Real or Fake ’68 GT/GTA/KR


How to tell apart a real or fake ’68 GT, GTA or KR Mustang

Very little changed from the ’67 to the ’68 models of Mustang and to make things worse there was no serial number, vin number or any number identification regarding GT’s or GTA’s from Ford. So unfortunately there is no way of telling from the vin or door data. The equipment added to a GT or GTA was as follows from what I can work out: V8 engine with either of the 4 engine options, 289 2 barrel C code, 289 4 Barrel A code, High Performance 289 K code or 390 High Performance S code. Four inch fog lights in the grille at the end of the centre bar with a switch under the dash near the ignition with the letters fog on it. Side tape stripes with GT or GTA emblems. All other emblems were removed so you will not see any tri bar horse logo with engine id or any mustang lettering on the fenders. GT for 4 speed cars and GTA for automatics. Chrome quad exhaust outlets exiting through cut outs of the rear valance. GT gas cap, is a twist off unless you have the exterior decor group (in hood signal lights, chrome trim around trunk, pop open gas cap, etc.) which changes it to a pop open gas cap with black GT lettering on it. Red GT lettering for 68. Power brakes with disc brakes up front and the name disc brakes on the brake pedal pad. Special handling package with heavy duty springs and shocks as well as thicker 7/8 inch front sway bar. The easy things to look for when checking out a GT or GTA mustang is the disc brakes, the emblems or lack of emblems or logos, fog lights and gas cap. Although these can now be purchased separately as a reproduction and could be added to the replica ’68. It’s a known fact/story that when these cars were ordered the dealership would order the parts and put them on the cars before sale, pretty much on an add hock basis.

Sometimes there is factory paper slip stuffed in the rear quarters etc. that will give the factory spec as it was manufactured. This is the only way you can guarantee a genuine factory GT.

 Shelby GT KR

The initials KR stood for King of the Road, and to back it up the mid-year 1968 KR had Ford’s new 428 Cobra Jet engine with Ram Air Induction and traction-lock 3.50 rear end all standard on the KR. Plus the 428 CJ option price was cheap compared to other high performance engines available at the time. Ford called the 428CJ its “bread and butter” performance engine that all could afford. The Cobra Jet engine was very successful at the drags and was Super Stock Eliminator Champ at the 1968 Winternationals beating expensive Hemi’s etc. Shelby’s 1967 GT 500 had led Ford’s pony car with a Thunderbird 428 engine with two Four-barrel carburettors. The 1968 GT500 used a 428 Police Interceptor with single four barrel carburettor. Then in April ’68, Ford unveiled an even-hotter version of the 428 Police Interceptor (more durable engine) with better breathing heads and much bigger exhaust manifolds and called the soup’d up 428 Cop Motor the 428 Cobra Jet. The 428CJ was offered in the Mustang, Cougar, Cyclone and Fairlane models. The GT 500-KR’s 428 had the same suspiciously low 335-bhp rating as other Cobra Jets, but the total torque rating of 440 foot-pounds at 3400 RPM told the real story. Shelby’s KR version had diecast aluminium cast with “Cobra Lemans” proudly broadcasting Ford’s FE engine family victory over Ferrari at Le Mans in 1966 and 1967.

9 Responses to Real or Fake ’68 GT/GTA/KR

  1. Joe says:

    Was the GTA designation dropped at any time in 1968 where automatics were also labeled at GT? Is there any VIN designation or any other way to verify? I am looking at a 1968 GT but it is an automatic. I believe it is a GT but may have been converted to automatic at some point. The owner insists it was not converted

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    • Andrew says:

      Yes. Again, GTA was used in 1967 ONLY. My ’68 GT is also factory automatic. Considering how manuals are more desirable than automatics with most muscle car fans these days, I doubt he’s lying about it being factory auto. A factory manual converted to auto would be an easier sell since a new owner could switch it *back* to stick and maintain “factory correct” status. 😉

      That being said…

      If memory serves me correctly the Vin does tell you which transmission it came with.

      However, NO, the “GT” status is NOT actually noted anywhere in the Vin. See, you have to understand the difference between what “GT” means now vs what it meant then.

      With more modern Mustangs “GT” denotes – for all intents and purposes – an entirely different model or at least trim level – from the base car. A GT means the big motor, different suspension, different wheels, interior, trim, bodywork, you name it. They always come from the factory one way or the other.

      Whereas in 1967-68 “GT” basically just denoted an options package, and many base Mustangs were converted to GT spec at the dealer. Honestly, it’s more or less just badging, c-stripes, fog lights, different wheel paint, and beefier suspension, with the 390 also getting front disc brakes. Any base Mustang could be fitted with the GT option by a dealer provided it had either the J-code 302-4V or the S-code 390.

      There is NO 100% foolproof way of knowing whether or not your car is an original GT without the original dealer-supplied options list/ receipt, and even then it’s impossible to tell whether it was a factory GT or a dealer GT. (not that it makes an iota of a difference whether its factory or dealer. they are both equally valid)

      How do I know mine is original? Honestly, I don’t. ( At least not 100%.) I only have it on the word of the previous owner (who bought it used in 1970 from a doctor). But based off the oxidation, surface rust, flaking chrome, and worn paint on the badges and fog lights, and the inclusion of the correct suspension and wheels, I strongly suspect that it is likely original.

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      • Fantastic reply, thank you for the question and response guys. Any information on these classics is little difficult to validate as you quite rightly say. There are no records for any Mustang before 1967, so it’s incredibly difficult to be certain it’s a genuine GT or not. Apparently those records were destroyed in a fire of site. There is always the Marti Report which is a fantastic source of information – http://www.martiauto.com/

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  2. Andrew says:

    I’ve owned and researched a 68 Fastback GT, 302-4V, for the past 10 years. Everything that follows is only in regard to the 68; I don’t really know as much about the 67.

    Engine options for the GT were either the J-code 230hp 302-4V, or the S-code 325hp 390.

    Front disc brakes were ONLY standard on the 390. On the 302 they were just optional. So having a J-code without front discs doesn’t necessarily mean its not a factory GT.

    The “GTA” thing for automatics was only for ’67. In 68, they were all just called “GT,” regardless of the transmission.

    In 68, all fuel-fillers were flip open, including the GT.

    As you’ve said, heavy duty suspension was also a standard feature, as are the foglights, and the only exterior running horse emblem is located in the grill. Everywhere else it just says “GT.”

    Thats my two cents.

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    • Thanks very much for your comments Andrew.
      Your 2 cents is well and truly accepted. All the information we can get on these cars can only be a good thing to share with the rest of us. Much appreciated.

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    • Mark says:

      Ford anounced the release of the R code 428 Cobra Jet engine on April 1st 1968, and yes you get get it optioned as a GT! Your previous reference to Manual transmissions being more popular is unsubstanciated and there is no reference in the vin which identifies the type of transmission your 1968 Mustang came with. Andrew, i respect your passion but please get your facts straight.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks Mark,
        When I tried to find this information it was quite sparse and a collection of information from various sources. If we can get all this knowledge correct in one place then this article has done exactly what I wanted, it’s pooled the correct information together.

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    • Mark says:

      Flip Open fuel fillers were not standard on all Mustangs for 1968, are you making this up as you go along. Check out the Councours Mustang Website for the corect information, thanks

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks (again) Mark,
        I was a little surprised at the flip filler caps I must admit. But if somebody else knows more than me I am happy to be corrected.
        Thanks for the tip of the website. I think this is the one you refer to and looks very detailed with some true expert knowledge there.
        http://www.concoursmustang.com
        As before, please correct me if I’m wrong here or you have any additional reference or better web sites for us all.

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