This section of pages will be the story about my Shelby Cobra. Where did I find it? What I have done to it over the years? And more importantly, what did I end up with in 2019? I have lots of pictures of the process. This gives me a place to document things about my car and park some pictures to share. I dedicate this page to my sister, Tena, Mustang fanatic that she is. She lives 1,000 miles from me so I can’t show her my car. So second best I am putting these pages together for her.
I found this car in 1982. Yes, I have owned my Shelby for that many years. I fixed the major things in the 80’s. I had to make the car driveable and safe. But old cars have old car problems so I’ve replaced almost every thing that should be replaced. I’ve never taken the path of let it break then fix it. And a lot of things I did back then needed repair or replacement again. The last 5+ years I have actively upgraded the braking, suspension and now the engine. Always with an eye on keeping it close to stock. When I got the car my focus was making it streetable. It had lots of issues to sort out. After those were fixed or replaced, I got interested in making the car better than it was new. I focused on improving the stock setup. I wasn’t thinking of building a race car, although I can see how someone would end up doing that. I wanted a performance street car. Something fun and reliable to drive. Even though the ’68 Shelby was a pretty cool car in itself, if I had to fix or replace things I might as well upgrade and make it a better Mustang. The labor was going to be the same regardless of the parts replaced. So that is what I did. Tonight on the Barrett Jackson auction they called a ’66 GTO with a lot of added and upgraded things like disc brakes and A.C. as “enhanced.” Yes, I enhanced my Shelby.
My Shelby Cobra is a restored 1968 Mustang that runs and handles as good if not better than it did when it was brand new. It has:
- 1968 Ford 302/5.0L about 310 HP – Blue Printed and Balanced – original block and crank
- Holley Brawler 4 bbl carb – new in 2019 with dual feed and mechanical secondaries
- Cobra aluminum hi-rise intake – came with the car
- Edelbrock aluminum heads – new in 2019
- Comp Cam and lifters with roller tipped rocker arms – new in 2019
- Tri-Y headers and larger exhaust – new in 2010
- 4 speed TopLoader rebuilt with ALL new gears and syncros plus a Hurst T-handle Shifter – the toploader 4 speed was factory installed
- 3,89 rear end – factory installed
- Upgraded Shelby/Mustang GT suspension, lowered an inch
- Wilwood 4 piston discs – installed in 2017
- Most of the interior has been replaced, seats recovered, new headliner & new carpet.
If you want to delve a bit deeper into those items above, there is a menu below with links to the various things I’ve done to this car. I wrote an intro discussing what the item is with details & specs below. Or if you’d just like to see some more pictures of this vehicle,
The first two links on the menu below are two versions of how I found my car, bought it and managed to get it home back in 1982 . Biff Hitzeman, who was with me, wrote his own version. He and I used to be editors for our Mustang club’s newsletter. We wrote these pieces for that newsletter.
The other links will give more specific info about what I did and specs on what the upgraded parts were. There are specific details such as Vendor and part numbers. This is a record for me as well.
Here are links to pages of my Shelby Story
- Finding my Shelby Mustang
- Rebuilding the Engine
- Tri-Y Exhaust Headers and Exhaust Pipes
- Ignition, Wires, Plugs and the Battery
- Holley 600 CFM Brawler 4 bbl Carburetor
- Upgrading the Suspension
- Ford 9 inch 3.89 rear end
- Brake Upgrade – Wilwood 4 piston disc brakes
- Stock Specs on 1968 Shelby
- The 1968 Ford 302 Mexican Block story
- The 4 Speed Toploader Transmission & Hurst Shifter
- Clutch and Pressure Plate – McLeod 75213
- Tires and Rims – 15″ 10 spoke aluminum rims with Goodrich TA’s
- Pictures of my car through the years
- Read about the history and evolution of the Ford small block engine at CarTechBooks
- Ford engine specifications from the CrankShaftCoalition
- What makes a Shelby Mustang unique?
I lowered this car about an inch on both ends. Lowering the center of gravity improves the handling of the car. If you didn’t read what I wrote on another page, let’s just say once you start down a path on a car, you can’t go back very easily. Going forward means fixing or adjusting. In this case, the new front springs raised that end of the car higher than the back. Samaritan Tire cut half coil off the front springs lowering the front 1 inch. So the car sets level now. It is real subtle but it gives this car a more aggressive stanch. I wouldn’t have expected those results, I’d recommend lowering your Mustang using shorter coil springs in the front and mid-eye leaf springs in the rear.