January 11, 2014

GT 350 Production to End

As promised, Shelby American’s GT 350 will go into the books as a limited time, limited production vehicle. The company has announced that this year will be the last for the iconically named post-title Mustang that has been built at Shelby American’s Las Vegas headquarters since 2010.

“When we unveiled this latest version of the Shelby GT 350, we promised it would be built for a limited time to preserve its collectability and value,” said Shelby American president John Luft. “So we’ve been preparing for this day since 2010.”

The original G.T. 350s were built at Shelby American’s Los Angeles facility for three years, ’65-’67, before production moved to A.O. Smith in Michigan. It is rumored that the next GT 350 will come from Ford as a special ’15 or ’16 model based on the all-new S550 chassis.

Orders for new GT 350s, built on ’12-’14 Mustang GTs, will continue through December 31, 2013, by calling 702/942-7325 or visiting www.shelbyamerican.com. With the end of GT 350 production and next year’s rumored demise of SVT’s Shelby GT 500, on which the Super Snake post-title build is based, Shelby American is said to be searching for a new model to fill the gap. Can you say “Return of the Shelby GT?”

Getaway Super Snake

When After Dark Films needed to cast a high-performance car for their action thriller Getaway, they tapped the Shelby GT 500 Super Snake built by Shelby American. The movie, which opened on Labor Day weekend, also stars Ethan Hawke and Selena Gomez.

Two Shelby GT 500 Super Snakes were used to make the film. One was driven in scenes filmed on location in Bulgaria while another was tapped for audio recording in Los Angeles. The film’s director and producer, Courtney Solomon, made the decision to use a Shelby.

“Since Getaway takes place in a foreign country, I felt strongly that we needed the quintessential American muscle car with enough star power to shine with Ethan and Selena,” said Solomon. “With 725 horsepower, amazing capabilities, and great looks, the Shelby GT 500 Super Snake was ideal for this role.”

The film is a heart-pounding thriller in which former race car driver Brent Magna (Hawke) is pitted against the clock. Desperately trying to save the life of his kidnapped wife, Brent commandeers a Shelby GT 500 Super Snake, taking it and its unwitting owner (Gomez) on a high-speed race against time at the command of the mysterious villain holding his wife hostage.

Mustang: 50 Years

Mustang Monthly editor Donald Farr’s latest book, Mustang: 50 Years, arrived at book stores in October. Published by Motorbooks and officially licensed by Ford Motor Company, the 256-page hardbound book chronicles the 50-year history of the Mustang, from its conception in the early 1960s to the latest ’14 model. Chapters cover all of the Mustang generations—’65-’73, Mustang II, Fox-body, Fox-4, and the current S197, along with Mustang racing history, concepts and prototypes, community activity (clubs, collectors, etc.), and Mustangs in popular culture. To illustrate the book, Farr uses period-correct images from the Ford Archives and from the vast collection of photos in the Petersen Publishing archives, now maintained by Mustang Monthly’s parent company, Source Interlink Media.

Retail price for Mustang: 50 Years is $50, available from www.motorbooks.com or Amazon. Autographed copies are available from the author at www.donaldfarr.net.

Countdown to the 50th

On April 16-20, 2014, the Mustang will celebrate its 50th anniversary with two simultaneous 50th Mustang Birthday Celebration events hosted by the Mustang Club of America and sponsored by Ford Motor Company. The east coast event will be held at Charlotte Motor Speedway, while west coasters will have their own show at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Related activities start two weeks earlier with Great American Pony Drives from seven locations cruising to Mustang, Oklahoma, for an official kick-off weekend followed by east-bound and west-bound Pony Drives to the Mustang 50th Birthday events.

Over the coming months in this space, we’ll keep readers abreast of the 50th anniversary happenings, adding updates as they become available. The official website is now up and running at www.mustang50thbirthdaycelebration.com, including registration and hotel information. Event schedules will be posted there as well when they become available.

Update: Drag racing at the zMax Dragway has been added to the event schedule at Charlotte.

April 4-11, 2014

Great American Pony Drives

Dearborn: Departs April 8

Jacksonville: Departs April 4

Richmond: Departs April 7

Boston: Departs April 6

Los Angeles: Departs April 4 Sacramento: Departs April 5

Seattle: Departs April 6

Visit www.ponydrive.us for complete schedules, routes, and activities.

April 10-16, 2014

Mustangs Across America 50th Drive

Departs April 10 from Los Angeles for a week-long cruise to Charlotte. Visit www.mustangsacrossamerica.com for route and schedule.

April 11-13, 2014

Official 50th Anniversary Kick-Off Party hosted by the Mustang Club of America in Mustang, Oklahoma. Shows, special speakers, and shuttles to shopping. More details to come.

April 13-16, 2014

50th Anniversary Pony Drives from Mustang, Oklahoma, to Charlotte and Las Vegas. Visit www.ponydrive.us for schedules and stops.

April 16-20

Mustang 50th Birthday Celebration events at Charlotte Motor Speedway and Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Shows, open tracks, special activities and displays, manufacturer midways.

April 16: Pony Drive arrivals, vendor set-up

April 17: Opening Ceremonies, birthday party, other activities TBA

April 18: Open track, parade laps, themed dinner, other activities TBA

April 19: Evening banquet, other activities TBA

April 20: Easter Sunrise Services, closing ceremonies.