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Shelby G.T. 500

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

G.T. 500
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Wikipedia: Shelby Mustang

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A high performance variant of the Ford Mustang produced by Shelby from 1967-1968 and by Ford from 1969-1970. The name returned as an option on the Ford Mustang from 2007-2014.

History

The following section is an excerpt from Wikipedia's Automotive Industries page on 2 September 2017, text available via the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

For 1967, the G.T. 350 carried over the K-Code high performance 289 with a 'COBRA' aluminum hi-rise. The G.T. 500 was added to the lineup, equipped with a "Ford Cobra" V8 (FE Series 428 cu.in.) engine with two 600 CFM Holly four-barrel carburetors sitting atop a mid-rise Aluminum intake manifold.

Documented plans to introduce a convertible mid-production year were shelved due to supply, production and financial problems that happened as soon as the first cars started to arrive at Shelby's Los Angeles facility in September. By October 1966, Ford took control over engineering and purchasing. A.O. Smith was tapped to fix the fiberglass fitment and quality problems. Six months later, in May 1967, the decision was made to terminate the California-based Shelby operation. On August 18, 1967, a small staff, along with the remaining engineering cars, was sent to Ionia. The small staff of the newly formed Shelby Automotive, Inc. had substantially less involvement after this time.

The 1967 Shelby GT500 was the first model built in the Shelby GT500 range. It is based on the 1967 Mustang Fastback and is equipped with a 428cu (7.0L) V8. 2,048 were produced back in 1967. Several body parts of the GT500 were made of fiberglass including the side intakes and bonnet.

Beginning in April 1968, Ford began factory installing a version of the 428 engine known as the "Cobra Jet". The G.T. 500 was subsequently known as The Cobra G.T. 500 KR. The initials KR stood for "King of the Road." Ford rated the Cobra jet at 335 horsepower (250 kW), but with 440 foot-pounds of torque at 3400 RPM, the horsepower was considered significantly underreported. Shelby's KR engine was left stock adding die-cast aluminum valve covers with "Cobra Lemans" to note Ford's FE engine family victory over Ferrari at Le Mans in 1966 and 1967.

The GTs lost their Cobra tag for 1969 and once again were marketed simply as Shelby GT 350 and Shelby GT 500. The GT 350 and GT 500 for the 1969 model year received an extensive face lift, the body alone increasing in length by 4 inches (100 mm) with some reaching 10 inches (250 mm). Ford was involved with design and style decisions, with Shelby having little input. The GT 350 was now equipped with a 351 cubic-inch V8. Carroll Shelby terminated his agreement with Ford in the summer of 1969.

No production of 1970 Shelby GT 350 and 500 models was undertaken; however, unsold 1969 models were given 1970 vehicle identification numbers under FBI supervision. The 1970 models had two cosmetic changes, a front chin spoiler and two black hood stripes. The rest of the changes had to do with emissions .GT500 had the carburetor modified and marked "ed" (edited) on tag. The GT500 distributor was also changed to the 70 version. The GT350 had the distributor changed to a 70 version. A total of 789 were re-VIN'd.

2007–2009 Ford Shelby GT500

Shelby and Ford returned for the 2007 model year with the Shelby GT500. Introduced at the 2005 New York International Auto Show, the GT500 uses a 5.4 L (330 CID) Modular 500 hp (370 kW) supercharged V8 engine. 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.

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.

2008–2009 GT500KR

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 would 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 $120,000.

The GT500KR was featured prominently in the new Knight Rider television series on NBC. One of the main characters of the show was KITT, (voiced by Val Kilmer) an advanced Artificial Intelligence housed in a GT500KR who is also 100% all black and the only difference is the red scan light bar and the red voice module. Also, in the return of the show, KARR (voiced by Peter Cullen) who is once again similar to KITT with a yellow scan light bar and a yellow voice module and is once again 100% all Black like KITT was also a GT500KR.

2007–2009 Shelby GT500 Super Snake

Starting in 2008, previous 2007 Shelby GT500 Mustangs could be sent to Carroll Shelby's Special Performance Plant in Las Vegas to be rebuilt into a Super Snake, for an additional cost of $27,995. The Super Snake will offer a 605 hp (451 kW) (at the engine) 5.4 L. A 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. 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.

2010–2012 Ford Shelby GT500

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 included unique front and rear fascias, hood with functional vents and unique rear spoiler. The rear spoiler included a functional Gurney flap. Along with new exterior colors, customers had the option of extending the exterior stripes onto the seats. Production was limited to 2000 units.

