Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Shelby Mustang was a tuner sports car from the 1960s. It was a series of Ford Mustangs which were specially modified by Carroll Shelby's company and sold as a series. The program was factory-sponsored and production was eventually moved in-house. The spirit of the series continues today in the special Mustang Cobra models.
The first Shelby version of the Mustang appeared in 1965. All '65 Shelbys were painted white with (optional) parallel blue stripes from nose to tail. They also featured rocker panel stripes with the GT350 name. The engine was a modified K-code 289 hp (216 kW) Windsor V8 with special "Cobra" valve covers, tri-Y headers, a special intake manifold and Holley carburetor increased power from 217 to 306 hp (162 to 228 kW).
The 1966 was differentiated in body color (non-white versions were introduced - colors included blue, red, green and black, as well as the original white) and trim. The "LeMans" stripes were continued as an option, as in 1965. It featured special quarter-panel windows and rear air scoops on each side and an optional automatic transmission. A fold-down rear seat was now standard as well. Where early 1965 cars had black engine blocks, 1966 and later cars had the 289 engine was painted blue.
Shelby struck a deal with the Hertz car rental company to produce a special line of GT350s for rent. These GT350H cars are quite rare and sought-after today. Shelby produced 1000 of these cars; 800 in black, and 50 each in red, white, blue and green. The black cars all had gold stripes, whereas the colored cars only had Shelby side stripes, without the LeMans top stripes. Shelby would repeat this trick in 1987 with the Shelby CSX-T.
The new 1967 Mustang was followed with a new Shelby. It featured Mercury Cougar tail light panel, a flip-up spoiler, and two sets of air scoops on each side. This was also the first American car to feature a factory roll bar.
Shelby and Ford will return with a Shelby-branded Mustang, the Shelby Cobra GT500 for 2006. Introduced at the 2005 New York International Auto Show, the GT500 uses the 5.4 L Modular supercharged V8 from the Ford GT. 450 to 500 hp (336 to 373 kW) and 450 ft.lbf (610 Nm) will be available, designed to beat the Chevrolet Corvette. A Tremec 6-speed manual transmission, suspension tuning, a body kit, and 18 inch wheels will complete the car.
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