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Vehicle to be offered for Auction sale August 14th – 16th, 2014 at Russo and Steele’s 14th Annual Monterey California Auction. Please contact us for more information.
Almost immediately, Carroll Shelby’s original GT350 conferred an unbeatable performance image on Ford’s trendsetting sporty Mustang and utterly dominated the opposition on the track, particularly archrival Chevrolet’s Corvette, going on the win the SCCA B-Production championship for 1965. On the street, however, the glamorous GT350 was quite a challenging drive thanks to its stiff ride, high-effort competition brakes, and cop-baiting exhaust. Several revisions for 1966 maintained the basic character of the GT350 while making it somewhat less demanding on its drivers and passengers.
With the arrival of the second-generation Mustang for 1967, its body shell was designed from the beginning to accommodate Ford’s larger FE-Series 390 cubic inch big-block engine. Since Ford’s higher-displacement “Police Interceptor” 428 engine was based on the same basic cylinder block as the 390, Shelby dropped it into the popular ponycar’s engine bay to create the GT500. Conservatively rated at 355 horsepower, actual output of the big 428 was closer to 400 ponies with a massive 420 ft-lbs of sheer tire- and pavement-scorching torque! A textbook case of the truth in the old adage “there’s no substitute for cubic inches,” the upscale 428-powered Shelby GT500 maintained the performance of the original 1965-66 GT350 but with heightened levels of image, luxury, and refinement.
The GT 500 looked the part, too, with stylistic enhancements led by Ford’s Chuck McHose in close collaboration with Shelby American. A special front end with unique forward-opening twin hood scoops and a pair of big European-style driving lights mounted in the radiator grille gave the Shelby Mustangs an unforgettable face. In the back, rear-quarter scoops, lower functional brake-cooling scoops, a neat rear spoiler, and sequential turn signals lifted from the new-for-1967 Mercury Cougar gave the car an even more powerful presence. The interior featured Mustang GT-level appointments plus a 140-mph speedometer and a roll bar with inertia-reel shoulder harnesses completing the competition flavor of the car. Period magazine road testers found the GT500 much easier to drive than its forebear, with the car easily capable of acceleration from rest to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds, the quarter-mile in 15.0 seconds, and a 130-mph top speed with the C-6 automatic transmission and even more with the rare four-speed.
Documented in the Shelby American World Registry, this first-year 1967 Shelby GT500 was a long-term Oregon car from new. The original 428 was replaced long ago by a date-code correct 427 side-oiler engine, and this engine swap was documented in a prior edition of the Shelby Registry. The consignor acquired the GT500 in 2004, and it is accompanied by a copy of a letter from the prior owner, who bought the car in 1986. The GT500 has travelled an approximate 75,000 original miles from new, and the dual-carbureted 427 engine was freshened approximately 300 miles ago. The Shelby’s body retains the original panels without rust issues, and it rides on a highly attractive set of Kelsey-Hayes five-spoke wheels.