Enthusiasts take note: this 1968 Ford Mustang Cobra Jet is heading to auction.
1968 was a big year for the Ford Mustang - both literally and figuratively. Coming off a successful launch, the Mustang would get its first redesign for the 1967 and 1968 model years. That redesign would include some changes to the exterior trim, including headlights and taillights, and an increase in interior volume.
But the Mustang’s more spacious interior wasn’t what made this car special. Following the fitment of Ford’s 335-horsepower (249 kilowatt) FE Thunderbird engine under the hood, the Mustang would undergo its most intensive track-prepping to date - and it was all thanks to Ford dealer Bob Tasca.
Tasca - creator of the famed Thunderbolt drag racers - had a plan in place to make the Mustang even more powerful. He would take a custom-built 428 cubic-inch FE big block, done by expert John Healey, shove it under the hood, and make the whole package much lighter.
When Ford caught wind of this more performance-oriented Mustang, execs invited him out to their test track in Dearborn. Ford was so impressed with the performance of Tasca’s lightweight Mustang, the company called for 50 examples to be built. Each one would use one of two variations of the 428 cubic-inch engine dubbed Cobra Jet.
So why the history lesson? One of those legendary Cobra Jet Mustangs is heading to auction next month at the Mecum Chicago sale. It was originally owned and raced by Ford factory engine specialist Dave Lyall, who purchased the car for just $1.00 under the standard agreement for factory-sponsored racers.
The car has since been given a full frame-off restoration, and comes finished in the original livery driven by Lyall. Features like Crager SS wheels, eight-inch Goodyear Blue Streak slicks, and a manual Hurst four-speed shifter have been fitted to further promote this pony car’s performance.
It’s one of the few fully restored examples to come up for auction, and though Mecum doesn’t give a price estimate, previous examples have sold for over $130,000.
Photos: Mecum Auctions