The Ford Mustang is arguably the most iconic muscle car in American history. It has gone through many changes and forms throughout the years, with drivers seeing many versions of the Mustang hit the road. The Ford brand brought back one of its most famous Mustangs, the Shelby GT350 in 2015, as a nod to the history of what made Mustang a true sportscar. But soon the Mustang Shelby GT350 will be no more, and Ford has a special-edition package you may want to get your hands on before it’s too late.
Ford confirms the end of the Mustang Shelby GT350
2020 has been a hard year for the automotive industry, with more and more models falling off automakers’ lineups. Ford hasn’t been missed by the struggle, announcing one of its most beloved cars will soon be discontinued.
According to Motor Authority, the Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 was “noticeably absent when Ford announced updates to the 2021 Mustang lineup in September.” But at the beginning of October, Ford made it official that the GT350, as well as its high-performing brother GT350R, “will be phased out after 2020,” with production ceasing almost immediately, this fall.
But as many Mustang fans remain shocked over the decision, Ford claims that the GT350 and GT350R “were always planned to be phased out,” once production of the Shelby GT500 was fully underway. This means Mustang fans will lose out on the GT350’s fun-to-drive manual transmission, but not for long. The 2021 lineup features the new Shelby GT500 of course, but also the Mustang Mach 1, which features many of the GT350’s best specs (including the six-speed manual transmission).
Sending the GT350 off the right way: the Mustang Shelby GT350 Heritage Edition
The Mustang Shelby GT350 first made its way back to Ford’s lineup as a limited production model, marking the 50th anniversary of the original 1965 Shelby GT350 in 2015. It hit the full production line for the 2016 model year, and although the automaker has made minor updates to the Mustang Shelby GT350 and GT350R, it has always been a powerhouse driver’s dream, combining a naturally-aspirated V8 with a six-speed manual transmission.
But with the Mustang Shelby GT350 getting the axe, Ford is offering its last 2020 models with a “slick nod to the past.” According to the Roadshow by CNET, the last of the Mustang Shelby GT350s will be made available with an optional Heritage Edition Package; a nod to the Shelby GT350’s iconic past.
Unlike many other styling packages, the GT350 Heritage Edition draws “inspiration from a model’s storied past without overshadowing what makes the current car so special.” With the special Heritage Edition, owners can take a nod to the past, before Ford sends the Shelby GT350 officially into the sunset. But what does the special-edition Mustang Shelby GT350 get you?
What the Heritage Edition gets you: the last of the GT350s
According to the Ford Motor Company, the limited-edition Shelby GT350 (and GT350R) Heritage Edition Package “honors 55 years of track-focused” Mustang Fastbacks. Unlike many special editions, the Heritage Edition is offered as a “package” and not as a limited trim level. This means any 2020 Mustang Shelby GT350 and GT350R model can be upgraded with the Heritage Edition Package.
As a throwback to “Carroll Shelby’s historic 1965 fastback coupe that helped establish the GT350 brand,” the Heritage Edition Package adds classic styling and design features like a “unique throwback livery with Wimbledon White paint and Guardsman Blue side and over-the-top racing stripes.” There are also additional “Heritage Edition” badges on the front and rear, as well as unique badging on the interior. The package also adds more race-centered seating, with all-black seats and red accent stitching.
The Heritage Edition Package is available on 2020 model year GT350 and GT350Rs for an added $1,965 to the sticker price. As a styling package, it is important to note that this affordable pricing does not include any performance upgrades to the GT350. But with a 5.2-liter, naturally-aspirated V8 that makes 526 hp, a little more style is all you need.