Shelby Mustang
Shelby Mustang (1)
Manufacturer Carroll Shelby International
Production March 1964-present
Class Pony car

Muscle car

Platform FR layout

The Shelby Mustang is a high performance variant of the Ford Mustang built from 1965 through 1970. Following the introduction of the Fifth-generation Ford Mustang the Shelby nameplate was revived in 2007 for new high performance versions of the Mustang.[1]

1965-1970 GT350 and GT500 Edit

See also Shelby GT350 and Shelby GT500 for more details.

1965-1966 Edit

The 1965-1966 cars were the smallest and lightest of the GT350 models. These cars are often improperly called "Cobras", which was the Ford-powered AC-based two-seat sports car also produced by Carroll Shelby during the same period. The confusion arises from the use of the Cobra emblem, and optional "Cobra" valve covers on many GT350s (part of a marketing tie-in by Shelby as well as one of his iconic symbols). All 1965-66 cars featured the K-Code 271 hp 289, modified to produce 306 hp. 1965-1966 GT350s were delivered from Ford's San Jose assembly plant as "bodies in white" for modification by Carroll Shelby's operation, originally in Venice Beach and later at Los Angeles International Airport.

All but one 1965 GT350s were painted Wimbledon White with Guardsman Blue rocker stripes. The one exception was blue with white stripes. Contrary to popular belief, very few GT350s were delivered with the optional "Le Mans" (or "LeMans") stripes, which run the length of the entire car. According the current Shelby American registry, approximately 50% of the 1965 cars built had LeMans stripes. Today it's difficult to find a GT350 not so equipped. 1965 cars had the battery relocated to the trunk (which was changed mid year from complaints of fumes), featured over-rider traction bars, relocated A-arms, and other modifications.

1966 saw the introduction of non-white colors—including blue, red, green and black. Other changes include special quarter-panel windows replacing the factory extractor vents, functional brake scoops on each side and optional automatic transmissions, as well as the addition of an optional Paxton supercharger. The battery was no longer relocated to the trunk for 1966, and the over-rider traction bars were discontinued. A fold-down rear seat was now optional. Where early 1965 cars had black engine blocks, 1966 and later cars had the 289ci engine painted blue. The first 252 GT-350s for 1966 began as 1965 Mustang K-Code Fastbacks. Often these first 252 1966 GT-350s are referred to as "carry-over" cars, but this is not the case. These 252 1965 Model Mustangs were specifically ordered by Shelby American for conversion into 1966 GT-350 Mustangs. They were not "left over" from the 1965 production, at all. They had the 1965 Ford Mustang Bodies and 1965 Ford Mustang serial numbers under their Shelby serial numbers. They mostly had 1965 features including standard Koni shock absorbers and engines painted black. Blue engines did not appear in 1966 until after these first 252 GT-350s were produced. 1966 production was 1373 fastbacks, including two prototypes and four drag cars, and 252 early production models with Ford Mustang 1965 bodies. 1001 Hertz fastbacks were produced, including two prototypes. Four convertibles were also produced, for a total of 2378 units for 1966. A small number (how many remains unclear) of 1966s were fitted with Paxton superchargers, but not the No-Spin limited slip differential, with an option price of US$670; the engine was rated at 440 hp.[2]

Shelby struck a deal with the Hertz Corporation to produce a special line of GT350s for rent which were subsequently sold to the public after their rental-car lives were finished. These "GT350H" cars are sought-after today, with some examples selling for more than $200,000. Shelby produced 1000 of these cars. Most Hertz cars featured gold LeMans stripes and rocker panel stripes. Some were white with blue stripes. Early Hertz cars were available with four-speed manual transmissions until so many cars were returned from rental with burned and broken clutch assemblies that all of the later cars shipped to Hertz were equipped with an automatic transmission. There are stories, possibly apocryphal, that many were rented to use as production class cars at SCCA events, returned with different engines, holes where roll bars had been welded in, etc.

1965-66 GT350s were successful racers, and had many production-class victories.

1966 production numbers: GT350 — 2,378 units (four were special order convertibles for Carroll Shelby, the rumor is that six were made, but only four correct VINs have been discovered).

1967-1968 Edit

For 1967, the GT 350 carried over the K-Code high performance 289 with a 'COBRA' aluminum hi-rise. The GT 500 was added to the lineup, equipped with the 428 Police Interceptor. These later cars carried over few of the performance modifications of the 1965-66 GT350s, although they did feature more cosmetic changes.

