Oklahoma-based builder Classic Recreations is giving enthusiasts who want a vintage muscle car powered by a modern drivetrain the chance to order a 1960s Shelby Mustang equipped with a downsized engine pulled out of the Ford parts bin.
Officially licensed by Shelby, Classic Recreations’ 1966 GT350R and 1967 GT500CR can be equipped with a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine that uses a pair of Garrett turbochargers to pump out 365 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque in its most basic state of tune. The six-cylinder is also found in a long list of new Ford products including the F-150, the Expedition, and the Lincoln Navigator.
Rear-wheel drive is the only configuration offered, but buyers can choose between an automatic or a manual transmission. While performance figures haven’t been published yet, Classic Recreation points out the EcoBoost engine noticeably improves the Mustang’s handling because it’s much lighter than the V8 that’s also offered.
If 365 hp isn’t enough, Classic Recreations can bump the six’s output to over 600 ponies without sacrificing reliability by tuning it and installing bigger turbos. The engine can be serviced by any Ford dealer in the world regardless of how much power it generates, a real boon for enthusiasts who are planning to hit the open road. Of course, a V8 that delivers between 420 and over 1,000 hp remains on the list of engine options.
To widen its customer base, Classic Recreations has developed another evolution of the EcoBoost-powered Shelby Mustang specifically for the Chinese market, where importing a classic car with a large-displacement engine is an exceptionally expensive process. Enthusiasts in China can order the iconic pony car with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine borrowed from the Ford Focus ST. It generates 300 horsepower — about 50 more than the ST — and 360 lb-ft. of torque thanks to a host of modifications such as a remapped ECU.
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Pricing information hasn’t been announced. For what it’s worth, Classic Restorations says that each replica is meticulously built by hand over the course of four months.