1968 Shelby GT500 KR Fastback
Chassis no. 8TO2R215962-04193
428ci big block V-8 motor
Four-speed manual transmission
Ultimate "King of the Road" model
Original Candyapple Red color
Fully documented in the Shelby Registry
It was 1967, and Ford Motor Company had a problem its cars were uncompetitive on the street scene. Sure, the 390 was a new and welcome addition to the redesigned Mustang, but it was no competition to Chevrolet's Camaro SS 396. Even the 390 Fairlane GT was no match for Ram Air GTOs and 440 Mopars, and 427 Fairlanes were few and far between. For the brand that promoted Total Performance, it was an ironic place to be.
Meanwhile, over at Rhode Island's Tasca Ford, they were quite aware of Ford's lackluster performance on the street...and off the sales floor. In a fortuitous sequence of events, a grenaded motor from a demonstrator 390 GTA coupe led to the parts manager replacing it with a 428 Police Interceptor short block, then dug into the Ford parts bin to come up with a hodge-podge of 427 parts to create a stormer that turned 13.39 at 105 mph. Tasca christened it "KR-8" for "King of the Road 1968" and offered the package to its customers for 1968.
Tasca showed Ford engineers what they had done; they were receptive, but their bosses were not. Eric Dahlquist of Hot Rod caught wind of the KR-8 and went to Providence for a look-see. Then, in the November, 1967 issue, Dahlquist's article presented a ballot for readers to indicate BUILD THIS CAR and send to Henry Ford II. By April 1968, the first 428 Cobra Jet Mustangs had hit the street. Underrated at 335 horsepower, the CJ eventually ended up cleaning house at the NHRA Winternationals in Pomona, not to mention giving Ford street cred.
Ford didn't leave out Shelby, replacing the GT-500 with the GT-500KR (with inspiration from Tasca's KR-8). Since then, the GT-500KR has been one of the most desirable muscle cars in the hobby.
A 1968 Shelby GT500KR, the Marti Report confirms it was originally finished in Candyapple Red with black upholstery, a four-speed transmission and optioned with the tilt steering wheel. Although not recorded in the SAAC Registry or Marti Report, the data plate on the firewall shows it was built with factory air conditioning as fitted today.
Invoiced to Al Grillo Ford of Lynn, Massachusetts on the 23rd July, 1968, the Shelby Registry records the following owners; Larry Stafford of Tuscon, Arizona in 1973-1984, then James Thompson of North Carolina and Bobby G.Disher of Kennersville, North Carolina 1984-1992. The most recent owner in the 1997 edition of the Registry was Daniel A.Jackson of Goldsboro, North Carolina and we understand the car enjoyed one further owner in Minnesota from 2004 until earlier this year.
The car, with an odometer reading of 50,779 miles, is presented in the original color scheme and sits on correct Shelby 10-spoke polished aluminium wheels on a matched set of Goodyear tires. Other notable features include the performance tuned dual exhaust with chrome tips, correct driving lights.