How the Modern Shelby Mustang Cobra Got It's Start

Containing Trivia relating to Automotive World from Brass Era to Present.

How the Modern Shelby Mustang Cobra Got It's Start

Postby jskandhari » Tue Aug 20, 2013 11:22 am

Here's how the Shelby Mustang got back into the Ford product line - perhaps not the way you think.

We all think of the modern Shelby Mustangs as supercharged powerhouses sporting up to 800 HP in street trim and huge brakes and suspension specially tweaked to match that performance.

But the legacy of these powerful Mustangs started out quietly back in 2006, with an almost unnoticed model delivered to the Hertz Rental fleet. (Hertz is owned by Ford). It seems that Ford was looking for a model in their newly introduced SN195 model to zip up some gen, and the concept of the 40th Anniversary of the Shelby 350GT-H was discussed.

It seems that Carroll Shelby had completed his Series 1 cars and was looking to get back in business with Ford. After some difficult negotiations, in 2004 Shelby became a prototype and specialty builder for his old partner.

The first project was to develop some concepts based upon the Ford GT chassis, and those certainly received lots of press. But that wasn't what Carroll was looking for - he wanted a specialty car production contract. So Carroll convinced Ford Brass to develop a boutique Mustang just for Hertz Rental customers. Carroll knew that if the car wowed 'em he'd have a contract.

Well, the "2006 GT-H" as it was called totally energized the public and people at Ford. Soon after the announcement of the GT-H came the announcement of the 2007 Shelby GT (basically the GT-H w/o the Hertz color scheme) and, of course, then, the killer Shelby GT 500.

Yet it was the Hertz car that invigorated the press and became a showcase for over-the-counter Ford Racing hop-up parts. It also proved to Ford that Shelby still had what it took to be a boutique supplier of hotted-up Mustangs - just like he'd done back in 1966.

Putting the 2006 GT-H in the hands of the public at Hertz did a lot of things - it jazzed up Hertz's rental fleet, it got the media engaged, and it put Shelby and Mustang back together again. By the time the Shelby GTs bowed in 2007, the fact that Carroll Shelby and Mustang were back together and making hot Mustangs was a forgone conclusion.

Also for those who like a piece of History here is something interesting for them 1966 Sheby Mustang GT-H
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Source: Wild about Cars
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