Before the Internet erupts with anguish over what appears to be a modded-up original Shelby GT500 – relax, that’s not what this car is. This particular Mustang is a nod to the iconic Shelby but with power dialed up past 11. It’s simply unbelievable. RK Motors, based in Charlotte, North Carolina, sells and restores some of the most coveted autos to grace this earth, but owner Rob Kauffman wanted to do something particularly special for the Mustang’s 50th anniversary this year. Instead of disturbing the sanctity of a classic Shelby, of which RK Motors sells many, the crew decided to ply its trade on creating a pro-touring tribute. We’d say they succeeded.
Just look at the thing. The car started out as a stock ’67 Mustang before RK tastefully transformed its body to resemble that of a ’67 Shelby using authentic parts. The team finished off the exterior with Candy Apple red paint and adorned it with classic racing stripes.
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But the biggest performance upgrade to the RK527 comes from under the hood, courtesy of a 21st century heart transplant. RK Motors dropped in a 527ci all-aluminum V8 built by Jon Kaase that has been tuned to pump out roughly 800-horsepower. The engine features custom heads, fuel injection, forged aluminum pistons, a unique separate wiring harness, and exhales through raspy Mangnaflow mufflers.
Power goes to the ground through a Tremec T56 six-speed manual transmission and sent to a Ford nine-inch rear axle fitted with 3.55 gears and a differential locker. Zero to 60mph? Try an estimated 2.6 seconds.
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The chassis has been reworked to provide optimal handling characteristics as well. The suspension features adjustable coil-over shocks in the front with a Detroit Speed QuadraLink setup in the rear. Stopping power comes courtesy of big six-piston Baer calipers.
Inside you’ll find a period-accurate ’67 stock Shelby appearance, complete with vintage air and heating systems. Not a bad place to sit, in fact owner Rob Kauffman will drive the RK527 in the upcoming HOT ROD Magazine Power Tour, which spans seven states and over 1,500 miles from June 7 to 14.
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