The 2007—2014 Mustang GT500 is already a collectible
The Ford Mustang has a rich heritage from which to draw, filled with performance variants aimed at both road courses and the dragstrip. In 2007, Ford’s SVT team dusted off the iconic GT500 moniker, last used in 1970, for its most powerful production pony yet.
The big news for the 2007 GT500 was its 5.4-liter iron-block V-8 that produced 500 horsepower at 6000 rpm thanks to a supercharger and charge cooler. The tall-deck 5.4-liter had been used in the U.S. in trucks and SUVs since 1997, but only made it to two previous car applications—a naturally aspirated 385-horsepower version found in the Cobra R in 2000, and the supercharged, 550-horsepower, aluminum-block version from the 2004—2006 Ford GT.
Contemporary reviews of the GT500 praised its brute power and improved handling, but 500 horsepower wasn’t enough for Ford. The limited-production GT500KR of 2008 and 2009 brought the iron-block 5.4-liter’s output up to 540 horsepower, the same as the standard GT500 for 2010, which also got a thorough redesign along with the rest of the Mustang lineup. For 2011 and 2012, the 5.4-liter produced 550 horsepower and received a new aluminum block, matching the mid-engine GT’s power output and surpassing the GT’s torque figure with 510 lb-ft of its own.
For most of its life, the GT500 had no real competition, but soon after the Camaro returned to the market, Chevrolet added the 580-horsepower ZL1 to the mix. Just when it seemed that the 5.4-liter was tapped out and Ford would have a hard time upping the ante, SVT engineers went all-in with the 5.8-liter Trinity V-8. With more than an eighth of an inch added to is bore, the Trinity V-8 stretched the displacement of Ford’s Modular V-8 to its limit. The bores were so large, cast-in iron liners were a no-go. Instead, iron plasma was sprayed into the aluminum block to form the bores. The cylinder heads received improved cooling, but were otherwise almost identical to the 5.4-liter heads. New camshafts and extra boost from the supercharger, working with the added displacement and increased flow of larger bores, combined to produce a staggering 662 horsepower! It made the GT500 the most powerful pony car yet—a short-lived title, as the 707-horsepower Hellcat debuted in 2015.
Those later-production GT500s were blisteringly fast and they brought a racecar-like firm suspension to the street—not something for the faint of heart. Unlike the ZL1 with its magnetic suspension, the GT500 didn’t offer up many compromises to comfort. It was just what enthusiasts wanted at the time, and apparently they still want it.
Our valuation specialists go through a lot of collector car data, and the fifth-gen Mustang GT500 shows some of the most consistent buyer interest, with an adjusted Hagerty Vehicle Rating between 71 and 75 over the last five months.
[Editor’s Note: The Hagerty Vehicle Rating takes auction and private sales results, insurance quoting activity, and the number of new policies purchased into consideration, to sort hundreds of car models and compare them to the collector car market as a whole. Our valuation team then assigns a score from 1-to-100, with a 50 denoting a car that’s perfectly following the overall market trend. Popular cars that are gaining interest and value will score higher, those with flagging interest or sale prices score lower. A vehicle’s position on the list isn’t always a sign of future collectability, it’s more of a pulse of the current market.]
With that caveat, the solid market performance of the GT500 over the past several months has helped prove that it’s not a fad car that sees a sudden gain and then falls off. As valuation specialist James Hewitt said, “The GT500 has one of the most consistent HVR scores I have seen, especially during a time of a fluctuating market, and this tells me the interest is strong but not excessive and can be maintained over time—the sign of a car that is here to stay.”
As expected, the market favors the newer, more powerful cars, with the least expensive being the 2007-2009 coupes with an average #3 (Good) value of $25,000 while the Super Snake convertibles—special editions from Shelby with 850 and 1000-horsepower engine packages available—are the most expensive at $79,000 for the same #3 condition. On average, a convertible is worth 20 percent more than a coupe, and there’s no added value in a manual, as it was the only transmission available.
For less than the price of a new, more refined Mustang GT, the fifth-generation GT500 offers a more raw experience, one heck of a transmission (the Tremec TR6060), and one of the greatest names in Mustang history. You could do a whole lot worse.