Straight from “1968-1974: Road Tests” by MuscleCarFilms.com, this video takes us way back to the late ’60s when the Shelby GT500KR was brand new and being used as a road tester for Car & Track. Host Budd Lindemann tells us all about this “new” GT500KR, the Mustang that was on top of the Mustang totem pole.
The test car in this video is a 1968 Shelby GT500KR fastback, lines that are far more superior than the convertible model. “However, rear visibility was not the best due to the back window being about as flat as a poker table,” Budd continues.
This Shelby was advertised at 360 horsepower and 459 ft. lb. of torque complete with a four-barrel carburetor and power routed to a 3-speed auto transmission. Also, real louvers dissipate engine heat, and the scoops on the hood are also real.
Unlike the earlier Shelbys, the interior of this GT500KR is much better with comfortable bucket seats in the front complete with shoulder harness. In a thirsty car such as this, the gas gauge is constantly plummeting, but the instrumentation is clear and easy to read and easy on the eyes.
In regards to acceleration, the car launched from 0-45 mph in 4.1 seconds, and then from 0-60 in 6.2 seconds. In the quarter mile, the car ran 14.5 seconds at 101 mph. Accelerating was the strong point, but when it came down to braking, with discs in the front and drums in the rear, the GT500KR was lacking. At 30 mph the car took 41 feet to come to a complete stop, and traveling at 60 mph it took 161 ft to stop. After that, the car needed ample time for brake cool down.
When it comes down to cornering and handling, the car handles well despite a softer suspension than years prior. The front end will wash out a little in hard fast cornering, but with all of that power in the front end, it’s easy to control in a 4-wheel drift. Independent suspension with coil springs grace the front, and in the rear is Hotchkis suspension with semi-elliptic coil springs.
So, is the Shelby GT500KR really the muscle car “King of the Road”?