Carroll Shelby

How Carroll Shelby Turned a Secretary’s Car into the Famous Ford Mustang

As Ford Motor Company continues to prepare for the launch of the 2015 Mustang, the automaker has offered more historic Mustang information with the latest clip being a piece detailing how Mr. Carroll Shelby first got involved with the Mustang program - and how his input helped to make the Mustang the ultimate performance car.

Shortly after the 1964 Ford Mustang was introduced, Ford boss Lee Iacocca contacted successful racer and race car builder Carroll Shelby and told him that the Motor Company wanted to make the Mustang a race car. Carroll Shelby quickly replied that it couldn’t be a race car because it was “a secretary’s car” – and that he didn’t think that it could be turned into the premise of a race car.

Fortunately for Ford Motor Company, Carroll Shelby was up to the task so he took the new Ford Mustang and started by bumping up the performance into the range of 300-320 horsepower. Next, Shelby added performance spec brakes and suspension components followed by removing some unnecessary weight like the rear seat. Once they had this souped up Mustang, Shelby’s crew couldn’t come to agreement on what to name the high performance sports car. Shelby allegedly instructed his shop foreman to walk from the corner of the building in which they were working to a nearby airport and when the foreman counted out 347 steps – Shelby proclaimed that this high performance Mustang would wear the name GT350.

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