1969 Ford Mustang
"Mach 1 Cobra Jet"
Configuration: Longitudinal front engine
Engine: Cobra Jet V8
Horsepower: 335hp at 5,600RPM
Torque: 440 ft-lbs at 3,400RPM
Transmission: 3-speed Cruise-o-Matic automatic.
A Little History
1969 was the first calendar year of the production of the Mach 1 body type, which included the “sportsrooof” body style (previously referred to as the fastback), matte black hood with pins, factory-optional Shaker hood, competition suspension, chrome pop-open gas cap, revised wheels, chrome exhaust tips, deluxe interior, dealer-optional chin spoiler, rear deck spoiler, and rear window lowers (slats). Ford was actively trying to move away from the previous “GT” moniker used since the release of the first Mustang model in 1965 as sales of the car had been slowly plummeting in the wake of the success of the 1967 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 and 1967 Plymouth Firebird. That being said, the CobraJet engine in this car is a big deal. It was something of the Mustang’s saving grace.
The engine was created as the result of a street racing accident in East Providence, RI. Bob Tasca, owner of Tasca Ford, is credited with its creation. He had Ford sponsorships for a 406 Galaxie his mechanics built, as well as an entire drag-race team that won the NHRA (National Hot Rod Association) Winternational Championships in 1964 and 1965. One of his engineering techs crashed the factory 390 FE Mustang model released in 1968, and replaced the blown motor with a 428cid Police Interceptor short-block engine with reworked heads and a 735cfm Holley four-barrel carburetor. The creation was known as KR-8, for “King of the Road 1968,” and immediately became a local street-racing phenomenon.
It drew so much attention that Eric Dahlquist of Hot Rod Magazine was inspired to write an article on the car and ask his readers if Ford should build a regular production version. After an overwhelmingly positive response, the engine went into production mid-way through the 1968 model year. It was a factory option through the 1971 model year and considered to be the finest Mustang street racer of the era.