Why This Shelby Mustang GT500 Upgrade Should Be At The Top Of Your List

We love the Shelby GT500. It's not the baddest Mustang on the road – that honor goes to the Shelby GT500 KR unveiled last year – but it's nothing short of a metaphorical ballistic missile at full chat. Equipped with a burly 5.2-liter hand-built aluminum V8 engine boasting a custom-made Eaton TVS R2650 supercharger, the GT500 has 760 horsepower and 625 pound-feet of torque to play with, numbers that bring tears of joy to dyed-in-the-wool Mustang enthusiasts.

However, some people can't get over the Shelby GT500's stock seven-speed Tremec dual-clutch automatic gearbox. It's a brilliant transmission with multiple drive modes, lightning-fast gear changes, and line-lock with launch control, enabling lead-footed drivers to reach zero to 60 mph in about 2.1 seconds and finish the quarter-mile run in 11.4 seconds at 131.25 mph.

In addition, the seven-speed dual-clutch unit enables the Shelby GT500 to behave like a tame animal in city driving. But for purists, nothing beats the sensation of rowing gears yourself, and it seems Ford has alienated manual enthusiasts from enjoying the thrill of being thrown around in a GT500 – but not for long.

HPJ To The Rescue!

As it turns out, there's a humble tuning firm in Belleville, Illinois, that offers a unique Shelby GT500 upgrade package. HPJ Performance has unveiled its T56 Manual Transmission Swap Package. Finally, you can get rid of your Shelby's seven-speed DCT in place of a Magnum XL six-speed manual stick.

According to HPJ, the Magnum XL can handle up to 700 pound-feet of torque but claims "there will be many variants to this package based on power goals" or what you plan on doing to your beloved pony car. HPJ adds this is not merely a gearbox swap, as the tuning company spent hundreds of hours of R&D to make it a reality and requires a significant number of custom-made parts to make everything better than stock.

Comprehensive Upgrade Package

HPJ's T56 Manual Transmission Swap Package includes the transmission bell housing and flywheel. In addition, all the components are SFI-approved for safety, so you don't have to worry about the gearbox blasting to smithereens as you mash the go pedal.

The HPJ base package includes the Magnum XL gearbox, a Tremec shifter, a transmission cross-member, a one-piece aluminum driveshaft, genuine Ford foot pedals, a new center console wrapped in suede or leather, and professional custom tuning. The manual gearbox also includes a McLeod RXT clutch, a McLeod lightened steel flywheel, and a bespoke pilot bearing and slave cylinder.

Optional goodies include a triple-disc clutch assembly and a carbon-fiber driveshaft. Of course, you can avail yourself of HPJ's power packages for the Shelby GT500 if you're looking to squeeze out more power from your Shelby GT500.

HPJ claims the conversion applies to all 2020 and 2021 Mustang Shelby GT500s and will start at $18,995, including all related fluids and installation. It's a significant amount of money, we know. But this is your only chance (at the moment) to get a three-pedal Shelby GT500 without ruining your car.