How To Flex Properly: Mustang Muscle The name of the Mustang has been around for nearly fifty years. The evolution of this vehicle has swayed how muscle cars have been produced over the years. Two of the types that stand out to me are the base Ford Mustang and the Mustang Shelby GT. These two are similar in class and model, but very different when compared to one another. The base Mustang influences the creation of the GT. There are obvious differences and similarities as well as there are subtle ones.
Starting off with a little history, The Ford Mustang was introduced in 1964 at the New York’s World Fair in New York City. It was brought out a couple of months before the start of the 1965 production year. It is referred as the 1964 ½ Mustang. On the other hand, its original intent was to bring something that was diverse, different, and could perform accordingly. The Shelby GT was not initially made by Ford. A company named “Shelby American” started making spin-offs as soon as the vehicle hit production lines in 1965. The variant shriveled and was no longer being produced in 1970. Many years later, Ford introduced the Shelby GT.
The 2004-2005 Mustangs had a very different body style than any other variant. The Shelby GT, in the same year, was introduced with the same chassis and body as the base Mustang. In addition, the GT was introduced with the same original paint job. Both came in the option of convertible or hardtop. The six cylinder engine initially remained in both models, but eventually the demand led to a bigger engine in the GT. In the new 2015 Mustang, Ford implemented independent rear suspension to the base model, which the Shelby currently has as well. This gives it a good linearity and response. Freeing up the rear end from the front end, limited slip differential, has given the Mustang a different feel that provides new accuracy and stability on difficult and long, windy roads. The Mustang, in general, has had a bad reputation for not being able to handle as well as other vehicles in its class. It was just too bulky and the raw power and torque of the vehicle just didn’t give it enough handling. This is also similar to traditional Mustangs. The new addition allows the rear wheels to follow the front wheels instead of driving themselves. This will significantly improve the handling.
Ford had the option of either an automatic or manual transmission. The Shelby GT offered paddle-shift automatics, which Ford did not produce with the base model Mustang. In the automatic GT, one of the features that Ford offered is commonly called as a “slap shift”. The gear column has an option to move the shifter and either push up, to the next gear, or push down, to the previous gear. This allows you to drive your vehicle like a manual stick shift without the clutch, essentially. Of course, it is not as potent as having a stick shift from a sporty, performance perspective. The response time on the slap shift is a little longer than actually shifting gears manually. In other words, in a race it would be prevalent to use the manual stick shift.
The base model and GT had the same factory headlights and tail lights initially. The exterior of the Mustangs are a little similar. Shelby GT offers a sleek body kit, only available in this trim. The custom grill came with the logo neatly tucked in the corner. It has custom 18 inch alloy wheels, but some also provide the 20 inch wheels that come stock, or default, in chrome. The base Mustang wheels are not alloy, and generally of lower quality as the alloy wheels. The base model did not come with window tint. Shelby GT, however, was produced with a tint on all of the windows to make it look more aggressive. It also had side louvers and a hood scoop that helped with the drag and also with the performance of the vehicle by giving it an extra thirteen or so horsepower. Also, the GT came with a custom sound…