Donald Farr
Former Editor, Mustang Monthly
February 9, 2011
Photos By: Courtesy of Shelby American

Shelby American has introduced the limited-edition '12 Shelby GT350 at the Chicago Auto Show. A convertible, the first since 1970, and two new body colors (red and blue) will be options for the 2012 model year.

"Last year, we brought back the GT350 45 years after it was launched," said Carroll Shelby, founder of Shelby American. "They look and sound just like the ones we built in 1965. We're repeating history by offering two additional colors and building a few convertibles for the second year of production."

Shelby American built 562 total GT350 fastbacks in 1965; all were painted white with blue stripes. In 1966, Shelby added more color options. Four convertibles were also built; today they are among the most collectible Shelbys in the world.

"Delays in the delivery of the new 5.0-liter Mustang last year resulted in fewer 45th Anniversary GT350 coupes than expected in the 2011 model year," added John Luft, president of Shelby American. "For the 2012 model year, we brought back the first GT350 convertible since 1970 and ramped up production to meet the expected demand. Our plan is to only build 350 for the 2012 model year to maintain exclusivity and future collectability."

The Shelby GT350 is a post-title program based on the Mustang GT. The '12 Shelby GT350 performance specs will be continued from the 2011 model year. Customers can choose three different horsepower levels: 430 normally aspirated, 525 supercharged, or 624 supercharged. An automatic transmission is optional with the normally aspirated engine, as well as a short-throw shifter for the manual.

Color combinations for the '12 Shelby GT350s include Performance White with blue LeMans stripes, Race Red with white LeMans stripes, and Kona Blue with white LeMans stripes. The convertible will offer a new optional light bar; other options include a one-piece driveshaft and color coordinated billet aluminum engine cap set.

"When it comes to performance of the current generation GT350, our team did a great job right out of the gate," quipped Gary Patterson, vice-president of operations at Shelby American. "The GT350 leaves its mark on the street that says 'a Shelby was here.' That's why we're packing the '12 model with the same performance as the '11 Shelbys."

The Shelby GT350 post-title package starts at $26,995.00 (normally aspirated) and $33,995.00 (supercharged), not including the base car. Customers interested in a Shelby GT350 should contact the Shelby American sales department at 702/942-7325 or go to www.shelbyamerican.com.