Home » When The Horse Was Almost A Cat: Cold Start

When The Horse Was Almost A Cat: Cold Start

Cs Cougarstang1
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With all of the Mustang goings-on last night, I figured I’d make today’s Cold Start sort of Mustang-related, but not too Mustang related. So, with that in mind, let’s take a look at this incredible 1962 proto-Mustang full-sized styling clay model, only this one is from the period where the Mustang could have been the Cougar.

Look on that grille! That’s not a horse, it’s a big cat, threateningly swiping its big paws around. Ford actually had quite a history of putting cat badges on its cars, usually in threes. I wrote about this years ago, and it has to do, of all things, with the coat of arms of Richard the Lionhearted.

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That’s not all Ford was willing to borrow from Europe, though. One of my favorite parts about this styling model is how it has the expected general Mustang look that we know, but odd oval headlights that change the whole face of the car.

Cs Taunus

Ford took these from their German subsidiary’s Taunus, the same place that the very first car Ford called a Mustang, their mid-engined Mustang I concept car, borrowed its V4 engine.

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Would the world have been a better place if the Mustang started life as an egg-eyed car named for a big cat? Maybe!

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thejewosh
thejewosh
1 year ago

My dad had a 1968 Mercury Cougar years ago. That’s basically a Mustang that’s also a cat.

Man, I loved that car.

Sundance
Sundance
1 year ago

The shown Taunus is a P3. That had only inline 4 cylinders. V4 engine came with the P4, which was originally an American project for a compact car. For some reason Ford USA did not dare to bring it to the American market and transferred the whole thing to Ford Köln (Germany), So this car became the first FWD (horrible….) for Ford in Europe.

Dodsworth
Dodsworth
1 year ago

I was nine years old when the Mustang was introduced and I promise you that those headlights would have doomed the car. Way too radical for times.

Paullasy
Paullasy
1 year ago

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John Kruglinski
John Kruglinski
1 year ago
Reply to  Paullasy

Paulla, We all know you’re a 53 year old man trying scam people and blackmail them.

LTDScott
LTDScott
1 year ago

George Barris did end up using these headlights on custom Mustangs he built for Sonny and Cher.

https://performance.ford.com/enthusiasts/newsroom/2018/08/sonny—cher-mustangs.html

Jimlovesfords
Jimlovesfords
1 year ago
Reply to  LTDScott

I remember when one of the teen music shows from the mid-60s went out to Sonny & Cher’s Egyptian styled house and showed off the two Mustangs. Probably the coolest thing my 10 year self had seen on TV, outside of the Munster cars also done by George Barris

https://blog.tirebuyer.com/horror-cars-munsters-munster-koach-drag-u-la/

John Kruglinski
John Kruglinski
1 year ago
Reply to  LTDScott

Fugly cars, but at least they match! Wow, they actually paid Barris to turn the front of those iconic pony cars into 1963 Pontiac Tempests!

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
1 year ago

Would those oval headlights have been been legal in the US in 1964/65? I thought we still required round sealed beams in one of two standardized sizes – big (for twin headlamp applications) or small (for quad lamps)?

Expect that, if they had gone that way, the oval ones would have been for export, and US market ones would have gotten round headlamps stuffed into oval-shaped chrome surrounds

Jimlovesfords
Jimlovesfords
1 year ago

Ford did the wise thing, both. As a kid the Mustang was about the coolest thing I ever saw until the Cougar came out. Ford did such a good job distinguishing the two that it was years later before I realized they were the same car. Good job, Ford 🙂

SCJeff
SCJeff
1 year ago
Reply to  Jimlovesfords

Username checks out.

Jimlovesfords
Jimlovesfords
1 year ago
Reply to  SCJeff

Who me lie?

OM613
OM613
1 year ago

Loads of “what if…?” stuff in Steve Saxty’s excellent series of books about Ford model development. The first book is The Cars You Always Promised Yourself, the Secret Fords books that followed are also excellent. Mostly FoE product but loads of Americas stuff too.

Mr.Asa
Mr.Asa
1 year ago

Those headlights are so bad.

Jack Trade
Jack Trade
1 year ago

Here’s another look at it, going the other way and a little more contrast.

https://kustomrama.com/wiki/File:1962-ford-mustang-cougar.jpg

What’s really crazy to me is that this badge was still appearing on the car in 1963, months before the actual production began/it went on sale.

Rad Barchetta
Rad Barchetta
1 year ago

Then rather than pony cars we’d have… kitty cars?

IRegertNothing, Esq.
IRegertNothing, Esq.
1 year ago
Reply to  Rad Barchetta

Picture the horrifying alternate universe where it’s Cougars taking out pedestrians as they leave Cars and Coffee.

Data
Data
1 year ago

Find yours today, at the sign of the cat.

MaximillianMeen
MaximillianMeen
1 year ago
Reply to  Rad Barchetta

Well, there is another word for cat that keeps the ‘p’ and the ‘y’ that could have been used…

Anoos
Anoos
1 year ago

There is no ‘y’ in Puma.

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