Aeromotive Cobra Jet Challenge Racers Enjoy Racing Tomorrow’s History Today
When it comes legendary racing names in Ford history, not many carry the iconic significance as “Cobra Jet.” Today’s Aeromotive Cobra Jet Challenge owners and drivers are racing the modern namesake of a legendary engine and car combination.
“As a modern Cobra Jet Mustang owner and driver, I am proud to be a part of carrying on the legend of the Ford Cobra Jet Mustangs,” says John Calvet of Calvert Racing in Lancaster, California. “Today, we have the benefit of understanding the importance of motorsports history. So in a way, all of us Cobra Jet racers are really racing tomorrow’s history, and sharing it with the Ford fans at Fun Ford Weekend events is something we all hope they will remember and tell their kids about.”
The Original Cobra Jet Mustang
The original Cobra Jet was based on the staid 428-cid big-car engine, but had larger valve heads and the race-brewed 427′s intake manifold. It also had ram-air induction and a functional hood scoop. The scoop mated to a special air cleaner with a vacuum-actuated butterfly valve that funneled air directly into the 735-cfm Holley four-barre carburetor. Output was around 410 horsepower, but Ford rated it at 335 horsepower in an effort to calm insurance agents and con dragstrip rules-makers.
All 1968 Ford Mustang 428 Cobra Jets came with GT-level touches, such as front fog lamps and a side “C” stripe, but the only other external clue to the armament within was the black scoop and hood stripe. The entire package cost about $500, including front disc brakes. The Equa-Loc differential ($79) and Competition Handling Package ($62) were wise extras.
With 11.5-second ETs at 120 mph, the factory team of eight specially prepared 1968 Ford Mustang 428 CJs obliterated everything in their Super Stock class at the ’68 NHRA Winternationals. The impact was no less forceful on the street. “The entire world will come to recognize this engine — the 428 Cobra Jet — at the pop of a hood,” declared Motor Trend magazine. Finally, thanks to the 1968 Ford Mustang 428 Cobra Jet, the competition was chasing Mustang’s tail.
The 2012 Aeromotive Cobra Jet Challenge
In 2012, Fun Ford Weekend events have been home to the Aeromotive Cobra Jet Challenge, a special class devoted to exciting, side-by-side racing of the new generation of Cobra Jet Mustangs produced by Ford Racing. Based upon their industry-leading technology and reliable products, Aeromotive is the OE supplier of the fuel systems for all Cobra Jet race cars produced since 2008.
“To be a part of a legend, the Ford Cobra Jet, is a truly something special. Writing your name in the history books is not something that most people get a chance at. For a manufacturer, its extremely rare,” said Jesse Powell of Aeromotive. “These are awesome cars and any chance we have to get these on the race track is a treat for the owners as well as the fans. We want to show our support to both Ford and to the owners of these vehicles by providing an opportunity to race.”
Modern Cobra Jet Racers
Roger Comstock is another modern Cobra Jet racer who enjoys showcasing today’s Ford factory racer. “Racing out of Las Vegas, we always have a long ways to go,” notes Comstock. “So when the Fun Ford Weekend came to The Strip, obviously we wanted to be a part of the Aermotive Cobra Jet Challenge and put on a good show for the fans.”
Comstock runs a 2010 Cobra Jet Mustang and enjoys the camaraderie of running with the other Cobra Jet owners and racers. “Any opportunity we have to put a bunch of Cobra Jet Mustangs on the track and go head-to-head is a fun time – both for us as drivers and for the fans in the stands. We’d love to see the Aeromotive Cobra Jet Challenge become a staple of Fun Ford Weekend events for years to come.”
The Aeromotive Cobra Jet Challenge will be contested at all the 2012 Fun Ford Weekend events and event winners receive a personalized Cobra Jet Challenge “winner’s jacket” directly from Aeromotive.
Remaining 2012 Fun Ford Weekend events
August 10-12: Gateway Motorsports Park, Madison, IL
August 18-19: Maple Grove Raceway, Mohonton, PA
September 2: Castrol Raceway, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
September 7-8: Texas Motorplex, Ennis, TX
September 14-15: Palm Beach International Raceway, Jupiter, FL
September 28-29: Memphis Motorsports Park, Millington, TN
About Fun Ford Weekend
The family-oriented Fun Ford Weekend series presented by Roush Yates, JE Pistons and Joe Gibbs Driven is run by each of the tracks that host the events. Each track creates its own event schedule, racing structure, car show, and if adequate space, will also have autocross competition. The goal of the series is to get as many automotive enthusiasts that have a passion for the Ford brand to participate, celebrate and enjoy the events. For more information on Fun Ford Weekend, visit www.funfordweekend.com.