The Story of 543072 a W code cat built in early 68

The GT-E was only available for a few brief months in 1968. Total production would not have kept the assembly line busy for more than a half day. If you know anything about a GT-E, it is important, and this is the place to share it. The GT-E registry is maintained by Jim Pinkerton.
427XR7
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Re: The Story of 543072 a W code cat built in early 68

#11

Post by 427XR7 » 29 Sep 2017, 15:07

I sat in a retirement home one Sunday afternoon and heard the story of how the car was "found" in California and bought by a prominent doctor in Grosse Pointe, MI. I visited his home and spoke to his wife who had recently had him admitted to an Elder Care facility as he was suffering with advanced memory loss. That afternoon, he seemed perfectly healthy and was recalling the day he spotted the car with absolute clarity. The good doctor was a fanatic car collector. Almost exclusively Ford/mercury products. His wife's Sunday driver was a 1936 Ford Pheaton Convertible. He sat and recalled all the cars he owned including a 1967 R code Fairlane, several Boss cars and CJ's. The story goes.......he was in California on vacation when this car, loaded on the back of rollback tow truck, passed him going the opposite direction. He turned around on the spot, chased the car down and bought it on the side of that California Highway. He recalled (correctly) the car did not have a speck of rust on it and paid a princely sum for it back in the 1980's. $4500. He shipped the car back to Michigan where it sat in a barn on his apple orchard in Macomb Township, MI. He sold the car to a young man in Dundee, MI. This young man worked at a the Ford Flat Rock Assembly Plant. The young man's plan to restore the car (not that it needed it) was cut short when he got laid off from the plant and bills started piling up. Another GTE owner had a Grecian Gold GTE on display at the Hines Park Cruise when the young man (with his bills weighing heavily on his mind) approached the GTE owner and stated he "had one of these cars" at home he'd like to sell. A deal was made and this red car started finding it's way back into circulation. The 7.0 Litre Kid bought the car from the Grecian Gold Guy. It couldn't be in better hands, now. The Community wins.

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1967 S Code
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Re: The Story of 543072 a W code cat built in early 68

#12

Post by 1967 S Code » 29 Sep 2017, 15:50

7.0 Litre Kid wrote:
27 Sep 2017, 22:13
IMG_3134.JPGHere's the thing that I've been struggling with. When the car first arrived,I wasn't sure if the "patina" had any value.
The car certainly wasn't cheap,and it seemed I paid for the story in part.
If you've watched Jay Leno at al,there's an episode about original cars!
After some time I've arrived at keeping everything original for now that survived. I want the car as close to factory deliverd as possible.
If that means removing stickers , replacing pitted chrome hardware,with original items with correct patina, then so be it.

What does everyone else think? Does the story have value?
Should the car be left alone? Tell me what you think?

Mike
Mike great story so far and what a great Cougar. I'd leave it as is just as your're describing. We are doing the same with out Lime Frost XR7G. It has it's bumps and bruises but it's a survivor. after a lot of research I located the original owner and spoke to him. Our XR7G had an snow accident early in it's life in California and the hood scoop was replaced with a GTE model. I purchased an original G hood scoop for a spare but it will stay in storage for now. Here are some pictures of the GTE hood scoop with the date sticker of 5/17/68.







I'm in the line of thought that a Cougar is only original once so patina is cool. If you get tired of the patina then restore it.

Steven
Image

Our Cougars

Image

1967 Standard
Dan Gurney Special

6.5 Litre, Black / Black, AC Whisperaire, Am/FM, Sports Console,
Front and Rear Bumper Guards, Clock

1968 XR7-G
302 4V, Lime Frost / Black Leather, AM/FM, Black Vinyl, Tilt-A-Way
Heavy Duty Suspension, Power Disc Brakes, Rader Wheels


1968 XR7-G Hertz
390 4V, Black Cherry/ Dark Red Leather, Black Vinyl, Sunroof, Tilt-A-Way,
Cruise, Rear Defrost, AC Whisperaire


