The 2007 Shelby GT took the “Rent-A-Racer” Shelby GT-H out of the rental fleet and put it into the hands of any Mustang fan willing to fork over the $36,970 needed to buy it. The GT-H could only be rented at a handful of select Hertz locations and fans loved the spec so Ford decided to make it a model you could buy off the lot at any Ford dealer.
By 2007 Shelby fever had reached an all time high and there was a massive public demand for the used Shelby GT-H’s from Hertz. Ford and Shelby decided it was time to offer the car to the public and sold it through Ford dealers as the Ford Shelby GT.
At a base MSRP of $36,970, the 2007 Shelby GT slotted in between the Mustang GT and below the supercharged Shelby GT500. Ford saw the 500-horsepower Shelby GT500 as the ultimate in Shelby Mustang performance and the Mustang GT as the default performance Mustang, so the opportunity for the Shelby GT was to be positioned as a more dynamic, more engaging version of the Mustang GT that was just shy of the top dog GT500.
“Our goal is to offer a steed for every need,” said Barry Engle, general marketing manager, Ford Division. “The Shelby GT is a low-volume, extremely collectable Mustang for enthusiasts. It offers a few more customers the opportunity to experience the magic of Mustang and Carroll Shelby firsthand.”
The Shelby GT was really the sweet spot in terms of performance. It was not as insanely powerful as the super-high-output GT500 with the supercharged Ford GT engine and special enough to really be better than the Mustang GT. The V8 is strong, with a great exhaust roar, and it feels plenty powerful for the street. The shifter was great and a joy to use. The chassis and suspension were also a step on from what we were used to in Mustangs of the era. This was a special car.
The upgrades were worth the money. First, all 2007 Shelby GT models started life as Mustang GTs which was already a very solid base car for the modifications. Ford took those GTs and shipped them from its Flat Rock, Michigan, assembly plant to Shelby Automobile’s facility in Las Vegas for modification before delivery to Ford dealerships.
The 2007 Shelby GT was offered only in the coupe body style. It was visually almost identical to the GT-H with the same side scoops, aggressive nose treatment, and brushed-aluminum grille with offset Mustang logo. Both hoods were secured with pins, but the Shelby GT’s featured a scoop.
All GT-Hs were had metallic silver Le Mans stripes (instead of the Hertz-specific gold on the GT-H). The GT was available in both white or black exterior colors (while the GT-H cars were only available in black). White cars got polished aluminum wheels while black cars got black wheel centers.
The GT-H and Shelby GT were similar under the hood too with all the GT’s performance hardware being the same as that on the GT-H. Both cars got the Ford Racing Power Upgrade Package (FR1) added to the already strong naturally aspirated, three-valve, 4.6-liter V-8. The Shelby GT was rated at 319 horsepower with 330 pounds-feet of torque. Modifications to intake and exhaust were similar, as was the addition of a strut-tower brace. Ford Racing performance mufflers and an X-pipe, replacing the standard H-shaped crossover, complete the powertrain mods were also part of the package.
Underneath, Ford Racing provides new struts and shocks, which reduce the ride height about an inch and a half. Stiffer anti-roll bars improve body control and make for flatter cornering. And a race-inspired twin-tube strut tower base increases chassis rigidity in the engine bay and sharpens up steering response. The Ford Racing bits are factory developed, well matched to each other, and warranted by Ford. Last, the entire rearend is swapped for a new unit carrying a 3.55:1 diff ratio; it’s cheaper and faster to change out the entire axle than to open up the pumpkin and replace the ring and pinion.
Here’s where the GT and GT-H diverge. While the rental can only be obtained with an automatic transmission, the GT is offered with your choice of the same five-speed autobox or a five-speed manual. The latter sports a stubby Hurst shifter wearing a white shift knob that looks right out of the 1960s. The GT-H you rent from Hertz has its traction-control defeat switch, er, defeated (these folks aren’t stupid). But since the Shelby GT owner will burn rubber at his own risk, its traction control can be switched on or off. The Hertz model runs “Bullitt”-style 17-inch alloys, but the GT gets a factory Plus One combination of 18-inch wheels and lower-profile tires.’
Ford debuted the all-new 2007 Ford Mustang Shelby GT through a behind-the-scenes look at the high-performance Mustang’s development on its “Bold Moves: The Future of Ford” web-based documentary. Ford confirmed production of the Shelby GT as one of the new product introductions for Ford and Lincoln Mercury. The Ford Mustang Shelby GT will feature a 4.6-liter V8 producing 325-horsepower and production will be limited in volume therefore assuring its exclusivity like all Shelby Mustang models.
“Our goal is to offer a steed for every need,” says John Felice, Ford brand general marketing manager. “The new Shelby GT is a low-volume, extremely collectable Mustang for enthusiasts. It also offers a few more customers the opportunity to experience firsthand magic of Mustang and Carroll Shelby.”
The Shelby GT is the third modern Shelby Mustang produced through a collaboration of Ford and Shelby Automobiles. In addition to the 2007 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500, Ford and Shelby created 500 copies of the Ford Mustang Shelby GT-H, which are available only through select Hertz rental centers.
