First, let’s set the scene. Tire smoke and burnt rubber fill the air as a hulking monster drifts its means from nook to nook. The supercharger howls and a large V8 is barking and screaming away.
Excessive of the insanity, the enduring Whitney Houston belts out her well-known 1992 hit “I’ll all the time 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 biggest 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 onerous to get proper. It takes equal quantities of belief, reliability, and the need to maintain issues contemporary and enjoyable as a way to preserve that flame burning scorching. Properly, the Ford GT500 was form 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 might get excited that the Mustang GT500 was again on its toes, it will endure one other random failure on a essential half that might 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 little thing else since COVID, components wanted to restore the mighty GT500 had been extraordinarily onerous to return by and extremely costly. Truthfully, 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 almost ubiquitous, however again within the Nineteen 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 “Hire-A-Racer” Hertz GT350-H. Very similar to any race automotive, these Mustangs earned their efficiency credibility by shedding weight, including energy, and beefing up every little 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 needed one thing utterly completely different, one thing with extra energy. A real muscle automotive performed the Shelby means 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 automated transmission was supplied, however most had been offered as a stick shift.
A 12 months later, the GT500KR was born, bumping energy all the best way out to “someplace close to 400” horsepower, however it was short-lived. By 1971, the road was lifeless because of the oil disaster. Nevertheless, it will 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 actual! For the 12 months, the 2007 GT500 was quick. Actually, actually, quick, however it was additionally an terrible handful on the observe. Stable axles aren’t precisely nice at dealing with the corners.
When the Mustang was refreshed in 2011, the GT500 was additionally refreshed however it will go the best way 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 return out with a GT500 model of the newest Mustang, and nicely, it was definitely worth the rattling wait.
We Had Some Good Occasions
Okay, so this factor is nuts and it makes no apologies about the way it will get the job performed. In any case, if you’re packing 760 horsepower below an enormous, lengthy hood, individuals will discover. Not solely is it quick as will be however it’s additionally remarkably well-mannered within the corners. Now, is it Porsche or Ferrari-level exact? No. Is it exact for what’s imagined to be an all-American muscle automotive? You guess.
Driving this factor is a wild expertise and our instructors actually loved the problem of laying down fast lap occasions. 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 massive previous barrel of snickers. We beloved it, that’s till issues began to go unsuitable.
Can we are saying pink flags?
…And Not So Good Occasions
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 among the points we bumped into:
- Failed superchargers (one automotive has had it fastened/changed 3 occasions)
- Catalytic converter failure
- Transmission points with overheating additionally trigger poor shifting
As we talked about, getting components to repair this bespoke Mustang actually proved to be an issue for our staff. 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 overlooked 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 ultimately make its means again into our fleet.
Ford is planning on releasing another version of the GT500 in 2026, intently following the discharge of the extremely hyped 2024 Mustang lineup. There’s a reasonably good probability that Xtreme Xperience shall be on high of the record 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 are able to.
Let’s Journey It Out
Okay, our Mustang is about to hit the pasture however that doesn’t imply you may’t get yet one more wild experience in!
For the remainder of 2022, the Ford Shelby GT500 continues to be out there to drive and we wish you to return out and expertise this All-American monster earlier than it’s too late. You’ll have the chance to learn to tame this wild horse from our instructors, who’ve spent hours studying and honing one of the best methods to realize most lap occasions. In any case, you may’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, although it’s been such a ache within the coronary heart.
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