Classic Classified: 1968 Shelby GT500 KR

1968 Shelby GT500 KR ad

From: Cars & Parts, August 1981

Price then: $7,850 ($21,000 adjusted for inflation)

Price now: $95,000 - $186,000

Approximate dollar difference: $165,000 (assuming No. 1 condition)

Annual rate of return: 6.2%

Mustang 1968 Shelby GT500 KR, Coupe, 4-speed transmission, mint body, engine perfect, winter stored, never abused, power steering and brakes, tilt wheel, $7,850.

Last week we looked at the Shelby Cobra. This week we have Carroll’s idea of what a muscle car should be, and what an idea it was.

With the redesign of the Mustang in 1967, there was enough room to put Ford’s massively powerful (and massive in size) 428 engine under the hood. Combining muscular looks and great straight-line performance, GT500s have long been collectible. And when the remake of Gone in 60 Seconds featured a GT500 as the hero car, it only broadened the appeal.

In 1968, the Shelby to have was the GT500 KR, or “King of the Road.” The car’s 428 Cobra Jet engine made an advertised 335 hp, although rumors put actual output above 400 hp. With that kind of performance and rarity (only 1,053 fastbacks were make), the GT500 KR is among the more collectible Mustangs today. It wasn’t always all that expensive, though. While $7,850 in 1981 wasn’t a bargain price, a well-cared for car such as this would have been a smart buy. The future owner of this car would’ve seen excellent appreciation in the following decades.

GT500s did take a beating in the market after the recession in 2008, a long-term owner of this car would still be well rewarded financially for hanging onto it. Not to mention the sheer pleasure of driving and owning a genuine Shelby.