Not all of the new-car introductions were done at the North American International Auto Show in Cobo, nor were all the cars at the recent Barrett-Jackson collector car auction up for bidding.

Shelby American used the Barrett-Jackson showcase to launch its 2015 Shelby GT, its souped-up version of the new Ford Mustang.

Carroll Shelby was famous for his Ford-powered Shelby Cobras and was called on by Henry Ford II to turn the original Mustang into a competitive race car. Shelby American produced various enhanced Mustangs — GT350, etc. — and built some 8,000 Shelby GTs based on the 2007-08 Mustang.

In addition to Shelby-designed exterior components such as a carbon fiber hood with functional air vents and aero-body enhancements including a two-piece rear diffuser (also made from carbon fiber), the newest Shelby GT features a Ford Racing supercharger and chrome-tipped Borla exhaust system to boost the Mustang’s 5.0-liter V-8 engine’s output to 627 horsepower, making this the most powerful Shelby GT produced.

Shelby installs 3:73 gears with performance Ford Racing half-shafts, a Ford Racing performance suspension kit, staggered Weld Racing Shelby Venice wheels and grippy Michelin tires. Wildwood six-piston front brakes help keep things under control.

Shelby American can apply its Shelby GT unit to Mustang GTs with either manual or automatic gearboxes, and promises the cars are 50-state legal.

Also available are a 700-hp supercharger setup, adjustable suspension for those heading to the race track, even larger brakes and various interior options.

With the new Mustang designed for sales outside the United States, Shelby American said this is its first GT created for a world market. With that in mind, Shelby American is establishing modification shops outside the U.S. to supplement the work done in its primary facility in Las Vegas.

The Shelby GT modification adds $39,995 to the price of a new 2015 Mustang. Details are available at

Shelby American also used the Barrett-Jackson stage to showcase the first few of the 50th Anniversary 427 Shelby Cobras it is building for customers. Those cars are being offered with fiberglass or metal bodywork, including polished aluminum.

Prices start at $119,995 for the fiberglass car (without power train) and run to $180,000 for the polished aluminum version, but original cars from 50 years ago are selling for well more than $1 million at auctions such as Barrett-Jackson.

And, noted Shelby American vice president Gary Patterson, for about 20 percent of the price you’re getting a brand new car, not one with 50 years of wear and tear.

Larry Edsall is a Phoenix-based freelance writer. You can reach him at

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