Shelby Wide Body
Too much horsepower is always a good problem. For the crew at Shelby American Motorsports, fixing the problems caused by too much horsepower is simply another challenge. The latest solution is Shelby's new Wide Body kit, which provides space for up to 14 inches of rear rubber from a 355-series tire. Wider front fenders also allow for more tire width and grip at the front.
The kit for '10-‘13 Mustangs was unveiled on a Shelby GTS at the Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction in Las Vegas last fall. A second kit for '05-'09 models is coming soon. The '10-'13 version gets 2½-inch wider rear quarters and 1-inch wider front fenders. The '05-'09 will be the more aggressive of the two, with 3-inch wider rear quarters and the owner's choice of either 1½- or 3-inch wider front fenders. Both will be offered as kits, or they can be installed at Shelby American Motorsports. The Wide Body will also be available as an option for the Shelby 1000, GT 500 Super Snake, GT 350, and GTS.
The Wide Body kit is designed for a simple installation with four major fiberglass components for each side of the car—rear panel, quarter panel inner filler (to fill in the wheelwell area between the sheetmetal and the Wide Body panel), rocker panel (that flares out at the rear to match the quarter panel contour), and bolt-on front fender. The factory rear quarter panel sheetmetal must be modified to provide the wheel opening clearance for the larger wheels and tires. The Wide Body rear panel uses factory mounting points and also bonds to the factory sheetmetal with 3M Panel Bonding Adhesive.
At the front, the Wide Body fiberglass fenders simply bolt-on in place of the factory fenders. Of course, the new panels must be painted to match the car. Once installed, the kit not only allows for wider tires and wheels—up to a 10-inch rim in front and 13-inch at the rear—it also provides a tougher look and stance.
50 Years Ago
As 1962 wound to a close, Ford engineering and design departments were becoming acquainted with the various aspects of the new Mustang for prototype creations. Conceptually, the new car was only a body engineering job, as the basic chassis, engine, suspension, and driveline were, by design, off-the-shelf Falcon and Fairlane components.
The mockup seen here in mid-December, 1962, shows a stylized Cougar emblem on the grill work and a license plate naming the car a 1965 Cougar, the name under which the build was approved by Henry Ford II in September. In mid-November the model was referred to as the T-5 and Special Falcon using the Cougar emblems from original styling. The ultimate name, Mustang, and its stylized pony emblem symbology had already been secretly finalized that month by Lee Iacocca and Gene Bordinat, V.P. of Styling, and kept from view. Thus, unbeknownst to all but a few, the Mustang name and emblems were agreed upon and set. The new pony car would not be known by its new name, Mustang, until the end of 1963.
Pay It Forward Too
In 2009, the Mustangs of East Texas club participated in the "Pay It Forward" Mustang project sponsored by the Drake Automotive Group, which furnished the '66 convertible and $10,000 worth of parts. The car sold for $42,000 at Barrett-Jackson, with the entire amount going to the East Texas Crisis Center, the club's chosen charity.
Club member Harry Ott passed away shortly after the project was completed. He had just begun a '65 Mustang fastback project himself. His wife, Robbie, donated the partially completed car to the Mustangs of East Texas. And so began "Pay it Forward, Too."
The club decided to build a '65 Shelby G.T. 350 clone in tribute to the 50th anniversary of Shelby American, not knowing that Carroll Shelby himself would pass away as well. Approximately 30 club members participated in the restoration. The Shelby tribute features Shelby/Cragar wheels, 340-horsepower engine, Old Air Products' heating and air-conditioning, power steering, dash mounted tachometer and oil pressure pod, four-speed Top Loader with Hurst Competition Shifter, and paint by club member Eddie Siler.
The club originally planned to sell the car on eBay. However, local Ford dealer Tyler Ford offered to purchase the car—with all of the proceeds going to the East Texas Crisis Center—then donate it back as their annual raffle car.
The winner of the Mustang will be drawn on February 3, 2012, during the East Texas Auto & Cycle Show at Harvey Convention Center in Tyler, Texas. Raffle tickets are available for $10 at www.autoandcycleshow.com.