Ever since 1965 when the first tuned Shelby graced the world many people have come to address it as an all American icon. It all started when a man called Shelby took hold of the most successful muscle car to date,
|Rear of the convertible|
The Ford Mustang, and ‘played’ around with it. The effect was a car that at first confused many.
It looked different from normal mustangs. The free running Mustang (a wild horse) emblem was replaced by a wild looking cobra emblem. To add more confusion it had huge blue stripes and at the side were GT350 initials written on it. However in that pool of confusion, many Americans loved it to a level that it quickly grew to become one of the best tuned Mustangs to date.
|looks that will surely turn heads|
In 1967 marked the start of the Ford Shelby Mustang with the birth of the GT500. From then till now the Mustang is the fastest selling tuned car to date. A lot has changed though, the Shelby division is now a part of Ford and every time there is a new Mustang a tuned Shelby version has to be out.
BETTER THANKS TO SVT
With the new model, things have just got even better. At Ford’s Special Vehicle Team (SVT) base, the engineers have given it all-new aluminium 5.4-liter supercharged V-8 engine, which produces 550 horsepower. The new engine has an improved fuel economy than it predecessor.
|Functional rear spoiler|
They have also worked on the handling department. It now has Ford’s new Electric Power Assist Steering (EPAS) that works by improving the car steering response marking it easier to corner at high speeds. It also for the first time comes with traction control and other electrics that have made it and most American cars safer to drive. Slotted brake dust shields are also added to improve brake cooling and handling, and a new pedal box improves clutch and pedal efforts even more. A lowered ride height of 11 millimeters in front and 8 millimeters at the rear provides a sportier attitude and improved handling.
|Panoramic roof on the coupe|
The styling department has also done a good job. It looks nearly the same, in terms of characteristics as the old GT 500. It has an aluminum power dome hood which not adds to the Shelby’s appearance, it helps cool the engine through a hood extractor. The functional intakes now allow even more air to be pumped through the engine, producing more power and increasing the engine’s efficiency. Cold-air intakes also feed the coolest air possible directly into the air box, helping further increase horsepower.
|White gear knob|
The intake necessitated moving the Cobra snake badge to the other side of the grille to enable maximum airflow. The headlights are now lower and well shaped just like in the old GT 500. At the back is an all new functional spoiler which helps keep the rear wheels on the road. The rears lights almost look similar to the old GT500 but they echo elements of modernity thanks to the inclusion of the reverse lights in between the three brake lights. Under the bumper are two huge twin exhausts that give the Shelby it characteristic loud bassy voice.
The engineers have also made it quieter inside. It now has additional sound proofing material on either side of the instrument panel, additional sound absorption material behind interior trim panels, and a rear wheel arch liner to reduce noise while driving on gravel or wet surfaces. The result is that the driver can enjoy the music from the exhaust and engine and less road and air noise. Inside are two leather seats for a sizable adult and two rear seats to bring you kids along for some fun.
|GT500 written at the side|
There is also the ultimate package which comes with stripped seats, a huge gear knob with strips on it (looks great in white), Cobra logo on every seat and a huge stereo, if you get bored with the engine noise, that has TV and DVD video.
|Interior of the mustang|
With the coupe version one can opt for the huge formulated glass, which protects interior fabric material from solar radiation deterioration and discoloration by reducing solar light transmittance, or you can simply go for the much expensive and good looking convertible.
|Shelby Logo on all seats|
In terms of price let’s say there are two problems. First is the base price of Kshs. 4 million and top price of Kshs. 6 million (excl. taxes). This makes it a bargain for a powerful sports car but Ford only produces a few for the market, which are sold out before the actual car goes on production. The other problem is that it available on left hand drive only. To make it in right hand, you will have to order one from Australia which doubles the price to Kshs. 12 million.