The 2022 Shelby GT500 Mustang is undoubtedly a monster of a car. It’s certainly no joke with a 760 horsepower supercharged V8 under the hood. Furthermore, its lightning-quick shifting automatic transmission is a force to be reckoned with. However, another monstrous component of the GT500 is its price tag. Their base price is nearly $75,000. However, with dealer markups and options, they can easily stampede past the six-figure price point. That’s out of range for most people. However, there is an option for Shelby fans on a more modest budget. Enter the S197 Ford Mustang GT500.
This GT500 still has a ton of power and an option you can’t get on the newest model
A recent Cars and Bids sale perfectly exemplifies this advice. This 2007 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 has only 8.900 original miles. It’s finished in Vista Blue with white racing stripes and red pinstriping. Best of all, it spent its whole life in California, so those extremely limited miles put on it were in a car-friendly climate. Finally, the seller was the car’s original owner. So, finding a better example of this generation of GT500 would be extremely difficult.
That’s the best part, though. Even considering this vehicle’s near-perfect condition, its final sale price was only $36,100. That’s less than half the base price of a new GT500. While it doesn’t quite have the insane engineering and tech that the new GT500 has, it’s still nothing short of fantastic.
Under the hood of this S197 GT500 is a 5.4-liter supercharged V8. This engine shares many similarities with the one found in the 2005 Ford GT. It makes 500 horsepower and 480 pound-feet of torque when stock. However, this car has an upgraded intake system, so it’s safe to assume it makes a tad bit more power.
The real party trick is the transmission, though. Unlike the automatic-only current GT500, this one has a six-speed manual Tremec transmission. That alone is enough to get auto enthusiasts excited! Furthermore, even with manual shifting, Car and Driver reported that they managed a zero to 60 mile per hour time of just 4.5-seconds.
It’s more than just a straight line hero, too
The 2007 GT500 still uses a solid rear axle assembly instead of independent rear suspension. However, Mustang engineers at the time were confident that its handling characteristics were competitive against cars with IRS.
“We looked at the marginal handling improvement attainable by going to an IRS, and we didn’t feel the gain justified the cost. The incremental benefit of an IRS is refinement, but not much more in terms of all-out performance. We’ve got good geometry and good shock-motion ratios, and we’re happy with the suspension we have. We won’t hesitate to have you do a driving comparison against IRS-suspended competitors,” then Mustang chief program engineer Hau Tai-Tang told MotorTrend in 2005.
These snakes did indeed get the suspension treatment from SVT, and Carroll Shelby was content with their handling performance. That brings us to another point about this generation GT500.
Many of these cars came with something we can promise you’ll never have the chance to see on a modern GT500. That’d be a genuine hand signature from the man himself, Carroll Shelby, on the glovebox.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the latest and greatest. With the specs of a modern GT500, it’s completely understandable, too. However, the S197 GT500 shouldn’t be viewed as “the old model.” Instead, it has its own outstanding legacy as the last GT500 Carroll Shelby himself had any input on. For the prices they’re going for at the moment, it seems like an absolute bargain. So, if you want a taste of the Shelby performance without breaking the bank, the S197 GT500 is undoubtedly the answer.