In February of 1968, Ford sponsored six 428-cubic-inch Cobra Jet Mustangs at the NHRA Winternationals. They were left in the competent hands of drivers Gasper “Gas” Ronda, Al Joniec, Hubert Platt, Jerry Harvey, and “Dyno” Don Nicholson. When the tire smoke and clutch dust had settled on the five-day event, Ford left with the class win in Super Stock Eliminator, and the legend of the Cobra Jet Mustang was born.
To honor that legacy, Ford will build 68 strip-ready Mustangs to take on the quarter mile, whether it’s an NHRA, NMRA, or NMCA event. Each of the 68 cars will be powered by a supercharged cross-plane 5.2-liter version of the Coyote V-8 which should look a lot like the 5.0-liter engine from the 2016 Cobra Jet, at least on the outside. In back is a 9-inch Ford solid rear axle from Strange Engineering, mounted to a four-link suspension. That powertrain and suspension is what we’ve come to expect from Cobra Jets, although this anniversary brings with it the availability of unique graphics and badging. The limited-production number is also 18 more than the usual 50 that Ford produced in 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2016.
Each 2018 Cobra Jet is fitted with an NHRA-legal cage, and the options list so far is unsurprisingly slim. Two colors will be offered, Race Red and—paying homage to the original six—Oxford White. Like its quarter-mile competition from Chevrolet and Dodge, the Cobra Jet won’t be street legal and won’t come with a registerable VIN. Also like the COPO and Drag Pak, it too will be capable of low 8-second ETs
So far all we seen is a teaser rendering; actual photos are expected later this summer. In the meantime, feel free to ogle the 2016 Cobra Jet’s engine.