Back in 2004 when the retro-inspired era of modern design was in full swing, Ford was the first of Detroit’s Big Three to pay homage to the iconic appearance of the OG 1960s muscle cars via the fifth-generation Mustang (S197). And while the styling of recently released seventh-gen Mustang (S650) continues to tip the balance towards the future, there are ‘Stang fans out there who want to go in the other direction. So, how about gifting S197 ponnies with a 1960s Shelby Mustang styling?
The answer to the question above comes from the retromodding community, a concept that is essentially the opposite of restomodding and has started to gain serious traction in the past couple of years.
And the SEMA 2022 show, which took place at the beginning of the month, did offer a few retromod goodies, one of which was this 1969 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Convertible tribute based on a 2014 Mustang GT.
A Duncan Brothers Customs creation
The build comes from Kentucky-based Duncan Brothers Customs, a shop that has dressed up multiple S197s (built between 2004 and 2014) as first-gen Shelby GT500s (1967-1969 model years).
For this year’s SEMA, the specialist started out with a 2014MY Mustang GT, whose cosplay adventure involves a 1969 Shelby GT500 Convertible.
The structural integrity of the factory vehicle is still there, but its body panels are not. As such, Duncan Brothers Customs installs custom front fenders, hood (with the triple air intakes of the retro GT500), door skins, quarter panels, as well as a rear deck lid and an outsourced roll bar.
For the front and rear fascias, which are the defining areas here, they started with actual ’69 bumpers that were stretched and rechromed. A similar apporach was used for the fascias, while the light clusters and exhaust tips perfectly reproduce the original aesthetics.
The Coyote 5.0L V8 is still in there and, thanks to custom bits such as Portland mufflers, we expect this to best the factory output of 420 hp. For the record, the 428 Cobra Jet V8 of the original made 335 ponies.
The S197 stock brakes were replaced by more capable units supplied by Baer, while the polished shoes come from US Mag Wheels.
Color-wise, the redone interior is still dominated by black leather. As for the red and yellow of the exterior, these hues demonstrate the unnamed owner’s loyalty to the Kansas Chiefs (we wouldn’t be surprised to find a football in the trunk).
Now, in the first Instagram post below, you’ll find the SEMA car at a show held earlier in the year. And, next to it, we have a 2012 Mustang GT that’s become an ode to the pop culture icon that is Jon Wick’s 1969 Boss 429 (this is the movie description, but the car is actually a Mach 1, as proven by the automatic, among others)—have you seen the 1971 Plymouth Cuda that’s going to be in John Wick 4?
And while the shop does reshape the rear side windows, the coupe seems to give away the conversion more than the convertible, albeit while still shining.
Another retromod at SEMA 2022, but this time a Mopar
You can also see co-founder Aaron Duncan delivering a walkaround of the pony in the YouTube vid below, a SEMA effort coming from Six Twelve Auto Works. You know, the NY-based crew who used the Las Vegas show to unveil a… 1971 Plymouth Cuda-dressed 2019 Dodge Challenger Hellcat Redeye nicknamed 2071 Cuda.
Returning to the Blue Oval, the link between the Mustang generations used here runs deeper than what the market would dictate (think: highly desirable first-gens and capable-yet-affordable fifth-gens). So while Carroll Shelby and Ford parted ways after 1969, there would be no Shelby Mustang until the arrival of the S197 almost four decades later.