Two distinctly modern Shelby Mustangs, produced during parallel model years with a set of stripes and goosed-up V-8s. One was a Shelby-licensed Ford factory effort: a comprehensively engineered, 500-hp, supercharged, stick-axle snake that was, for a moment, the most powerful production muscle-car on the planet. The other is a true Shelby-modified ’Stang, marginally more than an aesthetic package with some quality bolt-ons.
Which would you expect to be more collectible? The 500-hp monster, right? Correct!
Well, kind of. Maybe. It’s complicated.
As you probably gleaned from the headline and that pretty pony in the lead image, these mystery Mustangs are the 2007–2009 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 and the 2007–2008 Shelby GT (SGT). And, if you determine collectability by which trades hands for more cash, then yes, the GT500 is the obvious winner with overall higher values across all conditions, according to the Hagerty Valuation Tool.
The money favors the big, beefy GT500, but something’s happening with the lesser-known Shelby GT. Both ’Stangs have increased their values since 2020, but the understudy SGT has outpaced the GT500 in appreciation.
Pause for a moment—here’s some context before we get nerdy with the numbers. In the mid-2000s, the Mustang brand was arguably the strongest it’d been in decades, with the newly-launched S197-generation Mustang (2005–2013) ushering a surge of sales from a horde of new and returning Mustang owners looking to mainline a fat dose of nostalgia with the S197’s neo-retro design.
The time was right for a Shelby resurgence. Despite a successful turn at hopping-up Omnis, Chargers, and Dakotas for Chrysler, Carroll Shelby’s surname hadn’t graced the decklid of a Mustang in any capacity since Shelby legally re-VIN’d 789 unsold 1969 GT500s as model year 1970. The S197 reawakened Shelby’s relationship with the Mustang, first with the rare 2005 CS6 and CS8 Mustang packages, and shortly thereafter with a 21st-century rekindling of his bonds with Ford and Hertz. The two corporate giants teamed up with the famed Mustang maestro for the 2006 Shelby GT-H, a limited 500-unit run of Shelby-fied black-and-gold Mustang GTs exclusively for Hertz’s rental fleets that recalled the original Shelby-Hertz partnership from 1966.
A year later, Ford and Shelby collaborated again on the 2007–2008 Shelby GT as a commercially-available production version of the former GT-H—which, by the way, returned to Hertz’s fleet for the 2007 model year configured only as a convertible. For SGT production, Ford followed in the spirit of the Shelby Mustangs of 1960s yore by shipping new Mustang GTs straight from the factory to Shelby’s facility in Las Vegas for the hop-up kit.
A new intake, ECU, and exhaust squeezed another 19 hp and 10 lb-ft of torque out of the GT’s 4.6-liter V-8 for a total of 319 hp and 330 lb-ft. Upgraded springs, dampers, and thicker sway bars from a Ford Performance suspension kit significantly improved handling. Aesthetically, the rear spoiler was deleted and a new retro-style hood scoop, chrome five-spoke American Racing-style wheels, a new grille, and rear diffuser were added. Inside, the requisite Shelby commemorative plaque sits on the dash above a classic cue-ball shifter.
So, it’s best to consider the SGT a “Mustang GT-Plus” with Shelby bona fides. It never had its time at the top of the hierarchy however, as the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 also landed on U.S. tarmac in 2007. Developed almost entirely in-house by Ford’s Special Vehicles Team (SVT) with only consultation and licensing from Shelby, the new GT500 was fully built by Ford at its Flat Rock, Michigan, plant. Differences over its siblings were substantial: a supercharged 5.4-liter V-8 ripped the rear tires with 500 hp and 480 lb-ft of torque, bigger Brembo brakes, and an aggressive suspension with revised springs and dampers to manage the added heft and power. It also sported a vented hood, different front fascia, and rear spoiler, along with its own unique wheels and tires