Not sure which one this is. Came across it this morning, and didn’t see a recent mention of GT-E’s coming to auction. If this is the “rebody” car, I’ll delete this and add the link / update to the old thread for that car.
•1964 427 CI engine
•4K3 engine block date code
•Medium riser intake
•C6 3-speed automatic transmission
•Laser straight cardinal Red exterior with Black interior
•XR7-S tail lamps
•XR7-G front valance and fog lamps
•Rare original GT-E BF Goodrich FR70-14 spare tire and wheel in trunk
•Reproduction air cleaner
•Rear valance was notched out to clear the reproduction exhaust
In 1968, there was only one way to get a 427 in a new Ford or Mercury. Instead of waiting for the midyear 428 Cobra Jet, Mercury bolstered the new Cougar GT-E’s performance image by installing the W-code 427 as the only available powerplant, as well as the last 427 ever offered by Ford from the factory. In its second year as a corporate cousin to the widely successful Mustang, the more luxurious 1968 Cougar featured a formal hardtop profile, hideaway headlights and sequential tail lights. This red 1968 Cougar GT-E is one of only 356 produced with the single 4-barrel 427/390 HP V-8 engine. Available for $1,311 over the standard Cougar or XR-7, the GT-E combined big horsepower with Mercury style and luxury. In addition to the 427, the equipment list was impressive: Super Competition Handling package, mandatory SelectShift Merc-O-Matic automatic transmission, 9-inch rear axle, power steering, power front disc brakes, “power booster” engine fan, low-restriction dual exhaust and chrome engine dress-up with open-element air cleaner. Appearance-wise, the GT-E was identified by its two-tone paint with argent on the lower body, blackout grille with unique horizontal trim bar, non-functional twin-nostril hood scoop, black tail-light trim, quad exhaust tips, styled steel wheels and “7.0 Litre GT-E” fender emblems. This 1968 Cougar GT-E is equipped with a 1964 427 CI engine with a 4K3 block date code, medium-riser intake and chrome air cleaner. The rare Cougar is also equipped with XR7-S tail lamps, XR7-G front valance and fog lights, white-letter BF Goodrich Radial T/A tires and notched rear valance to clear the reproduction exhaust system. Factory-supplied equipment includes power steering and AM/FM stereo, and a rare original BF Goodrich FR70x14 spare tire on a GT-E rim resides in the trunk.
The 69 at $33k was not that much of a steal. I see a car that needs a complete restoration. Had it been a West Coast car all blown apart, in boxes would it have done more than $30k? I know which I would choose.
I noticed Mecum finally acknowledged the body swap at least. I think for clarity we should henceforth refer to this car as the red GT-E tribute car. I just don’t see how you claim it to be a GT-E without the original body or drive train. It’s no different than my other pet peeve, the Lemans/Tempest being sold as a GTO.
I am new to this forum. I am 63 years old and have driven Fords since 1973. Mostly mustangs, and I have owned quite a few. 1968 Shelby GT 500 KR and a California Special. I am a bit of a resto mod guy and have kept the car I built for my wife of 40 years in 1976. A 1967 Fastback with a toploader that is built for the 1/4 mile and is a beast. My wife has raced it more than a few times at the track. She is a keeper!!!
So why am I here? The car discussed in this thread is in my shop where I restore muscle cars to their former glory. This car is owned by a customer of mine that collects and enjoys muscle cars. This is one beautiful car and very rust free.
Ah, but you guys don’t care about that. It needs some love and I am giving that to it. But in the process I am very astute on hidden VIN numbers. Cast numbers and cast date codes. And sheetmetal date codes. Only for Fords and Mercury’s. This site is in for a bit of a surprise on this car. the Vin numbers on the inner fender panels MATCH the dash and the door VIN’s. The date codes on the sheetmetal I have retrieved so far pre-date the cars build date as confirmed by a Marti report. Yes the car has a wrong dash for the 91 in its VIN number and the taillights are not GTE. But these small inaccuracies do not make it a rebodied car or a tribute.
There is no evidence of welding the VIN number areas on the inner fender panels and no evidence of panel replacement due to the factory spot welds. I was a sheetmetal by trade at the Puget sound Naval shipyard and have used a spot welder for days and days. Manufacturing bunks and such for Navy ships. To duplicate a factory spot weld on these cars is nearly impossible to the trained eye. This car has factory spot welds in these panels.
I am unsure who looked at the hidden VIN’s and determined they were different because they are not. The first time I read them I had no idea what the dash said. I missed one number in the consecutive unit number and got the rest correct with no bias. Both sides.
I say this gently, but no one of any pedigree has ever seen this car. People sitting on chairs in front of computers have judged it. And I hasten to say just like other Ford forums that I visit, that the people on these sites are looked to, to be the experts. I try to never judge a car unless I have seen it or know that people of pedigree have.
I am driving to have this car ready for the Cougar meet at Griots in Tacoma later this month. The owner plans to attend and I welcome all to look at this car. It is the real deal.
I also now have a 1969 Cougar XR7 390 4 speed vert in the family. I hope to be able to get advice and such on this car as I restore it for my brother. It is a very cool car!!
It is my hope that no one takes offense to this post. It is factual with no emotion.
Rob, That is exactly what needed to have been done years ago. I do not know the full story on how it was reported as a rebody. But I would think Jim Pinkerton would and would also like to know this. And if possible to see the numbers. His user name is cougar1.
Thanks for providing this information.
As Neal has suggested the best person you can talk to would be Jim Pinkerton. He is the GTE Registrar for the Cougar Club Of America. Being in that position he has much more information than most any of us. A previous owner may have more information. I would second Neal’s suggestion that you contact Jim, you can reach him through the CCOA website, www.cougarclub.org. Or send him a PM through this forum.
As I recall from a previous dissuasion about this car Jim has stated that it is a rebody. What information that is based on I do not know. I do know Jim though and I do not believe that he would add such information to the registry without some form of credible information. Again it really would be best if you were to talk directly to Jim. A big plus for you on that front is that Jim will most likely be at the Tacoma show. I am sure that he would enjoy getting together with you and going over the car.
I doubt that anyone will take offense to your post, I know that I have not. In fact I believe that most of us would love to know the real story, no matter which way the facts take us. I look forward to hearing more about this car.
Jim is normally at Prowl so he may have the chance to look it over in person and verify once and for all if this car is a real GT-E or not. John Benoit will also be there. If these two can’t verify its pedigree, I doubt anyone can.
The new owner has been in contact with Jim. I will provide some pictures of the data plate and its attachment points tomorrow. Thanks to all for being understanding and after talking to the new owner who talked with Jim it seems that he last two owners would not allow anyone to look at the car. With that, a red flag would be proper.