Lovers of muscle cars will be well aware of Mustangs. There is simply a lot to love about Mustangs, be it their aggressive stance, bulky aesthetic or powerful performance.
Over time, the car manufacturing industry has experienced a variety of significant technological advancements, which has significantly upped performance as we know it. The recent Mustangs have been a true testament to this statement, with the newest 2022 Ford Mustang GT500 cranking out 760 HP, making it the most powerful factory-produced standard run Mustang to date. Mustangs are now widely recognized as properly powerful American sports cars.
Gear heads have long debated whether vintage is better than modern, with a variety of arguments thrown both ways. Is style or performance the most important aspect? Naturally aspirated or forced induction engines?
While there is no ‘right’ answer, there are a variety of reasons to choose the vintage 1967 Shelby GT500 Over The 2022 Model.
The Vintage Weapon
The 1967 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 is truly one of the most beautiful muscle cars ever created.
In many ways, the first-ever Shelby GT500 defined what a high-performance muscle car should be. For those not familiar with the Shelby namesake, Caroll Shelby was a racing enthusiast, professional racer and the head of the Ford performance department. His wild creations were badged with the Shelby logo and formed the performance vehicles of Ford. Shelby hit big-time success with the 1965 GT350, which won multiple Gran Prixes and put Ford on the map against heavy-weight competitors like Jaguar and Ferrari.
The Shelby GT500 emerged in 1967 and basically redefined how performance muscle cars are understood. Powered by a truly monstrous 7.0-liter big-block V8, the power was sent to the rear wheels through either a four-speed manual or three-speed automatic transmission. In terms of performance figures, the ’67 GT500 created 355 HP and 420 lb-ft of torque, leading to 0-60 MPH of 6.1 seconds. However, performance figures were likely to be even higher in the real world. While this may seem somewhat slow in comparison to today’s acceleration times, do remember that this was more than 50 years ago, and it remains pretty impressive even today, especially considering the performance of some of the more affordable sports cars.
Aesthetically, the GT500 is also significantly different from the standard Fastback Mustangs of 1967, implementing hood scoops, side scoops, ducktail spoiler and various Shelby adornments throughout. The aggressive, bulky front end matches the powerful performance, creating a classic muscle car that is menacing in both looks, feel and performance.
The Modern Muscle
The newest iteration of the Shelby GT500 pays homage to GT500s of the past but pushes performance to all new levels.
The reason we are all here is power. So let’s get straight to it, the newest generation Ford Mustang Shelby GT500s features a new hand-built, cross-plane crank 5.2-liter V8 engine with a 2.7-liter Eaton TVS R2650 supercharger sitting on top. This monstrous engine, named the Predator, creates a monstrous 760 HP and 625 lb-ft of torque, leading to a 0-60 MPH time of just 3.3 seconds and a top speed of 180 MPH. This newest iteration features double the power and is almost twice as fast in accelerating to 60 MPH. Again, keep in mind that while the numbers are massively different, more than 50 years have passed since the original 1967 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 and the technological advancements that have occurred directly correlate to the increase in performance.
Moving to the feature set of this newest Shelby GT500, it also features Cobra adornments in various locations, but similarities basically end there. Inside, surfaces are garnished in leather, carbon fiber and Alcantara maximizing comfort while keeping the sporty look. Additionally, Recaro bucket seats ensure that the driver remains glued in one place, provided that sheer power doesn’t already pin the driver to their seat. Externally, the car features a similarly aggressive appearance overall, however, the specifics of what comprise the aggressive exterior are very different. Hood scoops and the snarling front end grille of the new GT500 ensure that onlookers realize that they are dealing with a Shelby, while the 4 exhausts ensure that the Shelby is heard.
Why Vintage Reigns Supreme
So with the superior performance of the new GT500, why is it that the vintage weapon reigns supreme?
First and foremost, it is the rarity. With only 2,050 Shelby GT500s built in 1967 and no indication of just how many remain today, prices for a 1967 Shelby GT500 is significantly greater than for a 2021 Shelby GT500. Prices for a 2021 Shelby GT500 start at $72,900, whereas vintage 1967 Shelby GT500s start in the low $200,000s and climb to over $2 million. Furthermore, knowing that you have a car that cannot be easily acquired anymore and is exclusive promotes sentimental value of the performance of the newer variant. Historically, the car is a classic with movie features, success in the racing world and an icon of American muscle car culture.
If that is not enough, the car itself is a lot of fun to drive and still sporty enough to be enjoyed today, provided that you are not too scared to drive a vintage Mustang.
Sources: SuperCars.Net and Ford