• Nov 4, 2008


Click above for high-res gallery of the FR500CJ Cobra Jet Mustang

The introduction of Ford's new FR500CJ Cobra Jet Mustang was no surprise, as we have already seen the photos and even video of the purpose-built drag Mustang in action, but we now have full details on the car as well as a few more photographs. Joining the other FR500 Mustangs in the Ford Racing catalog including the FR500GT, FR500C, and FR500S, the FR500CJ is a race-only model that will be limited to a production run of 50. You're already too late if you're thinking of ordering one through your local Ford dealer, as the initial allotment of cars has already been bought up at $69,900 each, but Ford insists there will be additional Cobra Jet Mustangs to come. Each car comes standard with a 5.4L supercharged V8 producing 400 horsepower, 6-speed manual transmission (optional automatic), and a drag race wheel/tire combination. Follow the jump for additional information in the press release including the history of the Cobra Jet, and check out the new photos in the gallery below.


[Source: Ford]

PRESS RELEASE:

DEARBORN, Mich, Nov. 4, 2008 – Forty years after its debut, a legend of drag racing is back.

In honor of the 40th anniversary of the release of the first Ford Cobra Jet Mustang in 1968, Ford Racing is introducing the 2008 Cobra Jet Mustang, now available for customers to race in NHRA sportsmen classes during the 2009 season.

The new Mustang FR500CJ is officially being launched at the Ford press conference Nov. 4, as part of the 2008 SEMA Show in Las Vegas.

For decades, the Mustang has been the preeminent car in many forms of racing, including drag racing. Adding to the rich and successful racing history of Ford's iconic pony car, the 2008 Cobra Jet Mustang is a factory-built race car that is NHRA-legal and ready for the drag strip. It is the first purpose-built race car from Ford for drag racing since the original Cobra Jet Mustang.

"The Cobra Jet is one of the transformational vehicles for Ford Racing," said Brian Wolfe, director, Ford Racing Technology. "The 2008 CJ will get us more involved with the sportsmen racers in drag racing. At this point there are a lot of little guys who are running Fords from the 60s, 70s and even a few from the 80s, but those cars aren't necessarily relevant to what we are producing today.

"Those Ford racers are among the most loyal Ford supporters and customers we have," Wolfe added. "The CJ makes a statement for our company that even in times as tough as these, we can introduce something as special as the Cobra Jet. As I guy who has tracked Ford history from the beginning and understands the significance of the CJ, this is by far the best factory drag car that we have produced."

The original Cobra Jet Mustang was conceived by drag racing legend Bob Tasca, the competition-oriented Ford dealer in Rhode Island who at the time operated one of Ford's most successful retail operations. Tasca looked to the Ford parts shelf when he wanted to upgrade the engines on some of the Mustangs that he was selling, and came up with the KR-8 conversion package for his performance customers.

Henry Ford II announced that Ford would put together several of the Tasca 428-powered Mustangs for drag teams competing in the 1968 Winternationals, where two of the Mustangs made it into the finals and Al Joniec went on to win the Super Stock championship. After the car's success at Winternationals, Ford announced that it would be producing the 428ci Cobra Jet engine.

"When I made the Cobra Jet engine available to Ford, they found out quickly how good it was and they decided to make it happen," said Tasca Sr. "My feeling has always been that Mustang should be the performance leader for the Ford Motor Company. I like performance that helps me sell the unit. What the Cobra Jet did for Mustang was phenomenal."

The 2008 Cobra Jet Mustang joins Ford Racing's stable of championship-capable customer Mustangs: the Mustang FR500S, the Mustang FR500C and the Mustang FR500GT. All are turnkey cars available via the Ford Racing Performance Parts catalog and through Ford dealers.

The FR500 series of Mustangs are race-ready cars, designed by Ford Racing engineers for performance-conscious customers, that can be rolled right off of a truck and win in competition. The Cobra Jet, as delivered, will be able to run in the 10-second range and be competitive as is, just like its sister car, the Mustang FR500C. The FR500C was unloaded for customers at the 2005 Grand-Am Rolex Series opening race in Daytona on a Wednesday, won the race on Friday and went on to secure a championship that first season.

And just like the Ford Mustang FR500S, the Cobra Jet Mustang will get its start at the Auto Alliance International (AAI) assembly plant in Flat Rock, Mich., before being sent to a Ford supplier to have additional parts installed and for final prep.

All of the additional parts and pieces for the CJ can be found in the Ford Performance Parts catalog. And since the Cobra Jet is produced from a base V-6 Mustang, any consumer can turn their Mustang into a Cobra Jet by purchasing the parts from the Ford Performance Parts catalog.

The car features a 400-hp 5.4-liter supercharged engine with a standard 6-speed manual transmission, automatic optional, and a drag race wheel/tire combination. The Cobra Jet is NHRA-legal to 10.00 second ETs and has an NHRA Stock Eliminator legal interior and is approximately 3,300 lbs. The car will also showcase a unique trim and appearance design and include an optional 2008 Cobra Jet graphics kit to distinguish itself.