The 5.4 L engine's power output was increased to 540 hp (403 kW) and 510 lb·ft (691 N·m) 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.

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. The 2010 Shelby Mustang GT500 can sprint from 0 to 60 miles per hour (0 to 97 km/h) in 4.19 seconds and has a top speed of 180 miles per hour (290 km/h). The 2010 GT500 can brake from 60–0 in 107.0 ft and has a lateral acceleration of 1.00 G.

2011 & 2012

Much like the 2011 V6 and GT Mustangs, the 2011 Shelby GT500 got an engine update with an all-new 5.4 L aluminum engine which was 102 pounds lighter than the previous cast-iron engine and uses Ford-patented plasma-coating technology (Plasma transferred wire arc). The inventors of PTWA received the 2009 IPO National Inventor of the Year award. This technology was initially patented and developed by inventors from Flame-Spray. The technology was subsequently improved upon by Ford and Flamespray. With the engine updates, not only has performance improved to 550 horsepower (410 kW) and 510 lb·ft (691 N·m) of torque, but the GT500's gas mileage has improved to 15 mpg‑US (16 L/100 km; 18 mpg‑imp) city and 23 mpg‑US (10 L/100 km; 28 mpg‑imp) highway, which was enough to eliminate the U.S. Gas Guzzler Tax. The final production number of the 2011 Shelby GT500 by the end of the year was 5100 units.

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 which 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, which features a sport mode when pressed twice consecutively while stopped with the brakes applied.

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 front and 20-inch forged-aluminum wheels at the rear, a 3.73 rear axle ratio, and performance tuned front and rear shocks along with stiffer springs. The package includes a unique rear spoiler Gurney Flap for improved handling, 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 a glass top roof, previously available, starting in 2009, with the Mustang GT.

The improvements in handling and performance gives the 2011 Shelby GT500 a skidpad rating of 1.0g, and a Virginia International Raceway lap time of 2:58:48, making it as fast as, and sometimes faster than, cars such as the M3, Audi R8 V10, Dodge Viper SRT-10 and Porsche GT3 around this racetrack. Changes to 2012 model year Shelby GT500 included only a new Recaro seat option. The Sterling Gray color was no longer available.

2013–2014 Ford Shelby GT500

First unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November 2011, Ford Shelby GT500 is the most powerful Mustang ever. The DOHC 354.6 cubic inches (5.811 l) 32-V V8 supercharged engine is certified to produce (493 kW, 855 Nm) 662 bhp and 631 lb-ft of torque, with a claimed top speed of 202 miles per hour (325 km/h). The new GT500 weighs 3,850 pounds (1,750 kg), and was available starting May 2012.

The 2013 models have various improvements and differences compared to the GT500 of 2012 including new front end sheet metal along with standard HID headlamps, along with a new LED tail light assembly. The new 2013 Shelby GT500 also has no grill, due to the massive amount of cooling required for the vehicle. Performance changes include twin fuel pumps (a Mustang GT’s single supply pump, twice over), larger fuel injectors, a grippier and larger-diameter clutch, a larger fan, a three-row intercooler (the previous car used a double-row unit), a beefed-up Tremec 6060 six-speed with an internal oil pump, and a single-piece carbon-fiber driveshaft. Larger Brembo front disc brakes with six-piston calipers, reinforced axle tubes, and aero tweaks to help the car reach 200+mph safely. Ford says the changes have resulted in a 14-percent reduction in drag and a 66-percent increase in front-end downforce. Also new for 2013 is a larger front anti-roll bar and retuned springs. An rpm-adjustable electronic launch-control function is standard, as is four-mode electronic stability control.

A Performance package is also offered, adding two-mode adjustable Bilstein dampers and a Torsen limited-slip rear differential. In addition to the Performance package, a Track package for road racing can be ordered bringing a transmission cooler, a nose-mounted differential cooler for the Torsen limited-slip unit, and an air-to-oil engine-oil cooler. Wilwood disc brakes were also brought on board with an improved stopping package.

A Motor Trend magazine May 2012 road test provided a 0–60 time of 3.5 seconds and a quarter mile time of 11.6 seconds at 125.7 miles per hour (202.3 km/h). By comparison the '13 GT500 is faster than both the Camaro ZL1 and Corvette Z06.

Automobile-Catalog computer model estimates provided a 0–60 time of 3.3 seconds, a quarter mile time of 11.3 seconds at 130 miles per hour (210 km/h), and a top speed of 208 miles per hour (335 km/h) (manufacturing claim: 202 mph (325 km/h); Car and Driver: 189 mph (304 km/h)).

