By 1968, the Ford Mustang had already become one of the most popular cars in the United States. Affordable, available in three different body styles and with a bevy of inline-six and V-8 engines, Ford ’s pony was enjoying tremendous success. The arrival of the beefed-up Shelby Mustang and its many versions only made things better, but Ford and Carroll Shelby felt the pony could become even more impressive. Their dream came true in April 1968, when a brand-new version of the 428 Police Interceptor engine was fitted with improved-breathing heads and larger exhaust manifolds, giving birth to the 428 Cobra Jet. The mill quickly found its way into the Shelby GT500 , which became the GT500 KR or "King of the Road". Officially rated at 335 horsepower, but actually powered by no less than 400 ponies and 440 pound-feet of torque, the King gained iconic status almost immediately.
The moniker was discontinued for the 1969 model year, only a few months before Carroll Shelby terminated his agreement with Ford. The GT500 KR nameplate returned exactly 40 years later on the fifth-generation Mustang, this time adorning a 540-horsepower muscle car that was motivated by a 5.4-liter V-8. After all of these years, the first-generation GT500 KR is as formidable as it’s always been, but its statute and value have grown considerably in the eyes of muscle-car aficionados and collectors alike.
Updated 07/23/2014: A very rare Mustang GT 500 KR is being offered by RK Motors Charlotte for a price of $189,900. Click past the jump for more details.
Click past the jump to read more about the 1968 Shelby GT500 KR