Since 1967, the Shelby GT500 has represented the pinnacle of the Ford Mustang lineup. Big V8 horsepower, tremendous performance, and a gnarly attitude has been the pony car’s staple in every iteration since Carroll Shelby’s initial project. The current S550 generation Shelby GT500 is unquestionably the most well-rounded version we’ve seen to date, bringing supercar-rivaling levels of performance at both the drag strip and road course. That said, the car’s independent rear suspension, dual-clutch gearbox, and modern performance rubber make it a lot less of a monster behind the wheel than its S197 generation predecessor. We know that the 765 horsepower S550 variant is faster to 60 mph and down the 1/4 mile, but now we have a chance to see an S197 Shelby GT500 take on the standing mile at Johnny Bohmer Proving Grounds.
The S197 Shelby GT500: A Maniac’s Mustang
The S197 Shelby GT500 is quite possibly responsible for the current horsepower war we are witnessing in the muscle car segment. When the updated car arrived for the 2013 model year, it brought with it a new 5.8L V8 engine. Known as the Trinity V8, this motor pumped out a ludicrous 662 horsepower and 631 lb-ft of torque. While figures like that seem somewhat commonplace in the current age of performance vehicles, that was enough oomph to make the Trinity V8 the most potent eight-cylinder engine on the market. Combine that with the fact that this Ford Mustang utilized a live rear axle, and came exclusively with a 6-speed Tremec TR6060 manual gearbox, it’s no surprise the GT500 was a handful.
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The Standing Mile
All of that power translates to some serious speed potential however. Readers of MC&T may recognize that this is the same S197 Shelby GT500 that recently tried to crest 200 mph at the Johnny Bohmer Proving Grounds. And while the car only managed to do 183 mph before running out of room at the 2.7 mile facility, it clearly had something left in the tank. Interestingly enough however, the car gets fairly close to those speeds utilizing just a single mile. During the standing mile test, this particular S197 Shelby GT500 ripped off a trap speed of 163 mph, which is pretty impressive for any stock Ford Mustang. Particularly one that is nearly a decade old at this point. It is worth noting that this speed was a calculated average of two runs, with winds averaging between 7 and 19 mph during the tests.
The S197 Shelby GT500 is an aging muscle car at this point, but the performance on tap is thoroughly modern. And while this car remains stock, modified versions of this Ford Mustang have become a common sight at these sort of standing mile events. That Trinity V8 engine loves to make incredible power when breathed on the right way, bringing the engine right in line with the latest and greatest coming out of Detroit today. Sure the new GT500 is probably better in every way, but these things are genuinely impressive and oh-so cool.