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In 1968, the GT500 was getting some major improvements, namely the engine going to the new 428 Cobra Jet. In a meeting with Le Iacocca, Ford Division General Manager, Lee mentioned to Carroll that they had recently caught wind that Chevrolet was going to name their new Corvette the “King of the Road”. Carroll thought to himself that he always wanted to use that name and immediately called his trade dress lawyer, asking him to quickly find out if “King of the Road” was taken. Turns out it wasn’t, Carroll and his team immediately dubbed the new GT500 the GT500KR for “King of the Road” and successfully filed a trade dress for the name. A limited amount of GT500KRs were made in 1968 and are some of the most sought after collector Mustangs in existence.
The second coming of the GT500KR was revealed at the 2007 New York International Auto Show, two years after the standard GT500 was announced. The GT500KR boasted many performance upgrades including an additional 40 horsepower, new suspension, a state-of-the-art carbon fiber hood, Forged aluminum wheels and Goodyear tires developed specially for the program. They were built at Shelby World Headquarters in Las Vegas in the Spring of 2008 and in 2009.
While celebrating Shelby American’s 60th anniversary and in tribute to the King of the Road Mustangs, Shelby American is building a limited number of GT500KR Mustangs on the 2020-2022 GT500s. The vehicles will feature a larger supercharger pushing more than 900 horsepower, a vented dry carbon fiber hood, one-piece forged mono-block wheels, Borla exhaust, improved suspension and a reworked interior.