Car: Shelby GT 500 KR Mustang Fastback
What makes it special: The Shelby Mustang is a high performance variant of the Ford Mustang which was built by Shelby American from 1965 to 1968. The 1967 redesign made for a heavier Mustang, along with a longer, fiberglass hood, and new front and rear facias. The design of the original version was evident, but these styling upgrades gave the car a more aggressive appearance and achieved Carroll Shelby’s goal of differentiating his car from the Mustang on which it was based. The separate high-beam headlamps in the grille added more character, while a thin, chrome front bumper sat below a mesh grille with the classic Shelby logo in place. The small hood scoop was there to deliver fresh air to the engine. Shelby also included new, horizontal taillights sourced from a ’67 Cougar in 1967 and a ’65 Thunderbird in 1968, and an integrated Kamm-type rear spoiler. Functional rear brake-cooling scoops adorned the rear quarter panels. Ten-spoke, fifteen-inch, cast-aluminum rims were the wheel choice with Goodyear white-lettered radials.
What made it famous: Beginning in April 1968, Ford began factory installing a version of the 428 engine known as the “Cobra Jet”. The GT500 was subsequently known as The Cobra GT500 KR. The initials KR stood for “King of the Road.” Ford rated the Cobra jet at 335 horsepower, 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.
Why I would want one: It’s known as the “King Of The Road.” I can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t want that notoriety.
Fun fact: Following the introduction of the fifth generation Ford Mustang in 2005, the Shelby nameplate was revived as a new high-performance model, this time designed and built by Ford.
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