The Charlie Thomas Collection | Lot 206

1968 Shelby GT500 KR Fastback

$78,100 USD | Sold

United States | Grapevine, Texas

20 October 2012

Chassis No.

335 hp, 428 cu. in. Cobra-Jet V-8 engine, C6 automatic transmission, front and rear independent competition suspension with staggered rear shock absorbers, and four-wheel power disc brakes. Wheelbase: 108 in.

Carroll Shelby, the renegade Texan who built and sold the legendary 289 Cobra, had the idea to apply the Shelby magic to Ford’s hot, new Mustang. It was a match made in heaven. However, by 1968, the competition was catching up. Ford executives in Dearborn, Michigan, were getting tired of hearing about the big block Chevelle’s success on the nation’s drag strips. They needed to develop a Ford that could beat the Chevy head-to-head. They turned to their old speed partner, Carroll Shelby, to breed a Cobra with an appetite for Chevrolets.

Shelby’s 360 horsepower, 428-cubic inch GT500 was performing respectably, but when the special Cobra-Jet engine was developed, how could Shelby resist? Thus, the GT500 KR—the King of the Road—was born, powered by a pavement eating Cobra-Jet 428 engine that was cunningly rated at only 335 horsepower as a ruse to fool the competition and the insurance companies. The engine, in fact, pumped out at least 400 horsepower and 440 foot-pounds of torque. The KR included a number of engine modifications over the 428 Police Interceptor engine in standard GT500s. The Cobra-Jet engine had low-riser heads from the famed 427 engine, along with a beefier crank, rods, and pistons. Additionally, the KR had larger brakes, under-hood suspension bracing, and staggered rear shocks to prevent axle wind-up and wheel hop, making the KR the best of the best.

This special example was delivered new to Jack Gibbons Ford, of New Jersey, with a base price of $4,472. Its Marti report confirms that additional options, which took the final price to $5,387, included power disc brakes, shoulder harnesses, a fold-down rear seat, an AM pushbutton radio, a Select-O-Matic transmission, Selectaire-air conditioning, tinted glass, and a Tilt-Pop steering wheel. An older restoration with some obvious road use, this example still presents very well and remains an unshakable testament to the legacy of Carroll Shelby.

Marti Report included.

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