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Remembering the Shelby GT500 through the years

<p>After two years of  building <a href="https://www.plasticstoday.com/content/carbon-fiber-wheels-standard-on-ford-shelby-gt350r/62751013722523">Shelby GT350</a>s based on Ford's 289 small block-powered Mustangs, in 1967 <a href="https://www.designnews.com/automotive-0/blockbuster-ford-v-ferrari-movie-spotlights-behind-scenes-engineering/87126515561884">Shelby</a> rolled out the big block-powered GT500 as a big brother to the GT350. It was powered  by either a Ford 427 or Ford 428, two engines that were similar in size but from different engine families that had different power characteristics.</p><p>The Shelbys grew in size for 1969 and '70, when Ford bought the rights to Shelby's products. The GT500 was dormant until 2007, and along the way Ford occassionally applied the name of Shelby's Cobra roadster to hot rod Mustangs, muddying the waters for casual fans who couldn't tell whether a Cobra was a classic two-seat roadster or a Mustang with a big engine.</p><p>Since Ford revived the GT500, it has enjoyed continuous improvement to reach the <a href="https://www.designnews.com/automotive-0/2020-ford-mustang-shelby-gt500-towering-achievement-fords-engineers/136483557861993">amazing 2020 edition of the car</a>. Ford doesn't build big block V8s anymore, so the newer Shelbys are differentiated from lesser Mustangs by the addition of a supercharger to pump up the power to GT500-worthy levels.</p>
The new 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 is an amazing engineering achievement, but previous iterations of the car were pretty cool too.

Dan Carney is a Design News senior editor, covering automotive technology, engineering and design, especially emerging electric vehicle and autonomous technologies.

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