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HomeThe MarketShelby American announces new ‘King of the Road’ Mustang

Shelby American announces new ‘King of the Road’ Mustang

GT500KR Mustang will come with more than 900 horsepower

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As part of the 60th anniversary of Shelby American taking place during 2022, the company has announced it will produce a limited run of its “King of the Road” GT500KR Mustangs, which Shelby says will produce more than 900 horsepower on 93-octane fuel. 

“This is only the third time in history that a version of the Shelby GT500 has carried the ‘King of the Road’ name,” the company said in its announcement. 

“The first time was in 1968 when the Shelby GT500KR was powered by the new 428 Cobra Jet V8 that was conservatively rated at 335 horsepower. It was equipped with a modified suspension, redesigned front and rear end, custom fiberglass hood and Cougar taillights. 

“Shelby added a functional roll bar and wood-rimmed steering wheel. Offered in both fastback and convertible, Ford dealers sold 1,570 GT500KR models in 1968 (1,053 fastbacks and 517 convertibles).

“In 2008, Ford and Shelby brought back the Ford Shelby GT500KR. Its supercharged V8 produced 540 horsepower (40 more than the standard GT500) and included a short-throw shifter, 3.73:1 rear axle and unique wheels, tires and suspension settings. A special composite hood with push button hood pins, unique stripes and badges distinguished the KR. 

“A total of 1,000 cars were produced that year; demand was so great that Ford and Shelby agreed to build an additional 712 cars for 2009.”

Shelby, Shelby American announces new ‘King of the Road’ Mustang, ClassicCars.com Journal
First of the new KR Mustangs will be up for bidding at Barrett-Jackson’s January auction

Were committed to ensuring the third-generation model is worthy of the iconic ‘King of the Road’ crown,” Shelby American president Gary Patterson is quoted. 

“Our program team includes experts at Ford Performance and key suppliers, as well as specialists like Shelby GT500 factory development driver Billy Johnson. We announced the program launch today and we’ll show the car to the public at Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale in January. From its initial design to final performance specs, the Shelby GT500KR will live up to the name.”

The first production unit will be up for auction to benefit charity at Barrett-Jackson in January, the news release added. Proceeds from that sale will go to the Carroll Shelby Foundation and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund.

Compared with the Ford Shelby GT500, the KR offers more than 140 additional horsepower, a “dry” carbon-fiber hood, new wheels and tires, suspension tuning, interior trim, and more. 

Shelby American said it will produce 60 of the KR cars per year for three years for the US with another 45 per year for overseas markets.

The current Shelby GT500 already has amazing capabilities,” said Vince LaViolette, Shelby American vice  president of operations and chief of research-and-development.

However, he added, with the new KR, “We’re taking it to an entirely new level for the extreme driver. We integrated a new supercharger and coolers, then tuned the 5.2-liter V8 to churn out 900 plus horsepower on pump gas. The KR has more aggressive adjustable springs, Ford Performance sway bars and a new aggressive suspension tune. The exhaust was reworked to be even bolder and we sliced 30 pounds off with an ultra-light dry carbon-fiber hood that delivers even more cooling. An optional wide-body version is even available.”

“This is just the start of our milestone celebration,” Patterson added. “In addition to updates to our current lineup, we plan to announce three more significant vehicle programs. The incredible Shelby GT500KR is just the beginning of an amazing year.”

The KR package adds around $55,000 to the $72,900 price of the Shelby GT500, Shelby American said.

Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

3 COMMENTS

  1. I pray and wish I am one of those 60 owners within the next 3 years. I remember back in ’07/’08 I was in the 4th grade and my dad grabbed a mustang magazine from FORD and that’s when I discover the 540hp gt500kr silver with blue stripes. I remember sleeping with the magazine and reading it everday. I held on to it until I was in middle school. Im now 24 years old and oh how it will be such a divine dream come true for me.

  2. 60 per year, looks like another American Sports Car built for super rich folks. One would hope if you worked hard and desired to buy a nice car you should be afford the opertunity…

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