Donald Farr
Former Editor, Mustang Monthly
March 22, 2010
Photos By: The Mustang Monthly Archives

On April 1, the 428 Cobra Jet was introduced to the world as a new 335hp performance option for the Mustang and Fairlane. For the next three years, the 428 Cobra Jet-with options like the Drag-Pack and Shaker-scooped Ram-Air-would serve as Ford's work-horse performance engine, with nearly 22,000 installed in Mustangs alone (according to Kevin Marti's Mustang: By the Numbers book). Shelby would cash in with the upgraded '681/2 GT500KR, which took its name from Tasca's original King of the Road KR-8.

But what happened to the original '67 KR-8 hardtop? Bob Tasca Jr. knows all too well. "I hit a telephone pole with it in October 1967," he admits. "I had just gotten my driver's license six weeks before. That was the end of that car." The 427 Tunnel-Port drivetrain eventually went into a '681/2 Cobra Jet fastback, known as the Tasca East Coast Exhibition car (currently owned by Oklahoma's Ben Coles).

Note: Tasca Ford remains in business today, although the location has moved from East Providence to Cranston, Rhode Island. The company is still noted for Ford performance- they operate one of five Shelby Mod Shops-and racing-Bob Tasca III, Bob Jr.'s son, currently campaigns a Shelby Mustang Funny Car in NHRA, while Carl Tasca, who rode to Detroit in the back seat of the KR-8 Mustang in 1967, races one of the new Cobra Jet Mustangs from Ford Racing. Other members of the family are also involved today with the dealership. Bob Tasca Sr. is still known to show up for work.

Our thanks to Ben Coles for alerting us to the story of the KR-8 and to Drew Hardin for tracking down Eric Dahlquist's Hot Rod photos and notes in the Petersen Publishing archives.

KR-8 Package
During his visit to Tasca Ford, Hot Rod's Eric Dahlquist made the following notes about the modifications to Tasca's KR-8 Mustang.

Engine

  • 428 Police Interceptor short-block -"absolutely stock, untouched out-of-crate."
  • Cylinder heads: '63 1/2 406 ("'63 1/2 427 preferred").
  • Valves: 2.06 intake and 1.66 exhaust valves, light hollow-type with stock 427-type valve springs, 1.82-inch installed height.
  • Rocker arms: adjustable 1.76.
  • Cam: Stock '67 390 GTA, advanced 3 degrees.
  • Intake manifold: Police Interceptor aluminum with Bakalite spacer/divider.
  • Carburetor: Holley LeMans, with four-way shooter nozzle and LeMans manual linkage curve.
  • Fuel line: 3/8-inch from gas tank to 427-type fuel pump ("relieved with #13 drill bit to eliminate percolation when hot; electric fuel pump optional").
  • Air induction: 6-inch opening in grille, connecting to carburetor.
  • Distributor: 427 dual-point with full centrifugal 10-degree plate and 427 HP wires.
  • Exhaust: 427 Fairlane headers modified to fit; 2 1/4-inch H-pipe and tailpipes from '66 Fairlane, glasspack mufflers.
  • Other: BF32 spark plugs, GT350 power steering pulley, deep sump oil pan (6-quart capacity with filter), 427 oil pump, eliminated exhaust control valve.

Drivetrain

  • Transmission: Stock Police Interceptor C6 with heavy-duty converter ("1-2 shift at 6,400 rpm; 2-3 shift at 6,200 rpm").
  • Rearend: 3.50 Limited-Slip with 28-tooth axles.

Suspension

  • Front: 5/16-inch spacer under left-front lower spring pad, increase left-front stabilizer 3/4-inch link spacer, increase right-front 3/8-inch link spacer.
  • Rear: Increase right-rear spring hangers 2-inches, increase left-rear spring hangers 1-inch, turn two leafs 180 degrees but leave main and first leafs in standard position, Shelby-type snubbers in same location as GT500. Clamp rear springs similar to original equipment.
  • Autolite SuperFlex shock absorbers.
  • Relocate battery to right-rear; use heavy-duty type cable.