2008 Ford Shelby GT500 Convertible - SOLD
     
  • Overview & History
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Nothing has been changed, altered, or removed, and as far as we can tell, the only changes have been fluids and the battery, so it’s in top condition and ready to enjoy.

Whether you want to believe it or not, we are living in the golden age of horsepower. Sure, the ‘60s muscle cars are legendary, but even the nastiest factory cars of the late-60s were no faster than a modern Honda minivan. Technology is a wonderful thing and this 2008 Shelby GT500 convertible is a great example of just how far we’ve come. This is the kind of car that your mother could drive every day for a year and never have even the slightest inkling that there’s 500 horsepower lurking under the hood. It’s just incredibly refined! The car magazines talk about how crude and rude the Mustangs are, and after driving this car, it seems obvious that today’s cars are just shockingly good, because I just don’t see much crude or rude anywhere in this car. It starts instantly, idles smoothly, doesn’t get cranky in traffic, there are zero squeaks and rattles, and the HVAC and stereo systems are powerful and effective. I don’t think there are many cars that do it all better than this Shelby.

With just 6100 or so miles on the clock, it shouldn’t be a surprise that this one still feels like a new car. There’s something intangible about a fresh car, something about how the doors close, the way the suspension feels supple, the hushed sounds of all the mechanical bits going about their business. And if a bright red Mustang convertible could ever be considered a “sleeper,” this might be it, because with factory stripe delete, it doesn’t stand out from the heard very much at all. For some of us, that’s a big plus, and with the performance on tap here, you might appreciate at least a little bit of camouflage.

Torch Red is far from subtle and on a Mustang, it certainly looks spectacular. The Mustang’s retro-cool shape lends itself especially well to high-visibility colors and the Shelby’s muscular touches only enhance what is already a great-looking car. As a car with so few miles, you know it’s in close to showroom condition, and while no car is perfect, this one has a great shine and factory-quality workmanship everywhere you look. The hood fits well, the doors close with a very substantial “THUNK” and for a mere Mustang, it sure looks like it would pass the Lexus ball bearing test with ease. We like the lack of stripes, which means the shape has to speak for itself, and I’d argue that it looks best head-on, where the gaping grille gives you a full dose of Shelby style. The history on this car shows that it started life in Texas and has enjoyed only two owners, so it’s never been a daily driver. That same history also notes that the right front fender has been repainted, but there’s zero evidence of it so the repair was expertly done and even the history report indicates that the damage was quite minor. Yes, there are flaws (this is a mass-produced 7-year-old car, after all), but you’re going to have to look pretty closely to find them and it has exactly nothing to do with how well it runs and drives.

The highest compliment we can pay the black leather interior is that it looks like new. There might be a few gentle wear marks on the driver’s seat, but again, you’re really going to have to look for them. The rest, of course, is as it was on the showroom floor and everything is 100% functional. As the top-of-the-line Mustang, the GT500 got just about every feature Ford could think of, including the regular stuff like power windows, locks, seats, and mirrors, ice cold A/C, cruise control, and a tilt steering column with a Shelby-specific leather-wrapped steering wheel. Both the steering wheel and the shifter boot have red stitching that gives it a bit of a racy feel and there’s a whole array of analog gauges, including a boost gauge, directly ahead of the driver. This car also includes the Shaker 1000 stereo system, which includes AM/FM/CD/satellite capabilities plus speakers throughout the car and a pair of subwoofers in a neatly installed enclosure in the trunk. I guess if the thump of the supercharged V8 isn’t enough, this stereo should do the trick. Overhead there’s a black canvas convertible top with a glass rear window that seals up almost as well as a coupe thanks to a beautiful inner headliner that hides the bows and tidies things up a great deal. And while you may never use it given how neatly the top folds behind the seats, there is a black boot for the top that gives it a clean, sleek profile.

Now everything you’ve read up above can also apply to a garden-variety Mustang GT. No, what makes the GT500 special lives under the domed hood: a 5.4 liter DOHC V8 with a big, honkin’ supercharger on top. Descended from the engine in the all-conquering Ford GT supercar, it cranks out an astounding 500 horsepower and 480 pounds of torque, numbers that just a few years ago, were pretty much beyond reach for a street car. Now the really shocking thing is just how docile this thing is. It starts instantly, idles smoothly, and the factory exhaust is so smooth and mellow that you’d never know there’s Corvette-stomping horsepower on tap. I’d argue that it’s almost too sophisticated and refined. Sure, the car magazines say it’s crude and rude, but for a kid who grew up riding around in a 1967 Camaro called “The Clunker,” well, I have to say it’s nothing short of wizardry.

There’s a long list of upgrades available for these cars, but the one you want to own is like this: completely stock. Heck, it’s still got its original belts and hoses! Nothing has been changed, altered, or removed, and as far as we can tell, the only changes have been fluids and the battery, so it’s in top condition and ready to enjoy. Out on the road, the 6-speed snaps through the gears, clutch take-up is as light as a Honda, and the sucker feels virtually indestructible when you stomp on it. Just make sure you’ve got it pointed in the right direction before you plant your right foot, because that supercharger comes online like RIGHT NOW and suddenly you’re going 50-70 MPH faster than you were just a second earlier. This car is shockingly fast. The Shelby also got a fortified suspension to go with the added power, including bigger sway bars, firmer springs, and heavy-duty components to cope with the added power. With all that torque on tap, 3.31 gears are plenty adequate, and in sixth gear, this car just loafs along at 1100 RPM, pulling down decent fuel economy. There are huge Brembo brakes to keep it under control and they seem impervious to abuse, shrugging off high-speed stops as easily as the daily grind. Special Shelby-spec 18-inch forged alloy wheels are perhaps the biggest indicator that this is a special Mustang, and they’re wrapped in fresh 255/45/18 front and 285/40/18 rear Nitto performance radials.

This is a very impressive machine. Is it a future collectable? Hard to say. It has the right ingredients of rarity, performance, style, and condition, but seeing as we’ve already fallen in love with it, perhaps its best use is as intended: the nastiest Mustang on the road.

Vehicle: 2008 Ford Shelby GT500 Convertible
Price: SOLD
Stock Number: 112056
Mileage: 6092
VIN: 1ZVHT89S385162147
Engine: 5.4 liter supercharged V8
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Gear Ratio: 3.31
Wheelbase: 107.1 inches
Wheels: 18-inch forged aluminum wheels
Tires: Front: 255/45/18, Rear: 285/40/18 Nitto
Exterior Color: Torch Red
Interior Color: Black leather
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