Auto blogMon, 17 Nov 2014
If there's one thing you can count on, it's that the renewed rivalry between the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro will never, ever cease. For every version of Ford's pony car, there's an equally potent Chevrolet. And so with the debut of the Camaro Z/28 earlier this year, Ford has responded with a track-focused 'Stang of its own, resurrecting the Shelby GT350 name.
It looks to be a fine piece of work, this Mustang, with power coming from a naturally aspirated 5.2-liter V8 that will produce "more than 500 horsepower" and "above 400" pound-feet of torque. That grunt runs to the rear wheels via a six-speed manual transmission, and a Torsen limited-slip differential keeps everything in line.
But that's hardly the most impressive piece of the GT350 puzzle. Ford has increased the Mustang GT's chassis stiffness for duty here in the Shelby, and the coupe employs MagneRide damping which automatically adjusts based on road conditions and driver inputs. It's a first both for the Blue Oval and for the segment. And speaking of firsts, the GT350 uses a flat-plane crankshaft - something Ford has never included in a production V8 before.
The old saying goes that if you can't do the time, don't do the crime. But being a criminal can involve more than just taking a trip to the big house; it can also mean losing possessions purchased from any ill-gotten gains. Still, one man's loss is another's gain, and if you're in Lodi, NJ, on September 12, you stand the chance to buy some of the ultimate muscle cars from the US Marshals in what is being gruesomely nicknamed the Blood Muscle auction.
The grisly moniker was earned because all of the vehicles belonged to the president of a blood testing company who is facing prison time for alleged bribery, according to Hemmings. After all, they are muscle cars bought with actual blood money. The seven-vehicle collection includes some of the ultimate muscle cars ever made, and the original buyer clearly had an eye for rarity.
This cornucopia of V8 power includes a teal 1970 Ford Mustang Boss 429, a 1967 Shelby GT500 Mustang, an orange 1970 Plymouth Superbird, a 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS convertible and perhaps most prized of all - a trio of 1969 Yenko Chevys with a Chevelle, Nova and Camaro all represented. From the included photos, all of them look to be in fantastic condition.
Typically when an automaker rolls out a concept car or pre-production prototype, it does its tour and then disappears into the company's archives. Maybe it will be displayed for the public to see in the company's own museum or maybe it will spend most of its time under covers in a warehouse somewhere, but every once in a while, an automaker will open up its history and start selling off its concept cars. For Shelby American, "once in a while" has just rolled around.
The House that Carroll Built is moving from its previous headquarters at Las Vegas Motor Speedway to a new facility off of the Las Vegas strip, and in the process is liquidating fourteen of the rarest cars in its collection. That presents a tremendous opportunity for muscle car collectors to bring one or more of these snakes home.
As you might expect, the catalog is composed mostly of Mustangs, but not exclusively. There's a pair of 289 Cobras: the last of the 50th anniversary slab-sided continuation cars and an original development vehicle, offered at $200,000 apiece. At the other end of the spectrum you'll find the 2013 Shelby Raptor concept for $125k and Focus concept for $50k. And of course there are the Mustangs.
Most of us are never going to be like Jay Leno and drive a new car every day. However, it's possibly affordable to collect a handful of vintage rides, especially if you look a touch off the beaten path. In recent video, Petrolicious highlights Hans Abrahams, who is doing just that. He has three 1960s, European classics that love to be driven.
The absolute star of the trio is a 1966 Sunbeam Tiger. In the cabin, it has the meaty growl of a muscle car, but outside it has a little of the raspiness of period European cars. Abrahams says its mostly original except for its Ford 289-cubic-inch (4.7-liter) V8 with Shelby parts, producing around 273 horsepower. He says it's a bit difficult to maintain and hard to keep cool, but when you hear it, you know the trouble is worth it.
Next up, is Abrahams' 1965 MGB that is a bit of a monster in its own right. It lacks the Tiger's oomph under the hood, but it's loud enough to blow out Petrolicious' microphone. It's still a very cool little roadster.
We love a good barn find here at Autoblog. We like that there's a palpable excitement and sense of mystery surrounding barn finds. Each case has its own uniqueness to it, and this latest discovery is no different: an unrestored, one-owner 1969 Shelby GT500 with just 8,531 miles on it.
In the case of this particular barn find, many of the typical questions have already been answered. For example, we know who owned it - his name was Larry Brown. He recently passed away, and as he had no wife or children to inherit the estate, the car he purchased at Pennsylvania Ford dealer in May of 1969, will be auctioned off by Ron Gilligan Auctioneers.
The car was fastidiously maintained, having never been driven in the rain. In fact, Brown never even washed it, out of fear of it rusting. According to the auction website, the last time this car saw water was probably when it was detailed ahead of being delivered to Brown. If that doesn't sound like a fanatical sense of maintenance on the part of this GT500's owner, this next part will. The interior has been treated to a similarly painstaking attempt at preservation, with garbage bags covering the seats and two layers of floor mats over the carpets. The result is a car that, aesthetically, is in remarkable shape considering it's spent so long in a barn.
Earlier in the year, Shelby American unveiled the 1,200-horsepower Shelby 1000 wearing a price tag of $154,995. Now, the Las Vegas-based company is looking to meet the needs of budget-minded performance enthusiasts with the rebirth of the Shelby GT, which made its debut at the LA Auto Show.
"Budget-minded" is obviously very relative here, but the three levels of upgrades available on the 2014 Shelby GT do represent decent bang for the buck. After purchasing a stock 2014 Ford Mustang GT, which retails for $30,900, Shelby has three packages to improve the Mustang's performance and handling, with the all-in base price coming in at around $45,000.
