Lot 262: Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Coupe
Few cars have captured a nation's imagination more than the Ford Mustang did when it was introduced in 1964. The original pony car, the Mustang established itself as one of the cult cars of the Sixties, thanks in part to its numerous high-visibility roles in a number of Hollywood films. Available in convertible, coupe and fastback guise, with 2.8 or 3.3 litre straight six and 4.2 or 4.7 litre V8 engines, it was to prove one of Ford's greatest ever sellers. In fact, the Mustang had the most successful car launch in automobile history, selling, in its first eighteen months, more than one million cars. If the Mustang was a popular car before, then the 1968 Steve McQueen film Bullitt turned it into an overnight legend. In one of the most spectacular car chases ever seen in a motion picture, Steve McQueen's maverick cop wowed audiences as he pursued two hit men in a high-speed chase through the streets of San Francisco. The resulting scene promptly became an unforgettable part of cinematic history, and cemented the Mustang in the public consciousness in a way which no other car had ever managed, save perhaps for the Aston Martin DB5's appearance in Goldfinger four years earlier. Naturally, racing success followed soon, thanks mainly to legendary Texan racing driver and of course, father of the Cobra, Carroll Shelby. Subsequently, his team began manufacturing modified Mustangs, which were officially distributed by selected Ford dealerships throughout the US. The first Shelby Mustang was the GT 350, powered by a modified 289 ci V8 unit. To keep up with the standard production Mustangs, which were available with a 390 ci big block engine from 1967, Shelby introduced the GT 500 with a 428ci (7.0 l) CobraJet V8. It is believed that this stunning GT500 from 1971 was at some point fitted with an experimental 428ci fuel injected engine by Shelby Motors, but as this never saw production, the original carburetor engine was returned to the car. One of only 217 such models finished in Gulf Stream Blue livery, this GT500 comes with the optional Wolfrace alloy wheels as well as a sports steering wheel. When acquired in 2005 by the previous vendor, the car was subject to a bare metal repaint as well as a comprehensive engine overhaul by specialists. The interior did not need any work and as such is completely original, including the original floor mats. With little more than 58,000 reported miles it is described as in excellent condition and is offered with UK registration documents as well as a Marti report confirming its production details and numbers. Highly recommended for the serious collector.
Coys, Essen, Germany
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