By Don Antilla, edited by Scott Hollenbeck
I have a special interest in the Tasca CJs since I own one of the early (April 27, 1968) Cobra Jet Mustangs from Tasca Ford. I've spent a bit of time with the Tacsa family (they were generous with their time), and thought I should tell you that the story of how the Cobra Jet started is generally correct, but there is more to the story. After the blown engine, and after Bob Tasca installed the 428 short block, he went through a long series of experiments with intake port reshaping, exhaust port shaping, distributor curving, and camshaft experiments. Bob and his dedicated mechanics kept iterating the design until they got the right tuned combination. Nothing like persistence to attain success! Most people think that luck plays a role, but with Bob Tasca, it was hard work and a long history with Fords that resulted in the right "magic" combination. Then... after Henry Ford was deluged with the Hot Rod mail-in "ballots", Henry called Bob personally and requested that Bob bring the KR-8 to Ford's track for evaluation. I'll save you the details here on just what hapened, but the story is really good. It was the Ford engineers' evaluation and subsequent drive train tear-down that was a big factor in the subsequent decision to produce the CJ. So, it did not happen quite as fast as many of the magazines say.
My car is an absolutely accurate, date-matched car. It has an interesting group of options for a drag type car, including a 4.30:1 rear, safety and convenience panel, clock, and lower console. The interior is two-tone blue, so it is very bright and attractive inside.