November 27, 2005

Steeda Stampede '05

The 6th Annual Steeda Stampede was a huge success with over 240 Fordperformance vehicles and 550 people attending the event held on theSteeda Campus in Pompano Beach, FL.. Enthusiasts traveled from as faraway as Cape Cod, Massachusetts to take part in the festivities.Mustangs of all kinds began lining up to enter the Steeda Campus asearly as 6:00 AM. When the event officially opened at 9:00, there waslots to see and do with so many great looking and sounding Mustangs,Foci and F-150 performance vehicles on hand.

On display on the Steeda Row of Champions were Steeda equipped Mustangsincluding, 2004 and 2005 Fun Ford Weekend Street Warrior Class ChampionDarrell Peterson and Crew Chief Brian Mcafee with their 1994 Mustang.Steve Lee, Thunder Autosports President and owner of the Mustang alsoattended the show. They were joined by 2005 Fun Ford Weekend Drag RadialClass Champion, Adam Louramore and the owner of the 1988 Mustang, DemoKoutsis. These champions were joined by the legendary Steeda IMSA roadracing Cobra R Models. The 1993 Cobra R, one of 107 built and the firstCobra R to win a road race. The Cobra was also a development test carfor Steeda and Ford Engineering, the result being better and largerbrakes for the Mustang street cars. The famed number 20, 1995 Cobra R,one of only 300 produced drew a large crowd all morning long, as peoplecheck out the first production Mustang to win an IMSA Professional racein almost 20 years. Like all Steeda race cars, the R Model was a testbed for Steeda performance parts. Over 50 parts were developed andcompetition proven on this Cobra are now in the Steeda Mustang catalog.This Cobra R won more races than all the Cobra R Models combined on itsway to earning a storied competition record with victories at Daytona,Sebring, Texas World Speedway and Mosport. Joining the Cobra R Mustangswas the number 22 Steeda Focus. The 2001 ZX3 has won numerous road raceswhile serving as a development car for the Steeda lineup of Focusperformance parts.

The morning was highlighted by campus tours, conducted by Dario Orlando,Steeda President, which included viewing the state of the art Steedamanufacturing complex, the Champions building where all the Steedastreet and race cars are built and the Steeda product showroom.

Before "Stampeding" to the Ford Power Festival at Moroso MortorsportsPark 60 miles north in Jupiter, FL, attendees enjoyed the a large partsraffle with Steeda its marketing partners giving away a host of prizes.Enthusiasts went home with everything from sets of tires from Nitto andBF Goodrich, Steeda performance parts, an NOS Nitrous System, RoyalPurple Oil and coolant, a complete JBA Headers exhaust system and lotsmore.

As always, the sights and sounds of all the vehicles leaving the SteedaCampus on their way to Moroso Motorsports Park was magic to anenthusiast's senses.

GT 500 Convertible

Carroll Shelby takes an early prototype of the 2007 Ford Shelby GT500convertible for a test-drive at Ford's Dearborn Proving Ground.

DEARBORN, Oct 3, 2005 - The Ford Shelby GT500, one of the mostanticipated and powerful cars coming in 2006, just got hotter with theannouncement that a convertible version will join Ford's line-up. Withmore than 450-horsepower on tap from its supercharged 5.4L V-8 engine,the Shelby GT500 convertible will be the most powerful factory-builtFord Mustang convertible in history.

Carroll Shelby, the legend behind the original Shelby Mustangs, joinedthe Ford SVT engineering team early in the program to put his stamp ofapproval on the convertible version and had nothing but praise for theeffort.

"Convertibles often go against the pursuit of high-performance, but notthis GT500," said Shelby. "This GT500 convertible can go up against thebest of them, and hold its own. It's stiff, it's fast, and I'm lookingforward to cruising mine up and down the roads of Texas."

Driving enthusiasts know all too well that the vastly increased weightand reduced structural integrity of some drop tops over their hard topderivatives sometimes force manufacturers to restrict performancecapability. Often it's a matter of a detuned engine or a softenedsuspension - that one must suffer for the sake of drivability ordurability in convertible models.

