"K" Day Here at Mustangs Plus!

(Reprinted form Restomod Magazine Issue 5 Sepember 2007)

October Display & "K" Day Pictures



Assorted Pictures

Calling all "K" codes! Calling all "K" codes! You are to report to Mustangs Plus on Saturday, October 20th, 2007 for the Mustangs Plus October Display! That is all.

It has been suggested to us by many people that we should highlight a special group of Mustangs at our April and October displays and we think that's a great idea! Naturally, when most people make that suggestion it's followed by them saying that a show highlighting the Mustangs or Fords that they're really interested in follows... Gee, I wonder why. But it falls in line with an interest Cindy and I have and that's the factory Ford "K" code cars. Cindy and I have owned our 1966 "K" code GT Mustang coupe for 25 years and our 1964 "K" code Fairlane 500 for 23 years so we're long time "K" code owners and fans. Our "K" codes, or HiPo's as they are better known as, are like a part of the family to us. Because they are so special, we have always wanted to get as many of them together as we can here at Mustangs Plus and share them with our friends at one of our shows. So we have decided that we'll have "K" Day here at Mustangs Plus at our October Display on Saturday, October 20, 2007. Every "K" code car will receive a special award and will be displayed in a very prominent area. We'll also have some special awards for the "K" code cars in addition to the awards that will be given out to all of the other Mustangs and Fords that come to the display. It'll be a show you won't want to miss!

So, what is a "K" code car? You'd be surprised as to how many Mustang hobbyists have no idea that Ford ever made them. A "K" code car is a car that was ordered from the factory with the special Factory High Performance 289 cubic inch small block engine option. Since Ford knew that the owners were after performance with they ordered this engine, cars equipped with the "K" code engine came with only a 3 month, 4,000 mile warranty on the power train instead of the normal 12 month, 12,000 mile warranty that all the other Ford cars of that era came with. Ford designated this special optioned High Performance 289 engine by using the letter "K" as the engine ode in the serial number of the car. In the case of our 1966 K-GT Coupe, the serial number starts off 6R07K_ _ _ _ _ _ with the last 6 numbers being the consecutive unit number that was produced. As you can see, the fifth digit is the "K" which means that it came from the factory with the High Performance 289 engine. And make no mistake about it, the factory High Performance "K" code 289 engine is very different from the "D", "A", and "C" code 289 engines that you find in most 1965 to 1967 Mustangs.

From 1963 to 1967, Ford produced just a few thousand of the 289 "K" code Factory High Performance engines compared to a million or so of the "D", "A", and "C" code 289 engines. The 289 "K" code Factory High Performance engine had a different carburetor, distributor, cylinder heads, camshaft, lifters, pistons, connecting rods, crankshaft timing sprocket, crankshaft main caps, harmonic balancer, exhaust manifolds and many other special parts that were also completely different from the "D", "A", and "C" code 289 engines that Ford powered so many different Ford vehicles. The camshaft and lifters were of a solid type of design with meant that they had to be adjusted manually every few thousand miles. The crankshaft was checked for hardness and only best were used. The rest went back into the pool to be used to produce normal production 289 engines. The same with the cylinder blocks. These special parts, and the specially selected parts, made it a true high performance engine that Carroll Shelby received as engines only from Ford and used in Cobras, Tigers and the famed GT40 racecars. Today, we would call them crate engines.

"K" Code 289 Engine

The "K" code engine is a 289 cubic inch engine but is totally different than the "D", "A" and "C" code 289 engines that powered so many different Ford vehicles. This fine example of a 1965 "K" engine was detailed and displayed by Bill's Mustang Restorations of Rodchester, Illinois at the Route 66 Festival in Springfield, Illinois. Notice the air cleaner, the 4 blade fan, the thicker harmonic balancer, the non vacuum advance distributor and free flowing exhaust manifolds which were all factory equipment on "K" engines.

Today "K" code engines and parts are extremely hard, and expensive, to buy. Just ask any owner of a "K" code car who bought their "K" without the proper engine! Also, "K" code equipped cars did not come from the factory with air conditioning or power steering, two of the most sought after options today. And until 1966, you could not order the "K" engine with an automatic transmission. They came with a 4-speed only. With a short, 3 month or 4,000 mile warranty, solid lifters that had to be adjusted every few thousand miles and no power steering or air conditioning, many people ordered the "A" code engine which put out a lot less power but was a lot more "user friendly" and was available with all other factory options. It's no wonder that so few "K" codes were made!

Do you own a "K" Mustang, Fairlane or Comet? Or how about a Cobra, Tiger or GT40 that has the "K" engine in it? I've even heard of Falcons and Rancheros with "K" engines but I've never actually seen one. Do you have one of these rare and special cars? If so, we're asking you to bring it out to the Mustangs Plus October Display and share it with us. Be sure to tell your friends, especially if they have a "K" code Ford, and mark the date on your calendar. All of the entry information for the October Display is in this edition of Restomod Magazine and on the website, www.mustangsplus.com, so get that entry in today! Let us know you're coming so that we can make plans for your "K" to be here! And tell your friends who own "K" code Fords to come, also. We're hoping to get more "K" cars here than they had in the "K" Corral at the Mustang 40th Anniversary show in Nashville back in 2004. With thousands of Mustangs in attendance, I only counted 16 "K" codes in the "K" Corral at Nashville... Let's smash that number and have an even better showing here at Mustangs Plus on October 20th!

As far as the rest of the show, we'll have the same type of October Display you've all come to enjoy and we're counting on all the other Mustangs and Fords to come out and fill up the place! Be sure to bring your bone stock to completely Restomoded Mustang or Ford out for the show! There will be a lot of raffle prizes, food, drinks, and friends to spend the day with. We may even enlist your help in deciding what Mustang or Ford to highlight at the Mustangs Plus April Display. Should it be the FE Big Block cars? Or how about the Boss 302's and/or Boss 429's? Maybe it should be the GT's or Mach I's. Saleen's or Shelby's. Or Roush's! Or,... You get the idea! There's a lot of special Ford products that we can honor. Let's pick a good one and commemorate them at the April Display! See you here on Saturday, October 20th!


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