Black
Black
5.4 Liter DOHC Supercharged V8
6 Speed Manual
  • 15,424 actual miles
  • Upgraded 5.4L V8 / 695rwhp
  • Six-speed manual transmission
  • 9-inch rear / 3.55 gears
  • Griggs GR40SS suspension
  • 18-inch Forgestar F14 wheels

When it comes to honoring the legacies of performance icons, there are really only two ways to go: Protect the originals or modify them in the spirit of their creators. In the case of this 2008 Shelby GT-500 convertible, the second option was selected and taken very seriously. While this Mustang may have left Shelby's shop a pedigreed thoroughbred, it's now a wild-eyed stallion set on destroying Nitto drag radials. With just 15,424 original miles, a full Griggs suspension and nearly 700hp flowing to the rear wheels, this sinister Shelby is the kind of car capable of turning a whole new generation into car enthusiasts. Regardless if you're looking for a future collectable or just a genuinely fun car to cruise on the weekends, this convertible is a great solution.

This slick GT500 convertible debuted at Coggins-Gentry Ford in Amite, LA, dressed with black paint, premium Shelby trim, machined aluminum wheels and a $52,155 price tag. It was undoubtedly a great car then and, thanks to some hard work and a few significant upgrades, is even cooler now. Despite its sinister look, the car remains mostly stock on the outside. Its gloss black paint is respectably maintained and presents well over the nostalgic Ford lines. Matte black hash marks accent the front fenders but, if you're looking for those classic Shelby rocker stripes, you won't find them on this convertible. The car was ordered new with a tape stripe delete. Panel fitment, like all newer Mustangs, is admirable with clean even gaps at all corners.

Taking a closer look at the GT500, it's clear that design efforts focused on making the car look larger and more substantial than lesser Mustangs. Up front, the wide mouth grille sports a right-justified Cobra badge, while HID headlights fill out of the corners. Amber turn signals are incorporated into the bumper cover, as are deeply inset driving lights that sit just above a composite chin spoiler. The engine bay is protected by a bulging vented hood which matches the overall look perfectly. The side profile wears large Cobra badges with GT500 lettering as well as textured composite side skirts that flow into the texture trim, gracing the bottom of the rear bumper cover. Just above, aftermarket taillights and a chrome faux gas cap sit under a low-rise spoiler, completing the custom Mustang look. At the top, a snug-fitting black top keeps the elements out. The package is aggressive, attractive and something you certainly won't get tired of seeing in your garage.

The GT500's stock 500hp 5.4L V8 was full throttle celebration of one of the most successful partnerships in performance car history. For most, it's broad power band and distinctive exhaust note is the stuff dreams are made of. For this convertible, it was little more than a solid foundation to start with. The stock Eaton M122 supercharger was traded for a ported 2.3L TVS supercharger with a matched high-flow inlet elbow and a 2.5-inch pulley. A 66mm throttle body was then paired with 72lb fuel injectors and a 127mm carbon fiber JLT cold air intake to keep air and fuel supply in check. Finally, a SCT tuner was brought in to help the ECM cope will all the new changes. Thanks to the updates, this GT500 now puts a dyno-proven 695hp and 690lb ft. of torque to the rear wheels. To keep the 5.4L cool, an AFCO dual pass heat exchanger was also added. For all the work performed, the bay remains a clean, relatively stock looking space full of stock Ford decals and warning labels. Turn the key and the engine fires with an authoritative bark sent out through a true dual exhaust system with an X-pipe and high-flow catalytic converters.

Underneath the car, power flows to a stock six-speed manual transmission aided by a McLeod performance clutch rated for up to 1,000hp. From there, a one-piece aluminum driveshaft channels power to a Ford 9-inch rear is packed with 3.73 gears for a great mix of quick launches and highway cruising. Although the Shelby GT500 convertible is a little softer than the coupe, the car's chassis received the same extensive upgrades over the base Mustang GT. As you may have guessed, this car goes beyond those factory upgrades to offer an unforgettable driving experience. At the core of those enhancements is a Griggs GR40SS suspension upgrade that includes coilovers at all four corners mated with billet camber plates, urethane bushings, adjustable rear control arms, and a severe duty torquearm. The car handles like a slot car and, thanks to the Griggs set up, accommodates the massive 315 rear tires with ease. Braking remains just as Shelby intended with giant 14-inch rotors and four-piston calipers up front with slightly smaller 12.4-inch rotors and two-piston calipers out back. The slick chassis meets the ground through 18-inch Forgestar F14 wheels finished in piano black.

Peek through the window and a driver-friendly red and black interior awaits. Highly bolstered sport seats with a retro stitch pattern and Cobra logos fit like a glove and provide plenty of support, while a leather-clad and red-stitched steering wheel with convenient thumb grips sports a snake on its hub and cruise control buttons on either side. Behind the steering wheel, the silver trimmed instrument panel is stock Mustang, and features Ford's infinitely changeable dash lighting. The graphite faces with white lettering have a small SVT logo that serves as a programmable shift light, which along with aluminum accented pedals and an aluminum accented and red stitched shifter, tips you off to the car's pedigree. The dash around those instruments is some of Ford's best modern work, featuring a heritage inspired dual cowl design with gray trim with silver accents. At the center of the dash, Ford's Shaker 1000 sound system features an AM/FM radio, a six-disc CD changer, Sirius satellite radio and MP3 compatibility above knobs for the climate control. At the sides, red and black door panels feature large speakers below satin finished door handles and controls for the car's power windows, power door locks and power mirrors. There are no visible signs of wear in this interior and everything works as it should, from the ice cold air conditioning to the powerful entertainment system.

An original window sticker breaks down all the cars options in detail while a dyno sheet verifies that the car does indeed put nearly 700hp to the ground.

Even without the weight of the Shelby name, this would be a Mustang worthy of any performance enthusiast. With plenty of power across the board and nearly universal appeal, it's hard to think of a more desirable American car in this price range. Add in the capped production numbers, low mileage and impressive upgrades and this thoroughbred starts looking like a great buy. If you've got room for one sinister Shelby in your garage, don't miss the chance to put your name on the title of this 2008 GT500 convertible!

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