MARTINEZ, Calif. — August 5, 2021 — A new “King of the Road” will be crowned when someone wins The Cobra Experience museum’s fundraising sweepstakes for a 1968 Shelby GT500KR. Proceeds from the sweepstakes will support the Northern California non-profit organization’s mission to inspire the next generation of automotive enthusiasts through conservation, education and preservation of cars built by Shelby American.
“We’re excited to announce our sweepstakes for a first-generation Shelby GT500KR, especially as this rare low milage car is one of only 51 total 1968 fastbacks in this specific color and option configurations,” said Emily Lambert, Managing Director of The Cobra Experience. “The Shelby is particularly special as it a Northern California only car, making it rust free. It was purchased new in 1968 and has had only 2 owners in its 53 years.”
The Shelby GT500KR model has a very compelling history. In the 1960s, the Ford Mustang gained iconic status and became a popular choice among U.S. sports car enthusiasts due to its lightweight design, powerful drivetrains and aggressive looks. The arrival of the Shelby GT350 version of the car in 1965 gave Ford even more credence in the performance market with its many racing successes.
The Shelby version of the Ford Mustang became increasingly powerful over the years as the company and Shelby American developed larger, more potent engines for it. In April 1968, a new version of the 428-cubic-inch (7.0-liter) Police Interceptor V8 engine, with improved breathing heads and larger exhaust manifolds, was launched. Dropped into the range-topping Shelby GT500, the new engine gave birth to the Shelby GT500KR.
“Carroll Shelby was so passionate about winning that he often said second place was first loser,” said Lambert. “He created the new model to take the ‘muscle car wars’ to an entirely new level. He is famous for beating Chevrolet to the punch with the ‘KR’ name when Shelby heard they planned to use it on a version of the Corvette.”
The original and completely restored sweepstakes 1968 Shelby GT500 KR features:
- Candy Apple Red paint
- Black interior
- 428-cubic-inch (7.0-liter) Police Interceptor V8 engine
- Automatic Transmission
- Twist Lock Hood Pins
- Chrome Bumpers
- Twin-Exhaust Layout
- Shelby stripes above the side skirts and “GT500KR” graphics on the front fenders
According to the experts at the Shelby American Automobile Club, only 1053 fastback and 518 droptop Shelby GT500KRs were built for the 1968 model year. Exactly 250 were painted red; of those only 51 had a black interior, automatic transmission and did not have air conditioning. This car is one of that group of 51.
“Someone will own an amazing piece of automotive history when we announce the winner of the sweepstakes,” said Lambert. “Everyone who participates in the sweepstake, whether they win or not, will help educate the public about the legacy of Carroll Shelby and his great cars.”
This sweepstakes car was unveiled during a private party at the museum for the Shelby American Automobile Club on July 31. It will make its public debut as part of the Ford Performance display during the historic Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion at Laguna Seca Raceway from August 12-15, 2021.
Tickets are now on sale. Participants are automatically entered to win the special Shelby when they donate online at www.WinAGT500.org or by mail. The winning ticket will be chosen at 1:00 pm (PST) on June 4, 2022, at the Eighth Annual Cobra Day Car Show at The Cobra Experience.
Proceeds benefit The Cobra Experience, a non-profit museum committed to the promotion, conservation, education, and preservation of the cars produced by Shelby American.
The event is in Martinez, CA at The Cobra Experience, 777 Arnold Drive.
About the Cobra Experience
The Cobra Experience is a 25,000 square foot museum located in Martinez, California, that showcases original Cobra’s, Shelby Mustangs, Daytona Coupe, GT40, King Cobra, Sunbeam Tigers and a Lotus; currently 24 cars are on display. There are engine and wheel displays, posters, photos and a shop scene as it was at Shelby American in the 1960s. Unique to the museum is a 40-seat surround sound theater which features a HD film about the cars and about the Ford and Shelby American story. To learn more about The Cobra Experience, email firstname.lastname@example.org, visit www.cobraexperience.org or call (925) 558-5585.