Shelby GT500: Horses and Ponies and Snakes, Oh My!

January 15th, 2007 by William

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I don’t get a ton of press vehicles passing my way, and the ones that do come always take awhile my poor (look at my paycheck some time) desperate hands. The bright side of this is that when I do get a press vehicle it is usually more impressive and capable than I deserve. Such was the case when I was tossed the keys to a 2007 Shelby GT 500 Mustang.

A lot of the car magazine guys I know snickered at the regular old Mustang GT when the most recent version came out. “It’s cheesy”, “handles like a pig”, “awful interior” the comments went on and on. But a few of us were impressed by the car, after all it is a Mustang, not an exotic sports car, and I thought it was fast, comfortable, the interior was good by Ford standards and most importantly it was fun. What more could you want from a Mustang?

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5.4 liters, 32 valves, and overhead cams topped off with a supercharger

Well I found the answer to that question: 500 horsepower. Driving the Shelby GT 500 is not unlike driving the GT, the main difference is power and speed. For a car with 500 horsepower the Shelby is remarkably easy to drive. The clutch pedal was on the heavier side which I actually prefer in a car with this type of performance. The six speed transmission shifted flawlessly through the gears and the limited slip rear end really proved its worth putting the power to the ground. Although the big Mustang really liked to get sideways it never felt twitchy or harsh like the Z06 Corvette I drove earlier this year. The GT 500 did show a bit of axle hop when dropping the hammer in first gear, but otherwise it handled great for a live axle.

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High booty!

The best part of this car is its power plant. The 5.4 liter 32 valve supercharged V8 performs like a champion. Delivering smooth and steady power that builds gradually as revs go up this motor will definitely pin you to your seat. With the help of 8.5 pounds of boost from a roots type blower, not to mention the cool supercharger whine, the Shelby Mustang puts out a healthy 500 horsepower and 480 lb-ft of torque. Despite the Moby Dick curb weight of 3,920 pounds the Shelby can dash from naught to 60 in only 4.5 seconds. Not too bad for a car that only cost $43K.

There are some down sides to the car however and one of them is the brakes, they just aren’t as spectacular as you would hope. They stop the car ok, but you get the feeling that a few laps around a race track, or 20 minutes of hard driving on a twisty road would cook them pretty good. My other complaints are pretty minor and subjective. The dashboard has a really ugly cap on it that looks like a total after thought that was glued in place at the last minute to add more leather to the cabin. The ride height also looks a bit on the tall side in the back, giving the car that already looks like a hooligan should be driving it and even more Stockton high school kid look.

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Those complaints aside the Shelby GT 500 is good package. No it doesn’t perform like a Corvette and it isn’t as nice as an M6, but it cost a lot less and it offers a remarkable amount of fun for the dollar. If I had $43,000 I would still probably just by a GT and take a nice vacation, the Shelby is a little too flashy for me, but that’s taking nothing away from the car. It was a blast to drive and doesn’t pretend to be anything it is not. It is just one fast Mustang, nothing more.

PS. I had to share the best quote I heard when someone was checking out the interior of the Shelby Mustang.

Guy1: “These seats are like MGB seats.”
Guy2: “What do you mean?”
Guy1: “I mean they’re sh***y.”

-Bill Mertz

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2 Responses to “Shelby GT500: Horses and Ponies and Snakes, Oh My!”

  1. bc Says:

    I like the high booty reference. good call!

  2. William Says:

    Yeah, you know I have a high booty too. I guess it takes one to know one.
    -Bill

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About William

I am a twenty something car enthusiast. I spend most of my days working in a small restoration shop in Northern California that specializes in vintage Alfa Romeos. I also manage to do some freelance writing for a handful of automotive publications. When I'm not at the shop I can usually be found working on one of my own project cars, out driving on a good windy road or good jeep trail. Despite what my girlfriend says cars aren't what defines me, they are only what I do. When I have a chance I also love to go camping, play sports or generally do any type of outdoor activity. I don't take myself to seriously, so I hope you don't either.

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