In September 1967, production was moved to the A.O. Smith Company of Ionia, Michigan, under Ford control.[3] Shelby American had substantially less involvement after this time. In February 1968, the GT500KR "King of the Road" debuted; under the hood was a 428 cubic-inch Cobra Jet V8 which was rated at 335 hp.

1969-1970 Edit

Carroll Shelby terminated his agreement with Ford in the summer of 1969. The GT350 and GT500 for the 1969–70 model years received extensive face lifts, the body alone increasing in length by 4 in. Ford was heavily involved with design and style decisions, with Shelby having very little input. The GT350 was now equipped with a 351 cubic-inch V8. Production of Shelby Mustangs ceased with the 1970 model year. The 1970 models were in fact left over 1969 models.

2006-2007 Shelby GT-H and 2007-2008 Shelby GT Edit

Ford introduced the Shelby GT-H version of the Mustang at the 2006 New York Auto Show. Like the original GT350H from 1966, the GT-H featured gold-on-black paint and was only available at the Hertz car rental agency. A modest power bump over the regular Mustang GT V-8 engine. Features included a 5-speed automatic transmission, and a package from Ford Racing including a 90 mm cold air intake kit, X-pipe, special performance suspension, and Ford Racing "GTA" axle-back mufflers. Only 500 cars were built to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the original Shelby GT350H.[4] For 2007, a convertible version of the GT-H was offered for rental at Hertz.[5]. This time the convertibles came with a custom light bar reminiscent of the 1968 Shelby Mustang convertibles.

The 4.6 liter, 281-cubic-inch, 319 hp Ford Shelby GT slots between the 300 hp Mustang GT and the Ford Shelby GT500. It is essentially a retail sale version of the Hertz rental-only Ford Shelby GT-H, except a manual transmission is available. The Shelby GT was offered based on strong demand from enthusiasts wanting Ford and Shelby to offer a retail version of the GT-H. Other differences include the deletion of the rear spoiler, a retro Shelby hood scoop in place of the CS6/8 Shelby hood, and silver versus the gold stripes, with the car available in either white or black in 2007 and Vista Blue, Grabber Orange or Black with red stripes for 2008. The Grabber Orange Shelby GT-C (California) was sold exclusively in California and only available as a coupe (less than 220 models were produced). Again, the popularity of the 2007 Shelby GT-H rental car, this time the convertible, Shelby offered the 2008 Shelby GT as a coupe or convertible in limited numbers. Based on requests from enthusiasts for a blue Shelby GT, Vista Blue became the signature color for the 2008 Shelby GT. The Vista Blue models were available as a coupe or convertible. A very limited number (100) Barrett Jackson Shelby GTs were built in 2008 that were black with red stripes, also available in coupe or convertible. The Barrett Jackson Shelby GTs were sold exclusively in Arizona. The Hertz Shelby GT-H attracted so much attention that Ford dealers and customers asked for a version of their own. Like the GT-H, the Shelby GT is modified at Shelby Automotive's factory in Las Vegas, which distinguishes the GT-H and Shelby GT models from the GT500 in that the GT500s are produced entirely by AutoAlliance International.

2008 Barrett-Jackson Shelby GT (2007) Edit

A limited (100 units) version of Shelby GT coupe and convertible, were named after the Barrett-Jackson auction. They include black exterior with "Barrett-Jackson Red" LeMans Hood and Side Stripes, Barrett Jackson Edition door sill plates, black interior with the Shelby GT serial number plate, special gas cap insert, autographed photo of Carroll Shelby, Craig Jackson, Amy Boylan, and Steve Davis.

The vehicle was unveiled in Arizona International Auto Show.

Production version were sold in Arizona Region Ford dealers with MSRP of US$38,980.00 (including $250 donation to the Carroll Shelby Children's Foundation).[6]

Shelby Automobiles versions Edit

At the request of owners a number of Shelby GTs are being modified in various ways by Shelby Automobiles in Las Vegas. One of these modifications results in a model known as the Shelby GT/SC (Supercharged). A large number of add-ons can be had including the "Super Snake" brakes and larger wheels and tires which are necessary to accommodate these brakes. Additionally there are three different available superchargers, again installed by Shelby Automobiles or authorized Shelby Mod Shop, that can increase rated horsepower to 500 or more.

