Thursday, November 24, 2016

1962 Ford Cougar Concept Car

There's hardly any internet information on Ford's 1962 Cougar concept car.  The Wikipedia entry here is typical.  The Cougar name was eventually used for many years by Ford Motor Company's Mercury brand for various lines of sporty coupes.  Before that, it was found on show cars.

The '62 Cougar is not a famous concept car, but I find it interesting.  That's partly because it appeared right after American cars had moved out of the rococo era of three-tone paint jobs, swaths of chrome trim, and elaborate tail fins.  Yet the Cougar retained touches of fantasies dreamed up the Ford's advanced styling unit back in the 1950s.


This general view sets the scene.  Most of the images of the Cougar feature its Mercedes-Benz inspired gull-wing doors -- an impractical sports car fetish that has yet to be abandoned.

The Cougar's grille is simple and integrated with the bumper as a variety of horizontal shapes.  Headlights are hidden behind the fender caps, though its not clear how they are exposed.  (Perhaps they are not there at all and those cut lines are dummies.)  Note the wire wheels, a sporty '50s fad that was fading by 1962.  The front of the car from the cowl forward is very simple.  Side trim is a single broad, tapering chrome strip that limits the height of the front wheel opening.  The windshield wraps around to A-pillars that slant backwards, part of the trend away from vertical or forward slanting A-pillars of the 1950s.  But the windshield does not wrap upwards even though compound-curved windshields were not unknown at the time.  The result is that odd, rather small transition panel that links the windshield with the gull-wing door openings.

Side view showing the nice, long hood and fairly short (for the times) rear overhang.  The gull-wing door openings have a slant at the rear conforming to the seat slant.  There is a single lift strut mounted at the rear.  The most visually jarring feature is the tubular lump atop the fender over the rear wheel.  It distracts from the otherwise pure fender line and seems to serve only as a tail light assembly holder.  Perhaps the fender line did need some spicing up, but those lumps simply add poorly-placed clutter.  They represent a seeming holdover of Ford's advance styling group's early-1950s obsession with jet fighter and sci-fi spaceship detailing.

This rear view indicating that, aside from the tail light arrangement  the design of the car's rear is clean.  A production version would have required a higher trunk lid for reasons of practicality, however.

1 comment:

AutoPuzzles Blogger said...

The car did have headlights, as seen here:;topic=8946.0;attach=63000;image