2008 Shelby GT Convertible

David Axberg
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Ford this fall will begin selling a Shelby GT convertible version of its Mustang, which is already the best-selling droptop in America. The convertible joins the Shelby GT coupe, the Shelby GT500 and GT500 KR, and the numerous other Mustang variants and special editions that sprinkle the Ford lineup.

The Shelby GT is a hotter version of the garden-variety Mustang GT. When a regular GT reaches the end of the production line, it's sent to Las Vegas for the special treatment. No, it doesn't hit Cirque de Soleil and order room service from its suite at the Bellagio - it heads right over to Shelby Automobiles to get a makeover.

On the outside, both coupe and convertible Shelby GTs will sport a new color: Vista Blue with silver stripes. And that new color will be draped over a bulging scooped hood and lower front fascia. On the side, more scoops are positioned just ahead of the rear wheel arches. Out back you'll find the expected dual exhausts (did I even have to say it?) and Shelby badging. The Shelby sits on eighteen-inch polished wheels with the timeless five-spoke Bullitt design.

Just like your mother always said, however, it's what's on the inside that counts. And the Shelby GT has a special something going on in there, too: a Ford Racing Power Upgrade Package. In addition to a freer-flowing exhaust that helps the 4.6-liter V-8 produce 319 hp and 330 lb-ft of torque, the package includes some suspension hardware to make the car handle a bit better. There are special dampers and sway bars, the ride height is dropped, and a front strut-tower brace is thrown in to stiffen things up. A lower ratio rear end helps the car squirt off the line quicker with either a five-speed manual or automatic transmission.

Almost 6000 Shelby GTs were produced in 2007. To keep the car exclusive and boost auction prices at Barrett-Jackson thirty years down the line, just 2300 2008 models are planned.

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