Shelby Mustangs: Everlasting Allure

 by David Anthony

1966 Shelby Mustang GT 350

1966 Shelby Mustang GT 350

Shelby Mustangs are legendary and they are known amongst true fans as classics that can never be duplicated. They were the first "muscle cars," the first street racing cars that got young men's blood boiling everywhere. They were the beginning of the sports car and unfortunately, only 14,559 of them were made in the six year span that Carroll Shelby modified Ford Mustangs.

Shelby's dream was to give the Mustang a new look, a face lift in a way. And once he got a hold of it, it was never the same. One of the major changes it went through was the engine. Shelby gave it a huge engine, making the new and improved Mustang one of the fastest and potentially, most dangerous on the road.

The first Shelby Mustang, the GT350, appeared in 1965 and was painted white with the classic parallel blue stripes. It was essentially a race car with few comfort amenities. It wasn't until the 1967 model that this car actually received a back seat! It was that year, in fact, that Shelby decided to dress up his creations and tone down the racing element a bit. The result was the GT500, which was a perfect blend of mean racing machine and stylish street vehicle. The GT500KR (King of the Road) appeared in 1968 and quickly became a favorite amongst fans. Many enthusiasts today view the KR as the most powerful Mustang ever produced.

Today, many Shelby Mustangs have survived, but they need extensive restoration to ever look like they did in their glory days. The rare "barn" finds are few and far between. But, for those that have somehow stumbled upon a Shelby Mustang stored pristinely for some thirty plus years in a rural barn somewhere, the find is unbelievably sweet.

Purchasing a Shelby Mustang today takes a lot of research before you should allow any cash to change hands. Shelby buffs know how to make a reproduction look exactly like an original and if you don't do your homework, you just might get duped.

Knowing what parts a Shelby Mustang uses is essential. Mechanics that know these cars would never put the wrong parts in them. If you know your stuff, you would also know that a Shelby Mustang equipped with the wrong parts is a signal that you may not be purchasing the real thing. Keep in mind that this is not always a sign of a fake, but it's a definite red flag. Some people truly just do not know how to care for a Shelby and even if it is authentic, you're going to spend a lot of time and a lot of money restoring it to its original glory.

Checking the VIN number is the best way to know if you're purchasing an authentic Shelby Mustang. The person you're buying the automobile from should have the original paperwork too- some even have the signature of Carroll Shelby on the paperwork.

Purchasing a Shelby Mustang in mint condition isn't cheap. In fact, it will set you back a few hundred thousand dollars. In the 1960's, these cars were going for $4,000-6,000--you could barely purchase a good engine for that today!

Owning a Shelby Mustang in the 1960's was a status symbol and in many ways, it still is. Shelby Mustangs symbolized the beginning of an era and the few that own one today are considered to be very lucky.

David Anthony is, among other things, a web developer and Ford Mustang enthusiast. Visit his site to see the latest clutterless Ford Mustang listings on eBay Motors(tm).

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