The Mustang was a runaway success upon its launch, but by 1967, the competition was catching up. Mercury got their own version of the Mustang called the Cougar while GM launched the Pontiac Firebird and Chevy Camaro. To stay ahead, Ford brought out an update that added performance while bringing Shelby Mustang production in-house.
Bigger Car, Bigger Engine
Although the Hi-Po 289 was a decent engine, Ford needed more power to keep ahead of competitors. The redesign increased the length and width of the car by 2 1/2 inches, while the wheelbase remained unchanged. That gave the engine bay just enough room to hold an FE big block. The Thunderbird’s 390 cubic inch, 6.4 liter, 320 hp engine was made an option, while Shelby introduced the GT500 with a modified Police Interceptor 428 cubic inch, 7.0 liter, V8, essentially a bored and stroked 390, good for 355 hp.
Other changes were more subtle. A revised grill, larger convex taillights and body-colored side vents simplified the exterior design. Shelby models replace the front end and hood with fiberglass pieces and the tail lights with rear end-spanning units, while the roll bar behind the front seats remind drivers of the car’s true purpose. A new “GTA” package was added, letting buyers get a GT with an automatic transmission. Parts choices were made with Shelby in mind, allowing lighter modifications to the GT350 and GT500 so they would be comfortable enough for day-to-day driving.
The Most Valuable Mustang
“Elanor” from “Gone in 60 Seconds” may be the most famous ’67 Mustang, but it can’t beat the real-life car built to demonstrate Goodyear’s Thunderbolt tires. Equipped with a 500 hp 427 “Cammer” engine used in Ford’s GT40 race car, Carroll Shelby himself drove the car to speeds over 170 mph, putting it on equal footing with the Lamborghini Miura, then the world’s fastest production car. A small production run was proposed, but with a price three times as much as a regular Mustang, the plan was quickly dropped. This prototype was sold by Mecum Auctions for $1.3 million, the most ever paid for a Mustang.
1967 Ford Mustang -Sales Success
Thanks to increased competition, 470,000 cars were sold in the model’s first year, down from 607,000 in 1966. However, the Mustang still accounted for more than half of the market and Shelby Mustang sales increased by almost 40 percent.
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