Caroll Shelby’s Ford Mustang GT500KR is a throwback to the classic 1968 KR Mustang. The 1968 KR was touted as a muscle car whose bark was worse than its bite, hiding a modest 250 kW under its intimidating exterior. People scoffed at the KR badge that stood for ‘king of the road’ way back when, but when the 2007 GT500 KR was launched, Ford said it would definitely be the most powerful Mustang ever.
Kneeling at the same alter of retro Mustang styling, the custom Shelby GT500KR came offered in a two-tone, blue-on-silver pinstriped paint job or black on black as Shelby chose personally for his own car. Other touches included a custom front fascia with integrated foglamps, side skirts, rear fascia, equipped with a custom carbon composite hood with scoops, air-extractor vents and stainless steel twist-down hood pins, and a lower front air dam with chrome-trimmed functional brake ducts.
The GT500KR has the Shelby name emblazoned on every available surface. It’s on each of the wheel rims, the center caps, the trunk lid, in big block letters, and the leading edge of the KR-specific bonnet. The suspension was modified to improve handling and the production vehicle rode on 18-inch wheels housing the 14-inch brembo brakes.
Under the Shelby KR bonnet lurked 430 kW and 609 Nm, using the same supercharged 5.4-litre V8 that powered the 2007 Shelby GT500 Cobra Coupe. Squeezing out another 40 charging Mustang horsies came thanks to a Ford Racing Power Upgrade Pack. This included a cold-air intake and a louder low-restriction exhaust, recalibrated ignition timing and electronic throttle settings, for quicker throttle response. The car could sprint from 0 – 100 km/h in just 4.3 seconds and runs the quarter mile in 12.5 seconds.
Nostalgic muscle car styling with precision racing technology under the bonnet is a dream combination. The Shelby GT500KR was planned to only have a limited run of around 1 000 units, but as few as 250 units were actually made. Now the great man’s actual car will go on auction later in the year. One lucky person will be the proud owner of a vehicle once driven by the automotive legend that bears its name.