Production Edit

Production of the Shelby GT began in December 2006 and the car went on sale in January 2007. It was originally planned that up to 6,000 cars would be built. However, with final numbers as of this date still not in, they are expected to be slightly less than this amount. As of this date the following approximate number of 2007 Shelby GT's is known;

2007 Shelby GT Production Numbers

Total Cars: 5,632

White Auto: 491 White Man: 1,768 Total White: 2,259

Black Auto: 508 Black Man: 2,865 Total Black: 3,373

2007 - 2009 Ford Shelby GT500 Edit

See also Ford Shelby GT500 for more details.

Shelby and Ford returned for the 2007 model year with the Shelby GT500. Introduced at the 2003 New York International Auto Show, the GT500 uses a 5.4 L (330 CID) Modular 500 hp supercharged V8. Features include the Tremec TR-6060 6-speed manual transmission, suspension tuning, a body kit, and 18 inch wheels.

Deliveries of the Shelby GT500 began in May 2006.[7]

A collaboration of Ford's Special Vehicle Team (SVT) and Carroll Shelby, the GT500 was produced in limited quantity for three years (approximately 10,000 units per year) on the line at Ford's Flat Rock, Michigan (AutoAlliance) assembly facility.

Ford´s Special Vehicle Team (SVT) also released a small series (687 units) of GT500 using the S/C from Saleen. These cars had the 4,6L engine and was equipped with a different 3.73:1 final drive ratio other than the 3.55:1 gearing used on the 5,4 GT500. The power outtake an the 4,6 GT500 was the same as the 5,4 GT500 with some loss in the torque. 5,4 GT500 has 500 hp (373 kW) @ 6000 rpm and 480 lb·ft (650 N·m) of torque @ 4500 rpm and the 4,6 GT500 has 500 hp (373 kW) @ 6000 rpm and 460 lb·ft (632 N·m) of torque @ 4500 rpm.

2008-2009 Ford Shelby GT500KR Edit

The Ford Shelby GT500KR, revealed at the 2007 New York International Auto Show, was released in the spring of 2008. The car is powered by a 540 horsepower 5.4-liter (330 CID) supercharged V-8 version of the base GT500 engine with functional Cold Air Intake and unique calibration. SVT and Shelby announced that 1,000 40th Anniversary Editions will be built for the U.S. in 2008, with another 571 units in 2009. This 1,571 production run matches that of the original 1968 GT500KR. In total, 1,712 units were produced, with the remaining units going to Canada, export markets and military sales.

All KRs were built by AutoAlliance International on the normal Mustang production line and then shipped to Shelby Automobiles Incorporated (SAI) where final assembly was completed. SAI was the manufacturer of record.

The Shelby GT500KR features a carbon fiber composite hood with functional scoops and vents, twist-lock hood pins modeled on the original 1968 KR, a unique carbon fiber splitter, carbon fiber mirror caps, and functional brake cooling ducts. The suspension was tuned by SVT with unique spring rates, dampers, stabilizer bars, and strut tower brace and was sourced from Ford Racing. Unique Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar tires were developed for the KR with a unique compound. With the same tread pattern as the Eagle F1 Supercar tire on the 2007-2009 GT500 they can only be identified by a unique Goodyear "Wingedfoot" emblem on the sidewall.

The 2008-09 GT500KR draws on styling cues from the classic 1968 "King of the Road" GT500KR model, and the 2008 model includes "40th Anniversary" badging; both years will have availability of standard GT500 colors with "LeMans" stripes, and Carroll Shelby signature embroidered seats. The GT500KR's starting price was $79,995.

The GT500KR was featured prominently in the new Knight Rider television series on NBC. One of the main characters of the show was KITT, an advanced Artificial Intelligence housed in a GT500KR. Also, in the return of the show, KARR was also a GT500KR.

Specifications Edit

  • Front engine, RWD, 4-passenger, 2-door coupe
  • Supercharged DOHC 32 valve V8 engine[8]
  • 330 CID (5408 cc) displacement
  • Power: 540 hp (410 kW) (547 PS)
  • Torque: 510
  • 6-speed manual transmission
  • 3.73 differential ratio
  • 18 x 9.5" Alcoa wheels with unique Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar tires (front: P255/45ZR18 rear: 285/40/ZR18)
  • 3800 lb curb weight
  • 107.1 in wheelbase
  • 188×73.9×54.5 in (4.78×1.88×1.38 m)
  • Weight: 4000 lb
  • Top Speed: 155 mph - 2010 MY governor limited[9]

Performance[8] Edit

  • 0-60 mph (0–97 km/h):4.5, 1/4 mile: 11.92s @ 120 mph (11.58 @ 122 mi/h on drag radials)

Super Snake Edit

Starting in 2008, previous 2007 Shelby GT500 Mustangs could be sent to Carroll Shelby's Special Performance Plant in Las Vegas Nevada to be rebuilt into a Super Snake, for an additional cost of $27,995. The Super Snake will offer a 605 hp (at the engine) 5.4 L Kenne Bell twin-screw supercharged version with "over 725 hp" will also be available, without warranty and offer a 0-60 mph runs in 3.5 to 3.7 seconds.[10][11] The Super Snake is inspired by the 1967 GT500 Super Snake, a car made by Carroll Shelby for Goodyear Tires.

