What Makes Shelby Mustangs So Special?

The Shelby Cobra badge is an icon in the history of Ford performance cars. The two brands formed a bond in the 1960's before drifting apart, reuniting in 2007. And in 2020, the partnership is as strong as ever, with the latest models of the classic GT350 and GT500 available through select Ford dealerships. So how did Ford and Shelby begin their partnership, and what does it look like today?

Shelby History

Texas-born Carroll Shelby began his career as a flight instructor during wartime and a race car driver during peace. Though he held a number of speed records in the United States and in Europe, he was forced to retire from racing in 1960 due to heart problems. Yet Shelby soon bounced back as an engineer with the Ford Motor Company working on turning the Mustang into a race car. The result of this collaboration was the Shelby Mustang GT40, which famously won the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans race.

The first consumer-focused Shelby Mustang (also known as a Cobra) was the 1965 GT350. It won its first race in February of that year, and the GT350 would remain at the top of its class for another three years. The first GT500 came along in 1967. Shelby and Ford would break up in 1969. After Ford sold off the last of its inventory in 1970, there were no new Shelby Mustangs until the return of the GT500 for its 50th anniversary in 2007.

Shelby Today

For model year 2020, Ford offers a Shelby GT350 and a GT500. The 2020 GT350 uses a 5.2-liter engine with a six-speed manual transmission as standard. This configuration equates to an output of 526 horsepower. The 2020 GT500 uses the same basic chassis, but with a 7-speed dual clutch automatic transmission and can put out an additional 234 horsepower. In contrast, the standard Mustang offers either a four-cylinder EcoBoost engine or a V8, with the option of a ten-speed automatic or a six-speed manual transmission.

The GT350 and the GT500 both offer Android Auto and Apple CarPlay capabilities. Features such as blind spot monitoring, navigation and rear cross traffic alert are an optional upgrade in the Technology package. Both cars are covered under a three-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, with powertrain and roadside assistance for five years or 60,000 miles.

One notable feature of the 2021 Mustang lineup is that Ford is reviving another classic name, Mach 1. Shelby parts abound on this car, from the six-speed manual transmission of the GT350 to the rear frame and spoiler of the GT500. This mixing of models provides further proof that for Ford, and its legions of performance car fans, Shelby is the top of the class.

There's Nothing Like a Shelby. Period.

For drivers who want the ultimate in speed and power, Shelby is and has always been a strong choice. And with the 2020 GT350 and GT500, Ford is continuing the performance tradition. From the track to your garage, Shelby offers Iowa car buyers the opportunity to own a piece of automotive history for themselves.

Ames Ford's Performance Team is the top team in Iowa when it comes to Shelby Mustangs, ROUSH trucks, and Ford Performance. We know how to help our customers get the Shelby or custom Mustang of their dreams, and nothing makes us happier. Contact us for more information about the Shelby GT350 Mustang, or check our current inventory of Performance vehicles. We also have a wide range of custom upgrades available, and are certified in Ford, Chevy, and ROUSH Performance.

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