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2008 Ford Mustang Shelby

2008 Ford Mustang Shelby Review

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Legends may come and legends may go, but we don't doubt Ford's revered Mustang will continue to thrive. Unlike the bumpy, angst-ridden life rides of Paris, Lindsay or Britney today, this is one long-lived pony car that — with its 9 millionth just sold — should remain a solid staple in the stable. Compare its status with the ongoing mystique of voluptuous cinema queen Marilyn Monroe or Rock 'n Roll king Elvis (who, rumors say, still hasn't left the building).

2008 Ford Mustang Shelby Interior
Ford Mustang Shelby Interior

For a time, as competitive cars from GM and Chrysler were biting the dust, there were whispers that Mustang might follow, until enthusiasts said  "no." Now the 2008 Ford Mustang continues with special collector editions enhancing its populist lineup.

Besides standard Mustang coupes and five-star safety-rated convertibles, there are 2008 Ford Mustang versions developed by performance master Carroll Shelby, a longtime mainstay of Ford's Special Vehicles Team (SVT). One is the Shelby GT500 production car with famed, sinister-looking "Cobra" styling, and a supercharged 5.4-liter, 500-horsepower V-8. For 2008, it comes in soft-top as well as coupe version. Shelby himself has acclaimed it for its supercar capability in a truly affordable car (starting at $43,000).

A hand-customized 2008 "King of the Road" supercharged GT500KR, generating 540-HP for hormone-enhanced performance, also debuts this Spring. Fuel economy for both, using premium fuel, is still in the testing stage.

All changes for 2008 aren't breeding stock issues. In addition to the GT500's performance inspiration, hardware and design, there are added safety and interior features. New side-impact airbags for driver and front passenger provide head and rollover protection. New ambient lighting is among cockpit changes. The exterior gets HID headlamps and Vapor Metallic exterior paint.

But before we get chided by Mustang fans, we didn't forget the most famous "Stang" of them all. As any "Bullitt" fan knows, it's the one Steve McQueen, as a San Francisco cop, drove through that city in one of the most infamous car chases in movie history. Yes, Ford has a street-worthy, limited edition Bullitt Mustang generating 315-HP for 2008. Understated, but instantly recognizable in mandatory Dark Highland Green, it's base priced at $31,075 and is timed for the film's 40th anniversary this year. With Mustang undoubtedly aiming at 10 million, should we say "party anyone?"