The Shelby GT cars evolved from the track-prepped, apex-focused GT350 of 1966, to the soft riding, luxury trimmed street cruiser known as the GT500. This was a car you could comfortably enjoy on the daily, while laying down high 13’s in the 1/4 mile
Contrary to popular belief, the 428 Cobra Jet V8s in these cars were not underrated. The 335 hp rating @ 3200 RPM is pretty accurate. However … @ 5,000 RPM, the engine made near 400+ hp. Ford simply chose a lower RPM point on the power curve to use as the advertised rating. This way they could avoid lying, while also keeping insurance costs low
While the 1967 and early 1968 GT500’s (pre-April ’68) also came with a 428ci big block, it didn’t provide the performance that buyers (or Ford) were expecting from a GT500. This is because the 428 used in these years came from the police interceptor (P.I), and was simply “an EPA-CARB certified product using all the components, carburetors, cylinder heads, intake, and exhaust systems of the production 1967 – 1968 428-4V P.I., without substitution” – Bill Barr, retired Ford Engine Engineer. Basically, it was Ford’s only viable EPA-CARB certified big block available for the GT500 at at the time
Meanwhile, a man named Bob Tasca of Tasca Ford realized that people were also disappointed with the Mustang GT’s lethargic 390 V8 (which came from the Thunderbird). Tasca, who was famous for experimenting with Ford engines, was hoping to use the highly capable cylinder heads from the GT40’s 427ci race engine to transform the 390 into something special. Unfortunately, the heads wouldn’t fit the 390, but he learned through further experimentation that they could be made to fit the police 428 used in the early GT500s
Tasca was downright unprepared for the amount of performance this new combination would bring. During testing, the new engine allowed the Mustang to travel 793 feet in 10 seconds – from a rolling 20 MPH start (a standard speed test used by Tasca). This was 105 feet more than the ’67 390 GT. The test driver and personnel had to double check their instruments to make sure they were calibrated properly, as no previous Ford vehicle had ever exceeded 700ft in the same test. A second test confirmed the 793 foot number. Tasca was so impressed that he named the test car “KR” – for “King of the Road”
With the help of the media, Tasca convinced Ford to put this engine into production (albeit with a few changes). Carroll Shelby soon found out about this new 428 (named “GT”, and eventually “Cobra Jet”) as well as the “KR” name, and immediately pushed to offer a GT500 with this engine
In April of ’68, the Cobra Jet replaced the police 428 in the GT500. To ensure buyers were aware of the increased performance, the words “KR” were added to the name, differentiating itself from the old GT500
While the production engine didn’t quite feature the 427 heads, it did feature enlarged intake and exhaust ports compared to the old Police heads. Other upgrades include stiffer valve springs and a new camshaft suited for higher RPM. Combined with a higher flowing carb and intake, the Cobra Jet made around 40 more hp (and 25 more lb ft torque) than the low revving Interceptor engine
The KR’s 428 engine became standard on the ’69 GT500, albeit in two variations: the Q-code (no Ram Air) and the R-code (w/ Ram Air Shaker hood scoop, such as this example)
Key Model Year Changes:
Complete redesign, distinguishing itself even more from the mainstream Mustang with its own unique grill, which is now wide enough to encapsulate the headlights
Shares the 428CJ from the previous year’s “KR” (King of the Road). There were two variations available: the Q-code (no Ram Air) and the R-code (w/ Ram Air Shaker hood scoop, such as this example)
This is essentially the last GT500 of the era. The relationship between Shelby and Ford became brittle in ’69, and Shelby moved on. This meant the designs for a 1970 GT500 were scrapped
However, there were enough unsold ’69 models that Ford simply decided to “tweak” them a bit to create the anticipated 1970 model. This is why ’69 and ’70 models are almost identical
32k original miles
Original numbers matching R-Code 428CJ and Toploader close ratio 4spd
Owner’s manual, sales brochure, owner history
3.50 Traction-Lok Axle
Excellent mechanical and cosmetic condition
Correct wheels, fog lights, gauges
Contact seller for more info
CONTACT SELLER – Update: Seller’s Craigslist ad has been deleted (sold or removed from market)
*SAE rated from factory. May not reflect current output.
*Performance numbers pulled from either the factory brochure or reputable automotive road tests.
*Base price when new does not reflect original MSRP of this particular car, nor does it reflect what the original owner paid for it.
*Advertised price at time of posting. Sellers can raise or lower prices on their original ad at any time. Click on the original ad to view current price/availability.
Mileage Disclaimer: NOC has not confirmed if the mileage stated by the seller is true and accurate. It is up to the buyer to verify these claims. Vehicle history reports, service records stating mileage, and even inspections of odometer tampering are recommended.