Our preliminary evaluation of the car showed just under 440 HP at the rear wheels, accompanied by about 460 ft-lb of torque. This is massive in a street car and traction under hard acceleration is certainly an issue. Forget about launching the car by running up the revs and side-stepping the clutch. You won't be going anywhere. You can read about further experiences at the track elsewhere in these pages.
If you're looking for a Terminator replacement, you can quickly create one with the usual bolt-ons. Just add an aftermarket exhaust, some lower control arms, a cold air kit, reflash and supercharger pulley. With these simple additions, you will doubtless have a pavement-ripping, 11- or 10-second dragstrip dominator ... and you will also have lost one of the nicest, world-class touring cars that has ever come out of Detroit. It all depends on what you're after.
- Don Roy
Shelby GT500 - The 'Germany' Commercial
My hands are wrapped firmly around the wheel as I barrel down the wrong side of a water-soaked highway. The car's speedometer bounces around the 95 mph mark. A wake of water sprays behind me as the 2007 Shelby Ford Mustang GT500 slices the empty road. I feel the engine vibrating in my chest. Something is prodding me to shift into 5th gear, despite what lies beyond the curve ahead.
The director, Erich Joiner, is belted uncomfortably behind my seat. He asks me to slow down in a tone normally used for talking jumpers down from ledges. "Okay, Chris we got it. It's good." I lift my eyes to the rearview mirror. My look tells him it's not good yet. Erich knows what I want to do, because he is an accomplished director and race driver himself. He responds, "There's not much room left after that turn." I reply, "Lemme just get it to 100?"
"Just 'til the bridge, then you gotta slow..." Before he could finish, I stomped the clutch, punched the shifter and hit the gas. The engine surged easily to the century mark. This was uncharted territory in my 18 years of driving. Added to that was the pride of being one of the first few drivers to break in this amazing vehicle. With that thought complete, we were already under the bridge, speeding towards a barricade of orange cones and sawhorses. I let the car out of gear and worked the brake gently.
Dan Mindel, in the seat beside me, said "Good. We got some good stuff there." He's used to adventure, as he was the director of photography for Mission Impossible 3. Erich added, "Okay, let's take it back. Nice work." As the lead actor in the spot, I was driving with the photographer to get a 'vanity' shot of me in the car. There was no need for the Mustang to be going any faster than normal while I was driving it. However, the combination of driving a vehicle with 500 horsepower and having no other cars in sight, made me realize that this was a rare opportunity.
Just three days prior, I was speeding down Wilshire Boulevard at three mph in my beater when I received a call from my commercial agent. "You wanna go to Vancouver?" he asked, trying to contain his excitement. My mind flashed to the Ford audition a couple days prior. The advertising agency, J. Walter Thompson, was looking for an actor in his early to mid-30s, with a 'Steve McQueen essence,' - a guy who plays by his own rules. Men want to BE him, and women want to be WITH him - the type of guy that would drive a new throwback version of the Shelby GT500.
It was a description that flattered, humbled and scared me. I figured I could pull off cool for a 30 second commercial, but for nine hours a day for five days? I wasn't sure.