500-horsepower Ford Shelby GT500 screeches into the islands
IT IS NOW possible to own a 500-horsepower, American-made starter-supercar for $43,000 and change. OK, lots of change.
Hawaii has been allocated 18 Ford Shelby GT500s, a kicked-up reincarnation of the Ford-Mustang-Shelby-Cobra legacy that is the most powerful factory Mustang ever -- and at least one of them is already road-ripping 'round Oahu.
COURTESY FORD MOTOR CO.
Hawaii has been allocated 18 Ford Shelby GT500s, a kicked-up reincarnation of the Ford-Mustang-Shelby-Cobra legacy that is the most powerful factory Mustang ever.
Beyond a mere mortal's muscle car, it would remorselessly leave one standing in the rarefied, exhaust-filled air of its Carroll Shelby-motivated wake.
It is the new and much more affordable high-performance flagship for Ford since the very last of the automaker's 4,038 Ford GT six-figure supercars rolled off the Wixom, Mich., assembly line in September. Insert sad sigh here.
The Shelby GT500 is the only 500-horsepower car made in the United States, said Mike McKenna of Windward Ford, a member of Ford's Special Vehicles Team authorized to sell and service such a high-horse ponycar.
"We already sold one," McKenna, and the next one is due in to the dealership at any minute. It will be a white one, where the first one was red. They are also available in black, blue, orange, and colors named "Alloy Metallic" and "Tungsten Grey," with or without Le Mans and additional racing stripes.
The buyer is not a collector, but "let's call him a gearhead ... he likes nice cars," McKenna said, without revealing the buyer's name.
The Ford GT in Windward Ford's showroom would also qualify as nice, but the blue and orange limited-production 2006 Heritage Edition model costs roughly three times more than the Shelby, given an MSRP of $149,995 and the special paint package that adds $13,000, according to Whitney Drake with the Ford Public Affairs office.
Nearby Kalaheo High School's colors are blue and orange, but McKenna has no plans to offer the vehicle for the school's Project Graduation festivities this year.
"Boy they'd love that ... we'd have 100 percent attendance," he laughed.
Other Hawaii dealers who've sold the cobra-emblemed retro-rocket include Cutter Ford in Aiea and Honolulu Ford, Drake said.
Mid-Pac Auto Center in Lihue has one, in red, but it was sold before it arrived, said President James Hanley. It was delivered to the dealership on a flatbed, so as not to put any miles on the odometer.
His unidentified client has yet to decide if it will be maintained in a collection or driven.
Hanley, a "Mustang freak," said the Shelby "has generated a lot of excitement." His first car was a Mustang, but now he drives a pickup truck because he lives on Kauai and likes to surf. He has no plans to purchase a next-gen Shelby Mustang for himself.
Hanley's brother Joe has a Shelby and a Ford GT -- but they are brand new and for sale, from the floor of his Orchid Isle Auto Center in Hilo on the Big Island.
Valley Isle Motors in Kahului, Maui, which also has a Ford GT available, will also share in the Hawaii allocation of Shelby GT500s.
A couple online automotive writers have referred to the new super-'stang as a supercar, which Ford isn't doing. However, a company statement does say the GT500's engine is an "evolution" of the 5.4-liter, supercharged V-8 from its Ford GT, which produced 550 horsepower.
Far be it for TheBuzz to encourage street racing -- it doesn't -- but ya gotta love the premise of the commercial that introduced the GT500 in early September during a NASCAR telecast. It showed the car blasting down the famed Autobahn, passing legendary German-made cars, with a driver who said it wasn't that he couldn't find a car he liked in Germany. The problem, he said, was that "I couldn't find a speed limit I liked in America."
is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin. Call 529-4747, fax 529-4750 or write to Erika Engle, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu, HI 96813. She can also be reached at: email@example.com