The price of the 2008 Cobra Jet Mustang is $69,900. All 50 of the initial 2008 model vehicles have already been ordered by Ford dealers for delivery to customers. For those customers who miss out on the first run, there's no worry, as Ford Racing has set a goal to provide future versions of the Cobra Jet.

"We've built a Mustang for drag racing that we've very proud of," said Wolfe. "We're confident that this, like all Mustang race cars, will be competitive, and a value for those looking to enter a variety of sportsmen classes. We can't wait to see the car in the hands of customers."

The Cobra Jet will make its official public debut at SEMA on Tuesday, November 4, and production will begin immediately on the 50 CJs, with delivery slated for early first quarter of 2009. The 2008 Cobra Jet is expected to first compete in the 2009 Winternationals in Pomona, Calif., in February.



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 16 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      *sigh*

      Why do people keep comparing this to factory street cars? 400hp is the limit for the class that this is designed to run. And yes, when you strip the car out, it gets much lighter, making 400hp plenty.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Not worth it. I'd be expecting at least 600 horsepower... at least give me a reason to get it over a Z06.
      • 6 Years Ago
      LOL at people that think this is a good deal. They're saving money by taking out safety equipment and finishing touches like sound deadening and it costs $70,000!

      Do yourself a favor. Go buy a Z06, buy some drag radials, run the same times and enjoy driving it home as well.

      Also, just because it's setup to comply with NHRA to run 10's doesn't mean its going to. 400hp+ 3300lbs= Low 12's...
      • 6 Years Ago
      I don't get it.. 70k for that? Put me down for 3 used Z06's instead...
      • 6 Years Ago
      As usual, 99% of Autoblog Mustang bashers couldn't buy a clue on EBay.

      The car is built to the limit of the NHRA rules. The NHRA Sportsman weight/HP ratios forces the 400 HP limit.

      Want to build one yourself? Have fun. Go buy a new V6 Mustang, yank everything out and start adding back the NHRA authorized FPP parts.

      Add up the hours and parts $ and $69K could start looking inexpensive.
      • 6 Years Ago
      uh... itz a 10 sec car... as per the above statement!!!
      thatz fast as he** considering 400bhp...

      how can that be looked down upon...

      the 633bhp zri needs 633 bhp to hit similar numbers!!!

      but then again, itz not a fair comparison, as this is a track only car, where as zr1 can be driven on the road...
      • 6 Years Ago
      Where is the actual jet engine? I hate it when they say 'jet' and there isnt an actual turbine of any sort...

      At that, hp is pretty useless to talk about without considering the performance curve and the torque. Torque is the real 'get up and go', hp just comes into play more with top speed. If the engine has 300hp, but 800ft-lbs of torque, it will be a 1/4 mile killer. That, and the power curve itself has a good deal to do with the application of that power.

      Still, I bet an electric version would whoop on it with less hp just due to the flat/huge torque.
      • 6 Years Ago
      the hp rating is to fit within the class it is intended to run in NHRA, but the car has been lightened to an extreme point and runs very hard.
      • 6 Years Ago
      5.4L Supercharged V8 producing 400 HP? Either that's a typo or Ford really missed the mark here.
        • 6 Years Ago
        That's exactly what I was thinking. Seems pretty weak, especially for a drag car.
        • 6 Years Ago
        "We've built a Mustang for drag racing that we've very proud of,"

        Seems like there's more than one typo... So it's possible...
        • 6 Years Ago
        I originally thought that as well, but every article AB runs on this car it says 400hp repeatedly. This is the car I have been asking for, and they almost got it perfect. Make it a stripped car with the standard Shelby engine and a VIN so I can register it. Think Fox-body LX coupe, just fasters. Of course being $70k would be pointless, I am talking about a cheap(er) version of the Shelby with manual everything.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Though I would like to point out, if you watch the video of it, if that's how they are selling it, that baby moves! Plus it sounds so good... Easily a 11sec car..
      • 6 Years Ago
      IT'S NOT A STREET CAR, IT'S A COMPETITION READY RACE CAR.

      People spend tens of thousands of dollars to get a car ready for competition and this car is spec'd to run a specific class. It's made to run to 10.0 seconds which is the important part, not the rated hp.

      So comparing street cars to a turnkey race car is just dumb. If you want a street car, you wouldn't buy this, if you want a drag car, you need to be prepared to spend alot of money (after the purchase) to make it comp legal. Then you need to spend hundreds of hours to prep the car (including welding in legal roll cages and the like) or find a shop that can do the work and doesn't screw the car up in the process.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Yea maybe a 10 ET in the 1/8th mile :-)

      Read it again the car alone is 3,300 lbs at 400 HP it is not going to run that ET in 1/4 mile

      Big deal NHRA legal, heck a rollbar and some driveshaft hoops, add some sticky tires not worth $70,000

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