Car of the Month – November

1968 Ford Shelby GT500 KR

Specs

  • Engine – 330 CID (5.4 liter) supercharged V8
  • Horsepower – 540 hp at 6,250 rpm, 510 ft-lbs of torque at 4,500 rpm
  • Transmission – 6-speed manual
  • Curb weight -3,800 lbs
  • 0-60 time – 4.3 seconds
  • Top speed – 155 mph electronically limited top speed
  • Number built – 1,746
  • MSRP price – $79,995.00

Description

Newport Car Museum has not one but two 1968 Ford Shelby GT500KRs, one a blue coupe and the other a yellow convertible. They are among the most collectible Mustang-based Shelbys of all time.

The 1968 Shelby GT500KR was a mid-year introduction that was based on the 1968 Shelby GT500. Ford added ‘Cobra’ to the Shelby name to indicate the launch of its new performance effort at the company. The Cobra name referred to the new 428 Cobra Jet V8, which powered the KR.

Mustangs were among the most popular cars on the road in the latter half of the 1960s. The cars that Shelby American had built from the base Mustangs were creating a performance image that has endured to this day. Ford and Shelby felt they could raise the bar even higher for flat-out speed when they adopted the brand-new version of the 428 Police Interceptor engine, which was fitted with improved-breathing heads and larger exhaust manifolds. This was dubbed the 428 Cobra Jet, and the package was known as the GT500KR or “King of the Road”.

The King of the Road set impressive times for that era, making 0-60 in 6.9 seconds, a quarter-mile in 14.8 seconds, and boasting a trap speed of 103 mph and a top speed of 140 mph. Its enhancements included modified suspension and a redesigned front end, hood and rear end, which were made of fiberglass as an effort to reduce the car’s weight. The GT500KR is one of the most collectible Mustang-based Shelbys of all time.