Many Mustang enthusiasts, despite the current Mustang being a very nice bit of kit, consider the first generation as the greatest. With timeless lines and a body that looks hunkered down and ready to leap down a drag strip, it was already a classic when launched with the help of one Carroll Shelby. However, while the original was a classic, it was what Mr Shelby did with the Mustang that made history.
After retiring from racing, and with the help of the Ford Motor Company, Shelby started to build out limited-production cars, starting with a version of the British AC Ace with a Ford engine in the front, and then moving up to the Shelby Daytona Coupe, a “Race car for the road.” In 1965, since he was in the good graces of Ford by helping get the GT40 prototype program back on track, Shelby American started production on the Mustang GT350, with a 4.7L Windsor V8 up front, four-barrel Holley carbs, and 306 HP going out the rear wheels.
It was in 1967, however, that the true classic of the Shelby Mustangs began production. The Shelby GT500 took everything that was great about the GT350, and turned it up to 11. Wilder body work. A 7.0L (428 ci) Police Interceptor V8 chucking out 355 HP and a tire-melting 420 lb-ft of torque. Fiberglass hood, quarter panel extensions, deck lid, and side scoops, making the center of gravity low. It was the one of the first true muscle cars that wasn’t just fast, but looked the part as well.
An Overview Of The 1968 Shelby GT500 KR That You Could Win
While the GT500 in 1967 was a special car, it wasn’t the greatest of the original Shelby GT’s. That honor goes to the 1968 Shelby GT500 King of the Road (KR), which replaced the Police Interceptor engine with the 428 Cobra Jet, one of the greatest V8s ever produced. While the official literature of the time from Ford rated the Cobra Jet at 335 HP and 440 lb-ft of torque, it was quite quickly discovered that the engine was producing closer to 435 HP… stock.
To help feed the gigantic 735 CFM four-barrel Holley carb on top of the beast, the hood of the GT500 KR grew two intake scoops, and had louvers cut at the back of the hood to extract any spare air and heat from the engine bay. To help keep that hood down at the speeds that the car could reach, you could option twist-lock hood pins as the retention system, instead of just the regular hood latch.
This car, the grand prize from The Cobra Experience’s raffle, had that option box ticked. It also had the optional side-stripe paint with the GT500 KR lettering, and came with the 3-speed automatic. With a stunning Candy Apple Red exterior paint over black leather interior, this example has quite possibly the best color combination you could choose back in the day.
Originally purchased new in 1968, this Shelby GT500 KR has only ever had two owners. While that is not particularly special, what is rare about this car is that it has never left Northern California. Stored and driven inland, away from the ocean, and kept in a garage when not being driven, it has spent a good portion of its 53 years being kept away from the sun and the salt air. It has virtually no rust, and any that did exist was removed when the car underwent a full restoration to original factory condition for this raffle.
There isn’t a speck of paint missing, or a piece of leather that has not been fed leather food and carefully cleaned to factory new. The badges were removed, cleaned thoroughly, and reattached so they look like they have just been attached on the production line. The distinctive 5-spoke alloy wheels were some of the first to be standard on a muscle car, replacing hubcaps over steel wheels, and have been brought back to factory new condition for this raffle.
Out of the original 933 1968 Shelby GT500 KRs to be produced, this is quite possibly the finest example in existence that has not been either resto-modded, or left to rot in a barn somewhere looking for a savior. This is a GT500 KR that has led a privileged life, with only 2 owners, both of whom took care of the car and kept it maintained and in running order.
What Charity Is Supported & How Do I Enter?
This car is being raffled off by the charity in question, The Cobra Experience. Dedicated to promoting, conserving, educating, and preserving all of the amazing classics produced by Shelby American, The Cobra Experience is a 501(c)3 non-profit museum in Martinez, California. All of the staff at the museum are volunteers, who are so passionate about the cars that Carroll Shelby brought to the world that they could very easily be considered experts in their field.
Housed inside a 25,000 square foot building, you can see examples of cars from Shelby American that are famous for races they have won, including an original Mk II GT40. Other cars on display include Cobra 427s, Mustangs of all kinds, Daytona Coupes, Sunbeam Tigers, and even a race-run Lotus that Shelby drove in the 1950s. There is also an engine section where you can get up close to the original monsters that powered the Shelby cars, and there is a separate wheel section to admire the classic designs that held the rubber that was left at the start of the drag strip.
How To Enter
The Cobra Experience has partnered up with Mustang Specs to give you, our readers, a special bonus!
Following the link in the banner below, purchasing any tier of tickets will give you bonus entries. For example, if you buy 10 tickets at the $25 tier, you will receive 13 tickets instead. If you truly want to support the charity and are truly generous, a purchase at the top-tier $2,000 level not only gets you 2,600 tickets, but an extra 780 to make it nearly 3,400 tickets!
On top of that, as The Cobra Experience is a 501(c) non-profit, your ticket purchase is fully tax-deductible. In fact, the confirmation email for your ticket purchases even includes a receipt for you to claim the donation on your taxes! Support a charity dedicated to preservation of some of the greatest muscle cars in American history, possibly win a low-mile, fully restored, stock option GT500 KR, and be able to claim your purchase on your taxes… that’s a win-win-win scenario if we’ve ever heard of one!