AJ's Car of the Day 1969 Ford Mustang Grande/ 428 Cobra-Jet

Car: Ford Mustang Grande 428 Cobra-Jet

Year: 1969

What makes it special: Only available as a hardtop, it was an upscale street performer. It had posh features like teak appliqués on each door panel, instrument panel and glove box door. A faux-wood finished three-spoke Rim-Blow steering wheel, and bucket seats trimmed in durable vinyl with hopsack cloth inserts. A teak-trimmed center console was optional, along with choice of radio, air conditioning, "Fingertip Speed Control" and a series of power accessories. Refined exterior features included wheel lip and rear decklid moldings, full wire wheel covers, rocker panel molding and two-tone tape stripes.

What made it famous: a 428 Cobra Jet V8 mated to a 4-speed manual transmission that broke the unwritten performance / luxury rules. A Q-code 428CJ from the FE-series of mills, with a cast-iron crankshaft, Police Interceptor type connecting rods, cylinder heads with 2.09 x 1.66-inch intake/exhaust valves, and a hydraulic lifter camshaft from the 1968 390 GT engine. There was also a 735 cfm Holley 4-barrel carburetor and a cast-iron hi-rise, dual-plane intake manifold.

Why I would want one: It's different, it's rare, and it's fast. Kinda hard to pass on qualities like that.

Fun fact: For 1969, Mustang Grande production was 22,182, but 428 Cobra-Jet powered examples were true rarities with only 37  built. Of those, only 9 were equipped with a 4-speed.

( 1969 Ford Mustang Grande 428 Cobra-Jet photo from hemmings.com )