First Shelby GT350 Mustang Will be Auctioned for Charity
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.
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.