In February 2012, at the Chicago Auto Show, Shelby officially announced that a convertible version of the 2013 GT500 will reach production. The convertible has a limited top speed of 155 miles per hour (249 km/h).

No major changes from the previous year 2013 have been made, however several colors had been discontinued and been made.


Photographs

1968 Shelby GT-500/KR Playboy Playmate Tish Howard at Gotham Ford 1968 GT 500-KR
The New York Times, June 28, 1968
Playboy Playmate Tish Howard at Gotham Ford
View photo of 1968 Shelby GT-500/KR Playboy Playmate Tish Howard at Gotham Ford - 160KB
1969 Shelby GT500 Super Snake 1969 Super Snake
1 of 2 built this way, this car was used by Uniroyal as a test car for Tiger Paw tires.
Photo ©2010 Bill Crittenden
Green Street Cruise Night:  June 21, 2010
View photo of 1969 Shelby GT500 Super Snake - 5,067KB
1969 Shelby GT500 Super Snake 1969 Super Snake
1 of 2 built this way, this car was used by Uniroyal as a test car for Tiger Paw tires.
Photo ©2010 Bill Crittenden
Green Street Cruise Night:  June 21, 2010
View photo of 1969 Shelby GT500 Super Snake - 4,473KB
1969 Shelby GT500 Super Snake 1969 Super Snake
1 of 2 built this way, this car was used by Uniroyal as a test car for Tiger Paw tires.
Photo ©2010 Bill Crittenden
Green Street Cruise Night:  June 21, 2010
View photo of 1969 Shelby GT500 Super Snake - 3,963KB
1969 Shelby GT500 Super Snake 1969 Super Snake
1 of 2 built this way, this car was used by Uniroyal as a test car for Tiger Paw tires.
Photo ©2010 Bill Crittenden
Green Street Cruise Night:  June 21, 2010
View photo of 1969 Shelby GT500 Super Snake - 3,760KB
1969 Shelby GT500 Super Snake 1969 Super Snake
1 of 2 built this way, this car was used by Uniroyal as a test car for Tiger Paw tires.
Photo ©2010 Bill Crittenden
Green Street Cruise Night:  June 21, 2010
View photo of 1969 Shelby GT500 Super Snake - 3,980KB
1969 Shelby GT500 Super Snake 1969 Super Snake
1 of 2 built this way, this car was used by Uniroyal as a test car for Tiger Paw tires.
Photo ©2010 Bill Crittenden
Green Street Cruise Night:  June 21, 2010
View photo of 1969 Shelby GT500 Super Snake - 4,739KB
1969 Shelby GT500 Super Snake 1969 Super Snake
1 of 2 built this way, this car was used by Uniroyal as a test car for Tiger Paw tires.
Photo ©2010 Bill Crittenden
Green Street Cruise Night:  June 21, 2010
View photo of 1969 Shelby GT500 Super Snake - 4,254KB
1969 Shelby GT500 Super Snake 1969 Super Snake
1 of 2 built this way, this car was used by Uniroyal as a test car for Tiger Paw tires.
Photo ©2010 Bill Crittenden
Green Street Cruise Night:  June 21, 2010
View photo of 1969 Shelby GT500 Super Snake - 3,985KB
1969 Shelby GT500 Super Snake 1969 Super Snake
1 of 2 built this way, this car was used by Uniroyal as a test car for Tiger Paw tires.
Photo ©2010 Bill Crittenden
Green Street Cruise Night:  June 21, 2010
View photo of 1969 Shelby GT500 Super Snake - 3,638KB
1969 Shelby GT500 Super Snake 1969 Super Snake
1 of 2 built this way, this car was used by Uniroyal as a test car for Tiger Paw tires.
Photo ©2010 Bill Crittenden
Green Street Cruise Night:  June 21, 2010
View photo of 1969 Shelby GT500 Super Snake - 4,047KB


Documents

DateDocument Name & DetailsDocuments
10 March 1967NHTSA Recall 67V026000
Shelby GT350, Shelby GT500
Service Brakes, Hydraulic:Power Assist
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Recall Page - 1 page


Merchandise

Type & Item #NameDetails
Die Cast - American Muscle 364211967 Shelby GT-5001:18 scale, gold
Die Cast - Hot Wheels T9973-09A0L'69 Shelby GT-5002011 New Models, small scale, Grabber Blue w/white stripe,


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