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Username: Dirkpitt289

Name: Dirk

Scale: 1/24

Manufacturer: Revell

Model Type: 1968 Cobra jet Mustang

Accessories: As of right now OOB other then an engine wire dress up kit. This could change :thumbsup:

I decided that for my first build of this group build I will be doing one of the famous Mustang Cobra jet racers using the Revell 68 Mustang kit. As usual with most of my builds I like to start with a bit of history to go with my build.

History of the 68 Ford mustang 428 Cobra jet's

Ask any knowledgeable Blue Oval enthusiast to name the quickest pure-production Mustang of the muscle car era, and most will say the 1968 Ford Mustang 428 Cobra Jet.

Big-block Camaros and Firebirds, and even 340-cid Darts and Barracudas, were kicking Mustang's tail on the street. Ford countered by making its 427-cid V-8 a Mustang option in early '68 models. It was a detuned 390-horsepower version of the legendary near race-ready 427, however, and its slim availability and $755 cost were downers.

Enter the 1968 Cobra Jet Mustang. It's introduction was essentially the reason for the 1968 Drag Team's existence. In 1967 and early 1968, aside from the pricey GT 500, the top Mustang one could purchase was the 320-horse 390 GT. The Mustang was redesigned for the 1967 model year to accommodate the big FE engine, previously the top engine was the 289 Hipo. The first big block pony car was indeed a great machine, but compared to the competition, it was relatively underpowered. This fact was becoming more and more evident on the street, the 390 just couldn't quite hang with it's rivals. Ford's brass didn't seem to be too concerned with addressing this problem until they were presented a solution: the Mustang KR-8. KR meant "King of the Road", and the 8 referred to the 428 engine. Amazingly, the KR-8 wasn't dreamed up in Ford's engineering department, but in a Ford dealership's service department. This wasn't just any dealer, this was Tasca Ford, the legendary Ford store in Rhode Island owned by Bob Tasca. Tasca was at the forefront of Ford racing in the 1960's, operating a top-running drag team of their own. Tasca competed with Galaxies, Thunderbolts, A/FX Mustangs, and early Funny Cars, all piloted by the late great Bill Lawton. The KR-8 can be considered the very first Cobra Jet Mustang, even though the actual CJ name came along later. Tasca's shop took a Mustang with an exploded 390 and replaced it with a 428 PI short block equipped with 427 Low Riser heads and a 735 Holley carb. Even after reviewing Tasca's creation, Ford still wasn't totally convinced they should produce the car. Bob Tasca was the firecracker, but Hot Rod magazine readers lit the fuse. Surprisingly, it took an article published in the November 1967 issue of Hot Rod to finally seal the deal. The article prompted readers to mail their opinions to Henry Ford II himself, which they did. The onslaught of letters asking him to build the car was enough for the Deuce. He gave his blessing, and approved Tasca'a creation for production. The KR-8 name was dropped, replaced with the new "Cobra Jet" moniker. Thanks to the basically off-the-shelf content of the engine package, the Cobra Jet program was fast tracked in late 1967. The next step for the Cobra Jets would a surprise visit to Pomona.





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And we're off and running. I decided to start with the 428 motor.

Here you can see the low rise intake with the distributor in place.


After a little saw work the intake was ready for the new distributor


Here is the new distributor and wires I had in my stash. I may go get a different set so that the wires don't get lost against the blue of the motor. We'll have to see what happens


Dry fit the distributor and wire set.


Motor assembled and painted Ford blue


Transmission painted steel, bell-housing is aluminum and of course the Ford blue engine.


More painting, this is the master cylinder and the brake booster.


I'm trying to get hold of a friend of mine who's been drag racing since the 70s with his Demon to help with some questions. I believe his car is in the same class that these KR-8s raced. My questions are, would they keep the brake booster and the power steering pump? Something tells me they do. If not I will have to remove the item in the picture with the red arrow. The green arrow is pointing out the Alternator


Dry fit the belts and components. I also sprayed the motor with a dull cote to tone it down a little


Thanks for looking

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The race ones where all manual! That means manual drum brakes, manual steering and 4 speed manual trans plus they were not GTs. They also didn't have heaters, radios or insulation. Only 50 "race only" 428CJs were built in 1968 and they were all white fastbacks with no comfort options.

All the showroom stock street 428s were GTs and had power disc brake, power steering and could be ordered with auto or manual trans. I have seen fastback and coupe models but I'm not sure if any convertibles were built.

I have a 68 GT with a 390 so I probably could answer a lot of questions. I also have this kit waiting for m to build it.



Edited by Spectre711
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Work is progressing but I find it's at one of those states where no matter how much you are spending there is very little to show for it. I hope to have some progress photos soon. In the mean time I caught up with my friend who has been drag racing since the 70's. He confirmed what Mitch and I (Concurrent Cobra jet Build Found here) already figured out. All the extras under the hood were removed including the power break pump. My next question to him was what if anything was done to the interiors of these cars. The answer, nothing. They were kept as factory as possible.

He also sent me some photos of some photos of some original Cobra Jets still racing today. Two have been converted into Shelby Cobra Jets the third is relativity the same as it was in 1968.




Till next time

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The last week I've been spending time working on this but have had very little to show for all the time spent. I think I have some progress to show now.

To start off I needed to chop off the smog and power steering pumps from the belt assembly. These along with the power break booster were omitted from these cars. Of course some sanding and painting was required after the surgery. :rofl:


Next I moved on to the air cleaner assembly. This was also modified as you can see here. This also shows that I'll have to repaint the intake as it was aluminum


I started by removing the center bits from the stock air cleaner


Next I had to lop off the snorkel. It was kinda sad as this was a nice piece.


Next I had to build a new center peice. For this I used some Evergreen stock plastic card


Drew some circles and cut


Glued the new section in place and then painted. More to follow on this piece


Thanks for looking

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The interiors were bone stock with radio and heater delete panels. I can't remember if they had carpeting but the seats and door panels were all there. Anyone can join that registry and ask questions on those cars and you can also view the photo galleries.

Edited by Spectre711
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Thanks for the kind words guys

Next I decided to attack the rear valance panel. Even though we are using the 68 Mustang GT kit this car was not a GT and so the GT components will need to be removed or altered from the finished car. One of the visible differences on a 68 Mustang GT was that there was cut outs in the rear valance panel for the exhaust. These notches will need to be filled.

GT Valance Panel


Non-GT Valance Panel. You can see the exhaust goes beneath the panel not through it.


Here is the kit part


Once again I turned to the Evergreen stock.


I started by placing a very thin piece of Evergreen over the back of the holes



Next I cheated a bit. Instead of filling the hole with more plastic card I just filled them with Squadron's Green putty and sanded smooth.


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Moving on to the body I spent about an hour or so just cleaning up the flash and hard edges. Then I came to this. Why they did this I have no clue but it needed to be addressed.


Using some left over Evergreen strips I filled the gaps the best I could.


A little more attention with some Mr Surfacer and some sandpaper and this should be good to go.


Another point of interest I've found with this style Mustang is a seam that runs the red line in the photo below. When I did my 65 2 Plus 2 I found this to be a huge pain in the back end.


With the body (I hope) all finished I shot some primer. After it cures completely I'll start sanding




Hood scoop has been put in place


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Looking good Dirk! The only thing I could think of with those gaps at the hood hinge line was that maybe they did that for clearance with the hinges? Might be worth checking now to see if there is going to be an issue.

Have you started your other Mustang yet or are you going to wait until you finish this one?


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With the holidays here time at the bench has been limited. Most of the work I'm posting now was done last week and earlier this week.

I think you're referring to the Lawman build? No I haven't started that yet. I still need to purchase the decals for that.

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Getting back to the 428 Power plant. Assembled and painted the headers


Installed the new distributor


Painting the aftermarket coil


Next I drilled out the heads to accept the spark plug wires



Next it was time to look at assembling the frame and suspension. You can't tell from these photos but extension blocks were placed between the frame and the leaf springs to allow clearance for the drag tires.


Now you guys being as versed at building cars will see a problem right away. Me on the otherhand didn't figure it out till I tried to dry fit the motor.


I believe I read somewhere this kit was cast from a metal kit so that might explain the notches in the hood I showed earlier and this. This hole in the fuel tank is so that the frame can be secured to the body with screws. I find this odd for a model kit but it is what it is. That said this is going to bother.


Painted the radiator. The radiator itself was painted semi gloss black. The shroud flat black and then the fins on the radiator were dry brushed aluminum. My goal is to brake up all the black and add a little dimension to the engine bay


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With the holidays here time at the bench has been limited. Most of the work I'm posting now was done last week and earlier this week.

I think you're referring to the Lawman build? No I haven't started that yet. I still need to purchase the decals for that.

We fully expect a 1/24th Carrier deck diorama for the Lawman!

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Great choice of subject Dirk and the WIP is very informative too! A good friend in high school got a new GT in '68, (yeah I'm getting to be a geezer I guess). It was Guards blue with the white C-stripes and that thing was a torque monster.

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Thanks everyone. As you may have experienced yourselves bench time has been kinda limited this last week. I did however make some small advancements.

Another modification was relocating the battery to the trunk for better weight distribution.



The crumb like things directly above the shock tower is whats left of the kit battery. :rofl:


Using some Evergreen stock I re-skinned the battery compartment



Now for a little sanding and we'll be ready for some paint

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Time to move onto the interior. With this being an all black interior I decided to try something different. Rather then just paint everything semi-gloss black like the directions called for I gathered all my black paint (Flat, semi, and gloss) together and went to work. I painted the carpet flat black, the rear panels and metal of the doors semi-gloss. The seats and door skins were all done in gloss. My hope was that this would add some depth rather then just being a black hole.





More to follow

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