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Diablo Gato

1973 Mercury Cougar Convertible

Diablo Gato: "The Devil Cat"

Unleashing the Beast

To most car enthusiasts, the muscle car era had reached its pinnacle by 1971. The horsepower race abruptly came to an end shortly thereafter as federal regulations altered the approach that automakers took when it came to building and designing vehicles. Instead of bragging about engine displacement and horsepower, it was all about fuel efficiency.

When this 1973 Mercury Cougar Convertible arrived at KTL Restorations in Danville, VA, the task was simple – take this relatively tame kitty and turn it into a devilish machine that is 100% muscle!

The Devil is in the Details

We started with an all new Coil-Over/A-Arm Conversion Suspension System from Chris Alston’s Chassisworks. This beast is fitted with a Ford, 414 ci Cleveland engine, built by Prestige Motors, and paired with a TREMEC TKO 5-speed transmission.

Now that this cat had the “go”, it was time to address the “show”. A vehicle this menacing must have paint that befits its name. A custom paint job in Glasurit’s “Deep Black” was applied, with ghosted Eliminator stripes in a KTL custom mix called “Ghost Pepper”.

The interior got the full treatment as well! Moore & Giles constructed a custom interior that retained a relatively stock appearance, with several upgrades – including custom ’70s style high-back seats, all covered in new leather. The dash also retains its stock appearance thanks to Dakota Digital’s digital conversion instrument panel.

A Devishly Good Time!

The end result – proof that the muscle car era never ended! Vehicles built after the “muscle-car era” can still rival what the big 3 manufacturered in the mid ’60s/early ’70s. This was a fun build to be involved in and promises to make whoever is driving have a devishly good time!

A full rundown of this build and the many partners we worked with to bring this cat to life, can be viewed on the Diablo Gato Project page on CarBuff Network.