of the Ford Motor Co Muscle Cars
1964 1/2 to 1973. New section added to highlight the 2007 Carrol Shelby Cobra GT500-SVT
powerhouse Musclecar. A rebirth of a legend.
Torinos T-Birds Mustang
The date was April 17, 1964. Intermediate sized muscle cars, with big
block engines were gradually replacing the fullsized muscle car. Lee Iacocca, Ford's
General Manager, had always invisioned a small sports car to be the next hot item in the
street wars. Ford decided that instead of improving their lackluster intermediate, they
would do the competition one better and introduce a whole new breed of automobile, the
pony car. Originally designed as a two seater in the European tradition, Iacocca realized
that true success depended on volume sales. Therefore the Ford Mustang was introduced as a
1965 model that was based on the compact Falcon to lower production costs. It came with an
obligatory back seat and a multitude of options that would give the buyer an opportunity
to customize their purchase, and generate extra profits for Ford. Plymouth faithful stress
that their Baracuda beat the Ford Mustang to market by two weeks. But it was the Mustang,
which racked up over 22,000 sales its first day and one million sales in its first two
years, that turned the market and people's attention to the pony car. The pony car class
that the Ford Mustang helped create is the only class of muscle car that still exists
today. The Ford Torino also fall in this category. Click images to enlarge!
Comments on engines and options: The Ford Mustang debuted
as a simple sports car powered by a 170 cid six cylinder and a pair of V8's. Originally
named for the fighter plane, the P-51 Mustang, preliminary allusions were made to the
horse, and the horse motiff quickly became the emblem for the Mustang. Buyers loved its
low price, long hood, short trunk styling, and its myriad of options. Ford loved its high
volume sales and visibility. In mid 1964, Ford introduced a sporty 2+2 fastback body style
to go along with the hardtop coupe and convertible. Enthusiasts also cheered the new
"K-code" 271bhp 289 cid V8 that finally put some performance to match the
Mustang's good looks. For those that wanted more, the legendary Carroll Shelby and Ford
collaborated to produce the Shelby GT-350, a Ford Mustang fastback specially tuned by
Shelby. The 289 V8 produced 306bhp in street tune and around 360bhp in special GT-350R
race tune. These Shelby's had no back seat, were only available in white and were fully
Production: 2D Hardtop: 501,965 - Fastback: 77,079 - Convertible: 101,945
Engines: - -289 V8 225 bhp. - 289 V8 271 bhp. -(GT-350) 289 V8 306 bhp.
(GT-350R) 289 V8 360 bhp.
1967 saw a massive restyle of the Ford Mustang. Changes included bulkier
sheetmetal below the beltline, a more aggressive grille, a concave tail panel, and a full
fastback roofline for the fastback body style. The engine compartment was also increased
and Ford dropped in its big block 390 to compete against the new Chevrolet Camaro SS396.
Although the 390 was slightly detuned for the Mustang, its popularity sealed the end of
the high performance 289 cid engine, which was later dropped from the lineup. Of greater
interest to enthusiasts was the availablitity of another Shelby-tuned Mustang. The GT350
was still powered by a modified 289 V8, though output dropped to 290bhp. The new GT500 was
powered by a reworked 428 V8 (some were reportedly built with the even more powerful, race
ready 427 V8). The 1967 Shelby's were more civilized and sported numerous luxury options,
which seemed to appeal to buyers. These would be the last Shelby Mustangs actually built
by Shelby-American. All future models would be built by Ford with little Shelby
Production: 2D Hardtop: 356,271 -- Fastback: 71,042 -Convertible: 44,808
Engines: 289 V8 195 bhp. 289 V8 271 bhp. (Shelby GT350) 289 V8 290 bhp.
390 V8 320 bhp. (Shelby GT500) 428 V8 355bhp@5400rpm, 420lb-ft@3200rpm.
1966 Shelby GT 350 mustang engine and interior shots
Some Classic high performance cars including the F40 Ferrari and AC
The 1968 Ford Mustang received a simpler grille and side trim and a
limited number of 427 engines were slipped into the engine bays. These 427 engines were
slightly detuned but still cranked out 390bhp, enough to strike fear on the streets. Then
on April 1, 1968, Ford unveiled perhaps its most famous line of engines, the 428 Cobra
Jet. It was based on the regular 428 but included larger valve heads, the race 427's
intake manifold, and an oil-pan windage tray. It had ram-air induction and breathed
through a functional hood scoop. Output was listed at 335bhp but was rumoured to be around
410bhp. The Shelby's were still available, joined by an available convertible model and
renamed the Shelby Cobra. The GT-350 dropped its 289 cid 306 bhp engine and gained a 302
cid 250 bhp engine. Midway through the year, the GT-500 was dropped and was replaced by
the GT-500KR ("King of the Road"). The GT-500KR sported the new Ram Air 428
Cobra Jet, still underrated at 335 bhp.
