Peter Brock knows all about the Mustangs that his old pal Carroll Shelby built in California in the heyday of the most special of pony cars.
Hired in the early 1960s, Brock worked on the Shelby-American brand as a designer through 1965, including some of the bespoke pieces on the Shelby Mustang GT350s. He also designed the Ford-powered race cars Shelby’s group did like the Lang Cooper, De Tomaso P70 and the sleek, slick Cobra Daytona Coupes.
So Brock was certainly interested about the new 1967 Shelby GT500 replica that the 5-year-old Orlando-based Revology Cars is now building. He spent some serious time checking it out with company founder Tom Scarpello when the prototype was unveiled in March at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance.
“This year, he’s finally gone over the top, and the car is so real and better every year,” Brock said. “The whole car is so beautifully understated. That’s the thing I like about it the most. Everybody’s out here with all this super, hyper-chromed stuff. This is so beautifully done that I’m really impressed. It’s a car that you can drive every day and enjoy. I think he’s done it right.”
The 1967 Shelby GT500 was the last model done by Ol’ Shel and his gang at the Venice, Calif. site before Ford took control. Now, more than a half-century since they were new, Revology has added the GT500 to its repertoire of factory-approved replicas.
Pulling the cover off the prototype, Scarpello said his new car “is not a fantasy,” but reality. The price starts at $255,000 from the first company ever licensed by Ford to build brand-new reproduction Mustangs from the 1960s, while Shelby-American also gave its nod so they could build the GT350s and GT500s. And the prototype’s heart puts out a bit more than the original 355-hp GT500’s of 1967, since it has a Roush 5.0 RSC supercharged V-8 with direct and port injection making 710-hp and 610 lb.ft of torque.
“That is up 110 hp and 135 lb.ft. from the previous version. It makes its incremental power and torque thanks to a redesigned supercharger that’s more efficient, with better airflow and a larger intercooler for more dense intake charge,” Scarpello said. “… It is a very thrilling car to drive. The power-to-weight ratio is approaching that of the current Ferrari 488, which puts us in modern supercar territory in terms of power-to-weight.”
The original Mustang was introduced on April 13, 1964, at the New York World’s Fair, the world’s first pony car and so popular that more than 22,000 were sold in just the first weekend, according to Ford. It sparked the pony car revolution as Chevrolet Camaros, Pontiac Firebirds and AMC AMXs followed. By then, ex-racer Carroll Shelby had already worked with Ford to stuff V-8s in six-cylinder AC Cobra roadsters from England, as well as Ford power in Sunbeam Alpines. Even tiny 1964-67 TVR coupes got Mustang V-8s, rebuilt as Griffith 400s by late Jacksonville creator Jack Griffith.
Then Ol’ Shel joined with Ford to turn the Mustang into a powerhouse, starting with the 1965 Shelby GT350, then the GT350R race car, even a Hertz rental named 350H. Bigger is better, and in 1967 came the GT500 with a 427-cu.in. V-8, rollable in the cockpit and a big hood scoop and tail spoiler.
Soon, Ford took the Shelby Mustangs over, and there’s a supercharged 670-hp Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 for sale right now.
As for Scarpello, he spent six years as an SVT Ford executive, plus time with Jaguar and Nissan. In 2006, he said the idea to remake the classic Mustang started to “percolate,” aided by the fact that his first car was a 1965 fastback. When he first thought about doing new/old Mustangs, he said Ford officials he spoke with liked the idea.
He began Revology in 2014, launching a new 1966 Mustang unveiled at the 2015 Amelia Island Concours with a modern 5-liter Ford V-8, the first company licensed by Ford to build a new reproduction of one of its originals, with a Shelby American license to boot.
“The response was phenomenal, and we decided to go into production,” Scarpello said. “At the time we had four employees working out of a 1,400-sq.ft. shop at Winter Park. Five years later, we have 47 employees working out of two locations in Orlando with a combined 25,000-sq.ft.”
In 2016, Scarpello brought a 1966 Mustang Convertible GT and a black and gold 1966 Shelby GT350H to Amelia, then two convertibles and a white GT350 in 2017 after just unveiling the latter at the SEMA show in Las Vegas. Scarpello can build a classic car with a new engine under a federal rule regarding low-volume vehicle manufacture, and delivered its 50th Mustang in January, with 40 more planned in 2020 to clients in 11 countries.
Starting with a Ford-licensed Mustang body from Dynacorn International, Revology adds serious performance along with fit and finish and chassis stiffening changes. And modern comfort is behind old-school, like window winders that actually actuate power windows, plus a larger radiator, chassis stiffening and updated electronics.
The 710-hp GT500 also gets uprated 33-spline rear axles, Truetrac limited-slip differential, a Borla dual-exhaust system and Tremec transmission.
“It is the development mule for our latest and most powerful engine yet – the new Roush 5-liter RSC supercharged V-8 that puts out 710-hp and 610-lb.ft. of torque, up to 110-hp and 135 lb. from the previous version,” Scarpello said of the white prototype. “It makes its power and torque from a redesigned supercharger with better airflow and a larger intercooler that provides a better dense intake charge for greater power.”
Scarpello said the engine isn’t a highly-tuned exotic.
“It starts every time, it idles smoothly and it will sit in traffic with the A/C on full,” Scarpello said. “It does everything like a modern engine and that’s because it is. So, ’60s styling and character combined with modern performance, comfort, reliability and improved safety.”
The Ferrari Red production car he had on display had a 600-hp aluminum V-8, 6-speed manual, double-wishbone front/3-link rear suspension, with nappa leather interior. The GT500s ride on Shelby 10-Spoke alloy wheels with large disc brakes all-round.
For more on Revology, visit RevologyCars.com.
Dan Scanlan: (904) 359-4549