“Sometimes it’s okay to cry.”
Pain felt by gearheads who loved the Ford Mustang Shelby GT350, and now must say goodbye, is reflected in that Jalopnik website headline (directed mostly at men).
“The Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 is the best new sports car that I’ve ever driven when evaluated on a per-dollar basis,” wrote David Tracy, senior technical editor at Jalopnik. “It’s an absolute powerhouse of sensory stimulation that makes the world a better place with each degree that rev needle climbs. Sadly, this magnificent beast is getting the ax this fall. ... The GT350 is a masterpiece.”
As always, good things seem to come to an end.
Ford said Oct. 1, “With the 760 horsepower Shelby GT500 now in full stride, we will finish production of the Shelby GT350 and GT350R this fall as planned. This makes way for our new additions to excite our passionate Mustang fans for 2021 model year – including our limited-edition Mach 1.”
The company didn’t issue a news alert. It just responded to questions about the news as it spread in automotive circles, and people quietly mourned. A limited run for these vehicles is not unusual, but the end is always sad.
The Mustang Shelby GT350 created an immediate sensation when it was released for the 2015 model year, running six model years total. Ford won raves for developing an exotic flat-crank V8 engine for it.
A base model price for the 2020 model year starts at $60,440. Every Shelby GT350 features the powerful V8 voodoo engine with 526 horsepower and 6-speed manual transmission that will live on in the limited edition 2021 Mustang Mach 1.
Dealer allocation ended Sept. 30, so interested buyers should reach out to their local dealers if they still want to snag one.
“It had a good run,” said Jonathan Klinger, vice president of car culture for Traverse City-based Hagerty, the world’s largest insurer of collector vehicles.
“Ford surprised the world with this GT350,” he said. “An engine like that is typically in much more expensive exotic cars, like Ferrari. Ford surprised everyone with that engine, and it proved Ford was serious about making the new Mustang a serious track car. Now they’ll do a new iteration. Will it be back? We’ll see.”
Brad Carroll, director of Ford Credit global communications, tweeted Thursday, “I’ll always remember the birth of my children ... and driving to lunch ... in one of these things. We cracked the windows a bit and ... hit the throttle. That sound ... it was just ... perfect.”
Ford highlighted past success and touted the limited-edition Mach 1:
Since sixth-generation Mustang global exports began in 2015, through December 2019, Ford has sold 633,000 Mustangs in 146 countries around the world _ including 102,090 in 2019. The upcoming limited-edition 2021 Mustang Mach 1 comes standard with the GT350′s Tremec 3160 6-speed manual transmission
“We’re proud of our growing Mustang stable and performance variants,” Jim Farley, then-chief operating officer at Ford, said in an April news release. “From Sweden to Shanghai, more and more driving enthusiasts are enjoying the feeling of freedom and the American open road in these new Mustangs.”
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