Official Job 1 on First Production Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 and GT350R
By Evan J. Smith
Since 1965, Shelby Mustangs have played a key role in the history of the Ford Mustang. And today, Ford produced the very first production 2015 Ford Shelby GT350 and GT350R Mustangs, marking a return of the storied GT350. Our cameras were on hand as Chassis F0001 was driven off the Flat Rock, Michigan assembly line by Bill Ford Jr. This very Mustang, finished in white with blue stripes, will go to the high bidder from the Barrett-Jackson winter auction. Amazingly, the gavel fell at $1,000,000! More importantly, proceeds from the sale of the charity GT350R will benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). This marks the Ford Official Job 1 on First Production Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 and GT350R
“This is a special day for all Mustang enthusiasts,” said Mr. Ford. “We have taken the GT350 formula to the next level of innovation, style and performance. Today the legend continues.”
Brothers Performance is excited about this landmark Mustang, and we can’t wait for enthusiasts to dig into the 5.2 liter Voodoo V8. Of course, at 526 horsepower, Ford has pushed the limits of engine development with high compression, big cams and rpm, as this baby spins past 8,000! But the aftermarket always packs surprises and we’re anxious to see how far this animal can be pushed. It's only a matter of time before someone slaps turbos on there.
While a slew of prototype Shelby GT350s have been built in the last few months, today marks Job 1 and the actual start of the production models. This is a big day for an automaker, and it’s clearly a special one for Ford, as this is an icon in the making. The GT350 is slathered with so many features that are sure keep the Mustang ahead of the pack, including the flat-plane crankshaft, Magneride suspension, carbon-fiber wheels and the detail such as the amazing seats, sick sounding exhaust and all the electronic wizardry.
Along with 526 ground-pounding ponies, the GT350 has a sinister look, world-class handling, and we hear it’s already pounded the Z/28 into the ground with much quicker track numbers. As for quarter-mile times, we’re expecting to powershift our way to quick E.T’s once we get our hands on one. We’ve even heard the GT350R is as quick as a much more expensive Porsche GT3 around a road course.
The hype has certainly been built for Ford’s latest Mustang, and with the prestige and success of the original 1965 Shelby GT350, this model has big shoes to fill. Ford hit a home run with the 2005-2015 Shelby GT500, and we’re banking that the GT350 will share the same success. Check back next week as we share our first drive report and more details about the 2015/2016 Shelby GT350 and the GT350R.