Carbon fiber goodies add cred to seriously hot Shelby GT500

Full disclosure: I’ve had to have my vision corrected since I’ve been about six years ago, and about 20 years ago, I put down some serious cash when I was getting new glasses for some carbon-fiber frames. It was super trick, utterly weightless and tungsten-tough, just like the myriad of components made of composite filaments that are used in virtually every genre of professional-level motorsport for its extremely high shear resistance and minimal poundage. The glasses were cool and a lot more discreet than the poseurs who used to strut around with carbon-fiber briefcases that probably cost them a couple of grand and were just as probably empty. Let’s look at an exercise that has legitimate meaning.

At a very appropriate location, Texas Motor Speedway, and in the sprawling state where Carroll Shelby first worked his magic, Ford Performance Parts debuted a quartet of add-on, aftermarket carbon-fiber accessories for the inordinately robust Mustang Shelby GT500, introduced last year, and which you can buy through any Ford dealership. For truly dedicated go-fast people, Ford is offering a hood vent and rain tray kit, rear decklid trim panel, front bumper insert that slots between the upper and lower air intakes, which is prominently featured in the image along with a new front splitter with integrated belly pan. Besides a strong dose of personalization and, yes, bragging rights, the accessories have practical value. The hood vent and tray weighs four pounds, about half the stock unit’s poundage. None of this is easily bought – the kits’ MSRPs run from $575 up to $1,820 less installation. But when you’re talking about a sport coupe with 760 supercharged horsepower from just 5.2 liters and a base price just under $73,000, everything’s relative.

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