"The Shelby badge isn't all about the Mustang and the Cobra. Here are five lesser known cars from the stable of the cowboy himself. [gallery link="file" ids="37733,37734,37735"] 1968 Shelby EXP500 CSS 'Black Hornet' Mustang Known for his penchant for the "
Fancy a Modified Mustang? Check out the Steeda Q500 Enforcer
1965 was an awesome year. The Mary Quant designed Mini Skirt appeared in London, The Beatles released the movie and album, Help!, J.K. Rowling was born, and the Ford Mustang was launched.
Over a million Mustangs were produced in the first 18 months, and the ‘pony car’ rapidly became part of the USA’s popular culture. A tuning business, headed by the legendary Carroll Shelby, soon developed because of the car’s popularity. He and his team converted the ordinary Mustang into a beast-like V8 muscle machine.
Decades later, when the company with the blue oval ushered in a right-hand-drive Mustang into Britain in 2015, it was only natural that customised variants would ensue. Cue the Steeda Q500 Enforcer.
Steeda was founded in America thirty years ago, and the Q500 is the firm’s first ‘turn-key’ motor for the UK. It’s a Mustang V8 with sports suspension, beefier styling, and 480bhp – 70 more horses than the typical car’s 410bhp. Priced at £8,998 over the base GT model, the £50,093 Q500 Enforcer is worth the extra dosh for many reasons.
Behind the wheel, the noise is the first thing you’re aware of. The 5.0-litre V8 lump isn’t just loud – it’s comparable to Metallica playing ‘Master of Puppets’ live at a small venue. You don’t just hear it; you feel it in your ribcage. And, at speed, the Q500 works itself into a frenzy, finally climaxing with an uninhibited holler at the redline. Zero-62mph comes in approximately 4.3 seconds – half a second faster to the mark than the standard Mustang.
Only a few exterior styling alterations have been made, with Steeda’s duck-tail rear spoiler and front splitter being the most noticeable modifications. Inside the Q500, there’s an eight-ball gear knob, and a smaller Shelby GT350R steering wheel replaces the regular one. The rest of the cabin is unchanged.
A lot of other areas have been converted, though. For instance, the suspension is adaptable; the car sits on 20-inch Velgen alloy wheels, and there are heftier anti-roll bars and a strut brace. The latter help to stiffen the Steeda’s chassis, making it more hunkered-down and on-the-ball than the production-line V8. The Q500 also exudes that “don’t mess with me when I’m angry” look.
So, yes, the Steeda Q500 Enforcer is a massive play-thing for anyone with a love for muscle cars. It’s no BMW M4, and it’s no Mercedes-AMG C63 Coupe – it handles nothing like them. The American automobile is far less clinical and can’t really do twisty tarmac, but it’s refreshingly naughty. It harks back to an age of gasoline guzzling hedonism, and it’s macho as hell. Yes, it probably belongs in the sixties and seventies, along with hairy chests, Brut aftershave and medallions – but, it’s bloomin’ marvellous to have around and hammer down the straights in.
If you’re fortunate enough to own a Mustang V8, and you want to put more hair on its chest, then Steeda’s modifications can also be added retrospectively. It’s wonga well spent if you want to annoy the neighbours by being even louder and more non-conformist than you probably are already.
CLICK TO ENLARGE