AUTO WORLD “AL JONIEC” 1968
MUSTANG COBRA JET
1: 18 | $79.99 by Joe Kelly, Jr.
Back in the days of factory-backed drag racing, Detroit muscle joined local hustle to bring out the best machinery and the most talented drivers.
Drag racing was fast, it was exciting, and any idea that
might result in a lower elapsed time (and more sales in the
showrooms) could be tested in a literal matter of seconds.
Ford knew this, and like many manufacturers of the
era, they were aggressive in putting loads of cash and
engineering know-how into being a dominant force at
the strip. In late 1967, they homologated the new 428
Cobra Jet engine for racing by building fifty cars for
sale to the public; VIN numbers 8F02R135007 through
8F02R135056 were all non-GT Mustang Fastbacks
finished in Wimbledon White. Under the hood, each 428
wore 390GT exhaust manifolds and a Police Interceptor
aluminum intake, and the cars were all equipped with rear
drum brakes, and left the factory minus a radio or power
First Hubert Platt took a CJ to the AHRA Winter Nationals in late January ‘68 — and red-lighted in the first round
of C/SA. It was a tease; the stage was now set for six
Ford Drag Team cars to appear, and appear they did, a few
days later at the Winternationals in Pomona, California.
;ey came loaded for bear. According to the Mustang 428
Cobra Jet Registry ( 428cobrajet.org), these cars had been
culled from the homologation batch, got sold to the team
drivers, and were then sent to Holman-Moody-Stroppe
in Long Beach, CA, to have a few rulebook-legal — but
major — modifications performed. ;ose mods worked.
By the time the tire smoke had cleared, Joniec had taken
Super Stock, beating teammate Hubert Platt after Platt
red-lighted his Mustang in the final, then walking Dave
Wren’s Plymouth when he did the same in Super Stock
Eliminator. It was a great day for the new Cobra Jet.
;anks to Auto World, it’s a good time to grab a piece
of that history in scale. ;is very nice tweaking of the old
Ertl 1967/8 Mustang mold recreates Al Joniec’s victorious
‘Stang in a slightly bright white. All the correct markings
are here, and the car is set up on the right combination of
Cragar fronts and chromed reverse steelies in the back.
Once again, the build on an Auto World release surpasses
anything we’ve ever seen on an old Ertl. ;e paint is
perfect, the tamped-on markings razor sharp, and the
assembly is tight and true,
everywhere. ;e interior
is carpeted, and is indeed
missing a radio, and the
deep dash wears a cabled-
in tach. Under the hood,
Ertl’s 428 gets some
decent paint, good chrome,
and tidy assembly - not a
show-stopper, but more
than adequately detailed.
Auto World autoworldstore.com
Above: ;e old Ertl castings get
a good shake, and while it isn’t
wired, the drag motor is still
passable, given its age.
Far Above: ;e interior is missing
a proper roll cage, but it’s got all
the right Mustang bits in all the