Production: -2D Hardtop: 249,447 - Fastback: 42,581 -Convertible:
Engines: -200 I6 115 bhp. 200 I6 120 bhp. -289 V8 195 bhp.
289 V8 271 bhp. -302 V8 230 bhp. -(Shelby Cobra GT-350) 302 V8 250 bhp.
390 V8 320 bhp. -390 V8 325 bhp. -427 V8 390 bhp. -(Cobra Jet) 428 V8 335 bhp @ 5400 rpm
(est. 410bhp), 440 lb-ft @ 3400rpm. -(Shelby Cobra GT-500) 428 V8 350 bhp.
(Cobra Jet) 428/335: 0-60 in 5.4 sec, 1/4 mile in 14.01@101mph.
Automotive related categories from our most trusted merchants.
The Mustang was restyled for 1969, gaining 3.8 inches of
length, all ahead of the front wheels, and about 140 lbs in curb weight. The Mach 1 body
style debuted in 1969 and came standard with a 351 cid V8 but could also be had with the
428 Cobra Jet, which now came in three states of tune. The first was a non-Ram Air
version, followed by the Ram-Air version which breathed through a shaker hood scoop.
Topping the list was the new Super Cobra Jet which came with the Drag Pack option. The
Super Cobra Jet used the shaker hood scoop, a modified crankshaft and stronger connecting
rods. The Drag Pack also came with limited-slip 3.91:1 or 4.30:1 rear axles and no air
conditioning. All three engines were underrated at 335bhp. All this power overwhelmed the
rear tires, which suffered from a 59/41% f/r bias which also hurt handling. But then,
these Mustangs weren't built for curves, just straight 1/4 mile lines.
The circle tracks were reserved for the Boss series of Mustangs. Named
after stylist Larry Shinoda's nickname for Ford president Semon "Bunkie"
Knudson, the Boss Mustangs were built to qualify the 429 V8 for NASCAR. The Boss 429
package came with a race ready 429 cid V8 with ram air induction, an aluminum high riser
and header type exhaust manifolds. Mandatory options included a four speed manual and a
3.91:1 Traction-Lok axle. Also included were an oil cooler, trunk mounted battery, race
suspension, and the best interior Mustang had to offer. Although impressive on paper, the
Boss 429s failed on the street where their dependence on high revs hurt their street
starts and the initial batch had incorrect valve springs that would stop winding at
4500rpm instead of 6000rpm. Nevertheless, it had good handling and would last through
1970. To combat Chevrolet's Camaro Z/28 in Trans Am racing, Ford built the Boss 302 which
used a 302 cid V8 treated to the cylinder heads from the racing 351 cid engine and Ford's
largest carb. It was underrated at the same 290bhp as the Camaro Z/28's engine and was
available with the shaker hood scoop. Shelby Mustangs were still available, though they
were more luxury oriented then ever before.
Spotlight Ad -1966 Shelby
GT350 in concourse condition
The Best Shelby GT350 on the
Both the Boss 302 and 429 continued into 1970. The 428 Cobra Jet continued
as the top engine choice for the Mach 1 Mustang. New for 1970 was the 429 Cobra Jet,
standard in the Boss 429. The 429 Cobra Jet was rated at 370 bhp while the Super Cobra Jet
was rated for 375 bhp. This would be the last year for the Shelby Cobras, which were in
fact left over 1969 models with some minor trim changes. A not so great end for a once
Production: - Mach 1: 40,970 - Convertible: 7,643 - Grande Hardtop Coupe: 13,581
Boss 302: 6,318 -Boss 429Mustang: 498 -
Engines: - 200 I6 115 bhp. - 250 I6 155 bhp. - 302 V8 220 bhp. - (Boss 302) 302 V8
290 bhp @ 5800 rpm, 290 lb-ft @ 4300 rpm. -351 V8 250 bhp. - 351 V8 300 bhp.
(Cobra Jet) 428 V8 335 bhp @ 5200 rpm, 440 lb-ft @ 3400 rpm. - (Cobra Jet) 429 V8 370 bhp.
(Boss 429 - Super Cobra Jet) 429 V8 375 bhp @ 5200 rpm, 450 lb-ft @ 3400 rpm.
2005 Ford GT Prototype, 67 Stang, and the 427 AC cobra shown above
helped launch the new GT500 at the New York auto show in March 2006
Ford says the 2007 Shelby Cobra GT500 Mustang will be the most powerful
factory-built Mustang in history, more powerful than the 1969 Mach 1 428 Super Cobra Jet
or even the legendary 1969 Boss 429. Think about that for a second. Let it sink in.
Mustang worshipers may take a knee if you have to, but the reality is this: When this car
hits the streets during the summer of 2006, it'll have 470-plus horsepower, making it the
most powerful Mustang ever built.