1968 Convertible Conversion "Top Cat"
Standard, 302 4V, XR7G Console, XR7G Front Valance, XR7S Taillight Bars

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7.0 Litre Kid
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Re: The Story of 543072 a W code cat built in early 68

#13

Post by 7.0 Litre Kid » 29 Sep 2017, 18:55

427XR7 wrote:
29 Sep 2017, 15:07
I sat in a retirement home one Sunday afternoon and heard the story of how the car was "found" in California and bought by a prominent doctor in Grosse Pointe, MI. I visited his home and spoke to his wife who had recently had him admitted to an Elder Care facility as he was suffering with advanced memory loss. That afternoon, he seemed perfectly healthy and was recalling the day he spotted the car with absolute clarity. The good doctor was a fanatic car collector. Almost exclusively Ford/mercury products. His wife's Sunday driver was a 1936 Ford Pheaton Convertible. He sat and recalled all the cars he owned including a 1967 R code Fairlane, several Boss cars and CJ's. The story goes.......he was in California on vacation when this car, loaded on the back of rollback tow truck, passed him going the opposite direction. He turned around on the spot, chased the car down and bought it on the side of that California Highway. He recalled (correctly) the car did not have a speck of rust on it and paid a princely sum for it back in the 1980's. $4500. He shipped the car back to Michigan where it sat in a barn on his apple orchard in Macomb Township, MI. He sold the car to a young man in Dundee, MI. This young man worked at a the Ford Flat Rock Assembly Plant. The young man's plan to restore the car (not that it needed it) was cut short when he got laid off from the plant and bills started piling up. Another GTE owner had a Grecian Gold GTE on display at the Hines Park Cruise when the young man (with his bills weighing heavily on his mind) approached the GTE owner and stated he "had one of these cars" at home he'd like to sell. A deal was made and this red car started finding it's way back into circulation. The 7.0 Litre Kid bought the car from the Grecian Gold Guy. It couldn't be in better hands, now. The Community wins.
Ray
I am so glad that you were there,and able to share the story!
I knew some of the story, but you added much more.
If it wasn't for you,I probably wouldn't have the car.
I would still like to know more about the original owner. It seems it's first owner might have had a jealous girlfriend.(just speculating).

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7.0 Litre Kid
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Re: The Story of 543072 a W code cat built in early 68

#14

Post by 7.0 Litre Kid » 29 Sep 2017, 19:31

Mike great story so far and what a great Cougar. I'd leave it as is just as your're describing. We are doing the same with out Lime Frost XR7G. It has it's bumps and bruises but it's a survivor. after a lot of research I located the original owner and spoke to him. Our XR7G had an snow accident early in it's life in California and the hood scoop was replaced with a GTE model. I purchased an original G hood scoop for a spare but it will stay in storage for now. Here are some pictures of the GTE hood scoop with the date sticker of 5/17/68.






I'm in the line of thought that a Cougar is only original once so patina is cool.

Steven
That's great you got to talk with the original owner!
I'll bet that scoop was one of the last runs contracted, since the R code was Introduced 4-1-68. I haven't seen the Company logo that's a plus.

So my next dilemma is re painting the hood. I've installed a lot of distressed hardwood trim, etc.
At first I didn't like someone distressing my woodwork, but after time, you appreciate it.(sorta in certain places)
I'll probably just shoot a factory finish,and keep the hood open.😃

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Re: The Story of 543072 a W code cat built in early 68

#15

Post by GavinS » 30 Sep 2017, 21:09

Mike,
Amazing story and neat car to add to your Cougar Collection.

I agree with Steven as it is only original once and enjoying it as is would be ideal.
Gavin Schlesinger
1968 XR7 428 CJ - Lime Frost
1968 XR7 427 GT-E - Wellington Blue
1968 XR7 427 GT-E - Cardinal Red
www.cougarclub.org

Vist me on Facebook.
Stray Cats Mercury Cougar Club

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7.0 Litre Kid
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Re: The Story of 543072 a W code cat built in early 68

#16

Post by 7.0 Litre Kid » 06 Nov 2017, 21:28

GavinS wrote:
30 Sep 2017, 21:09
Mike,
Amazing story and neat car to add to your Cougar Collection.

