Ford Mustang Shelby GT500

While Carroll Shelby’s original GT350 quickly matured beyond its competition roots, high performance still defined its basic essence. With the release of the second-series Mustang for 1967, designed from the outset to accept Ford’s 390-cubic inch big block engine, Shelby upped the ante with an even larger modified Police Interceptor 428 to create the GT500.

The 428 Cobra Jet, developed by Rhode Island’s Tasca Ford at the suggestion of Hot Rod Magazine, was soon available for 1968 and added 427 low-riser cylinder heads, a 735-cfm Holley carburetor and other improvements from the Ford parts bin. Strong, reliable and vastly under-reported at 335 hp, the CJ was purpose-built for NHRA SS/E drag racing. At its 1968 Winternationals debut, Al Joniec took the class victory in an all-CJ final round over Hubert Platt.

For 1969, the 428 Super Cobra Jet added Ram Air induction, special pistons, a nodular-iron crank, beefier 427 "Le Mans" connecting rods and an external balancer. Selecting either 3.91:1 or 4.30:1 rear-end gears automatically added an engine-oil cooler to form the Drag Pack option. Ford’s “official” 335 hp rating remained, but a somewhat more realistic 360 hp rating was assigned to the SCJ by the NHRA. The 428 CJ and SCJ powered the increasingly upscale GT500 through its final 1969/1970 series. With 5.8-second 0-to-60 acceleration, 13.38-second quarter-mile performance and 145-mph top speed (July, 1969 Hot Rod Magazine test), the SCJ-equipped GT500 offered earth-shattering performance.

For the final 1969/1970 Shelby Mustang series, visual changes included a longer fiberglass front end, a unique “hoop” grille, a revised taillight and exhaust treatment, five-spoke wheels and an aggressive hood with five NACA-style air scoops. Inside, a roll bar, inertia-reel harnesses, luxurious features and special trim maintained the performance-oriented, upscale character of the GT500. While exact numbers vary according to the source, approximately 789 GT500s were sold for 1970, their last year of availability.

This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in January of 2012 at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa, Phoenix, Arizona.

335 bhp, 428 cu. in. R-Code Super Cobra Jet V-8 engine, single four-barrel carburetor, close-ratio Ford “Toploader” four-speed manual transmission, independent front suspension with unequal-length A-arms, coil springs and anti-roll bar, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs and staggered shock absorbers, and front disc, rear drum hydraulic brakes. Wheelbase: 108".

Source: RM Auctions

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