Author Topic: Super Stock & Drag Illustrated June 1968 Tasca "Street Bertha" track testing  (Read 275 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Dggilbert

  • Newcomer
  • *
  • Joined: Jan 2018
  • Posts: 34
Here's a great article with the unbeaten Tasca "Street Bertha" CJ raced on local streets in the Providence area. On this day Super Stock & Drag Illustrated's Jim McCraw was picked up at the airport by Dean Gregson in the Bopper's 427 Thunderbird and after a stop at the dealership they were off to Conn Dragway for "Street Bertha's" first track runs. I've attached the article for you all to enjoy, at least I hope I attach it.

Offline Dggilbert

  • Newcomer
  • *
  • Joined: Jan 2018
  • Posts: 34
Her's the last page.

Offline jetset

  • Occasional Poster
  • **
  • Joined: Jun 2004
  • Location: Indy
  • Posts: 116
One of my all time favorite CJ articles, I still dig it out and reread it every once in a while.  Was the car as stock as the article said ?  A lot of gear for a stocker....just sayin'    lol
968 1/2 Mustang CJ Fastback
4-speed   3:50    Yellow

Offline Dggilbert

  • Newcomer
  • *
  • Joined: Jan 2018
  • Posts: 34
I'd have to double check with my father but it is my understanding that it was. My dad says everything he did to that car worked it was  a one in a million car. They always had a street legal demo car to sell hi po parts locally. The Bopper was a salesman at heart if they couldn't sell it to a customer then it didn't make sense to him. His contention at that time was the "empty suits" in Detroit were far to interested in Indy and Nascar which didn't sell cars like a stop light to stop light car that a guy could buy off the showroom floor. That's why they built the KR8 and kept 2 of the first 10 CJ's, one became the Super Stock race car and the other type street bertha  for selling high performance to local hot  rodders, and again with the street Boss, though that was a 494 can am, not exactly something you could buy off the lot but it was street legal for a time and campaigned nationally with the Beat the Boss program. They were all about selling cars and high performance back then and it was  very attractive to some like Carrol Shelby who followed Tasca's lead with the 428PI in place of the 390 in the GT500 and then right into the 428CJ which just happened to get a KR on the end of GT500 to become the GT500KR after the KR8 had met it's demise against  a telephone pole. There were also plenty of folks in Detroit that  saw him as a  meddler.He ruffled some feathers but what dealer ever had the impact that Tasca's did in Detroit whether it was the KR8 pushing thru the CJ in 68 or running all over the country selling high performance to dealers all over the country with the Beat the Boss program.

Offline wsu0702

  • Registry Supporter
  • Occasional Poster
  • **
  • Joined: Feb 2004
  • Location: Monroe, Wa
  • Posts: 152
  • 69 428SCJ 4-spd mach, raven black, 3.91 rear
I'd have to double check with my father but it is my understanding that it was. My dad says everything he did to that car worked it was  a one in a million car. They always had a street legal demo car to sell hi po parts locally. The Bopper was a salesman at heart if they couldn't sell it to a customer then it didn't make sense to him. His contention at that time was the "empty suits" in Detroit were far to interested in Indy and Nascar which didn't sell cars like a stop light to stop light car that a guy could buy off the showroom floor. That's why they built the KR8 and kept 2 of the first 10 CJ's, one became the Super Stock race car and the other type street bertha  for selling high performance to local hot  rodders, and again with the street Boss, though that was a 494 can am, not exactly something you could buy off the lot but it was street legal for a time and campaigned nationally with the Beat the Boss program. They were all about selling cars and high performance back then and it was  very attractive to some like Carrol Shelby who followed Tasca's lead with the 428PI in place of the 390 in the GT500 and then right into the 428CJ which just happened to get a KR on the end of GT500 to become the GT500KR after the KR8 had met it's demise against  a telephone pole. There were also plenty of folks in Detroit that  saw him as a  meddler.He ruffled some feathers but what dealer ever had the impact that Tasca's did in Detroit whether it was the KR8 pushing thru the CJ in 68 or running all over the country selling high performance to dealers all over the country with the Beat the Boss program.

