RKM Built Mustang GT500 Convertible 427 Side Oiler V8 5 Speed 9" 3.70 Wilwood
- 427ci Side Oiler V8
- Tremec TKO 5-speed manual transmission
- Moser 9" with 3.70 gears
- RK Motors build utilizing authentic Shelby parts
- Total Control suspension system with power rack-and-pinion steering
- 4-wheel Wilwood disc brakes
- 17" American racing knock off style Shelby rims
- Black vinyl interior
In the world of collector cars, the Shelby name is synonymous with extreme performance and collectability. Enthusiasts that missed the early-buying boat have spent the last few decades running straight up a value curve that just won't quit rising. When the legend himself, Carroll Shelby, passed on, the demand for authentic Shelby pieces hit an all-time high. With many of the originals becoming museum pieces, smart enthusiasts who enjoy driving their vintage hardware are buying cars like this slick 1967 Shelby GT500 convertible tribute. Built here at RK Motors, it sits today decked in full Shelby regalia with a hot 427 under the hood. This restored GT500 easily carries on the Shelby spirit by looking awesome and punishing pavement with the best of them.
Built with the best components and finished to show-car levels, this is the ultimate Shelby street cruiser for guys who appreciate authenticity but want a little more from their toys. The foundation is a real 1967 Mustang convertible, carefully selected because it was a nice, straight car to begin with. It was stripped and given a comprehensive concours-quality restoration, including a lot of authentic Shelby parts, including the hood, spoiler, side scoops, grill, lights, tail lights, gas cap, and badges, to give it that unique GT500 appearance. The two-stage Deltron Candyapple Red was applied over expertly-prepped steel that's laser straight from any angle. Look at the panel gaps, the character lines that move uninterrupted from fender to door to quarter panel, and the incredibly flat finish that can only come from hours and hours of block sanding. Vivid and about a mile deep, the paint on this Shelby is proof that superior workmanship delivers superior results. We chose to prepare this one as a stripe-delete piece, installing only the Shelby GT500 graphics along the rocker panels, but leaving the hood and rear deck stripe-free, in order to let the ultra-clean bodywork speak for itself. And speaking of bodywork, the fiberglass pieces such as the hood and spoiler out back are beautifully finished with no waves or ripples like on the original cars. That's one of the nice things about tribute cars you can make them as nice as you want and nobody will complain about over-restoration.
Shelby details are correct throughout. I already mentioned the rocker panel stripes, but this car also wears correct reproduction badges, center-mounted high-beam headlights (outlawed in short order when they debuted in 1967), and the Shelby-specific sequential taillights that were cribbed from the Ford Thunderbird parts bin. There are correct Shelby snakes on the fenders and gas cap, and Shelby scoops on the quarter panels. The chrome bumpers are gorgeous, and the polished stainless steel windshield surround has been buffed until it looked like liquid silver. Glass is new throughout, and all the lenses and other plastic parts have been replaced with exact reproductions.
In 1967, a tiny handful of GT500s got the vaunted 427 side-oiler, but much more commonly, they received the 428 Cobra Jet power plant. As you can imagine, the prices on those 427 cars are astronomical, and I don't know that I've seen one for sale in the past several years. Again, RK Motors Design/Build comes to the rescue, with an authentic 427 side-oiler under the hood of this Shelby tribute. Yes, it's a real 427 side-oiler with the correct oil passages cast into the block. Built by the same guys who build motors for NASCAR, this is a serious piece of hardware featuring top-name parts. The rotating assembly has been race balanced for smoothness and durability. A pair of Edelbrock aluminum heads let the high-winding big block breathe properly, and an Edelbrock performer RPM intake and Holley double-pumper feed it a steady supply of fuel and air. Comp Cams supplied the precision valve train, and there's a Milodon extra capacity oil pan down below. Noteworthy upgrades include a massive Be Cool cooling cell with built-in electric fans, a high-flow aluminum water pump, a March billet pulley system, and a pair of long-tube ceramic-coated headers that feed a spectacular-sounding dual exhaust system. For that authentic look (this is a tribute car, after all), Shelby cast aluminum valve covers and air cleaner were installed, along with a shock tower brace that does a better job than the stamped steel original and allows more precise adjustment. Fully tuned and sorted, the engine starts easily and runs beautifully, with no finicky 1960s big block issues.
This is truly a Shelby you can drive every day. Enhancing the drivability of this red ragtop is a Tremec TKO 5-speed manual transmission, which offers a deep overdrive for easy high-speed cruising. Out back, there's a Mosier 9-inch Ford packing 3.70 gears for whiplash-inducing acceleration from the 427. The suspension has been fortified with subframe connectors to improve chassis rigidity, as well as an extra stiff crossmember. Up front, there's an all-new Total Control suspension system with power rack-and-pinion steering, a beefy 1-inch sway bar, and adjustable Veri-Shocks at all four corners. Out back, traction bars have been added to help harness all that big block horsepower and plant it properly, and on the other end, big Wilwood disc brakes at all four corners will bring it safely to a halt. And as a RK Motors built, all the basics have been addressed, as well, with a new fuel tank, new stainless lines and fresh hoses throughout. Rolling stock consists of vintage-looking Halibrand look-alikes (complete with Shelby knock-offs), but updated in a 17-inch diameter and wearing Goodyear performance radials.
Like the exterior, the interior is pure 1967 Shelby with a few subtle updates. The seats are modern buckets with heavily bolstered sides for aggressive driving, but they look right at home in the vintage black interior. To enhance the illusion, they've been given a cool stitch patter that looks like it was done in the 1960s. The original dashboard was retained, but the gauges were replaced by AutoMeter Phantom pieces that are vastly more accurate than the factory pieces. The dash pad itself is new, the carpets are new, the door panels are new, and the back seat has been upholstered to match the new buckets up front. There's a Hurst shifter for the 5-speed, new pedal pads under your feet, and a gorgeous Shelby woodtone steering wheel in your hands. An Alpine entertainment system delivers whatever sonic pleasure you can't get from the 427. Overhead, a fresh black convertible top with a crystal-clear plastic rear window has been installed. The trunk is neatly finished with matching black carpets, and you'll note that the battery has been relocated back here to improve weight distribution and handling.
As an RK Motors build, you know it's well documented, too, with restoration photos, parts lists, manuals, and everything else you need to know; heck, just give us a call and we'll let you talk to the guys who built it!
The beauty of a tribute car is that it can be anything you want it to be. Love the Shelby lines, but also want modern performance? No problem. Can't afford a 427 in your GT500 convertible? We've got you covered. Just looking for a killer car that will wow crowds everywhere you go, and goes down the road like a much more modern piece? Here it is. No compromises, no disclaimers, no excuses. This is every bit as nice as it looks in pictures, and the spec sheet bears out that this was no budget build. Heck, you couldn't duplicate this car for the money, and there are far less potent Mustang convertibles out there that cost more. What are you waiting for? Call now!
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