John McBride
January 1, 2008

Naming a project car can be a daunting task. Once a vehicle is slathered with such a moniker, it will stick for life. A cool name can catapult a car or truck into project-car stardom-a bad one can kill it. I've heard some great car names and a lot more bad ones. I'd say we've done a pretty good job naming the variety of project vehicles that have graced MM&FF's pages. Some of my favorites are Superfly, DOHC (Destroyer of Hideous Camaros), The Fridge, Project Pit Bull, Project Stocker, and who could forget Project White Trash. Sometimes a name pops into your head and it's an immediate match. Other times you can think for weeks and not come up with a winner.

With that said, let us introduce you to the latest Steed in the MM&FF stable, our '07 Shelby GT500. While it hasn't been named yet, we have a few ideas, and we're sure this project will turn some heads. We're expecting big things, including a serious dose of supercharged horsepower and elapsed times in the low-nines or high-eights. We'll be keeping a clutch in the Shelby as well as a bolt-in suspension.

As you can see, our GT500 is fashioned in Windveil Blue, and we're proud to say we have the only Shelby in this color. Hey, it pays to know people. While some folks have put these cars on a pedestal and others have wrapped them in plastic to preserve them, we're going full-bore with no compromise for potential value. There-fore, the Shelby will get a rebuilt 5.4 stuffed between the rails, and it will be fortified with a full cage, a 9-inch rear, and a G-Force five-speed transmission to ensure we can bang gears at will. Are we crazy? Perhaps.

For power, we'll stick with the 5.4 super-charged combination that Ford worked so hard to develop; however it will be a more refined version of the 331-incher that's tweaked and massaged by JDM Engineering in Freehold, New Jersey. Jim D'Amore feels that 800-900 hp is possible without nitrous.

After picking up our GT500 in Dearborn, we trailered it home where it would later be stripped.

This may prove to be one of the most radical Shelby GT500s built. Most of the aftermarket parts and tricks we'll use to develop horsepower and traction will be applicable to anyone with a Shelby or an S197 Mustang. The suspension will remain of the stock-type and will come from Aaron Stapleton of Fast Forward Race Cars.

While we don't want to give away the entire plan in the first installment, we can tell you that the GT500 will see action in NHRA Super Stock, where it will do battle with some of the classic big-block musclecars, including Hemi Mopars, 427 Corvettes, and 427 Thunderbolts. We'll also rip it up at NMRA and FFW events, so keep your eyes open for our snake.

OK, we'll clam up for now and let you dig into the first series of modifications. Next month we'll finish up the cage and get rolling on a few other areas that need to be addressed. We'll also give the GT500 a proper name. Wish us luck.

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