The 1967 Ford Mustang Shelby GT 500 is quite possibly the finest American muscle care ever built. It was made famous in the Steve McQueen classic Bullitt and Nicholas Cage film Gone in 60 seconds, where it was touted as one of best and hardest to find automobiles ever created. Shelby Mustangs were high performance variants of the original Ford Mustangs. They were produced by Shelby American from 1965-1970. By the late 1960s, however, Shelby American had little to no involvement in the production of Mustangs. Ford recently revived the Shelby name in 2007 as a brand of high-end performance Mustangs.
It would be any Gearhead’s dream to have the opportunity to restore a 1967 Shelby GT 500. Unfortunately, there aren’t many original bodies and parts left. The next best thing to performing an original restoration would be purchasing a model restored to its past glory by someone else. That, however, is going to cost a pretty penny. For a car this cool that also packs top notch performance you are likely going to have to shell out over six figures. Classiccars.com currently has six restored 1967 Shelby GT 500s listed for sale and all of them carry a price tag of over $100,000. Cars-on-line.com has a larger selection, and they also will empty your bank account with an average asking price over $100,000. Other sites you might want to investigate are: carsforsale.com, cardomain.com, and, of course try ebay and craigslist (you never know). If you have the money and the opportunity to acquire one of these truly amazing automobiles do not pass up the chance.
So what made the 1967 Shelby GT 500 so popular? Besides the fact that the car oozes cool, the blend of classic Shelby styling with modern technological innovations made the car a titan of the American muscle scene. Shelby GT 500 bodies had to be built to handle massive engines and horse power. The standard 1967 Shelby 500 GT was built with a 428 Police Interceptor engine. The more powerful “King of the Road” GT 500 contained a 428 cubic inch Cobra Jet V-8 and was rated at 335 horsepower. With engines like this underneath their hoods, these cars could haul. The body offered a classic design and paint jobs varied from white to orange to black. The cars were often customized to satisfy the owners testosterone driven need for speed. Owners also liked to add their personal style to these already impressive machines. The 1967 model was also the first year Ford attempted to make the car appeal to a larger consumer audience. The previous versions of Shelby Mustangs were built almost exclusively for hardcore race enthusiasts. But beginning in 1967 Ford added several amenities including power brakes and steering, air conditioning, a tilt steering wheel, tinted glass, and, most importantly, a backseat now came standard. All of these options helped take the car out the realm of dragster and into the realm of street-legal muscle car.
When I was young, like real young, my mother owned a brown, beat up, junker of a Mustang. I still have a vague memory of riding to my Grandfather’s house in the back seat. My mom loved that car. She always used to tell me that there was no better car than a Mustang and that crappy brown hunk of junk was as close as she would ever come to driving a real sports car. While my moms old junker represented the very worst of what a Mustang can be the 1967 Ford Mustang Shelby GT 500 represents the very best. This car represents the very essence of cool. It is big, it is fast, and it is loud. It is the car of my dreams. Although Ford brought back the Shelby name to plaster on new model Mustangs, they will never be able to produce cars as undeniably cool as their Mustangs from the ’60s and ’70s. If I am ever lucky enough afford one of these majestic automobiles there is no way I would pass on an opportunity to own one. And who knows, I might even let my mom drive it.