It’s undeniable the impact the Ford Mustang has had on the American automotive market, and this week celebrates the iconic Pony Car’s 50th birthday. Helping commemorate the occasion is this one-off Mustang built by RK Motors based on the 1967 Shelby GT500. We say ‘based on’ because under its factory-fresh appearance lies a host of performance add-ons and go-fast bits that could make a grown man cry. At the ‘Stang’s heart is a hand-built 527-cubic-inch Boss Nine, all-aluminum V-8 cranking out roughly 800 horsepower. It’s backed by a custom-built Tremec T56 six-speed manual transmission that sends power to the pavement through vintage style 18-inch wheels mounted with BF Goodrich G-force sport comp rubber.

A heaping helping of other parts helps this Ford handle like a go-kart. That’s a good thing because this car is no trailer queen. In fact, RK Motors owner and chairman Rob Kauffman will drive the RK527 during the upcoming HOT ROD Magazine Power Tour — a 1,500-mile excursion between Charlotte and Wisconsin. Taking place June 7th through 14th, the challenging even tests man and machine in an endurance-style road trip with only hot rod and muscle car contenders.

There’s much more lurking underneath the RK527’s candy apple red paint, so click past the jump for the complete rundown.

Click past the jump to read more about the Shelby GT500 Tribute "RK527".

  • 1967 Shelby GT500 Tribute "RK527"
  • Year:
  • Make:
  • Engine:
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
  • Displacement:
    527 cubic inches
  • 0-60 time:
    4 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    185 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:


1967 Shelby GT500 Tribute "RK527" Exterior
- image 548810

Besides the aftermarket yet factory-styled 18-inch wheels, the RK527 looks stock. Its candy-apple red paint and white racing stripes set the tone of a true American muscle machine. Up front are two mid-mounted driving lights perched inside the chrome mesh grille. Hood pins with cables connected to the two cotter keys loop up from the grille. Just below, a long, thin chrome bumper adds just the right amount of flash.

Around to the sides are those beautiful wheels with chrome lips and center spinners contrasted by the dark grey centers. Another white stripe snakes down the Mustang’s side with the legendary "GT350" lettering just behind the front wheel well. It only adds to the overall beauty and classic elegance of the 1967 Mustang.

Even the interior is left mainly stock, only updated with a set of accessory gauges and a vintage heat and air system.


1967 Shelby GT500 Tribute "RK527" Exterior
- image 548809

Pop those two hood pins and raise the hood to find a hand-built work of muscular masterpiece. The 527-cubic-inch V-8 is constructed entirely from aluminum and sports Fast XFI ECU Port Fuel Injection, a custom camshaft, forged aluminum pistons, a full roller rocker valvetrain, a massive 1,500-CFM throttle body, and custom headers feeding three-inch exhaust pipes fitted with Magnaflow mufflers.

The one-off Tremec T56 six-speed manual transmission was built by D&D Transmission from Michigan and turns a legendary Ford 9-inch rear end with 3.55 gears and a cone locker for extra traction.

Suspension And Brakes

Helping this pony gallop is a full suspension setup with modern parts. A Custom Detroit Speed Alumaframe helps stiffen the RK527’s unibody for extra rigidity. Bolted to that are coil-over shocks up front and a Detroit Speed QuadraLink rear suspension system with coil-overs. Long gone are the Mustang’s original leaf springs.

Bringing everything to a stop are Baer six-pistion calipers clamping 14-inch drilled and slotted rotors up front, and 13-inch units out back.

One Bad Pony

1967 Shelby GT500 Tribute "RK527" Exterior
- image 550101

The RK527 is the latest example of a ‘resto-mod,’ or a restoration of an older car with the addition of modern underpinnings to help increase performance and reliability. Those are two aspects the RK527 will have to posses as it travels the 1,500 miles across the United States in the HOT ROD Power Tour. With its upgraded suspension, brakes, and tires – along with modern fuel injection and an ECU, this Mustang at least has the right parts put together.

Photo Credit: Jeff Thomas

Mark McNabb
Mark McNabb was a contributor at TopSpeed from 2013 to 2018. Growing up, Mark always had a mind for tinkering on random items throughout his home and dad’s garage, including a 1953 Ford Mainline and 1971 Corvette Stingray.  Read full bio
About the author

Press Release

In anticipation of Charlotte’s celebration of Mustang’s 50th anniversary later this month, RK Motors today announced plans to unveil “RK527,” an 800-plus horsepower tribute car based on a 1967 Shelby GT500.
Shelby GT500 Tribute "RK527"
RK Motors will take the wraps off this one-of-a-kind vehicle during a special event at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Friday, April 18. The official unveiling—amidst legions of Mustang owners, fans and enthusiasts—will be conducted by RK Motors officials.

1967 Shelby GT500 Tribute "RK527" Exterior
- image 548809

The vehicle’s debut will also signify RK Motors owner and chairman Rob Kauffman’s plan to drive the RK527 during the upcoming HOT ROD Magazine Power Tour, taking place June 7 to 14. The annual event, which will begin near RK Motors’ home in Charlotte and stretch through seven states, will have covered more than 1,500 miles upon its conclusion in Wisconsin.

In addition to its ferocious engine, the RK527 is loaded with extensive features and upgrades, including custom Jon Kaase Heads, Fast XFI ECU Port Fuel Injection, Billet Specialties drive system, Bryant Billet Crankshaft, custom 3” Exhaust and Magnaflow mufflers, Tremec T56 6-speed manual transmission, Custom Detroit Speed Alumaframe, complete with coil-over shocks in the front and Detroit Speed quadra-link suspension in the rear, and massive Baer calipers and rotors. The car sits on Vintage HA Series 427 Shelby Wheels and BF Goodrich G-Force Sport Tires.


  • Stock ’67 Shelby GT 500 appearance
  • Candy apple red with painted white racing stripes


  • 527 cubic inch Boss Nine All Aluminum Jon Kaase built V8
  • "De-tuned” to roughly 800hp
  • Custom Jon Kaase heads
  • Fast XFI ECU Port Fuel Injection
  • Billet Specialties drive system
  • Bryant Billet Crankshaft
  • Oliver Connecting rods
  • Forged aluminum pistons
  • Full roller valve train
  • 1500CFM Throttle Body
  • Custom built Good Fab stainless steel headers
  • 3” exhaust and Magnaflow mufflers

Transmission and gear:

  • Tremec T56 6-speed manual
  • Custom built by D&D Transmission from Michigan
  • Ford 9” rear-axle
  • 3.55 gears with cone locker

Chassis and brakes:

  • Front suspension - Custom Detroit Speed Alumaframe with adjustable coil-over shocks
  • Rear suspension – Detroit Speed QuadraLink with adjustable coil-overs
  • Baer 6-piston calipers with Baer 14” and 13” cross drilled and slotted rotors

Rims and Tires:

  • 427 Shelby Wheels
  • gray centers polished lips
  • 5 on 4.5 Ford bolt pattern
  • 4 x 18 x 8
  • complete with polished spinners
  • Vintage HA Series
  • BF Goodrich G-force sport comp 2 245/40ZR18


  • Stock ’67 Shelby interior appearance.
  • Stewart Warner Accessory gauges
  • Vintage Air and Heat
View the full press release Hide press release
Press release

Related Articles

Car for Sale: Super Rare, Numbers Matching 1970 Shelby GT500 Fastback With Low Milage

What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: