12-14 August 2010
1968 Shelby GT500 KR Convertible
Sold for $126,500
- From an important private collection
- A highly documented example
- Correctly restored
- Rare color and option combination
As the new-for-1967 Mustang’s body shell was designed from the outset to accept Ford’s larger FE-Series 390-cubic inch big-block engine, Shelby dropped Ford’s Interceptor 428 into the pony car’s engine bay and created the GT500, which also offered heightened levels of luxury and refinement.
For 1968, the GT500 was comprehensively updated with an aggressive new front-end treatment including a lengthened hood line, dual air scoops and louvered cooling vents, while a neatly integrated rear spoiler was added, as well as revised head and tail lamps. Inside, a neatly covered roll bar with inertia-reel shoulder belts was added, and for the first time, handsome convertible variants of both the GT350 and top-line GT500 appeared.
Although the 360-horsepower, 428-cubic inch GT500 was already very impressive, Shelby unleashed the GT500 KR “King of the Road” with a 428 Cobra Jet engine that was suspiciously rated at only 335 horsepower but in fact pumped out at least 400 horsepower and 440 ft-lbs of tire-melting torque. The Cobra Jet engine included low-riser 427 heads 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 1,251 GT500 KRs built in 1968, just 318 were convertibles. Of those, 251 came with an automatic transmission, 40 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 GT500 KRs came with all the above-mentioned options, including the example offered here.
This GT500 KR Convertible was the recipient of a complete restoration and, in August 2007, joined a large and highly respected private collection. It is an entirely correct example, as verified by a Marti Report autographed by Carroll Shelby himself. Other great documentation includes a portion of the original build sheet, as well as an original owner’s manual. A truly excellent example, this is what many enthusiasts consider the ultimate Shelby Mustang, “The King of the Road.”
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