“ALMOST UNHEARD OF” COUGAR GT-E
He was driving truck. We broke down in Albuquerque. We were going up that big mountain and one of the rods ‘went’ and shook the car!”
Burnice bought a new pickup and towed the Cougar the rest of the way. Instead of rebuilding the 427, Turner—who “started from a boy at 14” as a California hot rodder—hired a shop in Oklahoma City to build a “NASCAR” 427 with a “good block and crankshaft.” Luckily, he kept the original 427.
Turner recalled the day he purchased the GT-E from the Ford dealer in California. There were three new Cougars parked side by side. And his was “the only one with the bump,” referring to the Power-dome with simulated air intakes that he modified for
ram air. No doubt, Turner knew he had a special performance Cougar, but he isn’t a numbers-matching collector.
Burnice thanked Peterson for being a “real person” and helping document the car to facilitate the sale to Jim Pinkerton. Sones believed other potential buyers wanted to flip the rare Mercury. In contrast. Pinkerton is a serious collector who will fully restore the GT-E to high standards, which makes Burnice and Turner feel good about letting their beloved Cougar go to a new home.
n When the original 427 threw a rod, Turner Robie installed a 427 medium-riser with the original intake, brackets, fan shroud, air cleaner assembly, and even the original carburetor linkage from the stock 427. Missing is the smog system and the original carburetor.
n All 1968 Cougar GT-Es came with a C6 automatic transmission. The odometer read 63,311.
n Fortunately, Turner kept the GT-E’s original 427, including the original heads, which went with the deal.
n The W in the VIN’s fifth spot is the elusive code for the 427, a limited-production racing engine. Many people still believe Ford installed W-code 427s in the 1968 Mustang, but none have ever been found.
n Royce Peterson (far left) facilitated this sale for Turner and Burnice Robie. Several books and manuals went with the deal.
n Phillip Sones helped his uncle Turner sell the Cougar GT-E and load the Mercury onto Royce Peterson’s enclosed trailer.