Evan J. Smith
Mustang360 Network Content Director
September 1, 2008

With the much-ballyhooed Shelby GT500KR locked and loaded on the cover, the Sept. '08 edition of Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords is a special one indeed. With 540 hp, the KR is the most powerful Mustang ever, and we're proud to bring you the very first quarter-mile drag test, as well as an extensive road-course and street review.

After first driving the GT500KR during a press launch in Utah, I fell in love with Ford's top-dog Mustang (even if I can't afford one). This is yet another limited-edition model like the "R" models of recent years, albeit one that's more costly and hard to come by. MSRP is stacked at $80,155, but good luck getting one for that price.

Out of curiosity, I checked out eBay to see how the KRs were doing. What I found was amazing, as most KRs (with actual bids) were in the $88,000-$100,000 range, though many of the dealers were asking much more. "Buy-It-Now" prices ranged from $130,000 to 160,000! OK, this is going to be a rare machine, with only 1,746 slated for total production (1,000 in the United States), but give me a break. The shame of this is that real Mustang fans will be hard-pressed to afford one-or even see one at a Ford show. At the end of the day, these are automobiles, so they should be driven, not put away as an investment. Besides, as cool as the KR is, who wouldn't rather have a Ford GT for that amount of money? I've heard of a few KRs going in the neighborhood of $95,000 and, while it's sad to say, that seems reasonable, especially considering how much over sticker some people paid for early Mach 1s, Terminators, and GT500s.

The good news is that I also checked in on the '08 Challenger and, to my surprise, it wasn't doing nearly as well. It seemed as if dealers are struggling to get much over sticker. Chalk one up for the Mustang.

Speaking of GT500s, if you flip through to page 86, you'll find the first-ever Shelby GT500 shootout, brought to you only how MM&FF could do it. With 11 GT500s battling for strip supremacy, these guys weren't afraid to drop the hammer on their expensive iron. It was amazing how far some have taken these monsters. At E-town, the clutches were popped, the blowers (and turbos) wound up, and we had everything from 9-second players to guys in the 11s.

Sticking with the GT500 theme for this issue, Tech Editor Mike Galimi strapped a set of bolt-on GT500 brakes to his S197. Who doesn't want a little GT500 in their diet?

Still, not everyone drives or can afford a GT500, so we've packed the remaining pages with plenty to keep the 5.0 and 4.6 crowd happy. Inside you'll find a wicked nitrous test on a typical strip-style small-block, and we'll show you how to do a basic, and very affordable, rebuild on a 5.0 V-8. If bodywork is your thing, you can see how we breathed new life into Project Ice Box with Frankie Cicerale's Roush body install.

We're always asked which gears are best. To answer that, Steve Baur swapped a couple of popular ratios into his '93 Cobra (Project Stolen Goods) to see if there's a real-world difference on the street and on the track. Steve rocked his ride on the quarter-mile and on a road course at an SVTOA meet to gather information for his story on rear cogs.

Like many of you, we're constantly thinking of ideas and ways to modify our cars. That's why we have a variety of projects and why we do so many shootouts. Our next idea is to pit the baddest factory late-model supercharged Fords against each other in a no-holds-barred, street-legal bangout. We'll be putting out the call (soon) for the hottest Shelby GT500s, Lightnings, and Terminators. Once we finalize the rules, we'll look for applicants through MM&FF's Horse's Mouth section and on our Web site at www.musclemustangfastfords.com.