Fifty years ago Ford struck out at the NHRA Super Stock competition with its prepped Mustang Cobra Jet racer. Today at Mustang Alley along the Woodward Dream Cruise, Ford Performance peeled the cover of the 50th Anniversary version that promises to be the fastest and most powerful version to date.

…The Ford Performance Parts team continues to build on Cobra Jet’s success at the track over five decades. — Eric Cin, Ford Performance Parts

Ford debuted the 50th Anniversary Cobra Jet during the Woodward Dream Cruise in Michigan this week. After its appearance on Mustang Alley, the latest model will appear with approximately 150 other Cobra Jets at the NMCA’s 50th Anniversary Ford Performance Cobra Jet Reunion at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio. (Photo Credit: Ford Motor Company)

Limited to only 68 units in honor of its inaugural year, the 2018 Mustang Cobra Jet is said to deliver 8-second quarter-mile e.t.’s at over 150 MPH. The company is being understandably coy about the actual power output, but with a Whipple Gen 5 twin-screw, 3.0-liter supercharger atop its 5.2-liter Coyote engine, this snake is definitely packing plenty of venom.

A Whipple Gen 5 3.0-liter supercharger boosts a 5.2-liter engine that delivers the most power ever produced by a Mustang Cobra Jet. It is fed fresh air from a massive ram-air intake behind the grille, and breathes out through a set of specially designed Kooks long-tube headers. An Aeromotive fuel pump in a trunk-mounted fuel cell feeds it. Inside it is equipped with a Racepak digital dash, Racetech FIA-certified racing seats, and an NHRA-certified roll cage.


In back the new Cobra Jet sports a 9-inch solid rear axle controlled by a four-link rear suspension, an antiroll bar, a Panhard bar and two-way coilover shocks, Strange Engineering supplied the low-drag disc brake system from Strange Engineering. If you order the 50th Anniversary package, the special badge and decals will adorn its flanks. Even the wheels have anniversary-badged center caps.

“From the very first Mustang Cobra Jets dominating the 1968 NHRA Winternationals to our modern-day racers, the Ford Performance Parts team continues to build on Cobra Jet’s success at the track over five decades,” Eric Cin, global director, Ford Performance Parts, said. “This has inspired generations of Mustang fans to create their own performance machines for the street.”

While the color wouldn’t be the deciding factor to buy one, the latest Cobra Jets are only available in two colors — Race Red or Oxford White. Starting at $130,000, they can be optioned with an exclusive 50th Anniversary graphics and badging package.

Mustang Cobra Jet Milestones

1968: Original FE 428ci V8-powered Cobra Jet created

• Ford produces 50 lightweight Mustangs to hold the 335-horsepower engine; six are shipped to Holman Moody and Bill

Stroppe to be prepared for NHRA competition

• Al Joniec pilots one of the six to Cobra Jet’s first victory

2008: Factory Mustang Cobra Jet rebooted

• Powered by a supercharged 5.4-liter dual-overhead-cam V8, this drag racing renaissance was the first Stock Eliminator car to dip into the 8-second zone at an NHRA National Event

• Unlike the original, the 50 produced this time around do not feature VINs, so they are not street legal

• John Calvert drives a Cobra Jet featuring Joniec tribute paint scheme to victory at NHRA Winternationals on 41st anniversary of its original win

2009-2016: Factory Mustang Cobra Jet continues

• 250 additional cars are produced with dozens of domestic drag racing records, victories and championships achieved across NHRA, IHRA, NMCA and NMRA

• Drivers range from experienced veterans to young drag racing stars in the making

• Through half a century, Mustang Cobra Jet orders are still being placed at local Ford dealerships

(Source: Ford Motor Company)