Rick Stevens founded Kougar Cars in 1979, although the first (approximately 30) cars were marketed by a company called Storcourt Wells Ltd. He built the prototype in 1976, which incorporated an aluminium body. All the other cars have a fibreglass body shell. Rick still maintains an active interest in the Kougar Owners Club as its President.
Rick's inspiration for the Kougar originated in his ownership of a Jaguar S Type Saloon, but recognised that it had a scrap value of only £100-£200. He also realised that a first class sports car could be made by connecting the heavy lumps of the Jaguar together with a simple light weight body and chassis unit.
The sports car design was not directly inspired by any particular vehicle, but Rick admits to having a certain fondness for the Fraser Nash TT replica and the Healey Silverstone. The first car with an alloy body was sold to an American in 1977, but moulds had prudently been taken from the alloy body and a batch of 5 cars was exported to Australia. The first cars featured a chrome grill, however this was supersede by a cast alloy grill for a short time, after which a chrome grill was re-instated, albeit with two extra bars in 1979, still used today.
Production of the "Sports" model has been continuous with about 200 cars being sold over the years. In 1979 a second model, the Monza, was developed which utilised Ford engine components. Approximately 40 Monza's found their way mainly to the west coast of America. The Monza was eventually developed to take Jaguar components like the Sports and occasionally fitted with a Rover V8 and Jaguar V12 engines, also the Jaguar XK engine.
Over the years about 60% of the cars were supplied as kits, the other 40% were complete cars supplied by Kougar Cars, of which 20% were registered as new and contained all new parts from Jaguar Cars Ltd. Some of these new vehicles were sold by H.R Owen in London and other distributors.
In 1990 Kougar Cars was sold to Trent Engineering in Somerset, however after about 18 months this company went into receivership and was taken over by John Killick in 1992, whose interest in the car dates back to 1982, when he built a Sports model of his own.
The new Kougars, both Sports in Mark III form and the Monza, were supplied as extremely comprehensive kits or fully built vehicles. The Mk III Sports, although updated to take Series 3 XI components is very similar to the original Sports model with a robust space frame chassis and a bonded on glass fibre body. The whole car weighed less than 1,000kg. the chassis was designed to accept the XJ6 Series 1,2 and 3 or, with some modifications V12 components.
THE ORIGINS OF KOUGAR CARS