The 428 Cobra Jet was introduced April 1, 1968 as a mid year change and was nothing more than a $420.95 Engine Option in the Mercury Cougar in 1968. It could be ordered in a Standard Hardtop, GT, XR-7, GTE, or XR7-G. All Serial Numbers (VIN) should start as 8F91R (Std. Hardtop) or 8F93R (XR-7) for Dearborn built cars; or 8R91R (Std. Hardtop) or 8R93R (XR-7) for San Jose built cars.
Here is a list of some of the unique items found on the 1968 "R" Code:•The 428CJ could be ordered with an automatic or 4-speed manual. •All 1968 428CJs were equipped with Ram Air as standard equipment. •The Ram Air (Flapper Lid), which had a rubber seal that sealed the Air Cleaner to the underside of the Hood, was unique in 1968, as the front area had a distinct bend between the two reinforcing ribs. In later years this bend extended out past these ribs. •The Satin Black hood scoop for the 1968 is unique, as it has 8 mounting studs, where the Eliminator scoop in 1969 and 1970 used 10 mounting studs. •All 428CJ equipped cars had a Satin Black painted stripe on the hood, extending from under the hood scoop, down over the front, even straddling the center chrome Mercury emblem. All cars received this -- even for the color black.•All 1968 428CJ cars received a starter delay. This was mounted over the starter solenoid and was designed to prevent the starter bendix/starter gear from being ground into the flywheel/flexplate while it was still turning from a start attempt that failed.•428CJ cars came with Group 24F batteries•All 1968 428CJ cars received the Competition Handling Package, which was a required $30.64 Option. This option included heavy duty springs and shocks. The front sway bar was 15/16th diameter, and in 1968 only, there was a 3/16th's inch spacer-plate mounted between the sway bar's front, U-shaped Clamps and the lower frame. •All 1968 428CJ cars received 6-inch wide Wheels, whether standard or styled steel.•The common tires found on these cars were Goodyear Polyglass (No Size in White) F70-14 Raised White Letter tires, which were a $73.40 required option. •The rear end housing was a 9-inch with a nodular third member and 31-spline axles. •Unlike later years, there was NO "Drag Pack" Option in 1968, hence NO 428SCJ in 1968 •In 1968 only 428CJ cars had the lower wrap-around shock tower bracing•There was NO factory insignia or badges to indicate the car had a 428CJ under the hood