The Early Years (1964-1966)

Launched in April 1964 as a mild pony car, the Ford Mustang swiftly transformed into a full-fledged muscle car within a year. The pivotal moment came in 1965 with the introduction of the Shelby GT350, a track-focused variant. Two years later, Carroll Shelby unleashed the GT500, marking a departure from the GT350 with its big-block V8 and increased power.

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The GT500, designed for road use, boasted a substantial FE series 428-cubic-inch (7.0-liter) engine with dual four-barrel carburetors atop an aluminum intake manifold, generating 360 horsepower. Production continued until 1969, with leftover units sold as 1970 models. In total, 5,464 GT500s were built, excluding the 1,452 GT500KR examples from 1968.

The 1967 GT500, with 2,050 units produced, holds distinction as the most common and desirable due to being the first-year iteration. While many of these cars still exist in 2023, the number of all-original survivors is significantly lower.

Unveiling a Weathered GT500

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Featured on YouTube’s “American Mustangs,” a Dark Moss Green GT500 is showcased as a result of an incomplete restoration. Despite a shiny exterior, issues such as peeling paint and bubbling on the rear fenders reveal signs of an unsuccessful restoration attempt.

Notably, the original 428-cubic-inch V8 has been replaced with a 427-cubic-inch side-oiler variety sourced from a 1968 Ford. The engine now features Cobra Jet heads and a triple carburetor setup. The interior, originally all-black, has been changed to Parchment by a previous owner.

While the white stripes are missing due to the halted restoration, the car’s deviation from factory specifications extends to the interior color and the replacement engine. The four-speed gearbox, however, remains an original Shelby unit.

Assessing the GT500’s Future

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The Dark Moss Green GT500, while in need of extensive work to regain period-correct authenticity, also presents the option for a more straightforward approach—TLC and a repaint. The decision rests on whether to preserve its golden-era charm or embrace a modified, usable muscle car.

# FAQs

##Q1: How many GT500s were produced?
A1: Shelby built 5,464 GT500s, excluding the 1,452 GT500KR examples from 1968.

##  Q2: Why is the 1967 version considered the most desirable?
A2: The 1967 GT500 is the first-year iteration, making it both the most common and desirable among enthusiasts.

## Q3: What modifications has the showcased GT500 undergone?
A3: The GT500 features a replacement 427-cubic-inch engine with Cobra Jet heads, a triple carburetor setup, and a Parchment-colored interior, deviating from its factory specifications.

## Q4: Should the GT500 undergo extensive restoration or a more straightforward approach?
A4: The decision depends on whether one aims to restore the car to period-correct authenticity or prefers a modified, usable muscle car.

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