1968 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 KR Fastback

In 1967, Carroll Shelby made a bold move by installing his first big-block engine into a Ford Mustang. The hunger for more power led Shelby to seek further upgrades by the spring of 1968. Ford answered his desires by introducing the 428 cubic-inch Cobra Jet engine, an enhancement to the existing 428 Police Interceptor, during the middle of the model year. Upon hearing that Chevrolet was planning to launch a new muscle car called the “King of the Road,” Shelby wasted no time and instructed his lawyers to secure the copyright for the name.

The 428 Cobra Jet, although officially rated at 335 horsepower for insurance purposes (25 less than its predecessor, the 428 Police Interceptor), was a genuine powerhouse. It featured 427 low-riser heads, Holley 735-CFM carburetion, a 390GT camshaft, and high-flow exhaust manifolds.

To match its title as the “King of the Road,” the GT500 KR received a corresponding beefed-up appearance. The front hood showcased functional louvers and prominent twin air scoops along the leading edge, creating an authentic “ram-air” intake system with an under-hood plenum directly attached to a steel air cleaner.

A sleek chrome bumper adorned the GT500’s substantial grille, serving as mounting points for the new rectangular driving lights. Inside the car, deluxe finishes complemented the aggressive exterior.

A wood-print dash, luxurious seats, a wood-print center console with the Shelby cobra logo embossed on the center armrest, and a deluxe wood-rim steering wheel with a bright horn ring completed the true muscle-car setup.

Source: RM Sotheby’s