1968 Shelby GT-500 KR Convertible                                            NO 49


The arrival of the beefed-up Shelby Mustang and its many versions only made things better, but Ford and Carroll Shelby felt the pony could become even more impressive. Their dream came true in April 1968, when a brand-new version of the 428 Police Interceptor engine was fitted with improved-breathing heads and larger exhaust manifolds, giving birth to the 428 Cobra Jet. The mill quickly found its way into the Shelby GT500 which became the GT500 KR "King of the Road". Officially rated at 335 horsepower, but actually powered by no less than 400 ponies with 440 pound-feet of torque, the King gained iconic status almost immediately.

Only 1 of 3 in this color and these options: 

429 cobra-jet engine      C6 auto, 3:50 Traction-Lock       10 spokes with Speedways

Oil Cooler, A/C - Highland Green, black interior, white power top (new) w/folding glass window

Tilt-away wheel               AM/FM                                       Registered In Shelby Registry

Sold new in Scottsdale. Restoration completed in late 90's at 50K miles, including matching number engine reseal and transmission rebuild, misc. mechanicals, paint, seat covers & carpet. Interior is excellent. Currently at 60,000 miles


The Shelby Cobra GT 500 KR

                                                                                By Dennis Begley       Reprinted from TheCarSource.com


Ford offered the Cobra Jet engine for the first time in 1968 ½.  Carroll Shelby, always one up on the competition, be it Ford or GM, put the 428 CJ engine in his GT 500 Shelby Mustangs about two thirds into the model year.  It was cheap horsepower. In early `68 GT 500’s were given Ford’s 428 police interceptor engine. Rated at 360 hp at 5400 rpm, the big block produced 420 ft lbs of torque at 3200 rpm. Mid-year, Shelby got wind that GM intended to introduce a 396 Camaro and call it “King of the Road.”  Shelby beat them to it.  Before GM could follow through, Shelby American offered a GT 500KR and stuffed the Cobra Jet engine under the hood.

The 1968 GT500 KR was (and is) a special car.  Many modifications were made to the stock GT Mustang. The 428 was the same Cobra Jet engine offered in the stock big block Mustang . . . with a lot of changes.  The low riser, revised 427 heads had huge rectangular ports,  measuring 2.34” X 1.34”, the ports were larger than the 427 racing heads. A special dual-plane intake manifold held a mammoth (4 barrel) Holley Carb.  Stronger connecting rods and crankshaft replaced the stock 428 pieces.

Dished alloy pistons were used with eyebrows, attached to connecting rods with full floating pins locked in with two retainers.  This lowered the compression ration to 10.7 to 1.  The KR’s all received heavy duty front and rear shocks, the four-speed cars got staggered rear shocks, power front disc brakes and power steering and big capacity rear drum brakes.

Ford did not promote the increase in horsepower the Cobra Jet had.  It was advertised at 335 horse(s). That figure was off by at least 20 percent.  Remember during these years the insurance companies had started to penalize high horsepower cars.  In fact, these years were the beginning of the end of cars like the GT 500KR. Total production of the KR’s was 933 Fastbacks and 318 convertibles.  One awesome machine…

Against the odds dictated by time, this beautiful example of Carroll Shelby’s design and production genius has survived to be this day to be displayed in the Lang Collection.