1967 SHELBY MUSTANG GT500 FASTBACK
Chassis No. 67410F7A00834
White with blue stripes and black vinyl interior
Engine: V8, 428ci, 524bhp at 5,342rpm, dual Holley 650 CFM four-barrel carburetors; Gearbox: four speed manual; Suspension: front, independent by A-arms and coil springs, rear, solid axle with leaf springs; Brakes: four wheel disc. Left hand drive.
For the performance car market, 1967 ushered in a horsepower war with General Motor's Camaro and Chrysler's Hemi-powered cars. Ford's answer to this was the GT500. It was a hefty evolution to true GT cars with big engines, comfortable interiors and abundant power accessories. The new model was also a far cry from the 1965 Shelby Mustang GT350R, which was developed as a bare-bones racer ready to challenge Corvette and Ferrari on the road race courses of America and Europe. The early Shelby Mustangs were built for a purpose: to win races, with the objective changing with later Shelby Mustangs: to sell cars. Sales figures proved that more buyers were interested in style and comfort instead of just raw power, and with the GT500 they could have both.
The GT500 first appeared on the scene in late 1966 with a price tag of $4,195 and it immediately outsold its 289-powered sibling at a ratio of almost 2:1. The trend would continue, with six times as many cars selling in 1967 as were sold in 1965. These would be the last Shelby Mustangs actually built by Shelby-American. All future models would be built by Ford with little Shelby involvement.
Shelby Mustang GT500s have an unmatched combination of desirable attributes. They have the golden halo associated with Carroll Shelby, Cobra, World Championship and race-winning. They have great, tire-melting performance. And they have amenities that make them enjoyable to drive without making allowances for a rough ride or a temperamental high output engine.
This GT500 was originally delivered to Texas with a lime green exterior and black vinyl interior and was fitted with an automatic gearbox. A continuation invoice acquired from the Shelby Register denotes the car as being supplied to the Ford Dallas District (thus a special order by a non-Shelby authorized Ford franchisee) on 4 April 1967. Options quoted are power steering, power brakes, shoulder harnesses, fold down rear seat, AM radio and deluxe wheels; the total delivered sticker price was just over $4,000. Due to it being of comparatively early build, the car also featured inboard mounted grill lights, a feature that was outlawed later in production due to an accidental violation of the minimum distance allowed between headlights.
In the 1987 Shelby Register, the car was noted as still being in Texas under the ownership of Mr. Robert Gunn. The current owner bought the car in Hollywood in 1999, at which time it was covered in dust, had not been used for some time and was still on Texas plates - the last registration sticker being from 1984. He was informed that the car was traded against a Jaguar in the 1980s and when the dealer could not sell the car off of the lot, they put it into storage which was where it stayed until six years ago. Pictures on file of the car 'as found' show that the car had been repainted to white with blue racing stripes and the automatic gearbox had been substituted with the more desirable and sporty manual variant. Even before bringing the car home, the vendor took the dust-covered GT500 to Shelby where they confirmed that the car was correct albeit modified since original build. Over the next few years the current owner restored the car; the interior was fully retrimmed, the body repainted (keeping the same white and blue color scheme it had been found in) and the car was completely mechanically overhauled. The biggest improvement made was to the engine which was entrusted to renowned engine specialists Van Dyne Engineering of Huntington Beach, California. After the fitment of uprated rods, pistons, camshafts and aluminum heads, a freeflow exhaust and MSD electronic ignition system was calibrated. The sum total of these modifications produced a dyno-proven, earthshaking 524bhp at 5,342rpm with a maximum torque rating of 567lbs at 4,017rpm, and total expenditure is claimed to be in the region of $30,000. To cope with all of this, the brakes were upgraded and 17inch Halibrand-type wheels dressed in low profile semi-racing rubber were added to help lay down the power efficiently and impart a menacing new look.
Regularly used since completion, this GT500 is in fine shape all round; all panels are straight with good fit except for the fiberglass trunk lid which is slightly proud on one side - exactly how most came from the factory. On the road this GT500 is incredibly well behaved at low revs and is even comfortable in traffic but when floored it takes on a whole new personality; the exhaust note resembles a thunderstorm and in no time the scenery is flashing by and the speedometer races up to three figures!
This stunning GT500 offers performance that belittles most modern sports cars (in a straight line anyway) and is not for the faint-hearted - only the brave need apply! Big block American sports cars of this era are usually described as 'muscle cars' but this knockout vehicle is a steroid-filled, heavyweight world boxing champion by comparison.