Mustang GT500 | Ford Specifications and Review
The Mustang GT500 is such a great car that it would doubtless have been a success even without Hollywood icon Steve McQueen hammering one around the streets of San Francisco in the movie Bullitt. But the 1968 movie helped catapult the American muscle car into the minds of car lovers the world over.
The car’s story reads like a film script in its own right. American car tuner Carroll Shelby originally asked Chevrolet for some engines. They declined and he turned to Ford instead, and so began the long-running relationship between the two that exists to this day.
When Ford wanted to give their cars a boost they turned to Shelby. After working on Mustangs throughout the early 1960s, he took a slightly different route with the 1967 model. Before then he had turned it into a fierce race car, unsuitable for road driving, but with the GT500 he made it more civilized. Ironically he did this by fitting a bigger engine. The standard car had just been revamped to accept big-block motors so Shelby squeezed in the 428 “Police Interceptor” V8. He fitted this with two huge four-barrel carburetors and an aluminum intake manifold that helped it kick out 355 bhp (261 kW). The GT350 of the year before had been fitted with racing seats and harnesses, but the 500 had a proper cabin with air-conditioning and power steering.
In 2008, on the fortieth anniversary of the film, Ford released a Bullitt Special Edition of their current Mustang. This had a number of performance upgrades but also had the exhaust tuned to sound like McQueen’s car. It could not, of course, promise to make the driver.as cool as him.
1967 • 427 cu in/7,000 cc, V8 • 355 bhp/261 kW • 0-60 mph/97 kph in 6.2 seconds • 134 mph/216 kph