1962 Ford Cougar 406
The 1962 Ford Cougar 406 was a concept car for the Thunderbird built by Dean Jeffries for Ford Motor Company. The futuristic build featured top hinged, electrically operated Mercedes 300 SL-type gull-wing doors,  and swing-up headlights that were concealed in the tips of the front fenders. Power came from a 406 cubic inch V-8. The engine developed 405 horsepower and 448 pound feet of torque.
Cougars and Mustangs
This was the second Ford concept car to wear the Cougar nameplate. The first one was a 3/8-scale model from 1956. Cougar was also an early name suggestion for the upcoming Ford Mustang in 1962. According to the book Mustang Genesis: The Creation of the Pony Car by Robert A. Fria, Henry Ford II wanted the Mustang to be named the T-Bird II. No one else seemed to think that was a good choice, so the name was deleted; "Joe Oros and Dave Ash reportedly saw their own new creation as a feline in nature, so they gave it a name they both agreed upon, "Cougar." A stylized cat emblem was centrally located in the middle of the grille ornamentation. This is the name that was given build approval by the corporate Product Approval Committee on September 10, 1962." In early November 1962 Iacocca and Bordinat officially assigned the name Mustang to the car.
1962 Chicago Auto Show Debut
The Cougar was shown as part of the Ford Custom Caravan exhibit.
In 1963, the Cougar appeared in Frederick Brisson's film version of his Broadway comedy hit "Under the Yum Yum Tree" which David Swift directed as a Brisson-Swift production for Columbia Pictures. Jack Lemmon, Carol Lynley, Dean Jones, Edie Adams, Imogene Coca, and Paul Lynde starred in the movie. This version was painted Candy Apple Red.
Where is it Now?
Around 1973 Mike Nottingham of Richmond, Indiana saw the car in Southern California. "It was owned by a Corvette enthusiast," Mike told Kustomrama in 2015; "He advertised it for sale in Hemmings as a 1955 Cougar. I remember that the price was about $5,000. I flew from Indiana to Los Angeles to look at the car. It was in a rough condition from sitting outside for quite a while. The chrome bumpers, side moldings and emblems were actually plated plastic, and they were very warped. I did not buy the car." Mike never saw or heard more about the whereabouts of the car again, but due to the rough condition of the "chrome" plastic pieces and missing components for the gull wing doors he thinks it is likely that the car was never restored.
Did You Enjoy This Article?
Kustomrama is an online encyclopedia dedicated to traditional hot rod and custom cars. Our mission is to protect, preserve and share traditional hot rod custom car history from all over the world. We are a small operation, run by volunteers, and we need your help to survive and secure future growth. Click here to find out how you can help us.
Help Us Make This Article Better
If you have additional information, photos, feedback or corrections about 1962 Ford Cougar 406, please get in touch with Kustomrama at: firstname.lastname@example.org.