Shelby American unveiled today at the 2011 Chicago Auto Show the limited edition 2012 Shelby GT350. For the 2012 model year the company introduces a convertible (the first since 1970) and two new body colors (red and blue) and promises a limited run of 350 total 2012 Shelby GT350s. Based on the Ford Mustang GT, the 2012 Shelby GT350 will offer the same specs as the 2011 model, which means that the customers will be able to choose a 430 hp normally aspirated, a 525 hp supercharged or a 624 hp supercharged engine.
An automatic transmission is optional with the normally aspirated engine, as well as a short throw shifter for the manual. The 2012 Shelby GT350s will include color combinations such as Performance White with blue LeMans stripes, Race Red with white LeMans stripes and Kona Blue with white LeMans stripes.
The convertible version will come with a new optional light bar, but also with other options such as a one piece drive shaft and color coordinated billet aluminum engine cap set. For those interested, the 2012 Shelby GT350 post-title package starts at $26,995.00 (normally aspirated) and $33,995.00 (supercharged), excluding the base car.
Shelby American founder Carroll Shelby said that 45 years after the GT350 was launched, it was brought back last year. According to him, the car looks and sounds like those built in 1965. They’re offer two more colors and building a number of convertibles on the second production year.
In 1965, Shelby American built a total of 562 GT350 fastback coupes, clad in white paint with blue stripes. In the following year, Shelby included other color choices for the hardtops. In addition, they built four convertibles.
Today, they are some of the most collectible Shelbys across the globe. Shelby American President John Luft added that the delays in the delivery of the 5-liter Mustang models last year led to fewer GT350 coupes in the 45th Anniversary than anticipated in the 2011 model year.
For this reason, they brought back the first ever GT350 convertible since 1970 for the 2012 model year and increased production to meet the demand they expect. Their plan is to build 350 GT350s for the 2012 model year to retain exclusivity and collectability in the future.
In terms of the performance of the new generation GT350, their team performed very well, according to Shelby American Operations Vice President Gary Patterson. He adds that the GT350 leaves its mark wherever it goes, indicating that “a Shelby was just here.” That is why the 2012 model is packed with the same quality performance of the 2011 model.