The Super Snake also comes with a variety of other performance, handling and cosmetic changes including badging, gauge pod, 20" Alcoa wheels, fibreglass ram-air Super Snake hood, stripes, carbon fiber front splitter and skirts, larger 6-piston Baer brakes, front and rear brake cooling ducts, complete track setup suspension, aluminum driveshaft, 3.73 differential gears and cat-back exhaust system.

Prudhomme Edition Super Snake (2009-) Edit

It is a limited (100 units) drag racing package for 2007-2010 Ford Shelby GT500 cars, named after Don Prudhomme. The engine is rated 800 hp on race fuel or 750 hp on 93 octane pump gas. It includes a Kenne Bell supercharger and modified air intake sticking out of the hood in the tilt front end, a five-point Impact safety harness and a Borla side exhaust system, front and rear adjustable BMR racing suspension and drag tires with optional street tires, side lower rockers are incorporated.[12]

The package has MSRP of $100,000 (not including car).[13]

The Prudhomme concept car went on sale in 2009 Barrett-Jackson Las Vegas auction.[14][15] The vehicle was sold with winning bid price of $275,000US (before buyer premium).[16]

2010-2011 Ford Shelby GT500 Edit

See also Ford Shelby GT500 for more details.

2010 Shelby GT500 Edit

For the 2010 model year, the Shelby Mustang GT500 was redesigned along with the base Ford Mustang. As with the 2007-09 GT500, the 2010 includes unique front and rear fascias, hood with functional vents and unique rear spoiler. The rear spoiler includes a functional Gurney flap. Along with new exterior colors, customers have the option of extending the exterior stripes onto the seats.

The 5.4 L engines's power output was increased to 540 hp and 510 lb-ft of torque with the addition of a cold air intake similar to the 08/09 GT500KR and includes a knock sensor to protect the engine if lower octane fuel is used. The 2010 GT500's fuel efficiency increased by 2 miles per gallon.[17]

SVT re-tuned the coupe's suspension and worked with Goodyear on 19" tires with new construction, compound and tread pattern. The coupe's 19" wheels are forged for a reduction in unsprung weight. The convertible retained the 18" wheels offered on the 2007-09 GT500.

2011 Shelby GT500 Edit

Much like the 2011 V6 and GT Mustangs, the 2011 Shelby GT500 gets an engine update with an all-new 5.4 L aluminum engine which is 102 pounds lighter than the previous cast-iron engine and uses Ford-patented plasma-coating technology. With the engine updates, not only has performance improved to 550 horsepower and 510 of torque, the GT500's gas milage improves enough to eliminate the U.S. Gas Guzzler Tax.

Ford also improved upon the handling characteristics of the GT500. The overall stance of the car has been lowered by 11 millimeters in front and 8 millimeters at the rear. The car also features Ford's new Electric Power Assist Steering (EPAS) that improves torque build-up and road feel that delivers quicker and more precise steering, increased effort on the racetrack or winding roads, and reduced effort in low-speed parking maneuvers. The car also has Ford’s AdvanceTrac stability control system.

External improvements include an optional SVT Performance Package, which includes Goodyear EagleF1 SuperCar G: 2 tires, all-new lightweight 19-inch forged-aluminum wheels in the front and new 20-inch forged-aluminum wheels in the rear, 3.73 rear axle ratio, performance tuned front and rear shocks, along with stiffer springs. The package includes a unique rear spoiler Gurney Flap for improved handling, a slightly revised front and rear fascias, a new pedal box for improved clutch use, slotted brake dust shields for improved brake cooling, standard HID (high-intensity discharge) headlamps, MyKey programmable vehicle key, integrated spotter mirrors, and fold-down rear headrests. Optional is glass top roof, previously available starting in 2009 with the Mustang GT.

