The Fastest Running Pure Stock in the History of Man

3 months ago

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Comments (12)
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(Images courtesy of mac200864 on eBay)

I’ve never been a Mustang guy, but to me there’s one Mustang that stands out above all others: the 1968 “135” fastback. To the casual enthusiast, it’s difficult to infer what model this particular nickname suggests, but to those in-the-know this may be the fastest Mustang from the muscle car era.

Although the 428 Cobra Jet was announced on April 1, 1968, Ford produced a limited run of 50 Wimbledon White fastbacks on December 30, 1967. They all featured ram air, 4-speed manual transmission, manual drum brakes, 3.89 rear axle with limited slip, and black vinyl buckets. Of the 50, 20 were built without sound deadener and seam sealer.

Ford made quite a splash at the 1968 NHRA Winternationals with the new Cobra Jet, but only two of the six team race cars were 135 cars. Many others landed in teams desperate for a competitive factory Ford – remember, this was the time when there were lots of promises for a 427 Mustang but all Ford ever mustered was a 325-horsepower 390 that wasn't very competitive against Tri-Power GTOs and solid-lifter big-block Chevelles.

(Image courtesy of http://www.mustangandfords.com/featured-vehicles/mump-0101-1968-ford-mustang-cobra-jet-history-review)

Of course, you may be familiar with the 1968 428 Cobra Jet Mustang, as many of the 1,299 have been featured in magazines over the past 35 years, but the regular production ones required the GT package, was available in a coupe or convertible in addition to the fastback, and featured a matte black stripe down the hood.

Yet despite the candy, my heart is with the vanilla 135 cars, which is why I’m damning myself under my breath for not having the money to buy this one on .

According to 428CobraJet.org, VIN 8F02R135030 (notice the 135? It’s the sequence that gave them their nickname) was sold new at Mel Burns Ford in Long Beach, CA. Seller doesn't add much but says, "This has gone through a one-year full...restoration. Unlike many, it was never tubbed and [is] completely rust free. This has all [particular] 1968 Cobra Jet motor, bell housing, transmission and rear end [parts] but not date-coded. Intake manifold and carburetor are not correct. It retains its original 8000 RPM tach, hood scoop and ram-air cleaner. It is believed to be 8,000 miles...Unknown race history probably on the west coast. It is known to have gone to Holman-Moody for prep."

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Comments (12)
  • This mustang is the best looking one period.

    3 months ago
    1 Bump
  • There is a bit more story to this story.

    1. IF I recall correctly, the factory super stock cars received some fascinating cylinder heads in that they possessed the correct 428CJ/SCJ casting numbers...but weren't the correct 428CJ/SCJ castings. They didn't ship out with the car, but were casually handed to the owners later on, typically in the dead of night. When the NHRA inspected the engines, everything looked correct, and then the slaughter occurred at the Winternationals in 1968. The stock 428CJ heads were a dead ringer for the 427 medium-riser heads (there were four sets of 427 heads, Low, Medium, High...and the most ridiculous of them all: The Tunnel Ports. The Tunnel Port heads were monsters in that they ran huge intake ports that ignored pushrod placement (that's the problem with pushrod heads for a V6, V8, or V10, you have to shift the intake ports around to clear the pushrods on the intake side of the head. The Tunnel Port 427 head (and failed Tunnel Port 302 head as well) ignored the pushrod arrangement, and simply ran the intake ports in the straightest path possible to the intake valve: If a pushrod was in the way, it ran through a tube through the middle of the intake port. The TP's were capable of some serious HP numbers at the time, but were horrible from a velocity standpoint, and you had to rev the snot out of them to make any kind of power: The 1968-only, race-only 302 Tunnel Port heads were freaking horrible in that they only made power at something like 8000 rpm, and the torque peak was similarly ludicrously placed as well, so they'd blow up several engines in a race weekend due to the strain.

    If I recall correctly, the fake CJ heads were closer to a high-riser head, all of the 'riser' heads having different-sized intake ports, with the corresponding roofs of the intake ports being lower or higher in the corresponding heads. Ford was kind of infamous for this during the 1960's, in that the typical drag racer during this time didn't have a lot of access to the 'good' cylinder heads from Ford, unlike the offerings from all the other manufacturers, to which pretty much anyone with a decent paycheck could buy.

    2. Ford also built a limited run of 1968 1/2 CJ and SCJ coupes as well.

    3. The Cobra Jet and Super Cobra Jet received stronger cylinder blocks versus the standard 428 passenger car block.

    4. The 1968 428 CJ and SCJ cars are actually considered to be '1968 1/2' cars, similar to the 1964 1/2, due to their late production dates.

    3 months ago
    4 Bumps
  • Hi congratulations - your post has been selected by DriveTribe musclecars Ambassador for promotion on the DriveTribe homepage.

    3 months ago
    2 Bumps
  • Thanks for sharing this bit of history. Nice read!

    3 months ago
    1 Bump
  • Wimbledon White has stolen my heart. Fun read!

    3 months ago

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