Welcome to Down On The Street, where we admire old vehicles found parked on the streets of the Island That Rust Forgot: Alameda, California. The Cougar wasn't just a rebadged Mustang, Torino, Thunderbird, or Contour- it was a legend! We've seen a few Alameda Cougars, including this '68 (which won the Favorite DOTS Mercury poll), this '73, and this '75, but we're overdue for another one. How about a mean-looking first-year example, complete with primer and missing lug nuts?
Speaking of missing lug nuts, the question occurs to me: Why? Even if you're too damned cheap to spend the money- what, $1.99?- for a new lug nut, you can always fill your pockets for free at any junkyard. If that's too much hassle, at least try to fully attach your front wheels, so that you still might be able to steer after a wheel goes flying off. This car has 14 out of a possible 20 lug nuts, which ain't so good. Left-hand-thread Ford nuts are still easy to obtain, so I don't want to hear that tired old excuse from any of you missing-lug-nut apologists!
This car is parked in front of the house that scared the crap out of all the kids in the neighborhood when I was a kid; a boarded-up and obviously haunted Victorian which- according to mid-70s Alameda East End legend- was inhabited by a gang of heavily armed devil-worshiping dope dealers who had already torture-killed several kids unfortunate enough to catch a glimpse of one of their deals. Their bodies, it was said, were stashed in one of the bedroom closets. All bullshit, of course, but it made for a more exciting childhood. Now it's been fully restored and painted a cheerful blue… yet this evil-looking Cougar appears to have been acquired as an homage to the old neighborhood legends.
I've seen this Cougar parked next to the equally menacing lug-nut-challenged '68 Mustang, so it's possible that both cars are owned by the same lover of primered Ford products.
I say it looks pretty good like this; all it needs is a 427, a 4-speed, and several lug nuts to vault its way to the Murilee's Favorite DOTS Cars list.