Mustang Shelby 1000: Limited Edition 1,100HP ‘Stang For The Insane

March 28, 2012

If the recently launched 650 bhp Mustang Shelby GT500 has you crying out for even more power to twist through the live rear axle of Ford’s increasingly belligerent musclecar, then perhaps you’ll want to remove the lollipop from your mug and steer your sights towards this new creation from Shelby: The Shelby 1000.

Available in two states of tune – 950 bhp in ‘standard’ tune or 1,100 bhp in full-on ‘track’ tune – the Shelby 1000 marks the 50th anniversary of the first time Carroll Shelby slotted a big V8 into a small AC way back in ’62 and will have its official debut at the upcoming New York Auto Show.

Starting with the new GT500 as a base, Shelby completely strips the 5.4L V8 and adds a new crankshaft, camshaft, valve springs, new conrods and pistons, ports the cylinder heads, upgrades the exhaust and cooling systems and tops it all off by replacing the supercharger with a Kenne Bell 3.6L supercharger…

The openly faked/photoshopped 'lift-off' pic, compliments of Shelby themselves...

For the track-only 1,100 bhp full-on-nutter version, the tuning goes even further with American Racing headers, a Borla 3-inch exhaust and a Whipple 4.0L supercharger rounding out the madness.

Onto the handling upgrades; you get new anti-roll bars and firmer bushes along with new suspension uprights. Eibach adjustables, new control arms and a Watts link system also make the list. The brakes receive six-piston calipers up front and four-piston units out back while the aero mods include an aggressively vented and bulging hood (to contain all of that power, y’see…) along with a new front splitter, sideskirts and rear diffuser. The rear-end is also replaced with a 9-inch unit and is mated to an aluminium driveshaft.

Quite why you’d spend $149,995 (yes, you read that correctly) for even more power to be (arguably) wasted through the rear tires is beyond this writer’s grasp of motoring reason but hey, some people get absolutely enthralled by the prospect of owning such a thing, purely for schoolyard-levels of bragging rights, one could very easily (and rightly) assume. Only 100, in total, will be made.

And it’s also worth mentioning that the $149,995 does not include the base GT500 that you’ll have to give Shelby as a donor car in order to receive all of the above upgrades. If you’d prefer Shelby to do all of the work from scratch, then that’ll set you back a smidge over $200,000… and hopefully a pill to ingest that blanks-out the fact that you paid that much $ for a Mustang…

There are very few cars on the market nowadays that any motoring enthusiast might consider ‘kind of ridiculous’… add this to that list please.

(Promo-vid from the Road & Track folks…)

-Blake J.

Forgotten For Good: The ’74-’78 Ford Mustang II

December 12, 2011

From within the vast, long halls of the Better-left-unsaid files of American motoring comes this: The truly terrible ’74-’78 Mustang II.

Lee Iacocca - mastermind of the original 60's Ponycar, proudly displaying his new 'little jewel of a car'

When the fuel crisis of the early-’70s sounded the inevitable death-knell for big-block, mega-horsepowered V8 engines within the automotive industry, Ford was in the same camp as everyone else by initiating the fleet-wide downsizing efforts and subsequently harsh, power-sapping emissions controls that basically choked and neutered any ‘performance’ that may have existed in the first place. Gone was the 100-octane fuel and 325+ bhp Cobra Jet engines of recent latter days and in place was 87-octane lighter-fluid powering an asthmatic Pinto-sourced 4-cylinder engine dispelling a horrifically depressing 88 bhp. If you craved more power (and you would), Ford could offer you up a 2.8L ‘Cologne’ V6 sourced from Ford of Europe – gee, thanks…

The first year that saw the Mustang gain a 4-cyl. engine - no V8 was on offer

Throughout the mid-1970s leading up to the early ’80s, the onsluaght of ‘fake’ musclecars (what with their fake air-scoops that scooped nothing and tarted-up graphics promising ‘exciting’ motoring) didn’t exactly help matters either. The sting of industry-wide downsizing had bitten hard and nowhere was this more evident than with Ford’s attempts to glamourize and illusion-ize the depressing fact that their Ponycar’s damaged reputation was now a mere shadow of its former self.

The 1976 model with the 'performance pack' option - looks fast. Wasn't...

In 1975, Ford attempted to regain some of their former glory by bringing back the option of a V8 engine, but by then the 302 cu. in. motor was only able to chuck out a paltry 122 bhp – a new low for the legendary small block that had seen it carry 271 bhp just ten years earlier. The debilitating emissions equipment imposed by the Federal Government was made even worse by the fact that almost all of the American automakers were trying to gain economical fuel/emissions figures from 1960s engines – engines that were never designed for fuel economy in the first place.

