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Carroll Shelby, the man behind the Shelby American name, passed away some months ago, but not without making sure his legacy was carried on.
Ford will unveil its 2013 Shelby GT500 Convertible in the Windy City next week at the 2012 Chicago Auto Show. The Shelby GT500 is shaping up to become one hell of a sports car and its convertible variant just might be the ultimate, top-down cruiser.
Powered by a potent 5.8-liter supercharged V8 engine, the GT500 packs 650 hp and 600 lb-ft of torque, making all Mustang fanatics worldwide salivate in joy. Despite Chicago hardly being the optimal city to imagine driving with the top down – especially in February where the weather is freezing – Ford seems to enjoy unveiling performance models at the Windy City. 20 years ago, the American automaker revealed the 1993 SVT Mustang Cobra at the Chicago Auto Show which ultimately became known as the GT500′s forerunner.
GALLERY: 2013 Ford Shelby GT500
Sure, it was pretty comical to watch Adolf Hitler get upset over the announcement of Shelby’s GT500 trumping Chevy‘s Camaro ZL1 on paper, but now things have gotten pretty serious with Camaro Chief Engineer Al Oppenheiser predicting that the ZL1 will be quicker to 60-mph than the GT500 and even calls out the GT500′s Nurburgring time.
“We’ve done simulations. We predict that the ZL1 will be quicker to 60 than the  GT500… We ran the Nürburgring and released a time. Ford took the GT500, too, and never released a time. I guess you can draw your own conclusions,” Oppenheiser said openly at an Arizona drive event for the Camaro ZL1.
Now on paper and for those that believe numbers never lie, the Ford Shelby Mustang GT500 with 650-hp and 600 lb-ft of torque in a 3,850-lb body should easily outpace the Camaro ZL1′s 580-hp and 556 lb-ft of torque in a heavier 4,120-lb body. But Oppenheiser has no doubt that the ZL1 would be quicker around Nurburgring than the GT500.
It’s a bold claim surely, but it could be warranted given that the GT500 still features a solid rear-axle while the ZL1 sports all-independent suspension with third-generation Magnetic Ride shocks and a high-tech traction control system borrowed from the Corvette ZR1.
Hopefully it’ll get settled one day, ZL1 versus GT500 on a real track with the same driver. Until then, it’ll remain a war of the words.
GALLERY: Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
Barrett-Jackson will be carrying on a tradition by selling the first Ford Shelby GT500 at the upcoming Scottsdale, Arizona auction on January 15-22, 2012.
In 2006, Ford sold its first Ford GT exotic supercar at a Barrett-Jackson auction and in 2007, the first Shelby GT500 was also auctioned off. The tradition continued in 2008 with the first Shelby GT500KR and in 2009 it was the first retail Shelby GT500 and two Mustang GT concept cars.
The new 2013 Shelby GT500 is a major upgrade to the GT500 line featuring a 5.8L V8 with 650-hp with a heavily updated chassis with excellent handling capabilities.
Five vintage Shelby vehicles will also be auctioned off at the same auction spanning from 1965 to 1969 model years.
[Source: Road & Track]