Five hundred miles
at 70 mph, it should take us roughly eight hours to travel 500 miles. But that's not what we're talking about here. We're talking pleasurable mileage in a '67 Shelby GT500. Call it "500" miles.
The '67 Shelby Mustang GT500 was something new from the enthusiasts at Shelby American. Carroll Shelby set the industry ablaze with his limited production GT350 small-block Mustangs in '65-66. These hot little steeds roared off selected Ford dealer lots worldwide with 306 hp at 6,000 rpm. They became legendary. Everyone wanted one. Shelby American did it with a slippery fastback body and special features that made these road rockets unique. When Ford introduced 390 High Performance V-8 power in the redesigned '67 Mustang, Shelby went that number one better with the 428 Police Interceptor big-block. This long-stroke big-block was topped with twin Holley four-throat carburetors and pent-roof cast-aluminum Cobra valve covers. Just opening the hood was enough to frighten most upstarts away.
Tory Friddle of Utah understands what these cars mean 35 years later. At the tender age of 44, he has memories of them roaring past the family buggy on the open road a long time ago. In August 1987, Tory's brother Ken, who lives in Florida, bought one of these rides--a Nightmist Blue GT500 fastback. Whenever Tory traveled to Central Florida to see his brother, the GT500 was always close by, reaching out to him. For 13 years, the torment continued. In June 2000, brother Ken called Tory, asking if he wanted to buy the car. Tory wasted no time. A deal was struck and the car was shipped to Utah.
Tory's GT500 is an early unit, No. 214, shipped originally to Fuller Ford in Cincinnati. The original buyer was in the United States Air Force. When the papers were signed, the car was shipped to Hawaii. A short time later, there was a man in Florida who wanted this car more than the original owner. The car was air-freighted to Florida. Behold a high-performance Mustang that has been at 35,000 feet. Can you say the same about your Mustang? We think not.
Ken Friddle purchased the car in 1987, drove it for several weeks, and stored it in a trailer for 13 years. In storage, the elements took a terrible toll on the car. When Tory took delivery in 2000, there was a lot to be done. Tory promptly turned the car over to Brent Reed at Mustang Ranch in Salt Lake City for a complete restoration. Over the next 14 months, Reed performed his magic, producing the glistening example before you now. Getting a worn-out shell to look like this doesn't come easily. The Shelby was completely stripped down to the bare shell, the body was reworked and painted, and a long restoration ensued.
Those Kelsey Hayes Mag Stars were shipped away for a complete restoration. Tory tells us he was very impressed with the wheel restoration. They returned in flawless condition.
Ssnake-Oyl Products restored the seatbelts--another outstanding restoration effort. The original 428 Police Interceptor V-8 was removed from the chassis and shipped over to RB Machine for teardown, machine work, and a precision balance and blueprint buildup.
The block was bored .030-inch oversize and fitted with forged pistons. A competition hydraulic camshaft was installed. Down under, a deep, 6-quart Cobra "T" pan was installed for form and function. Tory estimates 450 hp from this super twister.
Tory will tell you that he has to pinch himself. Often he asks, "Is it real?" Close friends and associates respond with an emphatic "Yes!" It becomes real whenever he fires up the 428 for a Saturday afternoon cruise. On the open road, it romps. Driving a '67 Shelby GT500 is getting back to that one-on-one experience with a vintage musclecar. It's an intimate experience between man and machine where demands are made and met with both hands on the wheel. For Tory, it reminds him of that song--500 Miles.