Ford clung to their new creation though and marched on with this automotive catastrophe – in 1976 they introduced a ‘performance package’ option that saw a rather gaudy ‘Cobra II’ graphics pack (complete with iconic twin racing-stripes) emblazoned across their wheezing, still single-tail-piped embarrassment. 1977 saw the visuals (remember, there was no more performance) take on an even-more pronounced presence with loud, fibreglass air-dams, a chin-spoiler and a hood scoop that didn’t actually scoop anything. This was the act of dressing-up a polished turd taken to all-new heights (and lows)… Or so everyone thought….

The hit TV show, Charlie's Angels, saw Farrah Fawcett's character glamourize Ford's ailing creation

1978 was to be the ultimate low for the ailing, burnt-out Disco days of the Mustang. With the introduction/final-blow of the ‘King Cobra’, Ford must have surmised that buyers enjoyed the feeling of looking as if they were going fast while not exactly doing so – this was a page in the Mustang’s history that saw it borrow inspiration from the flashy, decal-identifying Pontiac Trans Am of the time. GM had a flame-belching chicken splashed across the hood of its ‘sportscar’ while Ford opted for a Cobra seemingly spewing out beams of venom – good comedy, that.

The final act - The King Cobra

Mercifully, the Mustang II’s existence came to an end after the 1978 model year after 5000+ models of the King Cobra were built, leaving behind a chapter in the once-proud Ponycar’s legacy that will forever be looked upon as the era best left forgotten.

-Blake J.

Pic of the Day: 1966 Ford Mustang GT Fastback

December 5, 2011

Not a lot to add here, really… What a gorgeous car. Love how the red pin-stripes on the tires and lower sills work so well against the grey/granite paintwork.

Le droooolll…

-Blake J.

POTD/Spotlight: 2013 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500

November 15, 2011

The numbers alone still haven’t managed to settle in: 650 bhp. 600 lb/ft torque. 200 mph… In a Mustang.

Allow yourself a moment to chew and pause (and then chew a bit more) on those numbers – that’s unbridled Supercar territory a la Pagani Zonda, Ferrari Enzo et al for heaven’s sake..! What is Ford’s thinking behind these monstrous power figures…?! Well, for one thing, they’ve been able to proudly proclaim that this new 5.8L Supercharged V8 is “the most powerful production V8 in the world” and secondly, it loudly trumps its home-based rival; the forthcoming ‘hot’ 2012 Camaro ZL1 with its *ahem* paltry 580 bhp…

The new BMW M5 arrives next year with a faintly ridiculous 562 bhp via a thoroughly complex and capable chassis that can easily cope with all of that power (and hefty weight) yet here Ford is churning 650 bhp through a chassis that can barely contain half of that. Info from Ford on ‘official’ detailed revisions and chassis updates are at this point, a bit on the lean side, but I couldn’t help reminding myself of that prior attempt from Ford a few years ago via stuffing ludicrous power in the Mustang… Remember the 600 bhp Shelby GT500 Super Snake…?

In the case of the forthcoming nutball 200 mph Shelby GT500 you receive a larger, more efficient Supercharger, updated camshaft profiles, cross-drilled blocks and heads and a carbon-fibre driveshaft. In the driveline department you receive an updated clutch, transmission and axle… albeit, still a ‘live’ rear axle. An optional ‘Performance Pack’ offers Bilstein adjustable shocks designed by SVT and a Torsen LSD. Tick off the ‘Track Package’ option as well and you’ll receive an external engine oil cooler along with transmission and rear diff coolers.

At least Ford hasn’t forgotten how to have fun. I smell a forthcoming Supercar (with this engine) in the pipeline from them…

-Blake J.

Pic of the Day: 1969 Mustang Mach 1 – 428 Cobra Jet

October 26, 2011

Muscle Cars. Gotta love ’em… and if you were fortunate enough to have been old enough to purchase a 2nd-hand musclecar in the 80’s for a relatively modest sum, then you will undoubtedly be one of those people that have a story (or two) to tell of their commanding power, presence, sound and somewhat terrifying handling traits.

Even during the late-80’s though, values of big-horsepower Mustang models from the musclecar-era were held in-check for the more well-to-do and pretty much maintained their rare and collectable status. Myself, I was able to sample (and own) a few Pontiacs and Mopars that had dipped into the areas of affordability throughout my spritely youth but the hypo-Mustangs always remained out of reach.

The 1969 Mustang Mach 1 (only available in a Fastback body) that came fitted with the monstrous 428 Cobra Jet engine delivered 335 bhp and was optioned with variously assorted suspension and visual add-ons to identify your Mustang above lesser-spec’d models. 1969 was also a bit of a highpoint for the Mustang as no fewer than 7 different factory high-performance models were available to the buying public (Shelby GT350 and GT500, Boss 302 and Boss 429 and the Mach 1 derivatives encompassing 4 different engine alternatives).

All told, there were nine different variations of V8 that you could choose from for your 1969 Mustang… Oh, to have had a license when petrol was a meager 35 cents per gallon…


-Blake J.

%d bloggers like this: