Sometimes, all it takes is one little nudge to get someone to follow through on that big purchase they’ve been dreaming about, which means a full-throttle V-8-shove-in-the-back should be even more effective. Shelby has recently announced its “Try Before You Buy” track experience program, which gives prospective owners the chance to unwind the company’s high-performance muscle cars in a proper environment without some nagging sales rep complaining about “cording the tires” or “tripling the speed limit.”

“There’s simply no better way to experience the exhilaration of genuine Shelby performance than on the track,” said Joe Conway, co-CEO of Carroll Shelby International and CEO of Shelby American, in a press release.

Each event is limited to 20 participants and includes personal driving instruction from Ford factory drivers Gary Patterson and Vince LaViolette. On hand will be a base 2015 Mustang GT, a 2015 Shelby GT and a 2014 Shelby GT500. The cost is $2,500 per participant, which can be applied to the purchase of a Shelby vehicle.

Each participant also gets a gift bag containing a Shelby shirt, backpack and GoPro camera. Lunch and refreshments are also included.

The first event will be held May 9th at the Spring Mountain Motor Resort & Country Club in Pahrump, Nevada. Future events are slated for June 6th and early fall 2015.

“Driving our cars in a track environment gives enthusiasts the opportunity to evaluate the Shelbys properly,” said Gary Patterson, Vice President of International and Strategic Sales, in a press release. “We’ll not keep lap times or score guests for speed. This is a rare chance to legally and safely explore the capabilities of these vehicles with test drivers who have dialed in their dynamics.”

Continue reading to learn more about Shelby’s new "Try Before You Buy" program.

Why it matters

Well, you sure as hell won’t see Ferrari doing anything like this. Personally, I think this is a brilliant way to get folks engaged and invested in (read: hooked on) a new Shelby. Many of these beastly performance machines will see at least a little track time in their lives, so it makes a lot of sense to get folks out clipping apexes as a demonstration of the cars’ agility.

What’s more, it’s important for potential buyers to get an understanding of the car’s capability prior to going full throttle on the street. There are way too many horror stories of high-performance cars rolling off the dealership lots and straight into the hedges because the owners simply didn’t know what they had gotten into. And while $2,500 might seem like a lot, you gotta remember that the personal instruction is in itself highly valuable. Throw in the seat time, and you’d be silly not to do this before investing in a new Shelby.

2015 Ford Mustang GT

2015 Ford Mustang High Resolution Exterior
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To celebrate half a century of pony car history, Ford unleashed the Mustang in foreign markets in 2014 for the very first time. Not only was the iconic muscle car made available in places like Australia, England and Japan, it also came equipped with a newly revised independent rear suspension, officially marking the end of the solid rear axle and ushering in a new era of road course performance.

While significantly updated, there are a few constants to the Mustang, including a thumping V-8 lodged under the muscular hood line. Crack the throttle and you’ll get 435 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque at the rear wheels, good enough for a sprint to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds and a quarter mile time of 12.8 seconds.

Read our full review here.

2015 Shelby GT

2015 Shelby GT High Resolution Exterior
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Slotted between the Mustang GT and Shelby GT500, the Shelby GT features a meaner exterior, upgraded interior, and supercharged V-8 with a whole lot of attitude. Aesthetically, Shelby added a new billet aluminum grille and WELD Racing wheels. Functionality comes from a large front splitter, hood vents, new trunk spoiler and two-piece diffuser. Inside you’ll find optional Recaro seats and Shelby components like floor mats and doorsills. But most interesting is the 5.0-liter Coyote V-8 blown to 627 horsepower. Control over that kind of output is assisted by Ford Racing half-shafts, new suspension components, and Wilwood brakes.

Read our full review here.

2014 Shelby GT500

2013 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 High Resolution Exterior
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Note: vehicle pictured is 2013 model.
Striking, powerful, and starting at just $56,000, surprisingly affordable: these are the words that describe the Shelby GT500. Based on the older generation pony car (the new one isn’t destined for dealerships until next year), the 2014 GT500 is an absolute rocket ship on four wheels. With a 5.8-liter supercharged V-8 laying down 662 horsepower and 631 pound-feet of torque, this uber-‘Stang can sprint to 60 mph in just 3.5 seconds and stampede on to a top speed of 189 mph. It’s even got a multi-link suspension in the back, which means it should be able to hang with the new breed in the corners.

Read our full review of the 2013 model here.

Press Release

Shelby American, a wholly owned subsidiary of Carroll Shelby International Inc. (CSBI:PK), announced today the Try Before You Buy experience, which allows Shelby enthusiasts to enjoy track time behind the wheel of the current lineup of Shelby vehicles before placing an order. The first track event will be held on Sat., May 9, 2015, at the Spring Mountain Motor Resort & Country Club in Pahrump, Nevada. Track vehicles will include the base model 2015 Ford Mustang GT, 627 HP 2015 Shelby GT and the 2014 Shelby GT500. Subsequent events are set for June 6, 2015 and early fall 2015.

“There’s simply no better way to experience the exhilaration of genuine Shelby performance than on the track,” said Joe Conway, co-CEO of Carroll Shelby International and CEO of Shelby American. “True to the spirit of Carroll’s vision, our current Shelby lineup was bred to outperform. Our ‘Try Before You Buy’ experience gives anyone on the fence about a Shelby, every reason to get into the vehicle of their dreams.”

Each Try Before You Buy track day is limited to 20 guests who will receive personal instruction, including time behind the wheel with factory drivers Gary Patterson and Vince LaViolette. Each guest will have the opportunity to drive each of the Shelby vehicles including the base model 2015 Ford Mustang GT, 627 HP 2015 Shelby GT and the 2014 Shelby GT500 on the 1.5 mile track at Spring Mountain. The cost is only $2,500 per guest, which can be applied to the purchase of a Shelby vehicle as a deposit.

“Once you climb into the cockpit of a Shelby, you’re hooked,” said Shelby American Vice President of Marketing, Gary Schechner. “Our ‘Try Before You Buy’ program is an excellent way to experience the balanced performance, agility and raw horsepower of the current Shelby lineup. Because every Shelby has its own personality, this will help guests choose the Shelby that’s right for them.”

The Shelby Try Before You Buy experience includes a special gift bag with a Shelby polo shirt, Shelby backpack, a GoPro camera to capture the excitement of the track, catered lunch and refreshments during the day. Each event will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and include a rotation of each vehicle among Try Before You Buy guests.

The race track at Spring Mountain Motor Resort & Country Club is a fantastic combination of fast sweeping corners, quick esses, off-camber turns, over 125 feet of elevation change and four high-speed straights including a half mile straight. With replicas of some of racing’s most famous corners including Mosport’s 5a and 5b, the Watkins Glen "Bus Stop", Road Atlanta’s turn 1 and Laguna Seca’s "Corkscrew", the track provides a challenging experience for every level of driver.

“Driving our cars in a track environment gives enthusiasts the opportunity to evaluate the Shelbys properly,” said Gary Patterson, Vice President of International and Strategic Sales. “We’ll not keep lap times or score guests for speed. This is a rare chance to legally and safely explore the capabilities of these vehicles with test drivers who have dialed in their dynamics. The instruction alone will exceed the value of the program fee.”

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