The 1967 Shelby Mustangs
(click on the picture for larger image)
Ford introduced a new Mustang body for the year 1967. The buying public wanted more style and comfort in their GT cars. And they wanted bigger motors. The new Mustang engine compartment would hold a big block as well as the 289. The new body was wider but it was also heavier.
In the prior years, the Shelby Mustangs resembled the stock Mustang more than in 1967. But the cars were less stock in handling and engines. To distinguish the 1967 Shelby Mustang from the stock Mustang, Shelby American made more body modifications. The front end was extended three inches. Due to the cost of trying to obtain steel part for a limited production car, Shelby American used fiberglass pieces. (Note the extended nose in the picture.) In the front grille were two 7 inch driving lights. The hood was fiberglass as well with a built in functional hood scoop and two hood pins on either side. The fiberglass cut the weight of the Shelby Mustangs some. The rear end has a special cap to accommodate the 1967 Cougar tail lights, without the chrome trim and the rear spoiler. This pictures shows very nicely the profile of the car and the tail spoiler. Side scoops were added. The 1966 GT 350 used the lower scoop to duct cool air to the rear drum brakes. Only the early 1967's had functional lower scoops. Ford was more involved with the production of the Shelby Mustangs and was looking for places to cut costs. Cutting a hole and ducting pipe to the rear brakes went. New for this year was an upper scoop to vent the cockpit. (The body scoops came from racing cars, like found on the GT 40.)
Mechanically, the 1967 Shelby Mustangs were a lot closer to the stock GT Mustangs than the 1965-66 GT 350's. The cars came as GT Mustangs from Ford with Deluxe interiors. The stock suspension was retained with a few modifications. The springs used on the Shelby's were unique to the Shelby cars. As they compressed, they became stiffer. The factory replaced the stock, front anti-sway bar with a thicker one. The Monte Carlo bar was not used anymore but the export brace remained.
The above car has the Shelby 10-spoke aluminum wheels. Stock on the 1967 Shelby Mustangs were 15" steel wheels with '67 T-Bird hubcaps with a Shelby insert in the middle cap. Few 1967 Shelby Mustangs actually got the steel rims. Most of them came with either 15"x7" 10-spoke wheels or Kelsey-Hayes Mag Stars -chromed steel rims with aluminum centers.
All the 1967 Shelby Mustangs came with the familiar side stripes indicating GT 350 or GT 500 along the rocker panels. The emblems were placed on the front grille, front fender, read deck and the gas cap. The pop open gas cap was flat on the early cars and curved on the later ones.
The 1967 Shelby Mustang came with two engine options. The GT 350 continued with Ford's hot 271 horsepower 289 hi-po. The Tri-Y headers were not installed any longer. The engine came with a medium hi-rise aluminum COBRA intake with Holley carb. The 4 speed cars used a 715 cfm Holley, the automatic cars used a 595 cfm one. Some cars came from the factory with the COBRA aluminum T-oil pan, most didn't. A Paxton supercharger was an option for the GT 350 only. The GT 500 introduced Ford's 428 Police Interceptor to the Shelby cars. The 428 was stock Ford except for the aluminum intake with two Holley 600 cfm 4 barrells. On top of the carbs was an finned, oval, COBRA air cleaner. The 428 was rated at 355 hp. Even though the Ford's 427 was offered as an option on the GT 500, very few if any were actually installed at the factory. Some 67 cars came with 3 inch round tailpipe extensions, others used the same quad exhaust as the GT Mustangs.
This was a pivotal year for Shelby American production. The expected demand for the cars was higher which would force some production changes at the factory. The earlier Shelby Mustangs were produced in much smaller numbers allowing more time for assembly. The public wanted six times more Shelby Mustangs this year. Ford sent a couple of engineers to oversee Shelby Mustang production early in the year. Fred Goodell, one of the Ford engineers, got to California in September 1966, just as the factory was working on 67 Shelby Mustang number 21. What he saw did not meet Ford production standards. The fiberglass parts being supplied for the front ends, hoods and rear ends were so poorly made that they had to be adjusted and sanded by hand just to get them to fit. The Shelby American designers had made some modifications that it never occurred to anyone to ok with the states.
After working out production issues, Goodell visited the California Department of Motor Vehicles to see if the modifications would pass inspection. The state had issues with the running lights on the side near the top scoops and a real problem with the distance between the lights in the grille. Back at Shelby American he stopped the addition of the side lights, after 200 cars had gotten them. And he got the designers to work on a new grille moving the high beam lights further apart. He made sure the earlier cars were shipped outside California. Most cars with the letter "Z" preceding the serial number came with the outboard driving light.
As the production of the 67 model year was coming to a close, some decisions needed to be made regarding the upcoming 68 Shelby Mustangs. The fiberglass quality issue did not get any better. The expectation was 68 would be an even larger production year then 67, meaning more need for better fiberglass. Larger production meant the need for better systems for producing the cars. Ford engineers were more involved in the day to day operations. And the lease Shelby had for the Los Angeles facilities was up. The final decision was to break the Shelby operation into three parts: The racing team; the parts division; and the production company. A supplier was found for the fiberglass near Detroit and Ford so that portion of the company was moved to Michigan. The rest of the company stayed in southern California.