American icon, reborn: the 1967 Shelby GT500CR Continuation Car (2010)
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American icon, reborn: the 1967 Shelby GT500CR Continuation Car (2010): first official pictures
First Official Pictures
18 March 2010 10:48
We all have fantasies about meeting long dead heroes, dreams like seeing the Beatles play onstage, going dirt bike riding with Steve McQueen, or talking politics with JFK. Until they improve cloning technology, we won't be heading out to the desert with Steve, but there is one legend that is reborn and ready to ride.
An Oklahoma based custom coachbuilder called Classic Recreations announced at the auto-industry love-fest called SEMA last November that they had struck a deal with Shelby American to put one of the most famous Ford muscle cars ever built back into production - the 1967 Shelby GT500. Details of the resurrected supercar have been hard to come by in the four months since other than a few renderings floating around, and nice as they are, they don't do justice to the real thing. Recently, and quietly, in Las Vegas, the first prototype 1967 Shelby G.T.500CR rolled out of a transporter, into the Shelby American facility and then onto the open road for the first time. It was worth the wait.
The G.T.500CR is meant to be driven. Although the overall look is vintage Shelby, designer Jason Engel essentially starts with an original Mustang body shell, strips it down to bare metal, then retrofits the car with as much modern technology as they can pack in, including a hand-built fuel injected 427 (7.0L) Windsor-based small block, a six-speed overdrive transmission, modern coil-over suspension with rack and pinion steering and more. Additions like 5-point harnesses, and slotted 13 inch brakes mean that when you're on the road testing what up to 780 horsepower does to 245/40/17 Goodyear tires, you won't have to worry about primitive 1967 brakes or suspension. Essentially this is a modern sports car wrapped in vintage Shelby GT500 sheet metal.
Walk up to a G.T.500CR, and small unique details start to jump out, from the custom milled aluminum Shelby short-throw shifter, custom gauges and aluminum trimmed interior to the discreet front LED turn signals. Hand-stitched leather upholstery covers bolstered seats designed for high-performance driving, vintage A/C controls operate a modern climate control system, and digital fuel injection based on a factory Ford computer means the car has turn-key performance and a brain that can be accessed by any Ford dealer's code reader.
The car shown here is the "Performance" model, featuring a 545 horsepower hand-built engine, coil-over suspension, Classic Recreations' body panels, and well over 1,000 hours of manual labor. Each car is built by highly trained craftsman in the heart of America, from the mechanical components assembled in a clean room to the hand-rubbed paint job that - in truth - is far superior to anything that rolled out of a Ford factory in the 1960s. Classic Recreations is also offering a supercharged, 780 hp version called the "Venom", which will also feature a four-link rear suspension setup and subframe bracing along with a wide array of internal engine upgrades to support the extra power.
Latch the five point harness, twist the double-sided Ford key and suddenly you're Steve McQueen, Ken Miles or whoever your golden age automotive hero might be, because you're in a real Shelby Mustang and the scenery is flying by while the exhaust bellows the cry only 427 cubic inches of American muscle can produce.
The Shelby G.T.500CR starts around $119,000 - pricey, but when you consider the price of a vintage model and then consider how tough those cars are to drive on a regular basis, it all starts to make sense. These are custom-built vintage sex machines with modern reliability - turn key cool.