I agree with Steven as it is only original once and enjoying it as is would be ideal.
Gavin
Thanks
That’s my intentions also!

I have spent the last 6 weeks correcting items and details, it’s getting closer.
Date coding glass and parts has been challenging,but rewarding.
I have found most of the original parts, and will have it completed somewhat this summer.
Most of the tedious stuff is done.

Installing a correct date Radiator was a big hurdle,and a big relief!
537286 has C8ZE M-1 7MB
Build date Feb. 26 68
543072 has C8ZE M-1 8AD
Build date March 08 68
553582 has W MO C8ZE K2 tag soldered on top tank
Build date March 15 68




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Don Rush
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Re: The Story of 543072 a W code cat built in early 68

#17

Post by Don Rush » 07 Nov 2017, 11:02

Since you already have a really nice one I would think it would be fun to have one that if you got another door ding or rock chip it would be no big deal. I also think it is VERY valuable to have original "templates" in circulation to help everyone else with their restorations.

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7.0 Litre Kid
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Re: The Story of 543072 a W code cat built in early 68

#18

Post by 7.0 Litre Kid » 07 Nov 2017, 11:29

Don Rush wrote:
07 Nov 2017, 11:02
Since you already have a really nice one I would think it would be fun to have one that if you got another door ding or rock chip it would be no big deal. I also think it is VERY valuable to have original "templates" in circulation to help everyone else with their restorations.



You don’t realize how much easier it is do simple things!
Like pull the hood for instance, no worries about covering the fenders.😀
Good practice for when it really matters.

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Re: The Story of 543072 a W code cat built in early 68

#19

Post by ccarney69 » 07 Nov 2017, 12:46

7.0 Litre Kid wrote:
06 Nov 2017, 21:28
GavinS wrote:
30 Sep 2017, 21:09

I have spent the last 6 weeks correcting items and details, it’s getting closer.
Date coding glass and parts has been challenging,but rewarding.
I have found most of the original parts, and will have it completed somewhat this summer.
Most of the tedious stuff is done.

Installing a correct date Radiator was a big hurdle,and a big relief!
537286 has C8ZE M-1 7MB
Build date Feb. 26 68
543072 has C8ZE M-1 8AD
Build date March 08 68
553582 has W MO C8ZE K2 tag soldered on top tank
Build date March 15 68



Since my car sits right inbetween 543072 and 553582 I thought I would add this for your information. Also, what heads are on your car and what are the dates?

549497 has C8ZE S-1 8BD
Build Date March 14 68

Image
1968 GT-E 427 Standard Nordic Blue/Black Décor, driver
1969 XR7 R Code 4 Speed Yellow/Black Top Black Interior, current project no.1
1969 XR7 Q Code C6 Green/Black Top Dark Ivy Green Interior, current project no. 2
CCOA #8275
MACC

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Re: The Story of 543072 a W code cat built in early 68

#20

Post by CougarCJ » 07 Nov 2017, 13:37

7.0 Litre Kid wrote:
06 Nov 2017, 21:28

I have spent the last 6 weeks correcting items and details, it’s getting closer.
Date coding glass and parts has been challenging,but rewarding.
I have found most of the original parts, and will have it completed somewhat this summer.
Most of the tedious stuff is done.

Installing a correct date Radiator was a big hurdle,and a big relief!
537286 has C8ZE M-1 7MB
Build date Feb. 26 68
543072 has C8ZE M-1 8AD
Build date March 08 68
553582 has W MO C8ZE K2 tag soldered on top tank
Build date March 15 68
W Mo radiators were made by Western Modine, I believe that they only supplied the Milpitas,(San Jose) factory in 1968.
I think that I would not include that one in my sample. From memory, I do not believe that they had Ford numbers on the side straps of W Mo radiators.
Scott Behncke 1968 XR7
Carcheologist - West Coast Classic Cougar


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