“We have been overwhelmed at the number of people who want to buy a version of the Shelby GT-H,” said Carroll Shelby, CEO of Shelby Automobiles, Inc. “The Shelby GT will deliver the power and balanced handling of the Shelby GT-H, but with more performance potential, especially due to the available manual transmission.”
Modern Shelby Mustangs have proven to be extremely desirable among Mustang and Shelby enthusiasts. For example, in January 2006 an early production Shelby GT500 sold at the Barrett-Jackson auction for $600,000, with proceeds benefiting the Carroll Shelby Children’s Foundation. On July 28, 2006, a Shelby GT-H was sold for $250,000 at the EAA AirVenture, with proceeds benefiting the Youth Eagles aviation education program.
“The Shelby GT builds on the expertise of Ford Racing, the experience of Carroll Shelby and the Shelby team to deliver an incredible driving experience that is unmistakably Shelby,” says Jamie Allison, manager, Ford Racing Performance Group. “And, like every Shelby Mustang should be, the Shelby GT is ready to be both a weekday driver and a weekend warrior for track days.”
The Shelby GT driving dynamics are fine tuned with the Ford Racing Handling Pack, which was developed by the same engineers that developed the Ford Racing FR500C, which won the 2005 Grand-Am Cup Championship. New coil springs drop the overall ride height by an inch-and-a-half for a more aggressive stance and reduced body roll. Stiffer dampers and front swaybar further enhance cornering feel and body control. To showcase the key performance modifications, Ford Racing painted all the key suspension components, including the damper, spring, and swaybar Ford Racing Blue.
A front strut-tower brace adds additional strength to the chassis structure, and P235/55ZR18 high-performance tires maximize the benefits of the chassis upgrades.
Under hood, the Ford Racing Power Pack increases the output of the naturally aspirated, three-valve, 4.6-liter V8 to 325-horsepower, and 330 pound-feet of torque. The Power Pack includes a 90 millimeter cold-air intake and a new performance engine calibration for improved response. The high-flow exhaust system with X-pipe crossover offers better power delivery and a throaty V8 exhaust note. A shorter rear-axle ratio is installed to capitalize on the Shelby GT coupe’s extra power, especially accelerating off the line. For Shelby GT models equipped with a manual transmission, a Hurst short-throw shifter is installed for more precise shift action.
“The Shelby GT is great fun on the track,” continues Shelby. “It’s got the heart and soul of the Mustang GT pumped up with a strong motor, nimble chassis and great sound. It’s one of those rare cars that’s easy to drive really fast.”
The Shelby GT will be offered only as a coupe, and only in two exterior colors, Performance White or Black. Both colors are accented by silver LeMans-style racing stripes – a signature detail of classic Shelby Mustangs. The LeMans stripes extend over the hood, roof, and trunk, and are complemented by matching side stripes with “Shelby GT” nomenclature.
The powerful face of the Shelby GT features a unique front fascia, with a more aggressive lower air dam. The brushed-aluminum grille is accented by an offset Mustang logo. In addition, the Shelby GT has a new hood scoop that comes directly from the famed Shelby Cobra roadster.
The side profile features chrome-finished 18-inch wheels and unique side scoops just before the rear wheel arches. The rear fascia frames the larger dual exhaust tips, and is topped by Shelby badging on the trunk lid.
Inside, features include ‘Shelby GT’ logo floor mats and custom sill plates with Shelby GT nomenclature. In addition, the Shelby GT features an authentication plate on the center dashboard, as well as matching tag underhood. This tag features the CSX number, which is recorded in the Shelby Automobiles registry.
Shelby GT models will begin as a stock Mustang GT assembled at AutoAlliance International assembly plant in Flat Rock, Mich. The cars are then shipped to the Shelby Automobiles facility in Las Vegas for modification before delivery to Ford dealerships.
“The Shelby team in Las Vegas is excited about building the Shelby GT,” said Amy Boylan, President of Shelby Automobiles, Inc. “With our friends at Ford, we are creating the next chapter in the Shelby legacy.”
“It’s an exciting time to be a muscle car fan, as legendary names from the 1960’s are being reincarnated in the marketplace,” says Felice. “As the Shelby GT shows, Ford will continue to dominate the new muscle car wars just as we have done for over forty years. No other nameplate will be able to match the depth and breadth of options the Mustang offers.”
In support of Ford’s “steed for every need” strategy, Ford now offers four horsepower options for Mustang, with pricing from $19,995 for a 210-hp V6 Mustang coupe to $46,500 for a 500-hp Shelby GT500 convertible.
Ford has also introduced several special packages on Mustang further increasing its unique offerings, including the Pony Package and the California Special. And there are plans for more in the future.
In addition, Ford Racing offers a complete catalog of performance parts for Mustang fans, from custom wheels and exhausts to the complete, turn-key Ford Racing Mustang FR500C race car.
As a result, Ford offers Mustang enthusiasts the ability to buy, modify and drive the steed that perfectly fits their need.