Shelby Terlingua Edit

The Terlingua Racing Team package for the V6 Ford Mustang includes performance enhancements and modified cosmetic details. The hot rod features improvements to the handling and braking capabilities that were developed with Ford Racing; an optional supercharger (by Paxton/Vortech) for 375 horsepower at 6 psi. The coupe sports a deep draw hood, 20” anthracite “Razor” wheels, and styling changes including a logo with the Terlingua rabbit "Lucifer". The package will be applied, with a Shelby serial number, by Shelby Automobiles in Las Vegas or one of official factory mod shops. Terlingua Mustangs are available either as complete automobiles, or as modifications of customer-owned vehicles.[18]

2011 Shelby GT350 Edit

Coinciding with the 45th anniversary of the original 1965 Shelby GT350, Shelby American unveiled an all new GT350 Mustang at the opening night gala of the Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale, AZ. Presented in concept form, the new GT350 features a supercharged version of the brand new 5.0-liter V8 engine in the 2011 Mustang GT as well as performance upgrades from Ford Racing, Borla, Cragar, Baer and more.

Unlike the GT500, the GT350 will be a post-title upgrade available from Shelby. Customers can have their 2011 Mustangs shipped directly to Shelby's Las Vegas facility to be converted or they can deliver the car themselves. Cars are then fitted with a Ford Racing supercharger to produce approximately 500 horsepower, a Ford Racing suspension system, Baer brakes front and rear, Borla exhaust system, Cragar wheels, and more. For the exterior, Shelby fits a new front fascia, front splitter, functional hood scoop tail light trim, rear deck lid filler panel, and a rear fascia with center exhaust exit. White with Guardsman Blue racing stripes will be the only available color combination.

Controversies Edit

Unique Performance Edit

In 2002, Carroll Shelby sold a license to a company called Unique Performance in Farmers Branch, Texas, to produce the GT500E, a Shelby based on the "Eleanor" 1967 GT500 featured prominently in the 2000 movie Gone in 60 Seconds, starring Nicolas Cage. Other new Shelbys followed, including the GT350SR and GT500SR. Each of these new Shelbys is given a Shelby VIN and all are eligible for inclusion in the Shelby American World Registry.[19]

On October 5, 2007 Shelby's licensing branch announced it has taken steps to sever the relationship with Unique Performance after numerous complaints and several lawsuits filed by customers who had paid money for "Continuation" Shelby GT-350SRs and GT-500Es (Eleanors) but not received cars.[20]

On November 1, 2007, Unique Performance was raided by the Farmers Branch Police Department due to VIN irregularities and subsequently declared bankruptcy, which effectively ended the Shelby continuation "Eleanor" production.[21]



  1. The 2007 Shelby Mustang
  2. Hot Rod Magazine's Street Machines and Bracket Racing #5 (Peterson Publishing, 1981), p.76.
  3. Corcoran, Tom (2002). Shelby Mustang. MBI Publishing. p. 84. Retrieved 2010-06-07. 
  4. "Press release". 
  5. "New 2007 Ford Shelby GT Begins Production". Ford press release. Retrieved 2006–12–29. 
  6. Totally Meta: 2008 Barrett-Jackson Shelby GT unveiled
  7. "Shelby Cobra GT500 Deliveries Start". Retrieved 2006–05–19. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 "2008 Shelby Mustang GT500KR - Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords Magazine". 2007-02-26. Retrieved 2009-09-21. 
  9. "2010 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Convertible - Short Take Road Test". Car & Driver. August 2009. Retrieved 2010-03-07. 
  10. St. Antoine, Arthur (2007–04–27). "Come Slither: Shelby Super Snake is the ultravenomous version of Mustang GT500". Motor Trend. Retrieved 2007-11-21. 
  11. Gall, Jared (2007–05–01). "2007 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Super Snake". Car and Driver. Retrieved 2007-11-21. 
  12. Shelby Autos Announces 800 Horsepower Drag Racing Package for GT500 Super Snake with Don Prudhomme
  13. Shelby unleashes 750-horsepower GT500 Super Snake Prudhomme Edition
  14. Barrett-Jackson and Shelby Autos to Auction the 800 HP Prudhomme Edition GT500 Super Snake Concept Car
  15. Barrett-Jackson and Shelby Autos to Auction the 800 HP Prudhomme Edition GT500 Super Snake Concept Car
  16. Barrett-Jackson Lot: 711 - 2007 Ford Shelby GT500 Super Snake Prudhomme Edition
  17. "2010 Ford Shelby GT500, More Power, Better Mileage". 
  18. image
  19. "Unique Performance".  History of Carroll Shelby
  20. "Trouble at the Mustang Ranch". Autoweek. Retrieved 2007–11–17. 
  21. Unique Performance raided by local police

External linksEdit

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