Ford Super Cobra Jet Mustang
On February 6, 1968, Semon E. "Bunkie" Knudsen arrived from General Motors to the Ford World Headquarters and moved into the president's office there. To him, this was the chance to get as much good-looking, fine-handling Ford horsepower into the marketplace as possible, and to do it fast.
He quickly learned that the corporation already had several projects ready that would race toward that goal. Of particular interest to the muscle-car friendly Knudsen was the mating of the 428 Cobra Jet engine with the intermediate Torino GT and the Mustang pony car.
Knudsen wasted no time, and soon after he joined Ford he promptly pushed and had the 428 Cobra Jet Mustang ready for introduction as a mid-year 1968 model. As a costly $434 option, the 428s 335-horsepower rating disappointed some enthusiasts. People found out quickly the conservative number behind testing. From the factory, the engine developed more than 400 actual horsepower, yet its deceptive rating granted it more competitive placement in lower classes for NHRA and AHRA (American Hot Rod Association amateur and professional events.
Ford offered it only in the GT package, which included a Ram-Air functional cold-air induction hood scoop (the CJ-R) and power front disc brakes. Buyers could order the car with either an automatic three-speed transmission or a four-speed manual. Goodyear introduced its wider F70 poly-glass tires for the Cobra Jet.
A fairly unknown version of the Cobra Jet Mustang was introduced in 1969, and Ford offered it only through 1970, known to the buying public as the Super Cobra Jet.
The primary functional improvements of the Super Cobra Jet engine over the regular 428 Cobra Jet were more durable crankshafts, rods, pistons, along with a harmonic balancer, all designed to help the engine better withstand the higher RPM requirements of drag racing. If absolute performance with no road comfort compromise was the goal, the a prospective buyer could spend an additional $52 for a 4.30:1 Detroit "Locker" differential and rear axle.
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