The one and only 1967 Shelby GT500 is up for auction. It was built to show off a new set of tires, and it sports a GT40 427 V8. And it’s going to go for a whole lot of cash.
Carroll Shelby was more than just the guy who built fast Mustangs in 1967. He also had the west coast distributorship for Goodyear Tires. Goodyear had a new line of tires, called Thunderbolt. They wanted to show off the performance of the new budget rubber. With a car that was quicker than anything else around.
So he took a GT500. And went even more Shelby on it. Out went the 428, in went a 427. A racing engine, built to the same levels as the GT40 Mk II that was going to LeMans. The car got a stronger trans and rear end to go with it. It even got a bundle of snakes GT40 exhaust manifold. The engine was said to put out around 600 hp.
The test would be to run laps on Goodyear’s five-mile oval at high speeds for 500 miles. After topping out at around 170 mph, the car averaged 142 mph for the length of the test. On a 7.75-inch wide rear tire. That’s basically a 195-width tire. Yikes.
A plan to make a handful of the cars for production fell apart because they would have been far too expensive. This car was then sold and used as a drag racer. Eventually, it made it into collector hands, where it received a light restoration. Which included fitting a set of original Thunderbolt tires.