This 1967 Shelby Mustang GT500 Is V8 Goodness in All Its Glory

There is nothing cooler than cruising in an old-school American muscle car. The exaggerated lines, excessive chrome use, and roaring V8 under the hood make for quite a fantastic experience. If you want all of that, you can't go wrong with a '60s Mustang, and if you want a serious performer, look no further than the Shelby GT500 variant.
1967 Shelby Mustang GT500 11 photos
Photo: lclassic/Bring a Trailer
1967 Shelby Mustang GT5001967 Shelby Mustang GT5001967 Shelby Mustang GT5001967 Shelby Mustang GT5001967 Shelby Mustang GT5001967 Shelby Mustang GT5001967 Shelby Mustang GT5001967 Shelby Mustang GT5001967 Shelby Mustang GT5001967 Shelby Mustang GT500
The Ford Mustang was born in 1965 at the hands of Lee Iaccoca, who wanted an affordable, lightweight car for the American masses. And he got a pretty sweet one, which instantly became a bestseller. But another important thing happened to the Mustang in 1965 apart from its launch - Carrol Shelby got his hands on one of these.

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.

1967 Shelby Mustang GT500
Photo: lclassic/Bring a Trailer
The GT40 humiliated old man Ferrari, taking a one-two-three finish, and this victory got the gears in Carrol's head spinning - what if that honking 427 ci (7.0-liter) engine that won at LeMans was fitted in a Mustang? And because there's no such thing as too much power, just not enough traction, he set out to do this insane transplant.

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.

1967 Shelby Mustang GT500
Photo: lclassic/Bring a Trailer
The mean race-car stance is complemented by Mag-Star-style alloy wheels with Goodyear rubber wrapped around and white lettering giving it the perfect vintage look. Behind said wheels, you'll find disc brakes in the front with drums in the rear. It also has Gabriel adjustable shocks all around and rubber travel limiters for the rear leaf springs.

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.

1967 Shelby Mustang GT500
Photo: lclassic/Bring a Trailer
Now it's time we get under the hood. I said this was from the batch of GT500s with the 428 engine. Yes, it came from a police car, but it had the same 355 hp (360 ps) as the ones with the 427, thanks to twin 600 cfm four-barrel Holley carburetors and an aluminum intake manifold. To put it into perspective, an S550 Mustang, which came out half a century later, has 435 hp (441 ps), so you can rest assured that the GT500 is a severe beast. All of that old-school oomph is sent to the rear wheels via a Toploader four-speed manual transmission and a 9-inch back end.

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.
If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram X (Twitter)
About the author: Călin Iosif
Călin Iosif profile photo

Călin’s origin story is being exposed to Top Gear when he was very young. Watching too much of Clarkson, Hammond and May argue on TV turned him into Petrolhead (an automotive journalist with a soft spot for old pieces of... cars, old cars).
Full profile


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories