1968 Shelby GT 500KR ConvertibleSOLD
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Estimate: $225,000-$275,000 US

AUCTION RESULTS: Lot was Sold at a price of $220,000

335hp, Cobra-Jet 428 cu. in. V8 engine, automatic transmission, front and rear independent competition suspension with staggered rear shock absorbers and four-wheel power disc brakes. Wheelbase: 108"

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. At the same time, Ford was looking to improve its image in the performance based youth market. It was a match made in heaven.

The new Mustang body shell for 1967 had been designed to accept Ford ’ s 390 cubic inch big block engine. Shelby reasoned that if the 390 would fit, why not the Interceptor 428? And so it was that the hottest snake was born – the GT500.

In addition to the high output engine, the GT500 looked the part, too. A special front end with a unique Shelby hood scoop and center mounted lights (where permitted by law) gave the Shelby Mustangs an unforgettable face. In the back, rear quarter scoops, a rear spoiler, and sequential turn signals lifted from the 1965 Thunderbird gave the car an even more powerful presence. Although the cars were little changed, revised front and rear fascias gave the 1968 model a fresh look.

Ford executives in Dearborn, Michigan, were sick 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. So they turned to their old speed partner, Carroll Shelby, to remedy their problems.

Although Shelby ’ s 360 horsepower, 428 cubic inch GT 500 was a formidable performer, when the special Cobra- Jet engine was developed, Shelby realized the GT 500 had room for improvement. Thus, the GT 500KR “ the King of the Road ” was born, powered by a pavement eating Cobra-Jet 428 engine that was suspiciously rated at only 335 horsepower (this modest rating was an attempt by Shelby to fool the competition and the insurance companies). In fact, the engine 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 GT 500s. The Cobra-Jet engine had low-riser heads from the famed 427 Ford 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.

Of the 4,451 Shelbys built in 1968, only 1,571 were GT 500KRs and just 518 were convertibles. Of those, 251 came with an automatic transmission, 40 of which were painted Lime Gold and of that number 32 were fitted with black décor bucket seats. Just 12 of that group were fitted with black convertible tops and, further narrowing down the field, just four GT 500KRs came with all the above-mentioned options. However, there was just one, 8T03R210309-03693, the example presented here, that fit all the above criteria and was originally shipped to the Southeastern United states.

The GT 500KR Convertible was the recipient of a complete restoration and remains in highly presentable condition today. It is an entirely correct example, which has been verified by a Marti Report that has been autographed by Carroll Shelby himself. This very important piece of documentation has been framed along with the original bill of sale. A truly excellent example, the sale of this GT 500KR Convertible presents a rare opportunity to purchase what many enthusiasts consider to be the best Shelby, “ The King of the Road. ”

Reference Number 11673

as of 7/25/2007

Car 1968 Shelby GT 500KR Convertible
VIN 8T03R210309 
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