The new Shelby Cobra GT500 next to a 1967 Shelby Mustang GT500 KR, or King of the Road
model powered by a 428-cubic-inch V8 rated at 335 hp. The 500 hp new version has the
striping (nose to rear air-dam) and lowered stance giving it the classic menacing look.
Shelby Approves and Ford Builds the ultimate Mustang.
Ford is calling the car a unique collaboration between the legend Carroll Shelby and the
Ford Special Vehicle Team (SVT). "I've worked with the SVT guys for several years
now," says Shelby. "And I know they have the guts, the talent and the passion to
deliver the best performance Mustangs ever." Shelby, who built the legendary Shelby
Mustangs and Shelby Cobras in the 1960s, served as a senior advisor to the "Dream
Team" that was assembled inside the Ford Motor Company to develop and build the 2005
Ford GT supercar. But this one is truly a Musclecar legend reborn.
"Carroll Shelby is truly a living automotive design and racing car
builder legend, a Ford performance legend," says Phil Martens, Ford group vice
president of Product Creation. "It's a dream come true to be able to put the Shelby
name on a Mustang Cobra edition again."
Supercharged 5.4-Liter- The Shelby's supercharged 5.4-liter, 32-valve V8
is similar to the engine in the GT. Ford started with the cast-iron 5.4-liter Triton V8
truck engine and added aluminum heads from the GT, specially calibrated camshafts, a
Roots-type supercharger making 8.5 pounds of boost, and a water-to-air intercooler.
That's a supercharged 450-plus-horsepower, supercharged 5.4-liter V8. The
rear air splitter is flanked by chrome exhaust tips and all developed for curved road
Under that blower is an all-new low-profile intake manifold, which allows
the engine to fit under the GT500's special air-extraction hood. Fuel comes from a
dual-bore electronic throttle body borrowed from Ford's 6.8-liter truck engine program,
however, the larger radiator, increased-capacity cooling system and the exhaust manifolds
are unique to this application. The engine is also dressed with special "Powered by
SVT" finned cam covers which are reminiscent of the "Cobra Powered By Ford"
covers used by Shelby five decades ago, and it's backed by the same T-56 six-speed that
appeared in the supercharged 2003 SVT Mustang Cobra.
2007 Ford Shelby Cobra GT500 engine is awesome!
A screw-type supercharger with an air-to-water intercooler,
generating 9 pounds of boost, forces air into the cylinders, each of which has four
valves. Many of the engine components, such as the aluminum piston heads and bearings,
came from the development of the Ford GT. A T56 six-speed manual transmission is
also part of the GT500's powertrain, but there's no technological innovation here. The T56
is a tried-and-true, race-proven transmission that is very capable of handling the V8's
horsepower. The gearing is evenly spaced to allow the engine to use all of its torque to
drive the rear wheels. So what does all that hardware get you? According to Ford,
the GT500 will generate 500 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 480 lb-ft of torque at 4,500 rpm.
Solid Rear Axle- The GT500 chassis development started
during the 2005 Mustang program. "We spent a lot of time at the track developing the
new Mustang and ensuring it was capable of handling future performance derivatives,"
says Hau Thai-Tang, director of Ford Advanced Product Creation and SVT. The result,
according to Ford, will be SVT's signature chassis tuning with a balanced,
performance-tuned ride that still maintains the compliance required for everyday driving.
And Ford says it will accomplish these goals, with the GT500's MacPherson-strut front
suspension and three-link rear suspension, which locates a solid rear axle.
Although conventional wisdom says the antiquated rear-end design is in
conflict with building a state-of-the-art performance car, Thai-Tang says it isn't a
problem. "In terms of performance, the Mustang's solid-rear-axle setup in the GT500
has been proven in race competition this year with a Mustang FR500C taking the checkered
flag at the season-opening Grand-Am Cup race at Daytona," he points out. The GT500's
suspension is lower than a Mustang GT's, and uses recalibrated front and rear shocks,
upgraded front and rear stabilizer bars and revised spring rates. The key to the GT500's
three-link architecture, according to Ford, is the Panhard rod that provides precise
control over the rear axle.
A New Performance Era? You can bet on that! According
to Ford, the GT500 show car, which debuted at the New York auto show in March 2006, points
to a brand-new era in Ford Motor Company's performance future. A company press release
said, "By bringing together Carroll Shelby and Ford SVT, the company's commitment to
performance becomes as powerful as at any time in its history including the famed
'Total Performance' days of the 1960s." This one will not only mirror the original
Cobra GT500 ... it will improve on it in every way including 1/4 mile and road handling
performance. Get in line for this one, and bring a truck load of money, as they'll not be
a $2000 additional cost performance package to the base model price like in the 60's.
These will go for $40,000 +
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