1967 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 fastback restomod

The 1967 Ford Mustang fastback restomod is the latest creation from Galpin Auto Sports. This all-new supercharged pony car retains its classic heritage while providing modern appointments, performance, and style. It draws inspiration from 1967 Shelby GT500s enhanced by modern suspension, tires, and aerodynamic elements  – including cues from the 50th anniversary “GT500KR.”

1967 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 is a more extreme version of that icon, but it is still essentially an American icon.

The original Shelby Mustang was a tribute to the European sports cars of the 1950s. It was said to have been designed in less than one hour by Carroll Shelby in his hotel room in Las Vegas.

The car was based on an earlier “angry bird” model. It had a powerful engine, beautiful styling, and excellent performance. But its high price limited sales, and it didn’t catch on until after the oil crisis of 1973 when gas prices were so high that owning a fast car seemed like a good deal. At that point you could get a V8-powered Shelby for the same money you were spending on gas.

The 1973 oil crisis made the original Shelby expensive. By then it had lost its radical appearance and become just another pony car, with softer lines and more conventional styling.

What happened to the 1967 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500?

It was a fast and beautiful car, and for a while it was the fastest and most powerful production Mustang ever built. But soon after it came out, the company that had originally produced the car went bankrupt, and Ford kept it in limited production until 1973.

Today no one knows how many Shelby Mustangs were built, but estimates range from 6,000 to 6730. A few have been found in barns or storage sheds or garages or hidden in the back of closets. But most are missing, including my car.

Why did so many of these cars disappear? There are two kinds of collectors. One kind is motivated by desire for the thing itself: my car is very pretty, so I want it. The other kind is motivated by desire for something they think they can do with it: I want to drive my Shelby on the track, so I’m going to buy one of these cars just because I can’t find one I like more.

People who are driven by desire for the object are typically interested only in things they can actually use; they are not prepared to spend money on something they can’t use. People who are driven by desire for something they think they can do with an object are often willing to spend money on it if there is a market for that thing. It turns out that there isn’t much of a market for Shelby Mustangs anymore, though the cars themselves still come up for sale occasionally.

1967 ford mustang fastback restomod
1967 Ford Mustang fastback restomod

People think of restomod as a recent thing, and so do I. But the practice of restomod has been around for decades.

In the 1960s, Shelby American was already building “stock” cars that were based on models from earlier years. It was starting to make cars like the GT40, and it had an engine factory and a dealership network. The GT500 was a surprise. It was expensive and rare, but it outsold the other Shelby models by a factor of three or four, and it took over from the GT40 as the company’s flagship car.

Shelby would be better off if it had stuck to making stock cars and engines for other people’s chassis. But it didn’t: its engineers came up with ways to make the big engine work in small cars. And they came up with new ways to make small-car bodies work in large-car frames, in effect reusing existing components in new ways.

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