I love the Bob Tasca as father of the 428CJ story but the published timelimes do not match the folklore IMHO.  You could buy a 428 powered 1967 Shelby Mustang in the late fall of 1966. So for sure Shelby did not "follow Tasca's lead" with respect to a 428 FE in a Mustang.   Every reference that I have seen on this subject says that Tasca showed the KR-8 to the Ford engineers in the summer of 1967.  But the fact is that the Ford Execs approved the "428 GT" engine development program in late 1966.  This info can be found on this website from the Principle powertrain engineer on the 428GT program Bill Barr.  I would like to think that maybe the quoted dates are wrong and the Tasca team showed the KR-8 to Ford in late 1966? 
« Last Edit: May 24, 2018, 01:42:25 am by wsu0702 »

Offline Dggilbert

  • Newcomer
  • *
  • Joined: Jan 2018
  • Posts: 34
I'll let Bill Barr handle that one. Refer to Bill's first article here on the registry home page where he addresses all of that. The first story under Engine Information sheds quite a bit of light on the situation. You'll see it was the 428PI not the CJ in late 66, not coincidentally when my father built the KR8 late 66. I have a article i will post where Bill Barr is quoted " Bob Tasca is the father of the Cobra Jet and indeed he is", I'll stand on Bill's recollection and can't wait to listen to Bill lBarr and my father laugh about some of the stories that have gone awry over the years. The other article I speak of also credits the Bopper handing off the KR moniker to Shelby and the GT500, with the 428PI,  becoming the GT500KR,  when it got the 428 CJ.

Offline Dggilbert

  • Newcomer
  • *
  • Joined: Jan 2018
  • Posts: 34
You may also look at Mike Mueller's article here on the registry "concocting the Cobra Jet" with regards to the KR. moniker.

Offline Dggilbert

  • Newcomer
  • *
  • Joined: Jan 2018
  • Posts: 34
Here's a hi performance tuning receipt from Tasca. Are you saying Bob Sr was confused or worse yet an outright fabricator when he combines the KR8 and the Cobra Jet seems like the Popper had a pretty solid grip on where he stood on the Cobra Jet. As for the timing of the 428PI in the GT500 I'll check with the Tasca Hi Performance and sales manager to see when Tasca sold their first 428PI GT500 Shelby. Tasca sold more Shelbys then anyone and Carrol was a frequent visitor at the dealership and my father considered him a friend. My father once changed the head gasket on a Dayton Coupe before a race because Shelby complained about an oil leak.

Offline Chris Teeling

  • Moderator
  • Fanatic!
  • *****
  • Joined: Nov 2003
  • Location: Connecticut
  • Posts: 2,172
The KR8 "demo" did occur in July 1967. By that time, Ford's 428CJ design was pretty much complete.

Tasca was certainly involved in the marketing effort and likely exerted influence on Ford that helped get the project started back in the fall of 1966 but the engine & vehicle design was done by Ford.

1968 1/2 Fastback
1988 LX 5.0 Hatchback

Offline 70cj428

  • Registry Supporter
  • Fanatic!
  • **
  • Joined: May 2007
  • Posts: 1,239
Since the 428 CJ was most likely initially conceived for the Fairlane/Torino line (Just an assumption based on most of the casting / parts numbers being "B" car line numbers) I wonder if the KR8 demo and the Hot Rod letter campaign convinced Ford to offer it in a Mustang as well...

It's a shame somebody couldn't convince Ford in 67 to drop the 427 MR Fairlane engine in the Mustang, all they would have needed would be to redesign the drivers side exhaust manifold.

Just thinking out loud ..........

