Never claiming to be a ‘replica’ of anything but acknowledged to have been influenced by the designs of unusual-looking cars such as the Healey Silverstone and the Frazer Nash TT Replica, the Kougar was a kit car designed and built by former racing driver and engineer Rick Stevens. He was inspired to develop a lightweight sportster based around Jaguar running gear during the mid 1970s after realising that his own S-type had a scrap value of less than £200. Indeed, those were the days when Jaguar saloons frequently ended up on banger racing circuits and 10-year-old E-types would change hands for only a few hundred quid.
So in 1976, Stevens stripped the 1600kg S-type, set aside its silky-smooth 3.8-litre engine, Dunlop disc brakes, high-geared steering and independent suspension, and attached it all to a simple tubular chassis of his own design. He then topped it off with a lightweight aluminium body to produce a quick hot rod producing 220bhp and tipping the scales on the right side of 1000kg.
Subsequent cars had glassfibre coachwork, and the first production model – marketed through a company called Storcourt Wells – went to an American buyer in 1977, with five further examples being exported to Australia soon afterwards.