The good news is that the same 450-plus horsepower V-8 engine powers theGT500 coupe and convertible. And with the convertible's added weightkept to a bare minimum, fewer suspension modifications are needed,meaning the handling you experience driving the convertible will be farcloser to that of the coupe than ever before.

In designing the Shelby GT500 convertible, Ford SVT engineers were ableto start with the same solid chassis structure that benefits the 2005Mustang convertible. Ford engineers designed the coupe and convertiblesimultaneously, yielding a convertible with twice the torsionalstiffness of the previous generation.

Considering where the convertible would require the most strength andhow commonality with the coupe could be integrated into the car's basicstructure, engineers added strength into both models by designing bodyjoints and rocker panels, for instance, which help solidify theconvertible without excessive bracing.

As a result, the GT500 convertible is less than 125 pounds heavier thanthe coupe. This enabled engineers to use the same suspension geometry,with chassis modifications limited to only slightly softer spring rates,sway bars, and damper tuning to fit the convertible's character.

Shelby GT500'S Supercharged 5.4-Liter DOHC V-8 Produces Over 450 HP

Watch for more on this special Ford car after the SEMA Show!

Just as the original Shelby GT500 was the "step up" to big-block powerfrom the GT350, the new Ford Shelby Cobra GT500 convertible steps up toFord's 5.4-liter "MOD" V-8. The result? The GT500 convertible is themost powerful factory convertible Mustang ever. Its supercharged5.4-liter, 32-valve V-8 evolves from SVT's experience with superchargingthe "MOD" engine to deliver more than 450 horsepower and 450 foot-poundsof torque.

Exclusive Cloth Top Improves Appearance and Performance

The Shelby GT500 convertible features a unique cloth convertible top,replacing the vinyl top of the Mustang GT convertible. The GT500 will beonly the second Mustang to feature a cloth top, first introduced on the2003 SVT Mustang Cobra.

The cloth is similar to that used for high-end, exotic sports cars,providing an elegant visual upgrade to the GT500 convertible. Inaddition, the thicker fabric is not only more durable than vinyl, butcreates a much tauter top resulting in a very quiet interior whiledriving with the top up.

For top-down driving, the Mustang's convertible "floating" five-bowpower top with z-fold construction tucks nicely into the boot, providinga more finished, tidy, top-down appearance.

The snake is back - Legendary looks with SVT function

The Shelby GT500 convertible combines the dramatic design genes of theall-new Mustang with Carroll Shelby's legendary performance image tocreate an SVT Mustang that broadens the power brand's design approachand appeal.

"The restrained, performance-oriented SVT design theme has becomeinstantly recognizable to enthusiasts," says Doug Gaffka, designdirector, Ford SVT. "The GT500 takes a huge leap forward by combiningthe modern Mustang muscle car with the classic Shelby performance lookto expand SVT's reach to a much bigger audience."

While the GT500 coupe's exterior is punctuated by the classic ShelbyLeMans-style stripes that race along the car from nose to tail, theconvertible will be more subtle with just the side stripes along therocker reading "GT500".

The Shelby design elements alone are enough to tell the GT500 story butare not the only visual cues that set this Mustang apart. The reworkedfront fascia features a functional air splitter and the unique hood hasheat-extraction ducts, combining to provide improved airflow andaerodynamics. Revised headlamp insets offer a more aggressive look andresult in symmetrical upper and lower grilles with large air openings,creating a visual connection to vintage Shelby Mustangs. The unique rearfascia features strakes inspired by the Ford GT's integrated rearairflow diffuser, and a rear spoiler reminiscent of a classic GT500. Tomark the collaboration of two Mustang performance icons, the GT500features Shelby and SVT badging. Continuing the snake logo tradition ofprevious SVT Mustang Cobras, and late-model Shelby Mustangs, the fenderseach feature an updated design of the Cobra. For the first time on anySVT Mustang, the front grille features an off-center snake in place ofthe standard running horse. "GT500" is emblazoned inside the side rockerstripes, and the name " SHELBY " is prominently featured across the reardeck. The SVT logo can be seen on the wheel center caps, a signature SVTlocation, as well as on the doorsill plates. To top if off, the "gascap" medallion between the taillights reads "Shelby GT500" centered onthe Cobra image.