History of the 1st Gen SVT Shelby Mustang gt500 (2007-2009)
The SVT Shelby Mustang was first introduced at the 2005 New York International Auto Show, and for the 3 years that the GT500 were in production they managed to produce approximately 10,000 units per year. The GT500 managed to be widely anticipated by car enthusiasts as rumors of its production swirled, but the car did not start delivery of this fifth generation of Mustangs until 2006. After the initial release of the GT500, the car was able to receive upgrades through the years that gave the car a unique sense of being truly upgraded rather than merely being rehashed as new.
HISTORY OF THE SVT SHELBY MUSTANG (1ST GEN)
The creation of the Ford Shelby GT500 began in 2006 when Ford Division’s Special Vehicle Team (SVT) entered into a partnership with Carroll Shelby to produce an all-new version of the Ford STV Mustang Cobra. The GT500 was based on the S197 Mustang platform and was given a supercharged version of the 5.4 liter V8, which had over 500 horsepower. The design of the frame was made with a clear link to the GT350 but was able to perform at levels that were unprecedented by other Ford Mustangs.
Although any car with the name Shelby in the name can be expected to be a performance car, the GT500 is no exception, the bulk of the work creating this car was placed on Ford’s SVT. Hau Thai-Tang, the director of Advanced Product Creation and Special Vehicle Team, stated on the GT500’s creation that their goal was not only to produce the most powerful Mustang at the time, but rather the most powerful Mustang ever.
The performance of the GT500 did manage to meet his expectations using the previously mentioned 5.4 liter V8, coupled with race-tuned suspension, and four-piston Brembo brakes to produce over 500 horsepower, which made it the most powerful Mustang at the time.
EVOLUTIONS AND CHANGES YEAR BY YEAR
The collaboration between SVT and Shelby produced the first generation of the SVT Shelby Mustang from 2007-2009, and each model released was able to outperform its predecessor in objective factors such as horsepower and torque. Each car released for the first generation is also considered to be made based on the S197 Mustang platform.
2008 FORD MUSTANG SHELBY GT500KR
For the year 2008, the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500KR, otherwise known as the “King of the Road”, was made. The car was produced as the 40th-anniversary limited production upgrade to the previously mentioned GT500. Doug Gaffka, a Ford SVT chief designer, worked closely with the Shelby team to ensure that the new GT500KR would be made in the image of the original Shelby muscle car.
The car was given a 5.4 liter supercharged version of the V8 engine found in stock GT500s but was also fitted with cold air intake. The GT500KR was made with a carbon fiber composite hood, functional vents, two twist-lock hood pins which made the look of the car strikingly akin to that of the original 1968 KR.
The Ford Mustang Shelby GT500KR was able to reach 540 horsepower, a measure above the stock GT500. In addition, the model was given unique 18″ x 9.5″ machined aluminum wheels with SVT/Shelby center caps and Goodyear Eagle F1 tires.
2009 FORD MUSTANG SHELBY GT500 SUPER SNAKE
The name Super Snake is ingrained into the Mustang image from the 1967 Super Snake produced by Shelby. At that time the car was created by Carroll Shelby with the purpose to focus on speed using the most advanced technology of the time. Though Super Snake production was ceased in the 1960s due to the fallout of Ford and Shelby, the Super Snake saw its return by Shelby as stock GT500s were modified to produce impressively powerful Mustangs.
Like previous models that gave some focus on looking aggressive, the 2009 GT500 Super Snake had a redesigned hood, with a sizable scoop, carbon-fiber front splitter, and carbon-fiber rocker panels. Air scoops were installed in the model’s rear pillar, which are above the car’s brake ducts. The Super Snake also featured 20” Shelby Alcoa wheels inside a set of Pirelli P-Zeros.
The performance upgrades were several steps ahead of the previous GT500 modifications, as the Super Snake made use of a Kenne Bell supercharged 5.4 liter V8 power-plant, which was able to produce over 725 horsepower. This impressive upgrade was unfortunately at a horsepower level that would void Ford’s warranty, so a less powerful variant of the Super Snake was created that was able to reach 600+ horsepower.
The upgrade also included a more efficient intercooler, a cold air intake, as well as a JBA exhaust system. These upgrades were mostly added to complement the supercharged engine’s boosted output. In addition, Adjustable Ford Racing dampers were added, and Baer six-piston front calipers were also installed to give the vehicle extra stopping power.
2010 PRUDHOMME SUPER SNAKE SHELBY GT500
The Prudhomme Edition Mustang Drag Snake is a massive upgrade from the stock GT500, its performance far outpaces the other first-generation SVT Shelby models. The Prudhomme Super Snake features a dragster-style hood scoop, which drives fresh air into a Kenne Bell-blown 5.4L power-plant. The combination of this engine with the use of race fuel allows the Prudhomme to output 800 horsepower, making it one of the most powerful Mustangs to date. The model can also be used in street tune which makes the horsepower a still-impressive 750.
Further upgrades come in the form of adjustable BMR front and rear suspension components and rear drag slicks on Bogart wheels. In terms of aerodynamic improvements, the model is fitted with lower side rockers and a rear drag wing for extra stability. The speeds that this model can reach also warrant a high level of safety features such as an 8-point roll cage, 6-piston front disc brakes, and a 5-point Impact safety harness.
Amy Boylan, president of Shelby Automobiles, expressed his desire to create a racing car that could continue their legacy of supremacy, and stated that Prudhomme Edition GT500 Super Snake, “gives Shelby enthusiasts today a way to rule the quarter-mile in their town.”
SVT SHELBY MUSTANG FAST FACTS
- Only 10,000 GT500s were produced each year.
- Deliveries of the Shelby GT500 began in May 2006.
- The first 2007 Shelby GT500 available to the public was sold for 600,000 dollars at the 2006 Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction.
- The Shelby GT500 was maximized to deliver the perfect balance between ride and handling according to Jamal Hameedi.
- The number of sales for the 2007 GT500 approached 11,000, which was extremely impressive for a specialty car.
LEGACY OF THE SVT SHELBY MUSTANG (1ST GEN)
The legacy of the SVT Shelby Mustang’s 1st generation is the 2nd generation, which was based on the S197 II platform. The first of the second generation was the 2010 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500, which was got a redesigned body, a 5.4 liter supercharged V8 engine, and a horsepower of 540. Beyond the body’s make, the interior design was also given a noticeable upgrade from previous iterations. Real leather was used in all seats, aluminum was used for the instrument panel, and several other cosmetic enhancements were made to give the car’s interior a premium but functional style.
George Saridakis, Exterior Design manager for Mustangs, said that the 2010 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 was the ultimate Mustang and that the car was about expressing power. This can be observed by the fact that the car was designed with front grilles that were reminiscent of the Shelby AC Cobra 427’s, which were known for their unique intimidating look.