The Mustang is one of the most recognizable cars in the world. But it was Carroll Shelby’s involvement that made the Mustang the performance icon it is today. When it was first introduced in 1964, it was a car that looked almost but lacked in the horsepower department. It was offered with engine choices ranging from a 2.8-liter inline-6 to a 4.3-liter Windsor V8. But when our favorite hot rodder got his hands on one, it was an instant hit.
The Shelby GT350 gave the Mustang some much-needed street-cred. It wreaked havoc upon the race tracks coast to coast, beating its competitors one by one. But even the GT350 wasn’t mean enough for our boys at Shelby American. They wanted something more, something with a little more horsepower. They went to work in their little shop in Venice, California, and realized that fordwas making 428 cid engines on the 390 cid V8’s block. So, they just strapped that engine into their new Mustang. That was the story of the GT500. However, there is so much more to talk about. These are the reasons why the 1967 Ford Shelby Mustang GT500 is so awesome.
8th Shelby’s Finest
Shelby American is responsible for some of the most important Fords ever. But if there’s a Mustang Carroll Shelby is proud of, it’s the GT500. Not just because it was a fast car, mind you, it was the last car that’s built in Shelby American’s Venice, California shop.
Shelby saved his best efforts for a fitting goodbye to this legendary place. The GT500 did not have the no-nonsense racer feel of the GT350. This wasn’t to say that GT500 was slow, it was not. The GT500 was a little more sophisticated. It had the comfort of a grand tourer in a fast and handsome muscle car body.
7 Ford 428 Police Interceptor
Call it the Police Interceptor or the Cobra Le Mans, Ford’s big-block was something. While not as powerful as the 427 in the GT40s, it also didn’t have that engine’s problems. And those problems could be a deal-breaker if you are not a racer.
The 428 was a passenger car engine, thus it was more reliable in day-to-day use. The 427 was a race engine developed for NASCAR, it was noisy, hard to tame, and hard to keep running for the average user. Shelby’s aim with the GT500 was the average user. For that, Ford’s best engine at the time was the big-block 428.
6 Speed And Power: It Produced 355hp And 420 Lb-ft Of Torque
GT500 was a bit tame by Shelby’s standards. It had power steering, power-assisted brakes, it was even air-conditioned. As tame as it was, though, it was still a Shelby, so, it got a few tricks up its sleeve. Maybe a little more, because the GT500 was the second-fastest car around Ford’s handling course at the time. Beaten only by the GT40! While most people only know this car as Eleanor in the Gone in 60 Seconds remake, if speed and power are what make a Shelby Mustang great, then the GT500 is the greatest original Shelby Mustang. We’ll even argue that it’s better than the 2022 Shelby GT500.
That huge 428 engine produced 355 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque. Which was conservative and people thought that it produced way more. However, the 0-60 time of 6.5 seconds and the top speed of 128 mph suggest that the horsepower rating is pretty close to what it really is. Still, it’s a Shelby, so it could take modifications with little problem.
5 Iconic Fastback
Arguably, the most beautiful Mustangs are always been fastback. It’s no wonder, then, why the great Carroll Shelby wanted to build his masterpiece upon a fastback body. Even then, it was redesigned a bit for that iconic Shelby look, making the GT500 a handsome-looking car.
It was designed to bring heaps of people to the dealerships, which it succeeded at. But the Shelby GT500 was not only a great-looking car, but it also symbolized the Mustang’s transformation to a muscle car with an elongated hood, meaner features, and the signature Shelby taillights.
4 Fiberglass Wonder
Carroll Shelby was no stranger to fiberglass. It was used to make lighter and stronger cars in Britain, and when Ford’s 1967 redesign of the Mustang surfaced, it was quickly decided that fiberglass will be used for the hood, deck lid, nose piece, tail panel, air scoops, and a couple more pieces.
This granted huge weight savings, which almost counteracted the weight of the 428 cid engine and the bigger chassis. While the 1967 GT500 is clearly distinct in the Mustang lineup in terms of how it looks, if you are thinking of getting one, don’t be surprised by the huge panel gaps. They are there because the master panels were damaged on the way from Ford to Shelby. When Shelby American were creating master molds, they had to use these damaged panels.
3 Very Scary But Very Tame
Of course, a Mustang with a somewhat low curb weight and a powerful V8 gets pretty scary at times. If you push this thing to its limits, it can scare you. However, what will scare you most is finding those limits, because even with the big engine and being a little nose-heavy, the big tires of the GT500 rarely struggle for grip.
Apart from having great road-holding, the GT500 is a different kind of Shelby Mustang. A very tame one. If you do your main portion of driving on highways, the GT500 was and still is an exceptional muscle car. It has power steering, servo-assisted brakes, comfortable seats, a spacious interior, even an actual AC if you have the money. It offers the best of both worlds between the GTs and the muscle cars.
2 Super Snake Sold For $2.2 Million
The Ford Shelby Mustang GT500 was a different kind of muscle car. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t get untamable beasts, because those kinds of cars were always around when the cars are built by Shelby American. A great example is the Super Snake.
Apart from being the third most expensive Mustang of all time, the GT500 Super Snake is a one-off muscle car, which is why it is so expensive. Built for Goodyear’s Thunderbolt tire test, it was powered by the 427 cid engine from the GT40 Mk II, built just for this car. It produced 520 horsepower, and it hit 170 mph in the hands of the Carroll Shelby, but being a one-off special, top speed and other figures are hard to know.
1 Very Rare And Expensive
Shelby only produced 2,048 Mustang GT500s during 1967. It was the last Shelby Mustang that’s produced by Shelby American, so GT500s are very sought-after classics that saw a price rise in recent times.
Hagerty’s price tool prices a good condition GT500 at $167,000 while a Concourse quality example will cost you $196,000. We can assume that for a car of this caliber, the prices will continue to climb, and with limited availability, you should act quickly if you want one.