1969 Shelby GT500 428 CJ from Australia and New Zealand
For the technology of its time, it is fantastic
Nothing other than the fuel pump diaphragm needing to be replaced. This was due to sediment in the fuel tank after 15 years of storage.
The car handles like my previous Porsche 911s. The drag pack version of this car was meant more for racing, hence the suspension difference from the standard GT500's produced. It sits lower and often people will comment that I have something hanging down under the rear of the car. These are the traction bars fitted from factory, and are a correct component of the race suspension.
The C6 transmission is tight and very responsive, matched with the 391 gears in the 9 inch diff. This creates a very credible acceleration from start to 115mph, which is its red line. Road trips are an excellent cruise, as I quite happily keep it at 60mph at 2800 RPM. If you give the the throttle just enough pressure, you will feel that cobra jet kick in and it will easily hit 5500 RPM in a blink of an eye, and then she is gone.
I have had many high performance muscle cars in the past, but this one is the most enjoyable driving experience available. Performance matching handling is unsurpassed in my opinion of any 60's US muscle car produced. I love the Hemi Cuda, but cornering is at its best sloppy.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 2nd September, 2005
12th Oct 2018, 12:32
Hey there mister Mustang driver.
OK so I currently only have the Autoart 1/18th model of this car, however I believe THIS car to be one of the very finest ever made by Ford motor division in this time frame - SINCE SHELBY WAS NO LONGER INVOLVED IN THE BUILD PROCESS FROM '68. More particularly in the CJ 428 engine here, which is in regular tune a very smooth unit; quiet, and free from vibration; a most excellent unit indeed for the 3400lb Mustang, in that it hardly taxes the driver on a long 1100 mile run, while creating at times plenty of heat under the bonnet, unlike the revvier, rortier 289 on the earlier GT350s, where they FELT faster than the power output of 306 bhp had suggested.
It's a pity then, that the standard Mustang seats can't quite keep up, and those of the Shelby of that time are really no better in this regard, until your Mach 1 of 1969 came along with the "ribbed high backs".
As to TRUE hp readouts however, let's get real here: 335 hp for the 428 is where it's at - and only at THAT level it feels like it. 355hp is at best, an "optimist's guesstimate" from back in the day, and 410 bhp is an absolutest fan faring nonsense. This figure equates to about a dyno reading of a true 292 hp at the back wheels, and the torque figure is more likely at a TRUE rating of 416 ft/lbs at 3400. In other words, still a pretty high ft/lb reading by anyone's measure.
The 428 ci Cobrajet was also generally, if well maintained, 200,000 miles reliable, or 400,000 km and over before ever needing to be lifting the heads.
Top speed for the 68 GT500 in its more common C6 auto form is about a true 135 mph with a Stewart Warner speedo reading closer to 140. That said, it makes for an easy & refined (bar certain wind noise on the 68) all day tourer for up to 100-110-120mph on those long straighter "interstate journeys" that you often find in the states.
As you might have guessed by now, my fave Ford GT500 is the 68 KR, even if it doesn't have quite the ballpark handling of a 1973 SD Trans Am. The "long distance ride" compliance on the GT500 was OK enough though, through the "softer spring rates" than those used on the 1973/4 SD455 Trans Am.
May you have continued good luck with your 69 GT500! I have seen a few of those in NZ of that vintage with the unique to that car mag wheels and die cast centrally located squared exhaust! Both the Mach 1 and GT500. Some very fine & muscular Ford automobiles, and from underrated years both.