The S197 Shelby GT500...Too Much Fun to Leave Parked

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Nov 12, 2018
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6
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Missoula, MT
One of the downfalls of living in the snowy mountains of Montana is having to put my ‘07 GT500 to “bed” for a long winters nap. The winter streets of Missoula are covered with snow, salt, ice melt, sand and gravel, potholes, as well as black ice, deep icy wheel ruts and demented drivers who act like they’ve never before seen snow...truly a disastrous environment for a fat-tired, high powered car and its lead-footed driver. So, with a heavy heart and a tear in my eye, I count the days until the spring thaw and the end of hibernation for my Shelby. Until that blissful day, I’ll do the only manly thing a man can do...crack open a cold beer or two and make ready my ride for another all-to-short summer of acceleration and exhilaration.

I occasionally peruse EBAY to look at Mustangs, Shelbys, Fords and anything SVT. I’m astonished by how often low mileage, even no mileage GT500’s come up for bid. Some of these cars have never been licensed and still have the shipping plastic on the seats. Others have a only a few hundred or a few thousand miles on them.

My sincere, nonjudgmental question is this: how do you own one of these cars and not drive it? How do you not hunger to hear the whine of the supercharger and the chirping of the tires, or to see the admiring glances of pedestrians and the countless “thumbs up” from other drivers? When I’m behind the wheel, I can’t wipe the smile from my face. Even as I pull the Shelby into the garage, I’m anxiously anticipating my next jaunt to wherever.

To the people who purchased these cars as investments, I don’t understand the “no fun and thousands of dollars lost through depreciation” part of the story. But, who am I to second guess you and your decision to “park and dust?” As for me, I didn’t want a garage ornament. Ford, SVT and Carroll Shelby built these cars to be enjoyed, and I plan to thank them by doing just that!

Come on, spring!
 

Chersch7406

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I try and get mine out any chance I get. My boys always want to take the shelby everywhere. Winter breaks their hearts when we can’t drive it lol
 

Recon

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In the 427R
Not a Shelby but a Roush. The car means a lot of to me, and I want to keep it forever. If it means the car stays in the garage, where it’s safe, so be it. I’d rather it be safe than have some dumbass that’s not paying attention destroy it. That doesn’t mean I don’t drive it; I just don’t drive it often.


Pick your poison.
 

Recon

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Ya’ gotta’ love a Roush Mustang! Those cars are amazing. I’d love to own a 427R someday!

Get a P-51. Don’t get me wrong I love my 427R to death, but the P-51 has a much better engine, blower, wheel set up. Which is exactly what I’m doing to my car, making a type of P-51 clone.
Also pretty much bought a second 427R that will happen in a few years.


Pick your poison.
 

fullboogie

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Dec 6, 2004
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Texas
Some of us have daily drivers to absorb door dings and near misses in traffic, and enjoy keeping a car in great condition, driven on nice days and preserving the beauty of the car. Perhaps to pass on to one of our kids or another buyer to enjoy. Is is really that hard to understand?

But I'll admit that your "park and dust" and "garage ornament" comments are definitely non-judgmental.
 

Harry08

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Sometimes life gets in the way. Some peoples enjoyment of these cars may be keeping them as nice as possible and if that means they don't drive them or drive them very little but still enjoy the car that's great. They are still enjoying the experience.
To each their own. We are all in one big (hopefully) happy Ford family.
 
Joined
Nov 12, 2018
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Missoula, MT
To each, his own! I totally agree! What you do with your car is totally “your thing!” My only point was that these cars are such a total kick-in-the-ass...so much fun and so much power...they are everything a muscle car should be...so I don’t know how you can NOT drive them. To drive or not to drive...your choice. But as for me...COME ON SPRING!!!
 

1Kona_Venom

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Grew up in Green Bay, left when I was 19.
21 Years in the Army showed me places like Texas, Georgia, So Cal (places with no snow)
Retired in Savannah Georgia, and JUST got back from zipping down I-95.
No snow, full sun, 64 degree blower weather

I do not daily any of my mustangs
I daily an F150 or my Rubicon

When I get back into my Shelby on a weekend, it feels "new" again going from 200hp to damn near 700 at the wheels

I had a 10k mile Shelby and would purposely look for imperfections after a drive. Rock chips etc. Than learning from that, was ok with a clean 40k mile unit and if I get a chip or rain, all well, so be it.

OP, my daughter just moved back in with us......from Billings MT. She said screw that cold and snow shit!
 
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Missoula, MT
To 1Kona_Venom...I don’t know if I can say THANK YOU in a bold enough font to properly convey my gratitude for your 21 years of service to our United States! Savannah is blessed to have you and your family there. As for your Shelby...I can’t even imagine 700 rear wheel horsepower. Enjoy having your daughter home again. Perhaps you two can share a white knuckled, grin-inducing father-daughter road trip together...and you gotta let her drive a bit! Thanks again!
 

cgaulzetti

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i thought about selling mine and doing a different project- but realized that i have the best car in the world (for me). anything else i would buy would cost me more money, be slower, and at best just be "different". my 2008 GT500 has just about 70,000 miles on it now. i bought it a year ago with just under 60,000 miles on it. i've put about $25,000 into modifying my car and making it drive the way i want-especially around corners! (you guys could have done what i did for less than half that- but i don't have a shop and i leave the hard stuff to the pros at JBA. i'll do anything that doesn't require a lift- but installing a tuning a supercharger or replacing the suspension is out of my wheelhouse.)

the only reason i don't have more mileage on it is because i also bought an Aprilia RSV4 RR this last spring and i ride it almost every day. commuting on a super bike in southern california is a lot better than commuting in a super car with traffic jams on the 5/805 and being able to lane split!

i'll never understand people who baby their cars not to mention those who don't drive them! honestly- i should take better care of my car and wash it more and not eat food or drink coffee in it on long road trips- but i'm not really that guy. i will say though- that a clean car does drive better! :)
 

Race Red Boss

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Apr 23, 2014
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Ontario
I'm in the same boat OP....just put her under the cover for the winter and it's going to be hard to wait for spring, especially since I just got the car in mid August. I Like to drive mine as much as I can (not a DD). So much fun to take it out even if its just to get some groceries!
 

Aeneas137

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Aug 19, 2021
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Yuba City, Sutter, California, USA
I've only owned my 11 GT500 for six months so I'm sure you'll forgive reviving this old thread. My first Shelby. I live in CA and even the worst day in winter is fine for driving. I commute 90 mi RT to work and drive the Shelby to work one day per week. The advantage of CA weather is countered by the fact that I can't do any upgrades to the engine. It's stock and it'll have to stay that way as long as I live here (they scan for tuning now even if you return it to the stock tune).

I've taken it on a few long afternoon drives but no long trips. Also garaged. I don't obsess over the detailing, never have. I don't wipe it down after a drive. It's kinda dirty right now, in fact. I haven't let water touch the car since buying it, though. No car washes, no soap&water, I use waterless with MF cloths in the garage. And even that I haven't done in a couple months. It's a "driver" that gets out once a week, not a trailer queen. Just not my style. I would fully convert it to track if it didn't have a glass roof. but the car is way too nice for that. I was thinking of selling and buying another project track car. This Shelby is too gorgeous to get used up on a track. Although, I have taken it out once (only once).
 

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