The Texas chicken farmer turned the Mustang into a track monster, with things like a strut tower brace to stiffen up the body, tuned steering geometry to aid the handling, and a new intake manifold increasing the power by 35 hp (36 ps). He also gutted it for weight saving and called this creation the Cobra GT350.
As expected, the GT350 was a serious performer on the race track. It won the Sports Car Club of America class B production championship three years in a row. The following year after the birth of the Mustang, in 1966, Shelby made another fast Ford called the GT40, a purpose-built track monster created specifically to crush Ferrari at LeMans.
He used the newly refreshed 1967 Mustang for the home of this ginormous engine, and the result was called the GT500, and there was nothing else like it on the road back then. It was a beast but with a significant flaw. As I said, Carrol's engine was the 427 ci LeMans winning V8 - but that's a race motor, and, as you'd expect, it can't behave appropriately under day-to-day driving conditions. So, about halfway through the '67 model year, it was replaced with the slightly bigger 428 ci unit from the police interceptor - and we have one of those cars here today to analyze, so let's dive right in.
At first glance, the GT500 might look like a regular Mustang, but a few queues hint at the power underneath the hood. I mostly talk about the fiberglass work around the car, like the massive scoop on the elongated hood, vents on the rear fenders and the sail panels, and the duckbill spoiler. All of these extras are showcased even more by the red paint and white stripes running down the middle - although, for this car, this paint job is brand new, as the vehicle left the Venice, California shop in Dark Moss Green.
Moving on to the interior is like stepping into a time machine. I kid you not; when getting behind the wheel of one of these muscle cars, I always feel like I'm returning to the '60s and driving to the beach, and there's no better feeling. The cabin on this particular GT500 has been refurbished, with black vinyl upholstery being the norm. Also, on the interior, you'll find a unique thing: a roll bar, a world's first on a production car at that time.
Complementing the black theme, you'll find a wood-rimmed steering wheel that fronts a 140 mph (225 kph) speedometer, an 8,000 rpm tachometer, and many other gauges. Keeping the shiny theme going, it also has a chrome shifter with reverse lockout.
Old-school Mustangs aren't that rare, and you can find them at somewhat affordable prices, at least compared to the market nowadays. But if you want this one of 2,048 GT500 fastbacks, you must dig pretty deep. It's up at auction in Milford, Michigan, and currently sits at 130,000 dollars with three days left. It's a pretty pricey Mustang, but it's rare, it has the Shelby name on it, and I would trade any turbo and high-revving engine for that angry V8. It also has surprisingly low miles, 2,000 (3,200 kilometers), and comes with a Deluxe Marti Report and a clean Michigan title.