The Shelby GT500 Is Still The Pinnacle Of Pony Cars
Photography Courtesy of Auctions America
Yes, this shape is known in one particular movie as “Eleanor”—arguably one of the most influential cars to ever grace the silver screen. For good reason: it’s a damn cool take on an already very special Mustang. If you want an equally cool Mustang of your own, the car you see here is a good place to start.
In 1967, Shelby unveiled its latest race car for the road: the GT 500. Like the GT350, Shelby began with Ford fastbacks and massaged the bodywork into chiseled speed machines to differentiate from the Ford Mustang lineup.
The face received a unique fiberglass scooped bonnet with hood pins and an extra pair of driving lamps recessed into a larger bass-mouth grill. The profile was treated to fiberglass side scoops on both the quarters, and in place of the rear quarter windows. Out back, the taillights were swapped out for larger units sourced from the 1965 Thunderbird, and a three-piece rear spoiler was added for bit of flair.
The cabin remained fairly standard with only a few modest changes. Most notably, a three spoke wood-rimmed Shelby steering wheel was fitted in addition to a fold-down rear seat option and special gauges, including extra dials for keeping tabs on amps, oil temperature, and oil pressure. Finally, it’s believed the GT500 was the first production car to come standard with a half roll cage—with race harness adapters.
The aesthetic modifications are great, but that’s not what made the GT500 a legend. Shelby is a six letter word for America, so going fast was imperative. The “Ford Cobra” Police Interceptor 428 cubic inch V8 was selected to slither the Snake. With 10.5 to 1 compression, the Holley four-barrel dual carb fed 7.0-liter was officially declared to fire out around 355 horsepower—though, in reality the figures are closer ~400! To cope with the added ponies and 420 pound feet of torque, the rear leaf springs received custom “hopper stoppers”—rubber inserts to prevent axle hop under acceleration.
Car and Driver claimed the GT500 was a, “grown-up sports car for smooth touring,” compared to the high-strung, on-edge GT350. They also went on to praise the power steering as, “among the best [they’d] driven,” thanks to its quick ratio rack and communicative feedback. The GT500 came with more options and easier to use power—it did what the GT350 strained to perform with ease, plus some.
This 1967 Shelby Mustang GT500 was optioned with a four-speed manual transmission and white Le Mans side stripes. Finished in Lime Gold metallic paint with black interior, this Eleanor was purchased new from Jerry Alderman Ford Sales out of Indianapolis, Indiana. With less than 59,000 miles since new on the original powertrain, this unmodified GT500 is a preserved legend ready to devour many miles to come. Cue War… “Lowrider, Donny… Donny, Lowrider.”
– SAAC Registry & Marti Report
– One of 2,048 GT500 built
– 58k miles since new
~355 horsepower 7.0-liter 428 cubic inch V8, four-speed manual transmission, front coil spring suspension, leaf spring rear suspension, and wheel power assisted front disc brakes and rear drums. Wheelbase: 108 inches.
Chassis no.: 67400F7A02878
Auction house: Auctions America
Estimate: $150,000 – $175,000
Price realized: Auction on March 12