Steve Baur
Former Editor, Modified Mustangs & Fords
July 26, 2006
Photos By: Michael Galimi, Scott Parker

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Shootout ideas come from a number of different places including staff members, racers, and general e-mails. This latest idea came from the MM&FF Mailbag department and pitted Thunderbird Turbo Coupes against Thunderbird Super Coupes.

While we had some great initial interest, the submissions count needed some padding, so we opened it up to all MN12 and Fox-based chassis types.

The Thunderbird Turbo Coupe was produced from 1983 to 1988, starting early with a mere 150 hp and finishing stronger with 190, at least for the five-speed models. In 1989, the Thunderbird and Cougar both switched to the MN12 platform, and the portly structure found new motivation in the way of a supercharged V-6 engine.

The new engine produced 210 horses and 315 lb-ft of torque thanks to 12 psi of intercooled boost pumping through the 3.8. Those numbers later increased to 230 hp and 330 lb-ft. The year 1995 was the last for the Super Coupe, as the platform had switched to 4.6 V-8 modular power for its high-output option.

We struggled to get this shootout off the ground, but we were more than happy to watch people crank on their rides to get low e.t. of the day, and the competition drew close toward the end.

We've seen evidence of 10-second Super Coupes on the Internet, but couldn't reel in any for the shootout. The various Turbo Coupe performances we saw looked good but nowhere near the supposed 10-second range. Obviously, the V-8 cars should have had the advantage and, in fact, we did get one submission for a legit eight-second ride, but it wasn't exactly what we were looking for.

While we may not have necessarily brought you the fastest Turbo Coupes, Super Coupes, or Cougars in the country for this one, what we do have are some cars that just might surprise you with how fast they are.