Mustang Timeline: 1968

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Mustang got a new grille in 1968. The horizontal bars were removed and chrome trim was added, and the corral around the pony was thinner than in '67. The side scoops were thin chrome pieces, and "Mustang" on the fenders was written in script rather than block letters. 1968 was the first year for shoulder seat belts.

Ford's larger 427 was introduced on 1968 Mustang GTs. Combined with the GT's standard front disc brakes, performance tires, heavy-duty suspension, and dual exhaust with chrome quad outlets, the engine elevated this pony car it its raciest version yet. New cosmetics also were included for 1968, with new styled steel wheels in chrome or painted silver with special GT hub caps, and new "C" stripe that accented the side scoop.

The 428 Cobra Jet was introduced on April 1, 1968. A Ram Air induction setup was installed, as noted by the hood scoop and black hood stripe. The transmission options were a 4-speed manual or six-speed automatic. There was an initial run of 50 units inspired by Ford dealer and Mustang racer Bob Tasca's efforts, but eventually 2,253 CJ Fastbacks and 564 CJ coupes were produced.

The West Coast-only Mustang GT/California Special was available in 1968. The car was available only in coupe form. The Shelby-inspired car had the same grille, fog lamps, and rear fascia as the Shelby models from that year. "GT/CS" was printed on the Shelby-style side scoops. The wheels were the same as GT wheels, but without the GT center caps. Only 251 High Country Specials were produced, and they were all coupes. For more information on California and High Country Specials visit

Though there were four Shelby Mustang convertibles made in 1966 and one in 1967, 1968 was the first year there were widely available, if you consider 518 cars to be widely available. Shelby used the KR moniker on the '68 GT500 KR because of the rumors that Chevy was planning to use it on a competing model. Rectangular fog lights replaced the round ones from '67, and the Thunderbird taillights flashed sequentially with the turn signals engages. The G.T. 350 was bumped from the 289 in '67 to a 302 in '68, and the 500s kept the 489. The GT500KR was powered by a 428 Cobra Jet. Only 517 GT500 KR Convertibles were made, making them one of the rarest and most valuable Mustangs ever produced.


Shelby de Mexico produced 203 1968 Shelbys, all powered by 289 V8s.

The most famous 1968 Mustang was the GT 390 fastback Steve McQueen drove in Bullitt.

200cid 1V 6-cyl 120 hp   T Code
289cid 2V V-8 195 hp   C Code
302cid 2V V-8 210 hp   F Code
302cid* 4V V-8 230 hp   J Code
390cid* 4V V-8 325 hp   S Code
428cid* 4V V-8 335 hp Cobra Jet R Code

*Available on Shelbys


Convertible, standard $2,814
Coupe, standard $2,578
Fastback, standard $2,689
GT350 Convertible $4,238
GT500 Convertible $4,438
GT500KR Convertible $4,594
GT350 Fastback $4,116
GT500 Fastback $4,317
GT500KR Fastback $4,472

Convertible, standard 22,037
Convertible, deluxe 3,339
Coupe, standard 233,472
Coupe, bench seats 6,113
Coupe, deluxe 9,009
Coupe, deluxe, bench seats 853
Fastback, standard 33,585
Fastback, bench seats 1,079
Fastback, deluxe 7,661
Fastback, deluxe, bench seats 256
Total 317,404
Shelby Production
Shelby G.T. 350 Convertible 404
Shelby G.T. 500 Convertible 402
Shelby GT500 KR Convertible 518
Shelby GT500 KR Convertible (Hertz) 1
Shelby G.T. 350 Fastback 803
Shelby G.T. 350 Fastback (Hertz) 224
G.T. 500 Notchback Prototype (Green Hornet) 1
Shelby G.T. 500 Fastback 1,044
Shelby G.T. 500 Fastback (Hertz) 2
Shelby GT500 KR Fastback 1,053
Shelby G.T.500 Special Model 1
Total 4,453
Acapulco Blue
Brittany Blue
Candy Apple Red*
Dark Blue Metallic (Shelby only)
Dark Green Metallic (Shelby only)
Gold Metallic
Gulfstream Aqua
Highland Green
Lime Gold
Lime Green Metallic
Meadowlark Yellow*
Medium Blue Metallic (Shelby only)
Orange (Shelby only)
Pebble Beige
Presidential Blue
Raven Black (Shelby only)
Royal Maroon
Seafoam Green
Sunlit Gold
Tahoe Turquoise
Wimbledon White*

*Also available on Shelbys

Vehicle Identification Numbers
8 Last digit of model year
R Assembly plant (F-Dearborn, R-San Jose, T-Metuchen)
01 Body code (01-Coupe, 02-Fastback, 03-Convertible)
J Engine code
100001 Consecutive unit number



Shelby Vehicle Identification Numbers
8 Last digit of model year
T Assembly plant (T-Metuchen)
03 Body code (02-fastback, 03-convertible)
R Engine code
000001 Consecutive unit number
00001 Consecutive Shelby production number



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photo by Brad Bowling
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