Ford Racing Techline (800)367-3788
only would it prove successful on the track, it also would
be the test bed for a new production Mustang, the 2012
Boss 302. At the heart of both cars was a brand new
5.0-liter engine with a special Boss-only “short-runners-
in-a-box” velocity stack intake that pushed the new
production Mustang GT engine from an already potent
412 horsepower to 444 horsepower. Since 2012, Ford
Racing has sold the Boss 302R and 302S as factory-
built turnkey racecars for endurance (302R) and sprint
At the same time as the new 2005 Mustang was
bringing road racers back to the fold, the enthusiasts of
the new-to-the-USA sport of driing began to see the
opportunities inherent in Ford’s pony car when Vaughn
Gittin Jr. won the USA vs. Japan D1GP in his new ’05
Mustang. He followed that up in 2007 by winning the
D1GP World Championship. Then, in 2010 he took the
Formula Dri Championship in his Monster Energy/
Falken Tire 2010 Mustang.
Drag strip darling
As good as Mustang was on the road courses, it could
also haul down the drag strip, right from the beginning.
The combination of light weight and easy-to-hot-rod
engines, thanks to Ford performance parts available
from local dealers, made it possible for enthusiasts to
build killer strip runners.
In 1965 Ford, through the Holman & Moody shop, built
the ultimate Mustang drag cars up to that time. They
were injected 427 “Cammer-powered” Mustangs with
stretched front ends to contest the NHRA’s A/FX class.
Bill Lawton used one to destroy the competition at the
1965 NHRA Winternationals for the class win.
The A/FX Mustangs weren’t available to everyone:
as few as 10 were ever built. But in 1968 the ultimate
production Mustang drag car appeared. The Mustang
428 Cobra Jet, or “428 CJ,” as it was oen called. Tasca
Ford, in Providence, Rhode Island, built up some high-
performance, 428 cid engines using Ford performance
parts. Police Interceptor 428 engines were sourced from
the Ford parts bin and fitted with 427 “low riser” cylinder
heads, aluminum Police Interceptor intakes and larger,
single Holley 4-barrel carbs. Dealer principal Bob Tasca
used this development to lobby Ford for a production
Ford’s Product Planning department gave the go-
ahead in late 1966. Led by principal engineer Bill Barr,
the engineering teamwent on an eight-month crash
program to design, develop, validate, certify and release
the 428 Cobra Jet engine. Such tight timing was virtually
unheard of in the auto industry at that time, but it was very
successful. The Ford development yielded an upgraded
and unique 428 V8. Improvements were made everywhere
in the engine, which used 428 heads with enlarged
intake and exhaust ports and other changes instead of
the expensive-to-produce 427 versions. Also a cast-iron
intake manifold was fitted instead of the aluminum Police
Interceptor part. A larger-CFM Holley carb was used. All
parts were made available to enthusiasts through the
FoMoCo performance parts program.
The ’68 Cobra Jet scored a victory its first time out when
Al Joniec took the Super Stock Eliminator title at the
1968 NHRAWinternationals with his Rice-Holman “135”
CJ Mustang prepared by Holman & Moody / Stroppe in
Long Beach, California. It was one of the first two CJs—
both prepared at the same time and entered in the event.
Ford continued to develop the Mustang Cobra Jet with
an improved rotating assembly, including crank, rods,
pistons and harmonic balancer. The upgraded 428
engine was named Super Cobra Jet (SCJ). Cars with SCJ
engines also got an external oil cooler.
Cobra Jet’s triumphant return
In 2008 Ford celebrated the 40th Anniversary of the
1968 CJ with the introduction of a new Cobra Jet. It’s
the ultimate “Parts Car” – Ford Racing Performance
Parts, that is. It is literally a production Mustang body,
engineered with a carefully chosen set of FRPP high-
performance parts and other components to do one
thing: Win drag races.
One of the 2008 CJs, owned by Hajek Motorsports,
won the 2009 NHRA Winternationals in the hands
of John Calvert. Calvert’s car sported vintage Rice-
Holman graphics in honor of Al Joniec’s historic ’68
Winternationals win. In fact, most of the 2008 Mustang
Cobra Jets competed with nostalgia graphic packages
mirroring those on famous Mustang CJ drag cars.
So popular is the modern Mustang Cobra Jet that Ford
Racing built 50-car batches in 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013 –
and is doing so again for the 2014 season.
The right stu to win
The 50-year history of Mustang racing has been made
possible by Ford’s development of special parts,
systems and even complete cars, beginning with the
1964 European rally cars and the 1966 Trans-Am cars.
These cars themselves were based on earlier work that
supported the Shelby Cobras with parts development
that migrated to Ford’s new and soon-to-be iconic
221-260-289 small-block V8 and the cars it powered,
including the GT350 and the all-conquering Ford GT40.
These parts were always made available to grassroots
and pro racers through the earlier organizations and
programs that have evolved into today’s Ford Racing
The new 2014 Ford Racing Performance Parts catalog
shows that the process has continued and expanded far
beyond what could have been imagined in the early days.
Today, racers and muscle car enthusiasts have access to
the parts and the systems they want to build whatever
their imaginations dictate for street, strip or track.