GT500, We’ll At all times Love You

First, let’s set the scene. Tire smoke and burnt rubber fill the air as a hulking monster drifts its means from nook to nook. The supercharger howls and a large V8 is barking and screaming away. 

Excessive of the insanity, the long-lasting Whitney Houston belts out her well-known 1992 hit “I’ll at all times love you” as this monstrosity shrinks off into the gap, persevering with to burn rubber because it screams away. 

It is a love letter to the Ford Mustang GT500. A love letter to one of many biggest autos to ever come out of Detroit and by far probably the most outrageous Mustang to ever hit the streets.

Let’s pay homage to our soon-to-be misplaced love.

Not One other Break-Up?!

As a lot as we love the Ford Mustang GT500, it won’t be a part of our fleet for the 2023 season. 

Look, relationships are exhausting to get proper. It takes equal quantities of belief, reliability, and the will to maintain issues recent and enjoyable in an effort to hold that flame burning scorching. Nicely, the Ford GT500 was sort of like that thrilling, passionate relationship you had whenever you have been in school. It was an insane quantity of enjoyable, however in the long run, it didn’t actually work out long-term. Our Ferrari, Porsche, Corvette, and Lamborghini are marriage materials however the GT500, ended up being extra of a fling. 

Sadly, the GT500 suffered the identical destiny as our McLaren, particularly, it was damaged… like on a regular basis! Each time we might get excited that the Mustang GT500 was again on its ft, it could endure one other random failure on a essential half that may sideline it for one more observe day. For such a burly, rugged machine, it certain couldn’t take a knock on the chin. Like all the pieces else since COVID, components wanted to restore the mighty GT500 have been extraordinarily exhausting to come back by and extremely costly. Actually, it was tragic to see this factor on the sidelines a lot as a result of it’s a miraculous machine with such a wealthy historical past.

Xtreme Xperience.s Mustang Shelby GT500 driving on a racetrack

 The place It All Started

As we speak, Carroll Shelby and Mustang are almost ubiquitous, however again within the Nineteen Sixties, they have been simply studying to bop. Shelby’s first manufacturing particular was the long-lasting GT350, which was quickly to be adopted by the “Hire-A-Racer” Hertz GT350-H. Very similar to any race automobile, these Mustangs earned their efficiency credibility by shedding weight, including energy, and beefing up all the pieces from the drivetrain to the chassis. They have been thinly veiled homologation specials that have been, frankly, misplaced on the road. 

Photograph: Caranddriver.com

By 1967 Shelby wished one thing utterly totally different, one thing with extra energy. A real muscle automobile finished the Shelby means and the 67’ GT500 was it. Ford and Shelby developed a 428 cubic inch V8 (that’s 7.0 liters for you metric lovers) that cranked out 355 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque. Along with the added energy, stiffer entrance springs, an upgraded anti-roll bar, and Gabriel shock absorbers took care of the chassis. A 4-speed handbook or 3-speed computerized transmission was supplied, however most have been bought as a stick shift. 

A yr later, the GT500KR was born, bumping energy all the best way out to “someplace close to 400” horsepower, however it was short-lived. By 1971, the road was lifeless because of the oil disaster. Nevertheless, it could be revived in 2007 following the introduction of the “Retro Revival” S197 Mustang. Shelby was again within the saddle, however this time, he known as for supercharged horsepower – 500 to be precise! For the yr, the 2007 GT500 was quick. Actually, actually, quick, however it was additionally an terrible handful on the observe. Strong axles aren’t precisely nice at dealing with the corners. 

Photograph: MotorTrend.com

When the Mustang was refreshed in 2011, the GT500 was additionally refreshed however it could go the best way of the buffalo for 2015, following an all-new Mustang debut. A mannequin that was leaner, meaner, and constructed to deal with extra than simply going quick in a straight line. It might take Ford till 2020 to come back out with a GT500 model of the newest Mustang, and nicely, it was well worth the rattling wait.

We Had Some Good Instances

Okay, so this factor is nuts and it makes no apologies about the way it will get the job finished. In spite of everything, whenever you’re packing 760 horsepower underneath an enormous, lengthy hood, folks will discover. Not solely is it quick as may be however it’s additionally remarkably well-mannered within the corners. Now, is it Porsche or Ferrari-level exact? No. Is it exact for what’s purported to be an all-American muscle automobile? You guess. 

Driving this factor is a wild expertise and our instructors actually loved the problem of laying down fast lap occasions. Getting the facility down with rear-wheel drive ended up being the principle problem, however all that energy and all that madness, nicely, it’s only a massive previous barrel of guffaws. We cherished it, that’s till issues began to go improper. 

Can we are saying pink flags?

Xtreme Xperience's Mustang Shelby GT500 in Pit Lane at Utah Motorsports Campus

…And Not So Good Instances

Whereas we love the Ford GT500, it’s merely not good for what we do as a result of it’s simply not sturdy sufficient to run each weekend. 

In our time with it, these are simply a few of the points we bumped into:

  • Failed superchargers (one automobile has had it fastened/changed 3 occasions)
  • Catalytic converter failure
  • Transmission points with overheating additionally trigger poor shifting

As we talked about, getting components to repair this bespoke Mustang actually proved to be an issue for our group. At one level, we waited over two months to get the items to interchange the exhaust system! For a corporation that makes cash from operating vehicles, it was not a superb match. Plus, individuals who booked and anticipated to drive the GT500 have been always disregarded within the chilly. Not cool. 

For driving on the road or on weekends, nice. Monitoring it each week? 

It’s me, not you. 

Xtreme Xperience.s Mustang Shelby GT500 driving on a racetrack

Is that this a “See You Later?”

For now, sure, we have to let this one go however that doesn’t imply that the nastiest of the nasty Mustangs gained’t ultimately make its means again into our fleet. 
Ford is planning on releasing another version of the GT500 in 2026, carefully following the discharge of the extremely hyped 2024 Mustang lineup. There’s a reasonably good probability that Xtreme Xperience might be on prime of the listing for buying this monster, however time will inform if and when that day truly involves fruition. Each time a brand new Shelby is on the horizon, the rumors fly and we attempt to keep away from the rumor mill as greatest we will.

Let’s Experience It Out

Okay, our Mustang is about to hit the pasture however that doesn’t imply you’ll be able to’t get yet another wild experience in!

For the remainder of 2022, the Ford Shelby GT500 remains to be obtainable to drive and we would like you to come back out and expertise this All-American monster earlier than it’s too late. You’ll have the chance to discover ways to tame this wild horse from our instructors, who’ve spent hours studying and honing one of the best strategies to realize most lap occasions. In spite of everything, you’ll be able to’t simply fling round 760 horsepower and rear wheel drive, it must be lovingly dealt with with a fragile contact. 

So, don’t succumb to FOMO. Get out right here and drive this factor to see why we’re going to miss it, although it’s been such a ache within the coronary heart. 

Xtreme Xperience's Mustang Shelby GT500 in Pit Lane at Utah Motorsports Campus
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