1968 Ford Shelby GT500 – King of the Road
When it comes to Mustangs, there is really no such thing as a ‘bad’ one. Mustangs have been a favorite by many car enthusiasts for their classic line, sophisticated curves, as well as powerful engines. If you have ever seen the 2000 movie Gone in Sixty Seconds starring Nicholas Cage, you would know exactly how well Mustangs are built from the low-level tires to the sleek stretch of the hood. Of course, the “Eleanor” Mustang in Gone in Sixty Seconds is a 1967 Shelby so despite the close resemblance to the 1968 Ford Shelby GT500, there is really no comparison – the 1968 GT500 grabs the attention better and offers an engine that car enthusiasts will envy.
1968 Ford Shelby GT500 History
Dubbed as “King of the Road”, there are a few Mustangs rarer than the 1968 GT500. That is why it is not surprising that a lot of movies use this baby as an inspiration in the big screen. Prior to the 1968 GT500, however, Ford Mustangs were already a favorite for many, thanks to the sleek lines, the best-of-the-year engines, and of course – the fact that they are made by Ford.
Despite the fact that the 1968 was largely based from the 1967 Mustang Fastback, there are marked differences between the two. For one thing, the King of the Road boasts of a better engine under its hood and slight changes in the interior that speaks of that particular year has to offer.
The 1968 Shelby Mustang came after the stunning success of the pony from Ford. At this point in time, the pony was considered to be one of the best the car manufacturer had to offer. Ford and Carroll Shelby, however, felt that more improvements could be made. This is how the 1968 GT500 King of the Road came about as the 428 Police Interceptor engine came out and was immediately integrated into the 1968 design. For the 1969 model, however, the “King of the Road” moniker was dropped so despite the closeness of their designs, the fact is that the 1968 GT500 is the only “King” Mustang which is offered by Ford.
1968 Ford Shelby GT500 Style and Lines
The interior is not much different from the 1967 design it was inspired from. Obviously, some changes were made to make sure that the superiority of the 1968 can be seen – including a cobra-badge steering wheel. For the most part, however, the 1968 GT500 features a clean and large dashboard with enough leg room to make 6-footers happy. Power steering, air conditioner, AM radio, as well as tilt-away steering column are also available in the GT500 – all of which can be found in standard Mustang models.
Additional features such as Comfortweave upholstery and molded panels for the doors can also be spotted, but they are mostly additions that do not distract from the overall excellence of the Mustang. Of course, if you are the type who likes their creature comforts, the car is definitely a good choice.
Under the Hood
Boasting one of the most powerful engines to be released by Ford, the Shelby GT500 comes with the 428 Cobra Jet with a horsepower of 400 and a 7.0-liter V-8 with 440 pound-feet of torque. It has a manual transmission that offers a smooth operation, especially with an easy-to-maneuver steering wheel. Combining excellence in operation and engine, the Ford can go from 0 to 60 mph in as little as 6.5 seconds. For top speed, expect it to reach as much as 140mph. Yes, you might argue that this is not saying much considering the value of the cars today, but for 1968, this was an amazing feat. Doubled with the excellence of the design and the inarguably class of the 1960s going on 1970s, the Ford Mustang is one hell of a choice.
There is also an automatic transmission of this baby although if you really want to make the most out of the car, the manual 4-speed transmission is your best choice.
Size and Safety
Created in the days when there was no such thing as a ‘compact’ car, the 1968 GT500 boasts of a low-riding size and shape that offers sufficient room for the driver and the passengers. Even the trunk is wonderfully roomy, giving owners the chance to put in practically anything In the back and take them around without any problems.
Fortunately, this model was released on a time when car safety is already a primary concern. Created with state of the art seatbelts, powerful brakes, excellent suspension and other safety measures – the GT500 can offer you sufficient protection in the event of any problem. Of course, any damage to this car would be sacrilege so it is strongly advised that you be very careful when taking this car for a spin.
1968 Ford Shelby GT500 Prices
A classic car deserves a classically upward price. After all, the GT500 is built to look good at any point in time. Bring this baby on the streets of New York, Las Vegas, or Texas and you will be sure to pull the eyes of every person on the road. For this kind of advantage, the 1968 Ford Shelby GT500 pulls in around $189,000 to $200,000 at a nearly-mint or well-cared for condition. Of course, you will have to factor in the changes and updates made by the original owner – but you can be sure that very few will actually dare to make substantial changes with this classic.
All in all, the 1968 Shelby Mustang GT500 “King of the Road” is named such because you just cannot help but look at it as it goes sailing on the pavement. The kind of car that can only be appreciated by true connoisseurs of the Mustang, the 1968 is a reminder of days when cars were not just used for transportation – they were a form of art.
Perfect for basically anyone who appreciates the classic beauty of the 1968 Shelby Mustang GT500, this baby does not come cheap – at least not in this day and age. With proper care,
however, you will find that the car also makes for an excellent investment with a price that is bound to go higher, especially since their numbers are dwindling fast. Those who are interested in the car will find it hard to locate one and should one become available – it is going to go fast!
This 1968 Ford Shelby GT500 is NOT a GT500KR “King of the Road” but it has been completely restored and it has earned the title “The World’s Fastest Shelby” when it broke all records in the 60’s.]]>