Black
Black
5.4 Liter Supercharged V8
6 Speed Manual

Do not make the mistake of thinking that the 2011 Shelby GT500 is just like the 2010. Despite a similar appearance, the 2011 Shelbys received significant upgrades that not only improve performance and durability, but make them much more refined and comfortable cars at the same time. This 2011 Shelby GT500 convertible was one of the very first to be built and delivered to a customer, and has been immaculately kept since Day One by a meticulous owner who only used it on warm, sunny days. It is loaded with every single available option, including the Performance Package, and the there’s really nothing that looks better than a sinister black snake, is there? Destined to be a future collectable and still difficult to buy new in the showroom, this loaded 2011 Shelby GT500 convertible is available today for much less than the cost of a new one, and without the dealer price hikes.

I think the guys at SVT knew that people spending more than $50,000 on a new car expect a different level of fit and finish, which is probably why this Shelby is by far the nicest factory Ford I’ve ever seen. I mean, that black paint is deep and smooth enough to be on a high-end luxury car or fresh out of a custom body shop. Of course, this one has never seen a body shop, because it’s 100% accident- and damage-free with expert maintenance since it was delivered new a few months ago. Detailing and appearance maintenance has always been trusted to the pros here at RK Motors, and as a result, this is one amazing-looking ragtop. The Colorado Red stripes that are part of the Performance Package don’t hurt, either, giving the car an aggressive, traditional Shelby look with a 21st century update on the font used in the GT500 callouts on the rocker panels.

Exterior details are as new, too. From the S H E L B Y block letters on the hood and decklid, to the coiled cobra poised to strike on the front fenders, this car isn’t afraid to advertise its intentions. Glass is unmarked, and I’m pretty certain this car has never been used in the rain. Lenses and other plastic exterior pieces are as-new. In fact, given that this car has been repeatedly detailed, waxed, and pampered by some of the best paint men in the business, it’s very likely even better than new at this point.

The real news for 2011 Shelbys, however, was the upgraded engine. As I mentioned, the transformation that took place between 2010 and 2011 was profound, all thanks to a new all-aluminum engine in the GT500. Now cranking out 550 horsepower (up from 540), and a stump-pulling 510 pounds of torque, the supercharged, DOHC 5.4 liter V8 is now 110 pounds lighter. Translation? The GT500 is now a lot less nose-heavy than its older brothers, and the aluminum block eliminates the supercharger heat soak that so many enthusiast magazines noted during hot days, which always diluted performance. The wet-sump aluminum block uses a newly developed technology that sprays molten steel onto the cylinder walls instead of using pressed-in liners, and as a result, this block is actually 8.5 pounds lighter than the one used in the Ford GT supercar. The supercharger’s intercooler was enlarged, and since SVT engineers know that many of their customers will upgrade power output and put the cars on the track, the block is robust enough to handle far more horsepower than it makes stock. In short, you’re just not going to break this machine.

The rest of the powertrain is similar to the 2010 models, with a slick-shifting 6-speed manual and a live rear axle with acceleration-friendly 3.73 gears and a limited slip. Since the car lost more than 120 pounds, with much of that coming off the front axle, the suspension was redesigned and retuned for 2011. The Performance Package on this car got 20.5-percent stiffer front springs and 9.5-percent tighter rears that also bring the front end 11 millimeters closer to the road and the rear 8 mm lower. At the same time, ride compliance was improved thanks to better chassis stiffening, which was long a Mustang sore point—this car is rock solid. In fact, the upgrades that SVT devised for the GT500 convertible were so effective that they were adopted across the entire Mustang convertible lineup. And thanks to that improved stiffness, the convertible now wears 19-inch front and massive 20-inch rear wheels, each one inch larger than the base GT500 setup. The wheels on this car are unique to the Performance Package, and help shed even more weight; the fronts are 4.7 pounds lighter, while the rears are 2.8 pounds lighter. This car still wears its original 265/40/19 front and P285/35/20 back tires Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar tires, indicative of the gentle usage it has had since new.

The black leather interior mirrors the car’s exterior with narrow red stripes running down the middle of the seats. Incredibly comfortable with aggressive bolstering and suede inserts that keep you firmly planted during spirited driving, they remain in factory fresh condition with virtually zero wear. In true Shelby fashion, the interior is awash in coiled snake, SVT, and Shelby emblems, from the seat backs, to the steering wheel, to the gauges, to the passenger’s airbag cover—but that’s the way Carroll Shelby himself rolls, so Ford wasn’t going to let a good thing slip away. The dashboard is a cool twist on the retro theme, although the large video screen in the center which is part of the $2340 Electronics Package is definitely not retro. With navigation, entertainment, and Sync voice activation, it’s the slickest setup in the world at the moment. Overhead, the optional cloth convertible top is in new condition with no signs of wrinkles or fading.

Documentation is complete, ranging from the original window sticker and manuals, to all the tags and decals that were on the car when it was delivered new. This car also includes a $375 Shelby GT500 car cover that was a factory option.

So if you just don’t want to wait for one at the dealer, and don’t feel like paying the mark-up to get a red-hot snake, have another look here. With every available option and having lived an extremely pampered life, this one is a relative bargain with an asking price $10,000 under the 6-month-old sticker price. With everything in as-new condition (or better), and only a few months of driving under its tires, it’s exactly the cure for the winter blues. You’re going to need something to drive this summer, how about a 550 horsepower convertible? Call now!

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