Engine swaps have been around as long as there have been different manufacturers making a variety of models. Whether it's putting a flathead V8 in your Model A Ford, or injecting some modern power into your aging muscle car, an engine swap can define an entire vehicle. Such is the case with this spectacular 1967 Mustang that's dressed up like a Shelby GT500 and packs a 2004 Mustang Cobra power plant under the hood. That means 32 valves, a supercharger, and drivability that they couldn't imagine back in the good old, bad old days. The rest of the car was updated as well, but the basic goodness of the Mustang shape was retained, along with the very best Shelby upgrades, creating a Pro-Touring fastback that has to be seen to be believed.

Built by the guys at Pro Touring Super Cars (a division of Speed, Inc.), this was a cost-no-object car from the beginning. Speed, Inc. specializes in putting late model power into vintage muscle, and bringing the latest technology to bear on the cars of the past. What better way to do that than build a Shelby GT500 tribute with one of Ford's most potent late-model powertrains? The body on this '67 was given a rotisserie restoration, which means that it was fixed and smoothed inside and out, top and bottom. Anything that needed attention, got it, and everything was put into better-than-new condition before any paint was sprayed. The idea was a showcase, remember? Gaps were adjusted until they were far better than the factory could ever manage, and the hood was finished to levels that nobody at the Shelby factory could have imagined was possible in 1967. Once everything was straight, that spectacular Acapulco Blue paint was applied using 2-stage urethane. Shelby stripes were sprayed, then buried under the clear, and Shelby GT500 callouts were applied to the rockers. Additional Shelby details include the rear cap and integrated spoiler, C-pillar and quarter panel scoops, nose cone with center-mounted lights, and that vented Shelby hood (and if you've seen originals, you know how wavy they really were). Without looking under the hood, you could be forgiven for thinking this was a real Shelby.

Of course, things like the badges, the gas cap, the grille, and other Shelby-specific parts were also added and are beautiful reproductions. The chrome and stainless was refinished or replaced with new components, and the glass is new all around. Out back, the Shelby sequential taillights have been replaced with trick LEDs that give the car an appropriate 21st century twist. But the real treat is the supercharged 2004 Cobra motor under the hood. If you've been following Ford performance for the past 15 years or so, you know that these 4-cam motors can make BIG power from their relatively modest displacement. With forced induction, they breathe better than a big block and put down some astounding numbers while maintaining incredible civility. And if you've ever heard one at full song, you know what I'm talking about - they have just about the sweetest exhaust note this side of a Ferrari V8. The motor in this '67 is a built 2004 Cobra piece that features a custom induction system to fit it into the '67s engine bay. There's a smaller pulley on the supercharger to up the boost (these engines with their forged bottom ends can easily handle a lot more boost than the factory permits), and a custom Aeromotive fuel system to ensure that it is adequately fed at all speeds. A custom heat exchanger and reservoir were crafted to allow it all to fit under the Shelby hood, and up front, a massive aluminum radiator keeps it cool no matter how hard you run. A set of custom-built headers handle the exhaust and if anything, they magnify that sweet engine note. The engine was beautifully dressed with custom painted cam covers that look a lot like Boss 429 or SOHC 427 pieces - perfect for the 1967 body. It even features cool "Powered by Ford" logos for a distinctly Shelby touch. With a custom ECM programmed by the experts at Speed, Inc., it starts instantly, idles perfectly even when it's cold, and pulls like a freight train. There are no flat spots in the power curve, and I know this because there's a dyno sheet that comes with the car showing that it just keeps climbing and climbing to a peak of 444 horsepower and 495 pounds of torque at the wheels- impressive!

The rest of the hardware is just as impressive. The floors have been painted in red oxide, as original, although I doubt the workers on the assembly line in 1967 were as careful and precise as the guys at PTSC. The transmission is a T56, also taken from a Cobra Mustang, and it is easily up to the horsepower challenge. The clutch is a Centerforce DFX unit with a hydraulic conversion to work with the older car. Out back, there's a built Ford 9-inch with 3.90 gears and a limited slip - and if you're worried about those tall gears, remember the deep overdrive which makes high-speed cruising effortless and greatly improves fuel mileage. Those beautiful headers dump into a custom X-pipe and exhaust system featuring Magnaflow mufflers and tips, all finished in satin black for a different look and to keep it out of sight on the road. Up front, the suspension hangs from a custom Martz subframe and features a Martz power rack-and-pinion setup and Strange 12-way adjustable coil-over shocks. Out back, there's a G-bar 4-link system with another set of 12-way adjustable VariShocks. At each corner, a massive Wilwood brake disc hides behind killer 18-inch Coys wheels wearing BFGoodrich G-Force T/A performance radials. A set of stout subframe connectors tie everything together rigidly, and you can feel the improvements in chassis rigidity from the driver's seat.

Speaking of the driver's seat, the interior has been reworked as well. Beginning with a foundation of DynaMat throughout, which helps control noise and temperatures, this Shelby tribute is almost Lincoln quiet inside. Most of the soft parts are original style, and that's a factory "Deluxe" black interior. The dashboard has been subtly remodeled to house new Speed, Inc., gauges with silver faces for a traditional, but updated appearance and much better functionality. That's a genuine Shelby wood steering wheel, and overhead a trick console with built-in map lights. The shifter on top of the T56 looks vintage and displays the correct 6-speed shift pattern. In back, the trunk features a correct mat and you've already noticed that the battery is now mounted back here for improved weight distribution and to make way for the very wide DOHC engine. The odometer shows only 475 shakedown miles since the build was completed, ensuring that this car is as good as it can possibly be.

Documentation is exhaustive, primarily in the form of a build book that shows dozens, perhaps hundreds, of photos of all aspects of the build. If you need to know how it was done, what it looked like before, during, or after, the answers are all here. There are no questions about the quality of the workmanship or the skill that was required to construct this amazing vehicle- it's all there in photos.

I flat-out love this car. I'm a big fan of the 32-valve Cobra motors and how unbelievably smooth they are and how much power they can make. Add in a 6-speed manual, and you have a very potent acceleration curve. Combine that with what is arguably one of the best-looking Mustangs of all time-the Shelby GT500 fastback - and you end up with a take-no-prisoners supercar. The suspension and brakes have been upgraded to keep pace with the engine's prodigious output, while the interior has been left alone because there's no use in messing with a great design. Ultimately, you end up with a car that's unquestionably faster than a real GT500, handles better, stops shorter, is more comfortable to drive, gets better fuel mileage, and probably will require less maintenance. Whereas the downside to all that? If you're looking for a heart-stopping cruise missile that will draw a crowd three deep at the next cruise night, here it is. It's not cheap, but I'll also bet that it couldn't be duplicated for the asking price. This is A LOT of car for the money. Call now!

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1967 Ford Mustang GT500

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