November 25, 2009

Most Famous Cars: 1967 Ford Mustang Shelby Gt500 Fastback

One of the most famous cars in the U.S., if not the world, is the 1967 Shelby GT500 Mustang. These cars are sleek, sexy and chocked full of old-fashioned muscle car speed and horsepower. Indeed, this car model is what a young man’s dreams are made of. According to the official Carroll Shelby website, the first Shelby came off the assembly line in November 1966 and continued to be manufactured until 1970 when the Shelby Mustang project slowed and eventually ended.

After the movie Gone In 60 Seconds’ became a box office hit, the muscle car began to gain in popularity again. Young boys just getting their licenses, and grown men remembering their youth, began buying Mustangs again. Ford took advantage of the popularity and redesigned the Shelby for 2007 production. In 2007, the Shelby was reborn as a performance version of the stock Ford Mustang. Similar to the popularity of the stock mustang, the 1967 GT500 Shelby enthusiasts began looking for the car that stirred their spirit and their imaginations.

The Shelby GT500 – named Eleanor in the movie ‘Gone In 60 Seconds’ – sports a highly beefed up 410 CI Keith Craft Crate, 515 horse powered engine with T-5 Ford Motorsport Worldclass Manual Transmission. The regular 1967 Mustangs, according to, sported a four barrel V-8 that Shelby stepped up to include cast-aluminum medium rise intake manifold and twin 600-cfm, Holley four-barrel carburetor for a rating of 355 bhp. states that very few Shelby GT500s were outfitted with the almost race-ready 427-cid V-8. Also for the Shelby lover, this classic came with two different types of transmissions, the four-speed manual – or four-speed stick – and the three-speed automatic transmission. In seeing the Shelby GT500 for the first time, there are no doubts about why Nicholas Cage’s character is totally enamored with the car.

During the time that this model was being renewed, Ford was also coming out with new factory options. Some of these options included GT-level interior trim, air-conditioning and power steering. Also new to the Shelby were fiberglass body parts. Carroll Shelby thought that adding functional scoops, an elongated nose and molded spoilers would improve performance of the car. An interesting added characteristic of the Shelby was the high-beam headlights that were mounted in the middle of the grill. However, the 8000-rpm tachometer, 140-mph speedometer and padded roll bar remained standard in the model. With all the modifications to the Shelby it grew further and further away from its ancestry of racing.

While it may be a far cry away from the original Shelby GT500, many Mustang fans would say that it continues to be one of the best cars ever built.