4. 428 Cobra Jet
Ford presented the legendary Cobra Jet as a mid-year introduction in 1968 as a new muscle car engine from Ford. The pressure from Chevrolet’s 427 V8, Mopar 440 and 426 Hemi, as well as Pontiac’s 421 and 428 V8 made the 427 Medium Risers obsolete. Ford needed a new mass-produced muscle engine to battle their competitors, so they designed the Cobra Jet engine to be affordable, but still durable and powerful enough.
Ford rated the 428 Cobra Jet at 335 HP, but it was immediately obvious their new offering put out much more than that. In fact, it put out over 400 to 450 HP, which was enough to claim the title of Stock Car Champion and winner of many illegal street races. In 1969, Ford produced over 20,000 Cobra Jet engines and even rarer Super Cobra Jet engines. They featured tougher internals and a couple of performance upgrades but retained their factory power output of 335 HP.
The Cobra Jet was the top engine choice in the Ford Mustang, but they were also available for other Ford models like the Torino, for example. Today, the Cobra Jet is widely recognized as one of the most legendary muscle car engines, as well as the ultimate Mustang power plant.