft level allowing it to handle both the 180 horsepower, 7,000RPMs of input, and top speeds around 125mph. (From Wikipwedia)

Current Status

The Mercury LN7 is owned by Jack Roush and displayed at his museum in Livonia, MI. Other PPG Pace Cars live there as well.

1981 Chicago Auto Show


Courtesy of Bill Behlman

  • I’m super excited to see what you share about it, details on the EXP are even more of a mystery than the LN7. If you need any photos I have some rare ones, but you seem to be really good at finding them, you found more photos of the LN7 than I knew existed!

  • The top pic in the museum looks like it might have been used for a speed record attempt. Obvious clues are the pushbar, rear hatch bracing, parachute and moon disc on front wheel.

    • I believe you are correct. The museum photo also shows wider front fenders with larger fender flares. The hood has a giant bulge and the mirrors have been removed (for better top speed aerodynamics?) I’d love to know the full history on this one!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *