Cobra Jet Mustangs Dominate 50th Anniversary CJ Reunion in Ohio

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Ford’s 428 Cobra Jet engine went out of production decades ago, but love for it is still going strong.

There are certain places that automotive enthusiasts consider paradise. Ferraristi view Modena, Italy as their Mecca. Others see SoCal as a paradise full of breathtaking ocean views and unforgettable roads. Recently, the city of Norwalk, Ohio was the place to be for Ford Mustang fans, particularly those interested in the 428 Cobra Jet. That’s where owners of 1968-1970 Mustangs met up for the 50th anniversary of the famous engine.

The Youtube channel Miles on Cars was there at the Summit Motorsports Park to watch the races during the 17th Annual Honeywell Garrett NMCA All-American Nationals. Fortunately, the cameraman also decided to walk around the grounds and shoot the cars that remained after the 50th Anniversary CJ Reunion concluded. Many cars had left, but Miles on Cars managed to capture some real beauties. 428 Cobra Jet Ford Mustangs at CJ Reunion

One of them was a Q-code 1970 Mach 1 with gleaming dark green paint. The Super Cobra Jet under its hood was connected to a four-speed manual gearbox. The cameraman couldn’t hide his affinity for the car and said, “It is just unbelievably cool.” We have to agree. We love the ’70’s combination of low-key looks and big V8 power.

Another 1970 model – a Dark-Ivy-Green-on-white fastback – caught his eye, but for a different reason. As the cameraman put it, “It’s just a ‘Plain Jane’ ’70, but this ‘Plain Jane’ ’70 is an R-code 428 Cobra Jet, Ram Air, shaker.” With features like those, it doesn’t sound all that plain to us. In fact, it sounds pretty well equipped and it has an almost sinister quality to it. 428 Cobra Jet Ford Mustangs at CJ Reunion

Convertibles, such as the beautiful ’68 GT drop-top Miles on Cars spotted, seemed to be a rarity, which made them an even more welcome sight. A pair of ’69 R-code fastbacks were just as eye-catching, but wore a completely different color: Petty Blue.

It may not have been the biggest assortment of CJ-powered Mustangs, but it was still a nice group of them. Let’s hope they’re all still on the road by the time their owners get together for the next big CJ celebration.

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Derek Shiekhi's father raised him on cars. As a boy, Derek accompanied his dad as he bought classics such as post-WWII GM trucks and early Ford Mustang convertibles.

After loving cars for years and getting a bachelor's degree in Business Management, Derek decided to get an associate degree in journalism. His networking put him in contact with the editor of the Austin-American Statesman newspaper, who hired him to write freelance about automotive culture and events in Austin, Texas in 2013. One particular story led to him getting a certificate for learning the foundations of road racing.

While watching TV with his parents one fateful evening, he saw a commercial that changed his life. In it, Jeep touted the Wrangler as the Texas Auto Writers Association's "SUV of Texas." Derek knew he had to join the organization if he was going to advance as an automotive writer. He joined the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) in 2014 and was fortunate to meet several nice people who connected him to the representatives of several automakers and the people who could give him access to press vehicles (the first one he ever got the keys to was a Lexus LX 570). He's now a regular at TAWA's two main events: the Texas Auto Roundup in the spring and the Texas Truck Rodeo in the fall.

Over the past several years, Derek has learned how to drive off-road in various four-wheel-drive SUVs (he even camped out for two nights in a Land Rover), and driven around various tracks in hot hatches, muscle cars, and exotics. Several of his pieces, including his article about the 2015 Ford F-150 being crowned TAWA's 2014 "Truck of Texas" and his review of the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider, have won awards in TAWA's annual Excellence in Craft Competition. Last year, his profile of Wagonmaster, a business that restores Jeep Wagoneers, won prizes in TAWA’s signature writing contest and its pickup- and SUV-focused Texas Truck Invitational.

In addition to writing for a variety of Internet Brands sites, including and, Derek also contributes to other outlets. He started There Will Be Cars on Instagram and Facebook to get even more automotive content out to fellow enthusiasts.

Derek can be contacted at [email protected]

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