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

When The Horse Was Almost A Cat: Cold Start

Cs Cougarstang1

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.

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.

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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20 Responses

  1. 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.

  2. 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 🙂

  3. 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.

  4. 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

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