John
« Last Edit: May 25, 2018, 12:45:29 am by 70cj428 »

Offline Dggilbert

  • Newcomer
  • *
  • Joined: Jan 2018
  • Posts: 34
The 2 most important people credited for the CJ production are Bill Barr and Bob Tasca. Obviously there's a lot that went into the CJ conception and production that we may never know but when Bill Barr says Bob Sr is the father of the CJ and he knows it all I'm convinced the Bopper was in it from the beginning.  Even Bill Barr says Tasca was working on the KR8 IN 66. The driving force behind the KR8 construction was the medium riser heads on the last production 64 Galaxies heads which my father saw as the reason for the increased performance between the 63 and 64 Galaxies even though the 64 was heavier. After a conversation with Bill Barr they knew the heads wouldn't go on a 390 because if valve spread they came up with the 428PI as a possible alternative to build a economical hot rod for their growing local high performance market and that was the beginning of the KR8 and my father thinks may have planted a seed with Bill Barr. One thing is for sure I'll have a lot better and clearer picture after being able to listen to my father and Bill Barr swap stories at the 50th CJ Anniversary. The questions i most want to ask Bill Barr is about the timing of it all and who followed who or who was leaked this or that. One thing is for sure when the head engineer of the CJ Program holds you in the high regard that Bill Barr did Bob Sr and no doubt he was instrumental getting the CJ built.

Offline Dggilbert

  • Newcomer
  • *
  • Joined: Jan 2018
  • Posts: 34
As far as the the testing of the KR8 engine and drivetrain i don't know how many have seen the data that Lightwtjet posted but here is the PDF he sent me. The KR8 was the only car to that date that went 700 ft plus in the 10 sec test.

Offline geraldt52

  • Fanatic!
  • *****
  • Joined: Nov 2003
  • Location: northern california
  • Posts: 2,338
I love the Bob Tasca as father of the 428CJ story but the published timelimes do not match the folklore IMHO.  You could buy a 428 powered 1967 Shelby Mustang in the late fall of 1966. So for sure Shelby did not "follow Tasca's lead" with respect to a 428 FE in a Mustang...

Agreed.  While all of us respect those involved in the development of the CJ, it was long ago and memories fade.  Pointing out faulty recollections isn't the same as accusing anyone of "fabricating" a story. 

This statement in the section 428 Cobra Jet History, by Bill Barr on this site does contain some factual errors:

"In late 1966 Mr. Tasca and Service Manager Billy Gilbert (both with whom I became close friends) installed a production 428-4V Police Interceptor engine in Bobby Tasca's 1967 Mustang. Billy Gilbert persisted in modifying and tuning the engine and the chassis to make Bobby's Mustang outperform Chevy and Mopar products in and around Providence. When Bobby's car was quite successful, Mr. Tasca named the final combo the "King of the Road 1968" (KR-8). Presumably, Mr. Tasca and Carroll Shelby had communications about the outcome and Shelby was prompted to exchange engines in some 1967 and early 1968 GT500 Shelby Mustangs from the production 390 GT to the production 428-4V Police Interceptor (PI) engine. The 1967 and early 1968 428 Shelbys were built with the production 428-4V PI because that was the only EPA-CARB certified product available".

As you point out, by late '66 the '67 Shelbys were already on the road with 428 8V engines, and their development had to have occurred before the KR8 could have influenced the decision.  Also, all '67 and '68 GT500s used a 428, a different 428 for each year, but nothing was ever "exchanged" or changed.  Finally, the '67 and '68 GT500 428 were not really 428 PIs, but unique engines to the Shelby cars.

This statement later in Bill Barr's piece is also in error:

 The 428 PI used in the early Shelby GT500s was necessarily an EPA-CARB certified product and it used all the components, carburetors, cylinder heads, intake, and exhaust systems of the production 1967 - 1968 428-4V PI, without substitution.

While both engines could be said to be derived from the production 428 PI, neither engine was really a 428 PI...the most obvious difference being the 8V intake on the '67 GT500.


Offline Jiffy

  • Past Registry Supporter
  • Fanatic!
  • *
  • Joined: Apr 2004
  • Location: Melbourne, Australia
  • Posts: 5,789
As far as the the testing of the KR8 engine and drivetrain i don't know how many have seen the data that Lightwtjet posted but here is the PDF he sent me. The KR8 was the only car to that date that went 700 ft plus in the 10 sec test.

Wow - that's great reading!! You can imagine the frustration at the series of cars they had that were 'performance' 390's and they weren't impressive considering the Tasca car. Even the 427 Cougar didn't appear to have much to offer, but the most significant thing was the difference in performance that a 3.50 gave over a 3.25!