Every year, automakers try to get clever on April Fools’ Day; the results are typically cringe worthy (at best). But on April 1, 1968, Ford pulled a literal fast one and introduced the 428 Cobra Jet — a street-legal racer packing a deliberately under-rated engine meant to game the NHRA class rules (and insurers). With a new race-only Cobra Jet on the way, it’s worth peering back to when and where it all started.
The original Cobra Jet was designed to own the drag strip, and eventually, 50 special lightweight Mustang 428 CJ fastbacks were built for racing. But Ford would have been foolish if it had failed to use its on-strip success to move street machines, which is why any would-be king of the local quarter-mile could spec a 428 Cobra Jet engine on their consumer-grade Mustang… read more >