Since the late 1960’s, the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 has represented the pinnacle of the Blue Oval’s muscle car lineup. At the launch for the newly released GT500, Ford and Hagerty brought out an original Shelby for media members to drive and compare against the much younger pony. Thanks to the TFLclassics YouTube Channel, we get to see how the most powerful road-going Ford ever built compares to the most powerful Mustang of its day.
When the original Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 came out back in 1967, the muscle car era was in full swing. The original Mustang was already immensely popular at the time, in part due to its new fastback styling and affordable $2,500 price tag. The standard Mustang was a good car, but it wasn’t quite enough of a performer for one Carol Shelby. Instead, Shelby’s new GT500 model was designed to be the fastest Mustang in a straight line that money could buy.
Under the hood sits a massive 7.0L V8 engine borrowed from Ford’s police interceptor model. Shelby wasn’t one to leave things stock, so the engine was modified with a cast-aluminum intake manifold from Ford’s race-ready 427 cubic-inch V8, along with twin 600-cfm Holley four-barrel carburetors. The tweaks were good for a gain of 10 horsepower, bringing the total output up to 355 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque. The hot-rodded V8 is mated to a C6 three-speed torque convertor automatic transmission, which could hit nearly 60 MPH in first gear. This helped the Shelby GT500 to run the zero to 60 mph sprint in 6.5 seconds, and continue through the quarter-mile in 13.6 seconds at 106 mph. The video below shows it all go down.
While those speeds were certainly quick back in the day, we’re sure Carol Shelby would be impressed by what the new 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 can do at the drag strip. Under the hood of the super-Mustang sits a supercharged 5.2L V8 that produces 760 horsepower and 625 lb-ft of torque, which is mated to a Tremec 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. The combination of huge power and a DCT capable of shifting gears in a mere 80 milliseconds allows the GT500 to accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds and run a quarter-mile in less than 11 seconds.
Over five decades may have passed, but the GT500 remains the fastest Mustang in a straight line, just as Carol Shelby intended. We happen to think both of these muscle cars are some of the coolest to ever come from Ford, but we know which one we would want to take home.