This 1973 Winston West NASCAR Mercury Cougar is a restoration-in-progress by Shaun Coleman of Campbell, California. You may recall the impressive 2 month nut and bolt rebuild of his 1965 Chevrolet Impala NASCAR which we featured previously here at: http://www.carbuildindex.com/8296/barn-findish-1965-chevrolet-impala-nascar-restoration/ . This Cougar’s project was started a few years before that car with the goal of finishing it in time to race at the 2013 Sonoma Historics.
Just looking at the original 1970’s era NASCAR Grand National brakes and 1960’s Ford LTD beefed up lower control arms conjures up visions of cigars, cold beers in pull-away-tab cans and shirts with butter fly collars, the way the good ‘ol boys used to do it back in the day. We are particularly enjoying everything about the vintage photographs which are included. There are possibly a few Ricky Bobby Shake n’ Bake jokes in there somewhere, but out of respect of this bad ass car we will refrain from using any of them and keep the remainder of this post strictly business, at least the best way we know how…
This racer was campaigned continuously from 1977 through 1984 in the NASCAR Winston West and Sportsman series with great success on both oval and road courses including one on the streets of Las Vegas, taking eleven top 10 and two first place finishes. It happens to be one of only a few NASCAR Cougars ever built, originally raced by a host of NASCAR greats including Bobby Allison.
Not uncommon for the time, this racer was re-bodied as a Ford Granada around 1979 so it could run in a different series and it’s wheelbase was shortened from 115″ to 110″.
Since this restoration project is about reviving the car back to it’s original Mercury Cougar configuration, Shaun’s shop picked up a donor 1971 Mercury Cougar to use for it’s sheet metal and they are restoring the car back to its original longer wheelbase.
They are also installing an original NOS Holman-Moody front clip and constructing it’s roll cage back to it’s original configurations.
One of the site’s latest posts shows the installation of the Cougar’s firewall and 351 Cleveland motor with super rare Bud Moore mini plenum, and fabrication of some cool retro rolled fenders.
We’d like to get an update and find out if it was completed in time for their race weekend deadline. Seeing how their last NASCAR project was completed in such an efficient manner, we have little doubt that this one was, as well.