Cobra Jet 428; Mean and Fast, need we say more?

The Cobra Jet 428 entered production on April 1st 1968. The competition was praying that it was all just a big April Fool’s joke, but sad for them the only joke was the way they made everything else look slow. Although a small number of Cobra Jets did make into Cougars in 1968, the engine really came into its own in 1969, quickly becoming even more lethal in the form of the Super Cobra Jet.

Here is what the Cougar Club of America says about the Cobra Jet:

The Cobra Jet Cougar option is simple to define, since it is defined in the 5th digit of every car’s VIN #. 1969 and 1970 428CJ cars were either R or Q codes. Key Items for 1969 and 1970 428CJ Cars to qualify for the registry. 1) Must be factory built - no dealer or aftermarket motor installs. 2) Owner must provide door data tag info. 3) Owners must provide name and description of car in current condition (if at all possible). Here are some items (i.e. spotter’s guide or tips) that make the 428CJ cars special.

4-speed or C6 automatic only - no 3 speeds.
C6 transmission was a special unit with additional clutch plates, cast iron tail shaft & R servo.
Wrap around shock towers. Actually, all 1969 and 70 Cougars had the wrap around towers. Mustangs however, only had the wrap around towers with the FE based engines.
All had the performance handling package. Larger front sway bar and 1970 only includes rear sway bar.
Power steering equipped cars had a power steering cooler.
All had 31 spline rear axles.
All had 24" heavy duty radiators.
All had 730CFM Holley carbs. (no Autolite carbs)
All had a smog system from the factory (required due to the Holley Carb).
“Drag pak” and “Super Drag pak” option was available turning the 428 CJ into a Super CJ.
Ram air was optional for both years. Hood scoop was available with ram air and eliminators only.
All 428CJ Cars had dual exhaust.
All had heavy duty battery (Group 27F).
All rear end ratios were available from 2.75 open to 4.30 detroit locker.
All body styles could be 428CJ cars, from standard Cougars, to XR7 Hardtops and convertibles.
All paint and interior codes were available.

What was the 5th digit for '68 cars?

1968 Used R only as all had Ram Air

Thanks, do we have a number? Wouldn’t mind one with a stick. Seems it would be a rarer breed. Probably all in GT-E trim right?

There were 64 4 speeds and 180 automatics in '68. You could get the 428CJ in any Cougar, including I believe 34 GT-E’s. Three of the GT-E’s were 4 speed cars, and there were also 3 XR7-G 4 speeds, plus 11 automatics.

Technically this forum is for '69 and '70. There is another registry for the '68 R code non GT-E cars. The registrar is Bill Quay. I don’t think he does much on the computer but I will try to extend an invite.

Spelling error on the title page. “Cora”

So you didn’t know Cora? You know, Cora Jean Jet? She was mean and fast too! Thanks for the heads up. I lernt ta spel gud.

Oh course, that’s Joan Jetts mother, :clap:

Scott Taylor here, I’m the 428CJ registar for the CCOA. Sorry for the delay in migrating away from I guess bad habits are hard to break! LOL… Anyways, if you have any questions about 428CJ power Cougars, just let me know, and I will do my best to answer them. Check back here often for updates on the known 428CJ 1969 and 1970 Cougars. thanks! Scott

True for '69. There were no R code Cougars in '70.

Yep! Ram air became an option instead of a different engine code. I think it had to do with emissions certification. (They only had to certify the engine one time)

I’m going to have to disagree with you Bill, but without solid evidence as to the reason. The “R” code still did exist in 1970 for a Ford, but not a Mercury. I think it might have been a marketing thing. The same exists with the 429 in a 1970 Mercury Montego / Cyclone, they are all “C” codes, you need a Marti / invoice to determine Ram Air, but on a Torino they had the “J” code.

You may well be right. I don’t know when they started having to qualify each engine for emissions. The EPA did not yet exist until 1970 so the standards were being set by a dozen different agencies.

Didn’t C code and J code use different carbs?

No, the carb difference was determined by whether a CJ or SCJ. So a C code in a 1970 Montego / Cyclone could be one of 4 combinations;

429 CJ (Rochester carb) w/o ram air (C code in a Torino)
429 SCJ (Holley carb) w/o ram air (C code in a Torino)
429 CJ (Rochester carb) with ram air (J code in a Torino)
429 SCJ (Holley carb with ram air) (J code in a Torino)

Then of course there were also the non CJ 429’s, but we won’t go there.

A thought on why Ram air Mustangs got a R code. The ram air on a Mustang was a Shaker. But to kill my own theory Shakers were available on 351 Mustangs too.

Maybe the Mustang was getting vinned on September 19 and someone went “aaargh”

I’m thinking people need to be more careful when they say “Cobra Jet”, leaving out the engine displacement, 428, 429 or even 351C. The discussion gets very murky otherwise, no?

Here is what the Cougar Club of America says about the Cobra Jet:

Just curious why '68s are left out of the discussion.

Engine displacement kInd of called out in the title of the thread, … No?