Extremely Rare 1968 Ford Mustang Cobra Jet Hits the Drag Strip, Runs Like a Champ

Introduced in 1964, the Ford Mustang didn't get any overly powerful V8 engines in the beginning. However, high-performance versions of the pony car began arriving in showrooms as early as 1965, starting with the Shelby GT350. But Ford took things to a whole new level in 1968.
1968 Ford Mustang Cobra Jet 6 photos
Photo: Road Test TV/YouTube
1968 Ford Mustang Cobra Jet1968 Ford Mustang Cobra Jet1968 Ford Mustang Cobra Jet1968 Ford Mustang Cobra Jet1968 Ford Mustang Cobra Jet
That's when it created the R-code Mustang. Powered by a 428-cubic-inch (7.0-liter) mill known as the Cobra Jet, the R-code broke cover as a drag racer for the street. Conservatively rated at 335 horsepower and 440 pound-feet (597 Nm) of torque, it remained the most powerful factory Mustang until Ford launched the 429 Boss (375 horses) in 1969.

Ford kept the Cobra Jet Mustang in production until 1971, right before the muscle car segment collapsed due to the oil crisis and new emission regulations. But the first-year 1968 version remains one of the rarest out there. That's because Ford built only 221 of them.

Some of them were obviously wrecked at the drag strip back in the day, so notably, fewer than 221 examples survived to see 2022. This gold beauty is one of those cars. Not only an all-original classic with factory paint, but this Cobra Jet is also a one-of-one gem thanks to its unique color, engine, and equipment combo.

And even though pristine classics like this spend their retirement years in heated garages and museums, this one was brought to the drag strip for some quarter-mile fun. A unique opportunity to see such an iconic Mustang burn rubber and run at full throttle.

Enthusiasts usually upgrade their muscle cars for quicker quarter-mile runs, but this Cobra Jet is as stock as they get. Sure, the owner changed the oil and the spark plugs and rebuilt the carburetor before taking it to the drag strip, but other than that, this 'Stang is like it left the assembly line about 55 years ago.

How quick is it? Well, the driver ran three passes, and all of them stopped the clock in the mid to high 13s and with trap speeds of up to 100 mph (161 kph). Granted, that's slow for modern standards, but we need to keep in mind that it ran on vintage-spec tires.

Fitted with more modern rubber and a few tweaks to the gearing, the 1968 Cobra Jet should be capable of running the distance in less than 13 seconds. But even so, it was a bit quicker than the original factory tests, which saw the Cobra Jet do 13.9-second runs in the late 1960s.

Check out this awesome survivor doing what it knows best in the video below.

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About the author: Ciprian Florea
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Ask Ciprian about cars and he'll reveal an obsession with classics and an annoyance with modern design cues. Read his articles and you'll understand why his ideal SUV is the 1969 Chevrolet K5 Blazer.
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