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The 1968 Ford Mustang GT

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On: Wed, Oct 26, 2011 at 1:22PM | By: Peter C Sessler

The 1968 Ford Mustang GT

1968 was a pivotal year for Ford Motor Company and the Mustang. It was the year when Ford decided to take control of the Mustang—not that it didn’t before 1968, but at least it would bring performance to the Mustang itself and not by an outside company, like Shelby. Shelby would continue making neat Mustangs, but under Ford’s control. And the Ford brand would make performance Mustangs too, but these could be marketed to the public at much less expensive prices. Shelby Mustangs could be had only in loaded versions, but the much less expensive Mustang GTs were within the reach of the regular Joe.

The Mustang GT got a shot of real horsepower with the optional 428 Cobra Jet engine. Now here was an engine that could make the Mustang go sideways with just a touch of the accelerator pedal. And, should the customer decide that he didn’t need power brakes or power steering, these expensive items could be deleted from the option list. Of course, that would make the GT a little bit harder to steer or stop, but that didn’t matter too much for the drag racer.

The 428 Cobra Jet (428CJ) was available at the end of the model year, April 1, 1968. That was when Ford introduced the special version of the 428 c.i. V-8 for use in the Mustang known as the 428 Cobra Jet. The Cobra Jet 428 was basically a production 428 fitted with 427 Low Riser heads, but with a host of improvements. Rated at 335 hp, it actually produced more than 400hp. Available only with the GT Equipment Group, 428CJ Mustangs also came with functional Ram Air, power front disc brakes, and staggered rear shocks for four-speed transmission cars. The C-6 three-speed automatic was also available. A total of 2,097 fastbacks, 221 hardtops, and 552 convertibles were built.

What about the race-bred 427 c.i. engine that Ford won Le Mans with? The option lists show that the top engine option for the 1968 Mustang was the Low Riser version of Ford's famous 427 c.i. V-8. Featuring a Holley 600 cfm carburetor; available only with an automatic transmission, it was rated at 390hp, considerably more than the Cobra Jet. A rare and expensive option, it was deleted from the option list in December, 1967. However, according to Mustang expert Kevin Marti, none were produced.

Even with the late 1968 release, the 428CJ Mustang was a hit, and would continue to sell in ever larger quantities in 1969. It was a nice car!

Photo Gallery (click a thumbnail to enlarge)



chrisescars | 4:54PM (Sun, Jan 8, 2012)

Awesome machine.

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