First, let’s set the scene. Tire smoke and burnt rubber fill the air as a hulking monster drifts its manner from nook to nook. The supercharger howls and an enormous V8 is barking and screaming away.
Excessive of the insanity, the enduring Whitney Houston belts out her well-known 1992 hit “I’ll at all times love you” as this monstrosity shrinks off into the gap, persevering with to burn rubber because it screams away.
This can be a love letter to the Ford Mustang GT500. A love letter to one of many best automobiles to ever come out of Detroit and by far probably the most outrageous Mustang to ever hit the streets.
Let’s pay homage to our soon-to-be misplaced love.
Not One other Break-Up?!
As a lot as we love the Ford Mustang GT500, it won’t be a part of our fleet for the 2023 season.
Look, relationships are arduous to get proper. It takes equal quantities of belief, reliability, and the need to maintain issues contemporary and enjoyable with the intention to maintain that flame burning scorching. Effectively, the Ford GT500 was sort of like that thrilling, passionate relationship you had if you had been in school. It was an insane quantity of enjoyable, however ultimately, it didn’t actually work out long-term. Our Ferrari, Porsche, Corvette, and Lamborghini are marriage materials however the GT500, ended up being extra of a fling.
Sadly, the GT500 suffered the identical destiny as our McLaren, particularly, it was damaged… like on a regular basis! Each time we’d get excited that the Mustang GT500 was again on its toes, it could endure one other random failure on a important half that may sideline it for an additional observe day. For such a burly, rugged machine, it certain couldn’t take a knock on the chin. Like every thing else since COVID, elements wanted to restore the mighty GT500 had been extraordinarily arduous to come back by and extremely costly. Actually, it was tragic to see this factor on the sidelines a lot as a result of it’s a miraculous machine with such a wealthy historical past.
The place It All Started
At this time, Carroll Shelby and Mustang are practically ubiquitous, however again within the Sixties, they had been simply studying to bounce. Shelby’s first manufacturing particular was the enduring GT350, which was quickly to be adopted by the “Lease-A-Racer” Hertz GT350-H. Very like any race automotive, these Mustangs earned their efficiency credibility by shedding weight, including energy, and beefing up every thing from the drivetrain to the chassis. They had been thinly veiled homologation specials that had been, frankly, misplaced on the road.
By 1967 Shelby wished one thing fully completely different, one thing with extra energy. A real muscle automotive carried out the Shelby manner and the 67’ GT500 was it. Ford and Shelby developed a 428 cubic inch V8 (that’s 7.0 liters for you metric lovers) that cranked out 355 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque. Along with the added energy, stiffer entrance springs, an upgraded anti-roll bar, and Gabriel shock absorbers took care of the chassis. A 4-speed handbook or 3-speed computerized transmission was supplied, however most had been bought as a stick shift.
A yr later, the GT500KR was born, bumping energy all the way in which out to “someplace close to 400” horsepower, but it surely was short-lived. By 1971, the road was useless as a result of oil disaster. Nevertheless, it could be revived in 2007 following the introduction of the “Retro Revival” S197 Mustang. Shelby was again within the saddle, however this time, he known as for supercharged horsepower – 500 to be precise! For the yr, the 2007 GT500 was quick. Actually, actually, quick, but it surely was additionally an terrible handful on the observe. Strong axles aren’t precisely nice at dealing with the corners.
When the Mustang was refreshed in 2011, the GT500 was additionally refreshed however it could go the way in which of the buffalo for 2015, following an all-new Mustang debut. A mannequin that was leaner, meaner, and constructed to deal with extra than simply going quick in a straight line. It could take Ford till 2020 to come back out with a GT500 model of the newest Mustang, and nicely, it was well worth the rattling wait.
We Had Some Good Instances
Okay, so this factor is nuts and it makes no apologies about the way it will get the job carried out. In spite of everything, if you’re packing 760 horsepower beneath an enormous, lengthy hood, folks will discover. Not solely is it quick as may be but it surely’s additionally remarkably well-mannered within the corners. Now, is it Porsche or Ferrari-level exact? No. Is it exact for what’s presupposed to be an all-American muscle automotive? You wager.
Driving this factor is a wild expertise and our instructors actually loved the problem of laying down fast lap instances. Getting the ability down with rear-wheel drive ended up being the primary problem, however all that energy and all that madness, nicely, it’s only a huge outdated barrel of snickers. We liked it, that’s till issues began to go unsuitable.
Can we are saying crimson flags?
…And Not So Good Instances
Whereas we love the Ford GT500, it’s merely not good for what we do as a result of it’s simply not sturdy sufficient to run each weekend.
In our time with it, these are simply a few of the points we bumped into:
- Failed superchargers (one automotive has had it mounted/changed 3 instances)
- Catalytic converter failure
- Transmission points with overheating additionally trigger poor shifting
As we talked about, getting elements to repair this bespoke Mustang actually proved to be an issue for our workforce. At one level, we waited over two months to get the items to switch the exhaust system! For an organization that makes cash from working automobiles, it was not match. Plus, individuals who booked and anticipated to drive the GT500 had been consistently ignored within the chilly. Not cool.
For driving on the road or on weekends, nice. Monitoring it each week?
It’s me, not you.
Is that this a “See You Later?”
For now, sure, we have to let this one go however that doesn’t imply that the nastiest of the nasty Mustangs received’t finally make its manner again into our fleet.
Ford is planning on releasing one other model of the GT500 in 2026, carefully following the discharge of the extremely hyped 2024 Mustang lineup. There’s a reasonably good likelihood that Xtreme Xperience will probably be on high of the listing for buying this monster, however time will inform if and when that day truly involves fruition. Every time a brand new Shelby is on the horizon, the rumors fly and we attempt to keep away from the rumor mill as greatest we will.
Let’s Trip It Out
Okay, our Mustang is about to hit the pasture however that doesn’t imply you possibly can’t get yet another wild experience in!
For the remainder of 2022, the Ford Shelby GT500 continues to be accessible to drive and we wish you to come back out and expertise this All-American monster earlier than it’s too late. You’ll have the chance to discover ways to tame this wild horse from our instructors, who’ve spent hours studying and honing the very best methods to realize most lap instances. In spite of everything, you possibly can’t simply fling round 760 horsepower and rear wheel drive, it must be lovingly dealt with with a fragile contact.
So, don’t succumb to FOMO. Get out right here and drive this factor to see why we’re going to miss it, though it’s been such a ache within the coronary heart.
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