The 2015 Ford Mustang is already a familiar presence on the auction block as of December 2014. We saw the very first production unit find an owner for $300,000 in January, while the final example of the 50 Years Limited Edition crossed the block in September. Additionally, Ford also raffled a one-off, convertible version of the 50 Years ’Stang, raising the tally of charity auctioned 2015 model year Mustangs to three. As 2014 comes to an end and the brand-new Shelby GT350 is on its way to the Detroit Auto Show in January, Ford unveiled plans to auction the first example of the high-performance Shelby coupe too.

Not surprising, the first 2016 Shelby GT350 to roll off the assembly line will be donated to charity, with all proceeds to benefit JDRF, America’s leading organization funding type 1 diabetes research. The bidding, which is set to take place at the Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale, Arizona on January 17th, 2015, concurs with the 50th anniversary of the original Shelby GT350. The first-gen GT350 was launched in 1964 and went on sale for the 1965 model year,. It was offered through 1970.

In addition to taking delivery of the first-ever 2016 Shelby GT350, the winning bidder will have his muscle car signed by team members involved in the design and development process.

Click past the jump to read more about the Ford Shelby GT350 Mustang.

Why it matters

U.S. automakers have made a tradition of donating first production examples of their high-performance cars to charity, and Ford has done exactly the same with each and every iteration of the redesigned 2015 Mustang. The fact that the first production Shelby GT350 is also set to go under the hammer is far from surprising and the move benefits everyone involved. Ford gets the extra publicity, the JDRF receives more funding for medical research, while the happy owner will take possession of the first-ever 2016 Shelby GT500.

Sure, this performance pony might not the collectible item its final bid is likely to suggest, but give it a couple of decades and it may be worth a fortune to the right people.

Shelby GT350 Mustang

2016 - 2017 Ford Shelby GT350 Mustang High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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The Shelby GT350 is the latest addition to the sixth-generation Ford Mustang lineup and the most powerful naturally aspirated car the Blue Oval has ever created. Powered by a 5.2-liter, flat-plane crank V-8 — also a first for Ford — the Shelby GT350 hits the streets with more than 500 horsepower and over 440 pound-feet of twist on tap. The oomph is routed to the rear wheels by a six-speed manual transmission that should enable the muscle car to hit 60 mph from a standing start in less than four seconds.

Compared to the standard Mustang, the GT350 sports an aggressive body kit that includes a redesigned front bumper with larger air intakes and a splitter, revised side skirts, and a rear diffuser. The pony rides on a track-tuned suspension, 19-inch alloy wheels and high-performance tires. Interior upgrades include Recaro seats, a flat-bottom steering wheel and several other performance tweaks.

Press Release

Ford Motor Company will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the legendary Shelby GT350 Mustang by auctioning the first production unit of the new-generation car available to the public for charity at Barrett-Jackson in Scottsdale, Arizona.

All proceeds will benefit JDRF, the country’s leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes research. Live coverage of the auction of the Shelby GT350 will air on Velocity on Saturday, Jan. 17, 2015.

The winning bidder of lot No. 3008 – selling at No Reserve – will become owner of the coveted first retail production unit of Ford Shelby GT350, and choose from available Shelby GT350 colors and packages.

In January 1964, Carroll Shelby and Ford Motor Company forever altered the automotive industry with the introduction of the GT350. It was offered through Ford dealers from 1965 through 1970. Today, these cars are among the most collectible vehicles in the world, and now Shelby GT350 is returning to Ford showrooms as the most innovative and track-capable Mustang in history.

“The all-new Shelby GT350 is a thrilling, world-class car,” said Steve Ling, North America car marketing manager for Ford. “From the all-new independent suspension – a first for a Shelby, to the powerful engine and superb brakes, this car is simply amazing. Just as the Shelby GT350 did in 1965, we expect this new-generation pony car to demonstrate Ford Motor Company continues to lead the world in innovation and performance.”

Team members involved in the design and development of the Shelby GT350 will sign the car in appreciation of the donations to JDRF. Ford has supported JDRF since 1983.

“JDRF is privileged to work with Ford, and we are extremely grateful for the generous support from Ford and its employees through the years,” said John Brady, JDRF chairman, international board of directors. “We are honored to be part of the company’s 50-year celebration of the Shelby GT350 at Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale. This very exciting and worthwhile event means a great deal to not only JDRF and the type 1 community, but to me personally as well. We are dedicated to continue our work and to share our vision of creating a world without type 1 diabetes.”

“Ford and Barrett-Jackson have raised millions of dollars to benefit local and national charities for many years,” said Craig Jackson, chairman and CEO of Barrett-Jackson Auctions. “The auction of the new Shelby GT350 promises to be electrifying, while helping raise necessary funding for JDRF.”

Based on the popular design of the 2015 Ford Mustang, the Shelby GT350 was created with an emphasis on incredible driving dynamics and balanced performance.

“We took the best Ford Mustang yet and massaged every aspect of the car that affects the performance driving experience,” said Jamal Hameedi, chief engineer, Ford Global Performance Vehicles. “We tested endlessly on the most challenging roads and tracks in the world, and we believe serious drivers will love the Shelby GT350 Mustang.”

Shelby GT350 is powered by the first production V8 from Ford with a flat-plane crankshaft – a design typically reserved for racing applications and exotic European sports cars. The 5.2-liter engine puts out more than 500 horsepower and a torque peak of more than 400 lb.-ft. – making it the most powerful naturally aspirated Ford production engine ever.

The car uses extra-stiff 19-inch aluminum-alloy wheels shod in state-of-the-art Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires with GT350-specific sidewall construction, tread and compound for maximum grip. A standard Ford-tuned Torsen limited-slip differential optimizes cornering grip and straight-line traction. Carefully sculpted body panels maximize aerodynamic forces.

GT350 features the most track-worthy brake system ever offered on a Ford vehicle in terms of absolute stopping power and fade resistance. At the front are massive 394-millimeter rotors clamped by Brembo six-piston calipers; 380-millimeter rotors at the rear use four-piston calipers.

Ford will have its 2015 vehicle lineup on hand, including the new Mustang, Expedition and F-150 for ride-and-drives for auction attendees. Additionally, the Shelby American-built GT500 Super Snake and Shelby Focus ST will be offered for a hot laps experience with professional drivers from Miller Motorsports Park.

For auction information, visit the Barrett-Jackson website or Facebook.

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