For $14,995, Shelby will tune your Mustang to 430 horsepower (up from 420 hp) while adding a Borla exhaust, Panhard suspension bar and 20-inch wheels. Shelby also adds its own style with a fiberglass hood, billet grille, unique front fascia and "Shelby" badging on the trunk and seat head rests. If more power is what you're looking for, the Shelby GT/SC adds a Whipple supercharger, Wilwood brakes and performance Michelin tires - for the sum of $27,995. The GT/SC offers a considerable jump in horsepower with the choice of either 525 hp or 624 hp, the latter of which is claimed to give the car a 0-60 time of just 3.7 seconds.
Classic Recreations, a custom coachbuilder based in Oklahoma, debuted its Coyote-powered 1967 Shelby G.T.500CR at the SEMA show this week. Like the company's previous releases, the bright red, silver striped coupe offers classic Ford Mustang styling with today's reliable mechanicals. "If you like the graceful drivability of a modern G.T.500, but prefer the classic Mustang styling, this is the car for you," said company owner, Jason Engel. "Classic Recreations combines modern technology with classic styling to create a best-of-both worlds experience. Now, customers can get a CR car with the same engine offered by Ford for the current Mustang."
The G.T.500CR is powered by a 5.0-liter V8 Ford Racing Coyote crate engine that is rated at 490 horsepower and 429 pound-feet of torque. A Tremec five-speed manual gearbox sends power to the rear wheels, where it can quickly liquidate the sticky high-performance tires. Other goodies include front and rear coilover suspension, rack-and-pinion steering, 17x9.5-inch chrome alloy wheels and a pair of Carroll Shelby signature rally series 1000 seats.
If the 490 horsepower doesn't hold your attention, Classic Recreations also offers a G.T.500CR 900 model packing a mind-blowing 780 horsepower courtesy of an F1-R intercooled ProCharger supercharged engine. In addition to chassis and suspension upgrades to handle the additional thrust, the 900 models get 17x11-inch rear tires to lay wider stripes on the pavement. All Classic Recreations receive an official Shelby serial number, badges and earn a spot in the official Shelby Worldwide Registry.
If you've got an itch for a classic Mustang Fastback, you may want to give Classic Recreations a call. The Oklahoma-based company, which has made a name for itself building award-winning muscle cars licensed by Shelby, recently handed me the keys to its latest creation - a prototype 1966 Shelby GT350CR (serial number SCR350-00P) with a nitrous-injected 427-cubic-inch small-block Ford Racing engine sending power to its rear wheels through a Tremec five-speed manual gearbox. Yeah, it's the sort of machinery that whets my appetite.
As you might suspect by looking at the company's name, the team starts with a standard stock 1966 Mustang Fastback and then tears it down to the chassis in preparation for a full rebuild into what they call a Shelby GT350CR. This particular restoration includes the fitment of the aforementioned 7.0-liter V8 with BBK Long Tube ceramic-coated headers, Magnaflow mufflers, coil-over suspension and rack-and-pinion power steering. Stopping power is provided by Wilwood brakes, in the form of four-piston calipers over ventilated and cross-drilled iron rotors, and the mechanical upgrades are finished off with four brightly polished 18-inch aluminum wheels wrapped in BF Goodrich g-Force T/A tires (245/45ZR18 front and 275/35ZR18 rear).
Inside the passenger compartment, occupants are treated to Carroll Shelby Scat Rally Series 1000 seats, five-point Camlock belts, three-spoke aluminum woodgrain steering wheel with tilt column, a full complement of gauges and full carpeting. An Old Air Products air conditioning system blows ice-cold breezes, and a powerful audio system with external amp and subwoofer ensure a sweet background track to the V8's wild bellow.
We just recently saw our first spy shots of the next-gen hi-po Ford Mustang slated to replace the Shelby GT500, but now we're getting our first look - and listen - of prototypes captured on video. Mustang6g.com has the video (along with some different spy shots), which show that, if nothing else, SVT knows how to tune an exhaust system. The :50 mark is a good example of this, but fast-forward to around 2:00 where the driver revs the engine and really gets on the throttle hard taking off from a stop.
There's still no definitive evidence that the next-gen SVT Mustang - said to be called GT350 - will be naturally aspirated, but it sounds just as menacing as the current Shelby GT500. While the video posted below exhibits the sort of quality that is to be expected from someone driving while trying to film someone who is attempting to elude being filmed, it's still exciting to see and hear this new Mustang in motion.
With Shelby preparing to wind down production of its brutal GT350, a 624-horsepower Mustang that's meant to go up against the Roush Stage 3 in the world of tuned Ford ponycars, the Las Vegas-based tuner is looking to give back to one lucky customer. It'll auction off the very first GT350 ever produced, at the 2013 Barrett-Jackson auction in Las Vegas, a three-day event that runs from September 26 through September 28.
The GT350 is a monster, with a 5.0-liter, supercharged V8 that's been tuned well past 600 horsepower in a time when Ford's own Shelby-branded GT500 barely reached 550 horsepower. The GT350 is much louder than Ford's effort, too, both visually and audibly. The wide body look isn't what we'd call conventional, but on a car that sounds and goes like this, something extreme is needed. According to Shelby American's vice president of production, Gary Davis, "Carroll was very excited about the new wide body option, so that was included on this car. It's the first 2012 GT350 serial number from our anniversary year. It is a very special car." Wilwood brakes, a massaged suspension, and some very fat, sticky tires add to the Shelby experience.
This particular GT350 will be lot number 750, and will cross the Barrett-Jackson stage on Sunday, September 28.