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First Look: 2011 Shelby GT 350

By KBB.com Editors on January 20, 2010 1:54 PM
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Carroll Shelby's go-fast gang has come up with another variation on the Mustang theme, this time a raging revisit of one of Shelby's seminal offerings: the 1965-70 GT350. Built by Shelby American and based on the latest Mustang GT 5.0, this 2011 Shelby GT350 prototype was created to honor the 45th anniversary of this iconic pony car as well as the introduction of the first of Shelby's big-block Cobra models.

Working with experts from Ford Racing, Goodyear, Borla, Cragar and Baer, the Shelby American squad created a vehicle that was light, nimble and quick. Literally every key component was modified or upgraded to ensure it met those lofty performance goals. Unveiled at the Barrett-Jackson Auction Opening Night Gala in Scottsdale, Arizona, this original -- as well as all subsequent customer GT350s -- will be painted in the traditional white with Shelby Guardsman Blue stripes. Other cosmetic changes include new front/rear fascias, a front splitter, functional hood and side-sill scoops, a rear deck filler panel and revised taillamps as well as the requisite GT350 badges and a Shelby number plate.

Motivation for this reincarnated Shelby GT350 comes from a supercharged version of the Mustang's new 5.0-liter V8. The force-feeding upgrade bumps output from the standard 412 horsepower to beyond 500 and it exhales through a bespoke Borla center-exit exhaust system. A six-speed manual transmission will send power to the rear wheels. Headlining the extensive chassis enhancements are Ford Racing springs, struts, sway bars and adjustable caster/camber plates while duct-cooled Baer Racing brakes supply mega stopping power. The final link to terra firma comes from Goodyear ultra-performance tires mounted on 19-inch Cragar alloy wheels.

Acquiring a new-era Shelby GT350 is a two-stage process. Customers must first buy a new Mustang from their local Ford dealer then have it shipped to Shelby's Las Vegas production facility where, for an additional $33,995, it will be transformed into a GT350. Shelby American anticipates building about 2,200 of these cars over the next couple of years, with the first deliveries to start in 2011. For additional details, visit shelbyamerican.com.

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