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Vehicle to be offered for Auction sale January 16th – 20th, 2013 at Russo and Steele’s 13th Annual Scottsdale Arizona Auction. Please contact us for more information.
The 1968 Shelby Cobra GT500KR was a mid-year introduction, based on the 1968 Shelby GT500. Ford added ‘Cobra’ to the Shelby’s moniker to help usher in the beginning of a new performance era at the company. The Cobra name referred to the new 428 Cobra Jet V-8 that was fitted under the KR’s snake like custom fiberglass hood. It was the engine that would once again vault the Mustang to the head of the pack.
This was the first and only year for a Shelby KR convertible. It dressed up the stock Mustang with its unique fiberglass nose panels, fiberglass hood with working scoops, air-extraction vents, decorative bodyside intakes, and a spoiler tail with sequential turn signals borrowed from the T-Bird.
Its initials stood for King of the Road, and if the 1968 Shelby Cobra GT 500-KR looked like a more threatening muscle car than it really was, so be it. Shelby’s 1967 GT 500 had led Ford’s pony car across the 400-cid threshold with a 427-cid detuned race engine and a juiced 428-cid Police Interceptor V-8. Both returned for ’68. Then in April ’68, Ford unveiled an even-hotter version of the 428, the Cobra Jet, and offered it in the Mustang, among other models
At Shelby, the Cobra Jet replaced the original 428, and GT 500s gained a KR suffix, for King of the Road. (The 427 was dropped.) This was the year’s second name change. Shelby’s AC Cobra roadster died after ’67, but he kept the name, rechristening his Mustangs the Shelby Cobra GT 500 and Shelby Cobra GT 350. (The GT 350 for ’68 used Ford’s new 302-cid V-8 and was rated at 250 bhp.)
The GT 500-KR’s 428 had the same suspiciously low 335-bhp rating as other Cobra Jets, though some Shelby material put peak output at higher rpm. Shelby’s version had diecast aluminum Cobra rocker covers but wore the same plain painted ram-air air cleaner.
Presented is a 1968 Shelby GT500KR convertible that has received a full nut and bolt rotisserie restoration to a high point Concours standard. It is finished in Acapulco Blue with a Black Interior and is one of only 318 GT500KR convertibles produced in 1967. It had a base price of $4,594 before options were selected. The KR’s received all the Cobra Jet emblems on the fenders, dash, and gas cap lid. All the KR’s had functional Ram Air which meant no Cobra oval air cleaner.
The GT500Kr replaced the GT500 when the 428 Cobra Jet engine became available. It was under-rated at 335 horsepower for insurance purposes but the actual performance was closer to 400 horsepower. The 428 engine is coupled to a 4-speed manual top-loader transmission with a Traction-Lok Axle. It has the 10-spoke Shelby wheels, front disc brakes, power steering, and the Tilt-away steering wheel which was a $62 option.
The interior has benefited from a complete restoration that included all the gauges including the clock. A new convertible top has also been installed.
This fully documented and correct beauty has been treated to a full cosmetic and mechanical restoration over the last 10 plus years bringing it back to a standard far above the levels of fit and finish at the factory. This is hands down a Concours quality example and among the most desirable in the country!
This car is titled as a 1968 Ford Mustang.